The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

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from Wirral, UK and around the World !

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

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EchoLink/IRLP Conference, nodes changed for May 31 WX4NHC station test

Saturday 31st May 2014

WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, will be on the air Saturday, May 31, for the annual NHC Station Test. The event will begin at 1300 UTC and wrap up at 2200 UTC.

Due to a server issue the EchoLink/IRLP conference and nodes have changed. The EchoLink conference will be *VKEMCOMM* EchoLink Conference Node 270177/IRLP 9508. WX4NHC plans to be on EchoLink and IRLP from 2000 until 2200 UTC.

The purpose of the event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment in advance of the 2014 Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.

WX4NHC will make brief contacts with participating station on various bands and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data. For example, stations may report "sunny" or "rain" or "cloudy" in describing the conditions at their locations. WX4NHC will operate on HF, VHF, UHF, 2 meter and 30 meter APRS, and be available via WinLink email (subject line must contain "//WL2K") at, .

WX4NHC will generally stay on the recognized Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) frequency of 14.325 MHz.


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'CW On The Air' - training course

Saturday 31st May 2014

With the aim of attracting new hams for CW operation, Carlos Mourato CT4RK will broadcast the first lesson of the 'CW ON THE AIR' Morse code training course next Tuesday, June 3rd.

This course will be broadcast during regular transmissions, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, on the 80m band at 3743 kHz +/- 10 kHz, at around 20:26 UTC.

Each transmission, from a total of 54, will focus on a particular set of characters that will be sent with progressively diminishing character spacings, at a constant speed of 10 WPM

The course transcripts are available at the following address:

The "CW ON THE AIR" course is supported and promoted by 4 amateur radio associations:
ARLA - Associação de Radioamadores do Litoral Alentejano;
NRA - Núcleo de Radioamadores da Armada;
ARVM - Associaçãode Radioamadores da Vila de Moscavide
REP - Rede dos Emissores Portugueses.

Best Regards from Portugal,

António Vilela CT1JHQ

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Amateurs command NASA spacecraft

Saturday 31st May 2014

The Daily Mail newspaper reports that amateurs have been able to transmit commands to a 35-year-old NASA spacecraft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3)

A number of of radio amateurs have been involved in the attempts to receive and command ISEE-3 including Dennis Wingo KD4ETA, Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO.

The first command to ISEE-3 was successfully sent from the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Read the Daily Mail story at

Space Hackers Take Control of ISEE-3 Spacecraft

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft

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Free ATV Magazine CQ-DATV 12 now available

Saturday 31st May 2014

CQ-DATV 12 our free ATV magazine is now available for download from

You can download either a PDF file or one of several eBook formats

In CQ-DATV 12 is :-

EditorialDATVtalk09 DigitalATV Understanding DVBT Protocol
Lidl bike stand
New DATV Repeater in Australia
Making Prototype Printed Circuit Boards
Digital World Part 5
DATV Express
Project – April update report on MAX7456 Callsign & Simple Caption OSD Module
A simple 10GHz power amplifier for beginners
Linearity in an Analogue world
Coming up in CQ-DATV

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BBC Radio Explorer: a new way to listen to radio

Saturday 31st May 2014

The BBC has quietly released a prototype service called BBC Radio Explorer (see

The service is the result of "10% time", a loose concept that allows the BBC's software engineers time to develop and play about with things. Unusually, this one is visible to the public, if you know where to look. But, with a quiet announcement on Twitter and no press release, you'll be forgiven to not know it exists. That's by design: since it's not finished: every page tells us it's "work-in-progress".

BBC Radio Explorer is a relatively simple idea. Type something that you're interested in, and the service plays you clips and programmes that it thinks you'll like: one after the other. It's a different way to listen to the BBC's speech radio output, and it should unearth a lot of interesting programming from the BBC.

Read the full article here:

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BBC misses a Shipping Forecast for first time in 90 years !

Saturday 31st May 2014

Due to technical difficulties, BBC Radio 4 failed to broadcast the Shipping Forecast yesterday morning.

This was the first failure of the Shipping Forecast in 90 years:

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New pirate stations in Ukraine conflict

Friday 30th May 2014

Two CW stations have appeared on the higher HF bands, claiming to operate from Donetsk, as promoting a separatist 'Peoples' Republic of Donetsk', or 'NovoRossiya New Russia'.

The callsigns, D0A and 1C4M are believed to be two operators on the same transmitter. The callsigns are invalid and do not count for anything in ham radio terms.

While a QSL manager may be appointed shortly in Donetsk, communications are poor, and direct QSL is unlikely to succeed.

There is some doubt that the stations are really in Donetsk. There is evidence that they may be operating from Kazakhstan.

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Consultation on potential release of the 700 MHz band

Thursday 29th May 2014

Ofcom has published three documents on the future of spectrum use for the 700 MHz band

Ofcom say the proposals in the consultation would mean viewers continue to have the free to view TV services they value without another ‘switchover’, while consumers and businesses would get faster and cheaper internet on the move.

Ofcom is also ensuring that users of wireless microphones, such as theatres, sports venues and music events, continue to have the airwaves needed to deliver their important cultural benefits.

The challenge for Ofcom is to carefully manage the limited supply of spectrum – our wireless infrastructure – and ensure that all users have access to the appropriate amount.

Part of this spectrum, the 700 MHz frequency band, is currently used for digital terrestrial TV and wireless microphones – a sector called ‘programme making and special events’.

Countries across the world are now looking at whether to use the 700 MHz spectrum band for mobile broadband.

Therefore, Ofcom is consulting on proposals to change some of the frequencies that digital terrestrial TV services (such as Freeview) and wireless microphones use and make the 700 MHz band available for mobile broadband – by 2022, if not earlier.

Demand for mobile data in 2030 could be 45 times higher than today so more spectrum is needed, together with new technologies to make mobile broadband more efficient.

Maintaining free to view TV and wireless microphones

Digital terrestrial TV will continue to perform a vital role in providing viewers with low-cost, near-universal access to the public service TV channels. Ofcom is also encouraging industry to take the lead on developing new services, such as video-on-demand and more high-definition channels, which will allow digital terrestrial TV to develop and evolve.

Importantly, releasing the frequencies for mobile broadband would be achieved without the need for another TV switchover. For the vast majority of viewers, the move would require only a simple retune of their existing TV equipment.

A very small minority of households (about 0.5%) might need to change their roof-top aerials – although this would be unlikely before 2019. Ofcom will continue to work with aerial installers and retailers to minimise any impact on viewers.

Ofcom is already working with the programme making and special events (PMSE) sector to understand its future needs. If Ofcom’s proposals go ahead, it will ensure that enough quality, alternative spectrum is available for wireless microphones, and several potential bands have already been identified.

Faster, cheaper and higher capacity mobile data

Ofcom’s proposals could help mobile network operators meet increasing demand for access to mobile data for 4G on smartphones, tablets and potentially next generation mobile services.

This would mean lower prices and faster network speeds for businesses and consumers across the UK, delivering significant economic benefits.

Ofcom has also today set out its longer term strategy for enabling more spectrum to be freed up to meet the growing demand for mobile data. This builds on proposals announced earlier this year to release spectrum currently used by the Ministry of Defence.

Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said: “Ofcom’s role is to ensure the UK makes the best and most efficient use of its airwaves, which is vital to enable UK’s digital economy to meet consumers’ needs.

“Our plans will allow digital terrestrial TV to thrive, while ensuring the UK’s mobile infrastructure can support consumer demand and economic growth. We also recognise the important role the PMSE sector plays in the cultural life of the nation.”

A consultation on a potential release of the 700 MHz band

A discussion document on The Future of free to view TV

Ofcom’s Mobile data strategy

The Register - Ofcom snatches spectrum from SPIES for mobile broadband

Looking ahead towards future mobile communications The Register published the article "EE boffin: 5G will be the LAST WORD in mobile tech – literally"

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 29th May 2014

Island activities:

AS-023; JA6; Amami Islands: Masa/JF3ELH announces an activation of Amami Oshima from May 30 to June 1 as JF3ELH/6. QSL via h/c.

AS-097; 9M2; Melaka/ Johor State West group: 13 OPs (9M2YOT, 9M2ESM, 9W2GSG, 9W2EJT, 9W2SBD, 9W2MNW, 9W2ADC, 9M2RMT, 9M2GET, 9W2WWW, 9W2RUT, 9M2ZAK, and 9M8SYA) get together for an operation from Pulau Undan (ARLHS WMA-013, WLOTA 3792, WW Loc. OJ12eb). QRV as 9M2MI from May 30 to June 1 on 80-10m in SSB and CW. QSL only direct, see

EU-004; EA6; Balearic Islands: Gordon/MM0GOR will get on the air holiday-style from Ibiza as EA6/MM0GOR from June 1 to 6. QRV on 40-10m in SSB. QSL via h/c (B).

EU-034; ES0/ES3; Hiiumaa/ Saaremaa/ Laanemaa County group: Jaakko/OG1J, Kari/OH3BJL, Keijo/OH3HPV, Ari/OH3KAV, and Veikko/OH3LB plan to operate from Hiiumaa Island (WLOTA 2017, WWFF ESFF-045) as ES0/OI3V. QRV from May 29 to June 1 on HF. QSL via OI3V (d/B).

EU-038; PA; Noord Holland/ Friesland/ Groningen Province group: Eddy/ON6EF, Jan/ON6VJ, and Raf/ON5RZ will pay a visit to Terschelling Island (WLOTA 0943, Grid JO23) from the 29th to the 31st and work as PA/OT1S in SSB. Depending on wx conditions they also plan to activate PAFF areas. QSL via ON6EF (d/B).

EU-095; F; Provence-Cote D'Azur (Bouches-du-Rhone) Region group: Members of the Castres DX Gang will be active from Ratonneau Island (DIFM ME003, DFCF 13-061) as TM5FI. QRV from May 28 to June 4. QSL via F5XX and ClubLog.

EU-128; DL; Schleswig-Holstein State East group: Markus/DJ4EL returns to Fehmarn (DID/GIA O-01, WW. Loc. JO54nk) from May 29 to June 2. He plans to be active on HF in SSB. For May 30, 31, and June 1 Markus plans to activate the smaller island Warder (DID/GIA O-32, WW Loc. JO54nk) during the afternoon hours. QSL via DJ4EL (d/B), LoTW.

EU-159; F; Aquitaine Region group: The Invoker Team, consisting of Gabriel/EA3AKA, Christian/ EA3NT, Vincent/F4BKV, Gil/F4FET, Gil/F4FPG, and Diego/F4HAU are going to activate the island Banc d'Arguin as TM1INT from May 30 to June 1. They plan to set up 3 or 4 stations for HF and 6m, working in SSB and CW. QSL via F5CWU (d/B).

IOTA-Tour 2014 by F4HAU:
Following TM1INT Diego/F4HAU continues to activate a number of islands from June 3 to 12 as F4HAU/p. All plans depend on wx and sea conditions. Possible destinations are: EU-048 (Houat island, DIFM AT016), EU-094 (Glenans Archipelago, DIFM AT062 or DIFM AT065), EU-068 (Sein island, DIFM AT007), EU-105 (Batz island, DIFM MA018), and EU-074 (Brehat island, DIFM MA012). QSL via F4HAU (d/B).

Tour by DL2VFR & DL7UXG cancelled: The announced tour through Scandinavia by Ric/DL2VFR (SD7V) and Klaus/DL7UXG (SD3G) had to be cancelled unfortunately.

NA-079; W4; Florida State (Dry Tortugas Islands) group: Dan/AK4PX plans to activate the square EL84 during the ARRL June VHF-Contest. QRV on 6m, and 40-10m in SSB. QSL via LoTW, or via direct.

OC-209; YB8; Talaud Islands: YB8RW, YC8UTI, YC8SCO, YC8SFS, YD8TWW, and YD8UNH will stop on the Sara'a Besar & Sara'a Kecil Islands during their Kabaruan Island - OC-029 IOTA Tour from the 28th to the 30th. QRV with their homecalls/p. QSL via YB3MM.

OC-130; DU8-9; Mindanao Islands & OC-235; DU8-9, Mindanao's Coastal Islands: Don/NW5H currently activates both IOTA groups until June 3 as DU8/NW5H. QSL direct via NW5H, requests will be processed from July on.

SA-036; P4; Aruba Islands: Michael/K5NOT (P40TX), Douglas/W5BL (P40DL), and Larry/W5LJW (P40LW) are on a mini-expedition to Aruba (WLOTA 0033, Grid FK42) from May 29 to June 4. QRV as P40DM and their own calls on 20-6m, with a focus on 10m and 6m. For QSL info see

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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BBC World Service increases shortwave broadcasts to Thailand

Wednesday 28th May 2014

BBC World Service announced that it has increased its shortwave English-language radio broadcasts to Thailand.

With authorities in the country taking key national and international channels off air, the BBC World Service says it will continue the delivery of its independent news and analysis to audiences there.

Effective 1 a.m. GMT on Monday 26 May, the broadcaster expanded its availability via shortwave to the Southeast Asian country by adding 10 hours of broadcasts to its daily shortwave schedule. These include 1 to 3 a.m. GMT on 11600 kHz; 3 to 5 a.m. GMT on 7370 kHz; and 5 to 11 a.m. GMT on 11700 kHz. The new transmissions add to BBC World Service’s six hours of shortwave broadcasts at peak times for Thailand.

“In times of national crisis, there is an acute need for accurate, trusted and impartial news,” said Acting Director, BBC World Service Group, Liliane Landor. “This is why, with our international TV news channel off the air in Thailand, we have increased BBC World Service radio broadcasts in the country.”

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MSF signal off-air

Wednesday 28th May 2014

The MSF 60 kHz standard-frequency and time signal has been taken off-air from Saturday evening, 24 May, until late Tuesday, 27 May, at the earliest, due to a technical fault.

Check for an update on the situation here:

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GB100MWT to commemorate Empress of Ireland rescue

Tuesday 27th May 2014

On Thursday, May 29, the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be operating GB100MWT to commemorate the saving of 465 lives by the actions of Marconi Wireless Operator Ronald Ferguson (later G4VF) in the RMS Empress of Ireland tragedy 100 years ago

Many books and films have been made about Canada’s worst maritime disaster but none tell the story of the Chelmsford operator who sent the crucial SOS in the early hours of 29th May 1914 in the St Lawrence River and contributed to saving many hundreds of lives.

The RMS Empress of Ireland was loaded with 1,100 tons of general cargo, 252 Ingots of Silver (over one million pounds in 2014 money). and 2,600 tons of coal for the voyage. It left Quebec at 4.30pm on the 28th May 1914 with Pilot Adelard Bernier, a crew of 420 of which 53 were sailors and 6 Officers.

There were a total of 1,477 people on board of which 87 were 1st Class. In 2nd Class were 167 Members of the Salvation Army including the Staff Band on their way to the 3rd International Conference in Liverpool. As the ship pulled away the band played “God be with you till we meet again”. It also entertained the passengers that warm evening.

At 01.20hrs on the 29th May the Pilot disembarked onto the Tug Eureka, one mile from Father Point – now called Pointe-au-Pere. The St Lawrence is 25 miles across at this point. the Captain ordered “Full Steam Ahead” and continued down river. A Look-out, Carrot reported another ship coming up the river and about 8 miles ahead – it turned out to be the SS Storstad.

Built in Newcastle on Tyne and belonging to a Norwegian ship owner Klaenes, the SS Storstad was 445 feet long, 56 feet beam and had a speed of 10 Knots. The Bow was special constructed for Ice Navigation and Penetration. The vessel carried 10,400 Tons of Coal to Montreal from Sydney, Nova Scotia. It did not have Wireless as it did not carry passengers.

A thick fog enveloped both ships. Out of the fog the Storstad rammed the Empress of Ireland in the mid-ships and below the waterline and an estimated 60,000 gallons of water poured in per minute.

Even though it was 30 degrees C when the Empress left port, all passengers were told to close their Port-Holes but very few did. The Empress was soon leaning into the water and more water rushed in through the open Port-Holes.

The Second Marconi Wireless Officer, Edward Bamford was on watch and felt the collision. Number One Wireless Operator, Ronald Ferguson had just turned in and went to the Wireless Room in his pyjamas. Ron told Bamford to go to the Bridge for instructions. Ron sent out using Morse Code very slowly the following message…
CQ CQ CQ de MPL MPL MPL; Standby for a Distress Signal; have struck something”. MPL being the Call-Sign of the Empress.

Ron’s idea was to clear the air waves of any other traffic and to possibly get anyone who answered to call their No 1 Operator (after midnight the No 1 Operator would have turned in and left the No 2 on duty. Bamford returned and said “The Chief Officer says – Send SOS” Ron then asked Bamford to fetch his clothes and sent a slow Morse signal

“SOS-SOS-SOS de MPL MPL MPL - have struck something, sinking fast, send help”

Father Point replied “Where are you” Ron replied “Twenty miles past Rimouski”. He had not been given a Nautical Location.

The initial message is received by the Second Marconi Wireless Officer, Leslie Crawford, at the Marconi Shore Station, Father Point who raised the No 1 William Whiteside who replied “OK. Sending Eureka, Lady Evelyn – (to) your assistance”. He telephoned both ships and they put to sea to affect the rescue. Ron puts on his clothes – the power goes off.

Ron’s SOS causes two ships to be dispatched - the Tug Eureka from Father Point and the Lady Evelyn from Rimouski. They arrive in 45 Minutes. Captain Kendall was keen to get off the Storstad and gets on the Tug Eureka which lands at Rimouski with a total of 30 survivors. The Lady Evelyn takes 390 to Rimouski.

A huge wave washed Ron into the sea where he grabbed a deckchair and swam around for 15 minutes, the water temperate would have been about 4 degrees C. He was picked up by a lifeboat from the Storstad. When the Lady Evelyn came alongside Ron joined it but he found the Wireless Room was locked as it put to sea without an Operator. Ron climbed into the Wireless Room through a window and continued the rescue. He requested a train be sent to Rimouski Wharf with clothing and supplies.

Grace Hanagan was 7 years old when the Empress of Ireland met its tragic end. She and her parents were on their way to London for the Salvation Army’s third International Congress. Grace’s father, Edward James Hanagan, was the Army’s Toronto staff bandmaster. Grace survived the sinking, being only one of 4 children out of the 138 on board to survive - both her parents died. She was the last survivor to die in 1995 aged 87 – one day before she would have been 88.

Of the 1,477 on board, 1012 died of which 840 were passengers. The Storstad continued on its way to Montreal with it’s smashed in Bow.

One person, William Clarke, a coal stoker in the boiler room, knew exactly what to do when he felt the ship’s reaction to the impact. He immediately scrambled up a special ladder leading directly from the boiler room to the deck and there he helped launch a life boat. Perhaps he had an advantage. Two years before, he had survived a similar experience. He was a coal stoker on the Titanic!

The Empress of Ireland had a loyal orange tabby cat called Emmy who had never missed a voyage. However before the Empress left Quebec on the 28th May, the cat left the ship and could not be coaxed to return. It was last seen sitting on the roof of the shed at Pier 27 would was used later for many of the dead who had been pulled from the water.

In June 1914 divers blew a large hole in the Empress of Ireland and recovered 318 bags of Royal Mail, 216 Ingots of Silver and 250 Bodies. The Royal Mail was dried out on clothes lines. One Diver died during this operation. No more was done until 1964 when Divers found the wreck again.

In 1999 the wreck was declared a site of historical and archaeological importance and thus became protected under the Cultural Property

Act and listed in the register of Historic Sites of Canada. This was the first time that an underwater site had received this status in Quebec.

This protection was important because, unlike the RMS Titanic, the Empress of Ireland rests at the relatively shallow depth 40 m. While accessible to highly skilled scuba divers, the dive is dangerous due to the cold water, strong currents and impaired visibility and many divers have lost their lives diving on it.

What happened to Ronald Ferguson ?

He joined Marconi’s in 1910 and was 20 years old when he was Chief Wireless Officer on the Empress of Ireland in May 1914. Shortly after the Empress of Ireland tragedy he worked for the Canadian Pacific Ocean Services in a senior administrative capacity but left to become a Wireless Officer in WWI. He recruited and trained Wireless Operators for Artillery Spotting with the Royal Flying Corp and later the US Flying Corps.

After the War he joined the Radio Communication Company (RCC) and became General Manager. The RCC was one of 6 companies which joined together in 1922 to form the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and was therefore closely involved with the development of Broadcasting. It became the British Broadcasting Corporation on 1st January 1927.

In 1927 he returned to Marine Radio and became joint General Manager of the Marconi Marine Company in Chelmsford.

In 1934 he was seconded to Cairo to Egyptian State Broadcasting and remained in charge until the end of WWII. For his services there he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal and Egypt’s Order of the Nile.

After the War he returned to Chelmsford to Marconi Marine and became General Manager in 1947 and Managing Director in 1959. He was the Director of Marconi International Marine Company (MIMCO) from 1961 until he retired in 1967.

He lived in Chelmsford, quite near to the main Marconi works in New Street.

He was always a keen Amateur Radio Morse operator with “a lovely fist” and encouraged many others to be the same. He was also keen on Direction Finding and Field Day activities and in 1965 as G4VF/P won the RSGB HF Field Day Trophy.

He was the President of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) from 1952 to 1977 and passed away on 28 July 1985 aged 91.

The Salvation Army in Canada and the towns of Toronto, Rimouski and Father Point will all be holding commemorative services and meetings.

The Canadian Post Office has issued two Stamps and the Royal Canadian Mint has also issued a 2014 coin to record this event.

Author: John Bowen, Chartered Engineer, MIET, G8DET, a CARS Vice President
Assisted by Annemarie at Father Point Museum
David Barlow, G3PLE, Lizard Radio & Radio Officers Association.
Oxford University – Marconi Collection.
Geoff Lovegrove, G7KLV.
Dr G Bowles, Keeper of Sandford Mill Science & Industry Museum.
The late Tony Cuthbert, Heybridge near Maldon who was a Marconi trained “Spark” Operator and knew Ron and this story.

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS)

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RSGB Contest Committee Newsletter

Tuesday 27th May 2014

The June edition of the free RSGB Contest Committee newsletter has been released

Read the newsletter at

Proposed changes to contest rules

VHF/UHF/Microwaves Contesting Yahoo Group

HF Contesting Yahoo Group

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TX5K gets the 2013 Best Communication Award

Monday 26th May 2014

DxCoffee & DXUniversity's Best Communication Award goes to TX5K, the Dxpedition to Clipperton Island, for the large amount of information given before, during and after the operation on the official website and the related blog.

The information provided is extremely complete and range on several matters: from the documents describing the project, the equipment, the pilots, the photo gallery. In particular, the very detailed information that had been reported on the blog, let the readers experience every facet of the Dxpedition: from navigation to landing, from the environmental issues to the radio related questions, such as propagation conditions, operating methods for QSO's, operators shifts, etc., and everything has been combined by several photos and videos.

Congratulations to the team leader Robert Schmieder, KK6EK and the “Social Media” supervisor, Rich Holoch, KY6R for constantly keeping the Dxers’ community informed with press releases.

Many other Dxpeditions have made a very good job as far as communication is concerned and they deserve some acknowledgement. We had to limit ourselves to three "special mentions", even though many other Dxpeditions would have deserved to be appointed. The choice was not easy, but our preference goes to:
IA0MZ – Antartica - ia0mz.antartica
5W0M – Western Samoa -
VK9CZ - Cocos Keeling Islands -

Special thanks to DX University for their support in realizing this Award.
DX University™. A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners

These are the rules of this award:


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Big Wi-Fi network planned for Australia

Monday 26th May 2014

The WIA report that the Australian Telco 'Telstra' has confirmed its plans to pour over $100 million to get a public Wi-Fi network up and running by 2015.

The plan announced by Telstra chief executive David Thodey will see the Telco install up to 8000 new wireless hotspots as it seeks to connect customers to two million Wi-Fi hot-spots across Australia.

Mr Thodey said the plan was designed to not only help meet current data needs but also deliver the capacity needed in time to deal with higher volumes of traffic.

There’s also an overseas component with Telstra striking an exclusive partnership with global Wi-Fi technology provider Fon.

Telstra customers, who choose to join Telstra Wi-Fi, will be provided compatible modems to access their allowance at no extra charge via domestic hotspots and connect to more than 12 million Fon-enabled hotspots globally.

Non Telstra customers and Telstra customers who have not joined the Wi-Fi community will be able to connect to Fon-enabled Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots for a small charge using 'day passes.'

WIA, The Australian

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Wake Island

Monday 26th May 2014

Lisa, KJ6GHN, is now active as KH9/KJ6GHN from Wake Island.

She was previously active as V73/KJ6GHN on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Lisa is currently working on the island and will be on Wake for the next few years.

She mentions that she has "been a ham since 2010 and I am still learning lots, always something new to learn, totally enjoy this 'hobby'."

Her station is an Icom 718 and has been working PSK on 15m.

QSL via the address on However, she states, "Please be patient mail only comes twice a month". Lisa uploads to LoTW and ClubLog, and also accepts Bureau QSLs.


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146-147 MHz Consultation closes Monday

Sunday 25th May 2014

The key Ofcom public consultation to give radio amateurs temporary access to 146 to 147 MHz closes at the end of Monday, May 26

You can let Ofcom know your view on this by filling in the simple online question form at

The form asks four questions, the one of key importance to amateur radio is Question 4 which says:
"Do you agree with the proposal to make some spectrum not currently assigned to other applications available on a temporary for Amateur Radio use with these restrictions?"

You can just put No Comment in the other question boxes.

Ofcom 143 MHz to 169 MHz Consultation

Ofcom Consultation: 146-147 MHz for Ham Radio use

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New Radio Equipment Directive published

Sunday 25th May 2014

On Thursday, May 22, the new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (L153)

The RED is the successor to the former 1999 R&TTE-Directive.

Thilo DL9KCE writes:

During the development the Political Relations Committee/EUROCOM had the chance to comment on the law a couple of times and in some points with success. We believe that the new formulation of the law will improve the power of the members states to actually trace and track down equipment put on the European Market, which do not fulfil the essential requirements of the directive. Furthermore the exceptions for amateur radio equipment were clarified as can be reviewed in appendix I of the law.

Two major changes, which do not directly affect amateur radio is the fact, that terminal equipment is no longer in the scope and falls under the EMC directive now. Furthermore pure receivers are now in the scope, which may lead higher provisions in electromagnetic immunity.

The RED needs to be transcribed into national law within the next 2 years. We advise member societies to observe this process closely.

A PDF of the Radio Equipment Directive can be downloaded from

Source IARU Region 1

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British Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society

Sunday 25th May 2014

The British Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society has had its relaunch folowing the transfer of ownership in 2013 to Mark Procter G1PIE.

Mark had been a member of BARLS since its early days founded by Steve Bryan G0SGB in 2002.

The new Society has a new logo as well as the all new website which can be found at

All existing members are transferred across, and BARLS welcomes new members as well.

The new BARLS is Mark G1PIE and Pam Procter 2E1HQY and our IT consultant Phil G0ABY.

Mark would also like to thank WAB awards manager Dave Brooks G4IAR and Bill Newman M0BNN for their help.

Mark G1PIE

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June 432 and Above EME Newsletter

Sunday 25th May 2014

The June edition of the free amateur radio 432 MHz and Above EME Newsletter is now available

It includes a picture of the impressive 15 foot dish antenna that Peter G3LTF used in 1964 and has a report on the recent GS3PYE/P Dxpedition.

The Word and PDF formats the newsletter can be downloaded from

Previous newsletters are at

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Cuba begins issuing 60m licences

Saturday 24th May 2014

The Agency of Control and Supervision of Cuba is accepting applications for experimental transmissions in the band of 5 MHz.

The resolution 7/2014 of the Ministry of Communications authorized normal use of the band on a secondary basis, but it's intended use will be in the emergency network; ie if a situation of emergency arise anywhere in the country, this band is reserved for emergency communications only, always observing the a secondary basis use.

The maximum allowed power outputs of 50 watts in the first and second categories and 10 watts for the novices, with the possibility of reaching 100 watts tops on any category when required if the station takes part in a network of civil protection.

International contacts are not permitted, so that Cuban operators may transmit between 5,418 and 5,430 KHz, morse, SSB and PSK31, and can make QSOs with each other only.

Despite this limitation, amateurs of Cuba appreciate any SWL reports on his signals from other countries via SWL QSLs or in a simple email.

I had my licence update on May 21st and I'm testing with the band, mainly around 0000z in 5422.0 Khz LSB and encouraging other Cuban hams to get their licence upgrades for this band.

73 de CO7WT

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Final programme of BBC's Dutch service

Saturday 24th May 2014

Here's something that'll be of interest to broadcast radio enthusiasts.

The BBC's Chris Arundel tells us that he has just loaded the final programme of the BBC's Dutch service, from 9 August 1957, onto Soundcloud.

You can listen to it at:

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World Cup Football (soccer) 2014 - Brazillian Special Callsigns

Saturday 24th May 2014

Brazilian amateurs are authorized from June 12 to July 13, 2014, using the special callsign formed by doubling the number of the original callsign.

Sample: PY1AA = PY11AA; PS7AA = PS77AA; PP7AA = PP77AA; etc..

All bands & modes.

more information:


Rony, PS7AB

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IOTA News from OPDX

Saturday 24th May 2014

Island activities:

AS-023. Masato "MASA", JF3ELH, will be active as JF3ELH/6 from Amami Island (Amami O Island) between 0600z, May 30th, and 0000z, June 1st. QTH will be Amami-city, Kagashima (JCC#4623), or Tatsugou-cho, Ooshima-gun, Kagoshima(JCG#46005[K]). Please confrim QTH. Activity will be on 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters (160/80/75m maybe not QRV) mainly using CW and some SSB. QSL via JF3ELH (see ADDED NOTE: In case of heavy rain or other condition, the operation conditions may vary...

AS-062. A 6 member Russian team lead by Alez, RU0LM, are preparing to operate from South Kuril Islands (WWLoc: ON33AI), Island of Anuchina, Asiatic Russia, between June 16-26th. Callsign will be RI0F. Activity will be on all bands including the 30/17/12m bands using CW and SSB. Operators mentioned are Alex/RU0LM, Vlado/UA0LCZ, Serge/RX0F, Oleg/RK3AW, Andrey/R6MG and Yuri/R7MR. QSL Manager is Serge, RX3F.

EU-095. Members of the Castres DX Gang will once again be active as TM5FI from Ratonneau Island (DIFM ME003, DFCF 13-061) between May 28th and June 4th. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via F5XX.

EU-159. Members of the Invoker Team will try to activate Banc d' Arguin (one of the rarest IOTAs in France) as TM1INT between May 30th and June 1st. Operators mentioned are Christian/EA3NT, Vincent/F4BKV, Gil/F4FET, Diego/F4HAU, Fabrice/F4FPG, Gabriel/EA3AKA and Ludo (a SWL). They plan to have 3-4 stations on the HF and 6 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via F5CWU, direct, by the Bureau or the F5CWU OQRS page at:
Weather and sea conditions will determine the activation of this island. They currently feel operations may only be during the daylight. The team will announce their activities or any potential changes on their Twitter page at:

OC-215. (Update/Change) Budi, YF1AR, has changed his Indian Ocean IOTA Tour during the month of May because of bad weather. Look for him to be active as YF1AR/5 from Sipora Island (ARLHS IDO-379 Sipura LightHouse) in the Mentawai Islands IOTA Group between May 25th and June 1st. Budi states, "Sipora Island has never been activated before and more remote than Siberut Island from mainland Sumatra nearest city, Padang (capital west Sumatra province). It is 10.5% rare claimed." Activity will be on 40-10 meters using mainly SSB as well as some CW and Digital modes. Equipment is Yaesu FT 450D with tuner, 100 watts into a 40m vertical dipole and a HB9CV 20/15/10m antenna. QSL via N2OO. For more details, see the following
Web page at:

SA-072. Ronaldo, PS8RV, will be active as ZY8D from Caju Island between July 25-27th. Activity will be on HF bands and an entry in the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th). QSL via the info on

IOTA AND WWFF TOUR. Operators Klaus/DL7UXG and Ric/DL2VFR will be leaving Germany on May 27th, by ferry and car (APRS on board) to activate the following IOTAs and WWFF during the end of May and early June.

Their tentative schedule is as follows:
May 28-29th -- Bjorkon Island (EU-101); their callsigns are OH6/DL7UXG and OH6/DL2VFR. QSL via home callsigns.

May 29th-June 1st -- Seskaro Island (EU-139); their callsigns are SD3G/2 (QSL via DL7UXG) and SD7V/2 (QSL via DL2VFR).

June 1-5th -- Vardo Island (EU-141); their callsigns are LA/DL7UXG and LA/DL2VFR. QSL via home callsigns. This operation will include a one day first ever activation of LAFF-035 (Varangerhalfoya National Park).

On their way back home, they may stop and possibly activate the following between June 5-7th:
SMFF-013, (SD7V/2, SD3G/2)
SMFF-019, (SD3G, SD7V/3

Operators will be using high power from the islands. Bands and modes were not provided, but it is suggested to watch the island and WFF frequencies.

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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Ham radio SSTV satellite launches Saturday

Friday 23rd May 2014

The amateur radio Slow Scan TV satellite SPROUT (Space Research On Unique Technology), built by students from Nihon University, launches on May 24 at 0305 UT

SPROUT, a 20 x 20 x 22 cm amateur radio nano-satellite with a mass of 7.1 kg, will launch from the Tanegashima Space Center with ALOS-2 a L-band (1236.5 MHz/1257.5 MHz/1278.5 MHz) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite into a 654 km orbit.

The amateur radio objectives of the mission are:

- FM Digitalker that will enable the satellite to speak to amateurs around the world.

- Voice Message Box that will record transmissions from radio amateurs and play them back.

- AX.25 1200 bps Packet radio Digipeater with Text Message Box function.

- Pre-loaded images from the Message Gallery can be transmitted using FM Slow Scan TV (SSTV).

- Pictures of the Earth can be transmitted by SSTV and radio amateurs can receive them using free software such as MMSSTV. As part of the Earth mapping project the team ask radio amateurs to contribute pictures they have received from the satellite for display on the SPROUT website.

Callsign: JQ1ZJQ
Size: 214x210x220 mm
Weight: 7.1 kg
Mode: 1200bps AFSK, 9600bps GMSK
CW downlink 437.525 MHz
Packet FM downlink 437.525 MHz
Digi-peater uplink 437.600 MHz
Digi-talker downlink 437.600 MHz
SSTV FM downlink 437.600 MHz

SPROUT English website

Nihon-Univ. Miyazaki Laboratory on Facebook

Free Slow Scan TV software MMSSTV

Further information on SPROUT is available on the AMSAT-UK website at

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Neighbor unhappy with Radio Ham's mast

Friday 23rd May 2014

The Napa Valley Register reports that a radio ham's neighbor is unhappy about the 55 foot mast in his backyard

The newspaper reports that when the neighbor returned from a three-month long trip to France she was surprised to see the mast put up by Jeff Hullquist W6BYS.

“Federal law is very specific in protecting the rights of amateur radio operators,” said Robert Reber, a senior planner with the city of Napa. “It was installed without a building or use permit, both of which are required because it’s a transmitting structure. But the (Federal Communications Commission) usually regulates this, so local control is often preempted by federal regulations.”

Read the full story at

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Serbian flood relief 3760 kHz

Thursday 22nd May 2014

Overnight, a post was put on the IARU R1 Facebook page saying that flood relief operations are being carried out on 3760 kHz +-QRM with the control station callsign of YU0S

On the RAYNET HF list the IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator Greg Mossop G0DUB says "This information has just been verified by their National Societies IARU liaison and will appear on the IARU Region 1 website soon."

Please be aware of this activity if using frequencies near to 3760 kHz.

IARU Region 1

IARU Region 1 on Facebook

More on amateur radio involvement in the flood relief effort in Serbia at

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Introducing SmartMic Ham Radio Digital Voice

Thursday 22nd May 2014

David Rowe VK5DGR and Rick Barnich KA8BMA have been working on SmartMic, an embedded hardware product that allows you to run FreeDV without a PC. Just plug it into your SSB or FM radio, and you now have Digital Voice (DV)

The whole design is open hardware (TAPR license). It will run an embedded version of FreeDV which is also 100% open source.

Based on a STM32F4 micro-controller, SmartMic has a built in microphone, speaker amplifier, and transformer isolated interfaces to your radio. It’s just 80 x 100mm, and can be held in you hand and used like a regular PTT microphone, or sit near your radio in a small box form factor. SmartMic will be in production later in 2014 and will retail for US$195.

Read about SmartMic at

Codec 2

FreeDV: Digital Voice for HF

Join the FreeDV Codec2 email list at

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Extreme photography revealing the atmosphere's secrets

Wednesday 21st May 2014

The BBC report on the recent amateur radio balloon flight in Malawi

APJHAB team members Andrew Ashe G8SRV, Peter Gibbs (BBC weather presenter) and Jerry Sandys G8DXZ flew three balloons during a week long High Altitude Balloon (HAB) holiday in Malawi.

BBC weather presenter Peter Gibbs has written an article about their experience, read it and watch the video at

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 21st May 2014

Island activities:

EU-008, GM/MM; Inner Hebrides: Andy/M1LOL and Ray/M1REK plan to activate the Isle of Muck (IOSA NH06, SCOTIA DI18) as MM1REK/p from May 24 to 31. QRV on 80-10m in SSB and digital modes with Sotabeams sponsored by G3CWI (Richard). QSL via M1REK (d/B).

EU-043; SM6; Goteborg och Bohus/ Halland County group: Tomas/SM6XMY, Sten/SM6MIS, Bengt/SM6UQL, Rick/SM6U, and Janne/SM6YOF will be paying a visit to Vinga (ARLHS SWE-163, WLOTA 1517, WWFF SMFF-3495) from the 22nd to the 25th. QRV as 7S6W on 80-10m in SSB, CW, and RTTY. QSL via SM6MIS (d/B).

EU-050; I*7; Puglia Region group: Pippo/IK7YCE, Luciano/IZ7EVZ, Peppe/IW7EBE, Francesco/ IZ7DTC, Michelle/IZ7BMX, Nicola/I0SNY, and Armando/IZ7XUQ will put Tremiti Island on the air from the 26th to the 30th as IQ7FG/IL7. QRV in SSB and digital modes. QSL via IQ7FG (d/B).

EU-094; F; Bretagne (Finestere South) Region group: TM4U will be active from the Ile Saint Nicolas (DIFM AT010, FFF-200, Grid IN87), operated by Francis/ON8AZ, Geert/ON7USB, Pat/ON7PQ, Luc/ON7KZ, and Tim/ON5HC. QRV from the 25th to the 30th on 160-6m in CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via ON8AZ (d/B).

EU-170; 9A; Dalmatia North group: Oliver/DG7XO spends a holiday on Ugljan (IOCA CI-134, WW Loc. JN74oc) and possibly also other islands between May 25 and June 6. QRV as 9A/DG7XO and 9A7XO in SSB and PSK. QSL via DG7XO (d/B).

EU-174; SV; Makedonia / Thraki Region group: Laci, HA0HW, returns to Thassos (GIOTA NAS-037, MIA MG-124, WLOTA LH-4186, WW Loc. KN20hs), operating as SW8WW from May 22 to June 3 (including the WPX contest). QRV mainly in CW with some SSB and RTTY on 40-6m, running 100W groundplane and wire antennas. QSL via h/c, OQRS via

DM1AR/mm-Tour: Axel cruises in the Tyrrhenian Sea from May 25 to 30 and will get on the air as DM1AR/mm on 20-10m in SSB. During the evening hours he plans to call at several islands and get on the air as IM0/DM1AR/p from EU-024 and EU-041, and as TK/DM1AR/p from EU-014 and EU-164. QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-215; YB5; Mentawai Islands: Budi's (YF1AR) next stop on his Indian Ocean IOTA-Tour is Siberut Island (ARLHS IDO-379, WW Loc. NI99kc). QRV from May 24 to June 1 as YF1AR/5 on 40-10m. QSL via N2OO.

SA-059; YV5; Los Testigos group: Pedro/YV4OW operates as YV4OW/5 from Testigo Grande between the 22nd and the 25th. QRV on 80-6m in SSB, running a QRP station. QSL via AD5VK (d).

Compiled by
Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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ITAR restrictions on US radio amateurs to be eased

Tuesday 20th May 2014

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) inexplicably applies to amateur radio satellites.

It threatens US radio hams with jail terms or six figure fines if they cooperate with amateurs outside the USA on satellite projects. Cooperation includes talking about or publishing on the web certain information regarding amateur radio satellite systems.

Satellite Today
reports that after 15 years of restrictions and intense scrutiny, the United States Department of State is reclassifying satellites and several related components so they will no longer be treated as weapons. The changes affect Category 15 of the U.S. Munitions List (USML), which covers spacecraft and related articles, by shifting most commercial, civil and scientific satellites and accompanying equipment to the Department of Commerce’s Commerce Control List (CCL).

“The Department [of State] has committed to reviewing during the six months after the publication of this rule whether further amendments to the USML controls on civil and commercial remote sensing satellites are warranted, and seeks additional public comment on this matter,” according to a statement released by the Federal Register.

This rule is effective November 10, 2014, except for Sec. 121.1, Category XV(d), which is effective June 27, 2014. Interested parties may submit comments on paragraphs (a)(7) and (e)(11) of USML Category XV and ITAR Sec. 124.15 by June 27, 2014.

Read the Satellite Today article

Federal Register – Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XV

Among the projects affected by ITAR has been the New Zealand Amateur Radio satellite KiwiSAT. A 2009 IARU Region 3 report highlights that ITAR requirements made AMSAT-NA direct its members to cease cooperation with AMSAT-ZL in the development of KiwiSAT.

2005 amateur radio P3E IHU project killed by ITAR

ITAR impact on the Eagle project

2011 ITAR submission by the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)


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Yaesu System Fusion video

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Yaesu have released a promotional video explaining their new Digital Voice and Analog FM, system

Watch Yaesu System Fusion Introduction

Yaesu System Fusion Yahoo Group

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Crimea - temporarily occupied territory

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Ukrainian Amateur Radio League (UARL) on 3rd May 2014 appealed to ARRL in letter ( consider the information regarding the status of Crimea as temporarily occupied territory:

Ukrainian Amateur Radio League (UARL) have thoroughly studied the decision of the DXCC Committee in regards of current DXCC credit criteria for the contacts with Amateur Radio stations located in Crimea, Ukraine and would like to express its official position on this situation.

We strongly believe that the illegal referendum held in Crimea on March 16, 2014 and subsequent illegal annexation of the Crimea peninsula by the Russian Federation does not change the status of this territory, which legally belongs to Ukraine. The Government of Ukraine (and vast majority of the countries in the World) still considers Crimea as the territory of sovereign Ukraine.

We believe that while determining country and territory status for DXCC credit, the ARRL takes into consideration the official views of the United Nations and US Department of State, as stated in the DXCC award rules.

In accordance with the resolution of UN General Assembly on March 27, 2014 (#68/262), the UN does not recognize the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation. In addition, the President, The Congress and Department of State of the United States of America are currently working actively to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

In addition, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe during its meeting on April 3, 2014 addressed the situation in Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation. Its decision clearly stated that the illegal referendum that was held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and The City of Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 and the illegal annexation of this part of Ukraine by the Russian Federation could not be the basis for any changes in their status and State Legal Affiliation.

Press Secretary of the White House announced the following statement regarding the Crimea issue: "The United States has steadfastly supported the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine since it declared its independence in 1991, and we reject the "referendum” that took place today in the Crimean region of Ukraine. This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law.”[1]

United States Ambassador to the United Nations has confirmed the position of the Department of State regarding Ukraine: "What happened in Crimea cannot be recognized as valid. We must stand together denying recognition and imposing consequences for this illegal act.”[2]

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law "On ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine", which confirms sovereignty of Ukraine and defines the status of Crimea and Sevastopol as temporarily occupied territory. Acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov signed this Law of Ukraine № 1207-VII so it entered into legal force.

ITU is a subdivision of the United Nations and in accordance with ITU regulations Ukraine is responsible for the usage of radio frequencies in Crimea and only Ukraine issues permits for radio stations. Radio stations that use call signs and permits issued by the Russian [i]Federation in Crimea are unlicensed. Despite the fact that Crimea is temporary occupied territory, National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization guided by the Ukrainian laws and ITU regulations issues permits for amateur radio stations.

In respect that the ARRL is the founder and organizer of a number of award programs and competitions, in which millions of radio amateurs of the world are participating, please consider the information above in the conditions of meeting award requirements, as well as in determining the winners of competitions held.

Thank you,


V.Grishchenko, UT0FT
President of UARL



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NASA: New meteor shower May 23/24

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Amateur radio Meteor Scatter enthusiasts are sure to be active on 50/70/144 MHz on May 23/24 when the Earth passes through a new meteor shower

NASA report we could witness a new meteor shower on May 23/24 when, for the first time, Earth passes through a cloud of dust from periodic comet 209P/LINEAR.

Watch ScienceCasts: NASA on the Lookout for a New Meteor Shower

Read the Earth Sky article at

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Tuesday 20th May 2014

The Australian communications company Telstra has begun trialling the use of mobiles on planes, including the ability to deliver a broadband signal to aircraft that allows phone users to use 4G to browse the web, send and receive emails, make video calls, watch movies and download music and photos.

The testing of the network on mock flights between Melbourne and Sydney has so far delivered fast speeds of up to 15 megabits per second.

Special antennas have been erected on four phone towers between the two capitals to deliver broadband signals to passengers en route.

Trials were conducted on a twin-propeller aircraft and a Cessna mustang jet that flew at the height of a commercial flight at 30,000 feet.

Testing has not yet extended to include sending and receiving text messages and making phone calls.


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MT0WCB video released on YouTube

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Wessex Contest Group operated the amateur radio station MT0WCB from the Isle of Man on May 10-17 and made 2901 contacts in 112 countries

Activity was on 40/20/17/15/10 meters using CW, SSB and some Digital modes.

They had three dedicated HF stations with two A3S yagis, one dedicated Digital modes and one mix mode 100w CW station.

The operators were Steve G0FUW, Simon M0TTE, Dave M0SFT and Dan M0TGN.

Watch MT0WCB - Wessex Contest Group from Isle of Man 2014

Wessex Contest Group

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BBC TV: Radio Hams Balloon Flight and Pocket Spacecraft

Monday 19th May 2014

Radio amateurs Jerry Sandys G8DXZ and Michael Johnson M0MJJ appeared in the May 17 edition of the BBC TV technology show Click which is now available on the web

Jerry Sandys G8DXZ along with other APJHAB team members, Peter Gibbs and Andrew flew three balloons during a week long High Altitude Balloon (HAB) holiday in Malawi.

The first flight was from Mumbo Island in Lake Malawi and was successfully recovered after landing on the lake. The second flight was from Mvuu Wilderness Camp on the bank of the River Shire. The BBC technology show “Click” sent a camera operator to film the second flight and shot a 3:30 minute segment for the show.

Malawi balloon launch

By the time they arrived at Kumbali for the third flight, they didn’t have enough Hydrogen left to lift the electronic payload so decided to do a “message in a bottle” flight released by three young school children. Jerry says the look on the children’s faces as their messages, attached to the red cloud buster, disappeared into the sky was amazing.

The team flew a RTTY Arduino tracker and also an Iridium Arduino tracker, both worked well. On the second flight they also flew a two tube Geiger counter as an experiment for Reading University. A Hero 3 GoPro and Polaroid sport camera was used for photography.

Watch the Click High Altitude Balloon (HAB) segment at 12:55 into the show
(Overseas viewers may need to use a UK based proxy server)

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

Radio amateur Michael Johnson M0MJJ appears in the same edition of Click. He is interviewed about his 435 MHz Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’. A ‘Scout’ is a wafer thin disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. It is hoped to carry them in a CubeSat which would deploy them in Lunar orbit. The segment starts at about 9:00 into the show

Michael Johnson M0MJJ’s Pocket Spacecraft were also mentioned in the BBC Radio 4 Today show, see

UK radio amateur plans Lunar Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

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In-person meeting for ARISS International

Monday 19th May 2014

The ARRL report representatives of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International partners met in person last month for the first time in 2-1/2 years to reassess the program’s direction and to consider new objectives

The European Space Agency (ESA) hosted the April 3-5 gathering at its European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands. ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, represented the ARRL at the sessions. ARISS International Chair and AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, presided.

Former ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele, DG1KIL, welcomed the representatives. Thiele, who heads ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Operations Strategic Planning and Outreach office, told the gathering that ESA recognizes the benefit to students of being able to communicate with the ISS crew directly via Amateur Radio, and that students learn a lot as a result of these ARISS contacts.

In a wide-ranging presentation, ARISS International Project Selection & Use Committee representative Lou McFadin, W5DID, addressed long-term equipment possibilities. Among other requirements, McFadin said, ARISS should have the ability to control its equipment from Earth, and he said that developing software-defined equipment would permit this. He also spoke of the need for an “override power switch,” as the astronauts need to shut down ARISS equipment during safety-critical events such as spacecraft dockings or spacewalks. Given the paucity of space aboard the ISS, ARISS also must minimize the amount of real estate its equipment occupies, McFadin said. He also noted that there is “little or no” ISS crew time to address ISS ham gear issues.

McFadin further discussed the advantages of installing a mobile VHF/UHF transceiver in the Columbus module that has higher power capabilities, similar to the Kenwood D-700 located in the Service Module. In recent months crew members have been using a 5 W Ericsson hand-held transceiver for school contacts, and signal levels have been lower than the team would prefer. McFadin suggested that a portable mobile system with a power output of 15 W or greater might improve this situation.

Read the full ARRL story at

ARISS ESTEC meeting minutes and committee reports

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Monday 19th May 2014

Many thanks to the 150 UK, Irish and DX contesters who have joined the United Kingdom and Ireland Contest Club in the first 2 weeks.

The UKEICC is pleased to announce a new series of 1-hour contests on 80m which will start in September 2014. The rules are innovative and we think you will find these contests interesting and enjoyable.

These contests are open to anyone from anywhere to enter.

There's a link to the contest rules at

Thanks also to everyone who completed our first on-line Members' survey - the unedited results are available in the Members section of the website. Our second survey is being prepared and will be on-line in the next few days.


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Chelmsford 434 MHz STEM balloon launch

Sunday 18th May 2014

Radio amateur Chris Stubbs M6EDF will be launching one of his 434.300 MHz USB trackers on a 100g Pawan – Cheapo 11 – for a school in Chelmsford at about 1:40pm on Tuesday, May 20

Depending on altitude it could have a radio range of 500 km and the flight path will be displayed in real-time on the web.

The launch is being run as a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) event for the school.

In addition to the main STEM objective the launch is also being used as a charity fundraiser. You can buy a £1 ticket to “Guess the location” of the burst with money raised going in aid of The Brathay Trust, Cancer Research and Havens Hospice.

Tracking of the 434.300 MHz signal would be greatly appreciated by both Chris and the students at the school.

Balloon flight details:
Callsign: CHEAPO-11
Frequency: 434.300 MHz USB
Mode: RTTY 7N2 50 baud 450 Hz shift
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Date: 20/05/2014
Time: 1:40PM

Chris took the amateur radio Foundation training course run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) in January 2013. He is keen on both electronic construction and software development and combines the two interests in High Altitude Ballooning (HAB). Chris has built many tracker payloads for his balloon launches which usually take place from Danbury Common near Chelmsford.

Details of his high-altitude ballooning hardware and experiments are online at

See online real time tracks and frequencies of this and other 434 MHz balloons at

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi

The role of these 434 MHz balloon launches in teaching maths and science was recently recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) see

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for launch chat. A web client is available at

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

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BBC: 'Pocket spacecrafts' to become a reality

Sunday 18th May 2014

On Thursday, May 15, the BBC Radio 4 Today show featured an item on the recently launched 437 MHz Sprite satellites and the new Pocket Spacecraft being developed by a UK radio amateur.

The tiny Sprite satellites, measuring 3x3cm and just a few millimetres thick, contain a 437 MHz transmitter, solar cell, sensor and antenna.

The CubeSat KickSat-1 carrying 104 Sprites was successfully launched on April 18, however, a suspected radiation glitch meant they could not be deployed before the CubeSat burnt up on re-entry on May 14.

UK radio amateur Michael Johnson M0MJJ has developed Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’. A ‘Scout’ is a wafer thin disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. It is hoped to carry them in a CubeSat which would deploy them in Lunar orbit. It is understood that frequencies in the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands may be used.

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 clip ‘Pocket spacecrafts’ to become a reality in which BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly discusses the development of pocket spacecrafts

It is expected that Pocket Spacecraft will feature in the BBC TV technology show ‘Click’ due to be released online on Saturday, May 17 at

KickSat-1 launch

British Interplanetary Society: Sprite Technical Summary

UK radio amateur plans Lunar Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

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New Ham Radio Digital Mode

Sunday 18th May 2014

The ROS software FHSS Mode is a new HF digital mode based on FHSS-CDMA modulation

It uses 16 different CDMA codes with 1.8 seconds per Hop.   Every transmission uses a different CDMA code randomly chosen.

Further information at

ROS Weak Signal Radio Chat and Opera Weak signal QRSS Beacon can be downloaded from

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TX Factor Episode 3 available to view now

Friday 16th May 2014

The third episode of the only UK TV Show dedicated to amateur radio, is now available to view at

Bob and Mike assist Roger G4ROJ with his amazing kite aerials.

Nick pays a visit to Ben Nock G4BXD at his Military Wireless Museum in Kidderminster and discovers Ben's impressive collection of war sets and spy sets.

Mike reports from the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally to find out what people expect from a rally in the 21st century.

We also review a new quad-band mobile radio from Wouxun.

The show is totally free to view on a wide variety of platforms and it is available for clubs to download to view at their meetings

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Petition to expand RFID use on 70cm withdrawn

Friday 16th May 2014

Thanks to vigorous opposition by ARRL the FCC has dismissed without prejudice a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11651) which would have allowed deployment of a radio frequency identification (RFID) system in 433.5-434.5 MHz

The ARRL report:

The ARRL had staunchly opposed the petition by Lockheed Martin, which the firm filed on behalf of its subsidiary, Savi Technology. The League locked horns with Savi years ago, when the company successfully petitioned the FCC to amend its Part 15 rules governing periodic radiators to permit high-power, near-continuous duty RFID tags in the 433 MHz band. As a concession to opponents, the FCC limited deployment of the devices to “commercial and industrial areas” and allowed their use only for tracking “commercial shipping containers.” Lockheed Martin acquired Savi Techologies in 2006.

The now-dismissed petition would have expanded the frequency range of the RFID tags to 433.05-434.79 MHz, required listen-before-transmit protocols to avoid interference to Amateur Radio, eliminated a manufacturer registration requirement, and dropped rules that prohibited deploying the devices outside “commercial or industrial areas” and limited their application to “commercial shipping containers.”

The ARRL filed vigorous opposition to the Lockheed Martin Petition in January 2012, saying that Lockheed’s petition “seeks to undo virtually all of the few interference protections” the FCC had adopted in 2004, “solely on the basis of vaguely stated advances in RFID technology.” Other Part 15 device manufacturers also opposed any expansion of the high-power application.

Read the full ARRL story at

Petition for Rulemaking RM-11651

The ARRL response to RM-11651

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Dambuster Memorial Station GB5DAM

Friday 16th May 2014

The Lincoln Short Wave Club are operating GB5DAM from their club shack in Aisthorpe, Lincolnshire only one mile from the runway of RAF Scampton.

Operation starts on Friday 16th May at 2100 hrs on 40 and 80 mtrs conditions allowing and the station will shut down at 0900 hrs on the 17th of May

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 15th May 2014

Island activities:

EU-002; OH?; Aland Islands: Pete/OG0W and Raimo/OH0BCI team up as OG0W from Aland. QRV from May 14 to 19 (including the King of Spain Contest) on 160-6m, CW only. QSL via OH2BEE (d/B).

EU-008; GM/MM; Inner Hebrides: After the end of MX0INT Gil/F4FET plans to get on the air for one day from Mull Island between May 13 and 18. QRV as MM/F4FET/p, QSL via h/c (d/B) and ClubLog.

EU-017; I*9; Eolie Islands: ID9DXC will be activated from the hotspot of this year's DXCoffee Party on Vulcano (IIA E018, WW Loc. JM78ot) on May 17. QSL via IT9YVO.

EU-049; SV; North Aegean Islands: Barrie/G1JYB, Steve/G1TLQ, Stephany/G1LAT, Hughie/G4UME, and Frank/G8BME, all members of the Sands Contest Group from Morecambe go on a holiday-expedition to Samos (GIOTA SAS-006, MIA MG-099, WLOTA 4163, WW Loc. KM37jk). QRV from the 14th to the 30th on HF. QSL via M0SCG (B) or G1LAT (d).

EU-074; F; Bretagne Region group: A team of the Wireless Society of Le Havre consisting of Christian/F4GGM, Gilles/F5PJG, Michel/F5UTL, Philippe/F1ACQ, Philippe/F4FWX, and the SWLs Annick and Sylvain plan to activate Brehat (DIFM MA-012, WLOTA 2010) on May 17 and 18 as F6KOH/p. QRV in SSB, CW, PSK31, and SSTV. QSL via bureau.

EU-108; GM/MM; Treshnish Isles: After the MX0INT activity Gil/F4FET also plans to activate Lunga Island for one day between the 14th and 18th as MM/F4FET/p. QSL via h/c (d/B) and ClubLog.

EU-110; 9A; Istra group: A team of Croatian hams plans to activate the island Mali Brijun as 9A14B from the 16th to the 18th. The island is also part of 9AFF-001. QRV onHF in all modes. QSL via 9A2MF (d/B).

EU-171; OZ; Jylland North group: Michael/5P1KZX resides on Vendsyssel Thy Island (DIA NJ-001). He announces to be particularly active in digital modes between now and June 1. So far he has put more than 10000 QSOs in his log. When working SSB and CW he uses the call OZ1KZX. QSL via homecall (d/B).

Compiled by
Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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AmateurLogic.TV Episode 66 - Better Living Through Chemistry

Wednesday 14th May 2014

George shows us chemicals you need for your workbench.

Peter also talks about DATV-Express, digital amateur television. Tommy repairs an Arduino and makes an IP address IDer for his Raspberry Pi D-Star HotSpot. Plus a lot more.

1:04:43 Good times.

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New version of PZTLog

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Chelmsford radio amateur Charlie Davy M0PZT has released a new version of his logging software PZTLog

He says: "Whether you want a simple QSO logger for the odd bit of HF DX or VHF "square-bashing", or an everyday logger with Stats, PSK/RTTY modes, eQSL uploading and simple Contest dupe/serial-number integration - PZTLog may be just what you're looking for."

Download PZTLog from

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Telford ARS planning Isle Of Man trip

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Members of the Telford and District Amateur Society will be visiting the Isle Of Man and will be active as GT3ZME/P between June 26-30th.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters, VHF (50MHz/70MHz/144MHz), UHF (1.3GHz) and SHF (2.3GHz/3.4GHz/5.7GHz/10GHz/24GHz).

You can follow the DXpedition on Twitter and they will be tweeting updates, frequencies etc..... at:!/@paulbowen18

Operators mentioned are M0PNN, MW0UAA, G3UKV, G8VZT, G3JKX, G0ASP, G8UGL and M1FGN. WW.

Locator Square of the camping site is IO74pd, but members of the group may well move around the island looking for the best paths to UK EU etc.

The team will be taking part in contests.

QSL via G3ZME by the Bureau or via M0PNN for direct cards. Also via LoTW.


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RFinder - The World Wide Repeater Directory one click connect with EchoLink!

Tuesday 13th May 2014

From the Shack of W2CYK in Wading River, NY

The RFinder team along with K1RFD, creator of EchoLink have collaborated to bring new ease of use to EchoLink. Now its easier than ever to find an EchoLink machine anywhere on the planet and with one click connect to that machine. Searching for a node has never been easier!

By downloading the latest version of EchoLink, V1.4.8, ...and RFinder V3.14.128, BOTH now available in Google Play, you get the following new functionality:

Search for a repeater anywhere on Earth. Choose a machine that has an EchoLink node. From the Repeater Detail screen, touch the EchoLink number. EchoLink will now open and connect to that node directly.

See a demo:

iPhone support to follow in the next month or so and will come as a normal update.

More info about The World Wide Repeater Directory can be found:


Google Play:



Dayton: Booth NH246

Stay tuned...more new stuff by Dayton! See you there!

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Essex RAYNET – Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life

Tuesday 13th May 2014

Essex RAYNET were asked to help out with the communications for the Walk For Life which took place on Sunday, May 11

“Walk for Life” consisted of two walks – a 23km walk from Heybridge, Maldon to Chelmsford, or a shorter 10.5km walk from Paper Mill Lock to Chelmsford.

To be able to cover the entire route, a temporary 70cm repeater was set up and five checkpoints were established at strategic locations.
The RAYNET team had to be in position well ahead of the first walker, and there until the last walker had passed and Control issued the order for the checkpoint to close. The British Red Cross ambulance attended an incident at one of the checkpoints, in response to a request relayed by Essex RAYNET.

Read the well illustrated Essex Ham report on the event at

Pete M0PSX says:

"If you enjoy putting your radio knowledge to good use, and fancy some fresh air, RAYNET could be for you. Most of the operations simply require a 2m/70cm handheld and some free time. It’s rewarding being part of a team helping to ensure the smooth-running of an event like a charity walk, and gives you a sense of purpose you don’t get making a rubber-stamp QSO with an unknown European station on a club field event.”

Essex Raynet

Essex Ham Promoting Amateur Radio in Essex

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TX Factor Dayton Preview Podcast

Monday 12th May 2014

with Henry Ruminski W8HJR official spokesperson for Hamvention

Dayton is nearly here for another year and TX Factor's Bob McCreadie G0FGX has been chatting to Henry Ruminski W8HJR, official spokesperson for Hamvention.

In our exclusive audio interview Henry tells us more about this amazing event. After our conversation we decided we have to get there in person next year to see it for ourselves, it sounds amazing!

Listen to the interview at our TX Talk page at

On the TX Talk page you will also find our latest podcast of the GB2RS News provided by the RSGB and read by Bob McCreadie.

You can access all our audio podcasts via our website and see all available episodes of TX Factor the only UK TV Show dedicated to amateur radio. You can also subscribe to our podcasts via I Tunes.

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DMR in Amateur Radio - Ofcom awfully impressed!

Monday 12th May 2014

The Timeslots and Talkgroups newsletter reports on the reaction of three Ofcom officials who attended an amateur radio DMR Workshop in Kent

DMR is a digital radio standard that enables 2-slot (channel) TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) communications.

Read the newsletter at


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Mellish Reef QSL cards

Monday 12th May 2014

Our QSL manager Tim Beaumont M0URX, and his team, have completed the design of the VK9MT Mellish Reef QSL card.

The card goes to the printer the week of May 11, 2014. We expect to have all the cards in the mail during June.

There will be 2 card styles:

- Double Card: Folded card, four sides color.

- Single Card: Two sides color, will be used mainly for Bureau cards and for anyone requesting more than 10 QSOs. They will receive the Double card and the Single card with the extra band slots.

- All requests to investigate missing or busted calls are being handled in the order received. Most have already been addressed.

- Worldwide Bureau cards will be posted the week of June 2, 2014

Please contact Tim M0URX for QSL / confirmation questions or concerns.

Team Mellish Reef 2014


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434 MHz balloons have a role in STEM education

Monday 12th May 2014

The UK Department for Education (DfE) has selected the Horizon balloon project to feature in the department’s #yourlife campaign to promote Maths and Science

Pupils at Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall built the Gagarin payload which transmitted FSK RTTY telemetry data on 434.075 MHz. The students launched it on a high altitude weather balloon which reached an altitude of 35,118 metres before bursting. The Gagarin payload returned safely to Earth by parachute and the students were able to retrieve the stunning still images and video taken in near-space.

The Isle of Wight seen from near-space


The telemetry transmitter could be received over most of the British Isles and radio amateurs were able to track the balloon’s progress from the transmitted GPS data. The Horizon team used a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to receive the signal from the balloon and dl-fldigi software to decode it. Among those supporting the project were Yaesu and Essex-based Rapid Electrionics.

Adam Coghlan, a mathematics teacher at the school, says:

There have been two teams worth of pupils involved in this project and UKHAS members have helped track every launch.

The pupils get so much out of it:
- many go on to start their own projects after a year in the Horizon Team
- most of the team members have reported extremely positive university interviews following their involvement with the project (some have had personal letters from lecturers and letters from universities wishing them luck, hoping that they’ll choose xxxxx when results day comes etc)
- team members who have visited us having left the school for university have got involved in projects at university and have been a lot more open to the opportunities at university beyond their academic studies

The project has a big impact on the pupils who take part and we’re so grateful to the UKHAS members who have supported us and who help with the tracking on launch days.

Watch Project Horizon’s Beat Felix mission – The launch of Gagarin

See the ‘Your Life’ post on the Department for Education’s Facebook page at

Project Horizon

#yourlife “Science and maths makes you more prepared for life and for business” Dr Melanie Windridge, physicist and science communicator

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 12th May 2014

Island activities:

AF-004. Mike, DG5LAC, will be active as EA8/DG5LAC from Fuerteventura Island (DIE S-006, WLOTA 0883, WWFF EAFF-191) between May 11-23rd. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using SSB with 100 watts. QSL via DG5LAC, direct or by the Bureau. Log will be upload to LoTW, eQSL and WWFF.

AF-018. Simone, IV3NVN, will be active with the special callsign IY9A from Pantelleria Island in the CQWW WPX CW Contest (May 24-25th) as as Single-Op/Single-Band (40m) entry. The special callsign is to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the birth of Guglielmo Marconi. Outside of the contest he will be active as IH9/IV3NVN. QSL via IK2ILH, direct, by the bureau or LoTW.

AS-143. Just a reminder that a group of Chinese hams will be active from the rare Yongxing Island, Paracel Islands, sometime between now and May 15th. The actual operation period depends on the schedule of the ship. Only one radio is allowed to be on the air 24 hours around the clock due to the limit of operators by the local authority. The assigned callsign will be B7CRA. Operators mentioned are Terry/BA7NQ, Che/BA7CK, De/BA7JA, Dick/BD7YC, Lin/BI7IOB and Vange/BA7IO. Equipment listed: 2xICOM 756PRO3 with 2x1KFA, 2xSB and 1 GP. QSL via BA4EG.

AS-145. Operators Choon/E20HHK, Suwikrom/E23CAL, Teerawat/HS3NBR and Damrongsak/HS8GLR will be active as E20HHK/P from Nu Island in the Southern part of Thailand between June 7-8th. AS-145 is a rare IOTA in Thailand and was last activated this year in April by some of the same operators. QSL via E21EIC.

EU-001. Members of the Dx Plus Hellenic Radio Amateur M.I. Team were expected to be active as SX5LA from Levitha Rocky Islet (KM37fa, GIOTA DKS-050, WLOTA-0846) this past week between May 3-11th.  Activity was to be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY.
QSL via via SV2FWV, by the Bureau or direct and via LoTW. Also, an OQRS will be available via ClubLog. For more details see:

EU-171. Tom, DL4VM, is once again active as OZ/DL4VM from Vendsyssel-Thy/Nordjylland Island (DIA NJ-001) until May 24th. Activity will include operations from Thy National Park (WWFF OZFF-009). Operations will be on 80-10 meters, using mainly CW. QSL via his home callsign, by the Bureau or direct. ADDED NOTE: Tom will return here again between August 30th and September 20th.

NA-057. Operators Rudy/N2WQ and Dennis/W1UE will be on a small DXpedition to Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras (NA-057), between May 22-28th. Expected callsigns will be N2WQ/HR9 and W1UE/HR9. They will be a Multi-Single entry into the CQWW WPX CW Contest (May 24-25th). Contest callsign will probably be W1UE/HR9, unless they can get a shorter one before then. Their station will be modest, with a barefoot K3 and a G5RV antenna for 80-20 meters, and dipoles for 10/15m, all up about 30ft. Outside the contest, they will operate RTTY and some SSB. On RTTY, they will be trying out a multi-channel decoder, so when they say "up 1-5" please get a frequency and stay there! QSL both callsigns to W1UE.

NA-128. Look for members of the "NA-128 Contest Group" to once again be active as CK2I from Isle-aux-Grues, Quebec, Canada, between July 25-27th. Activity will be holiday style. They plan to be in the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th) as a Multi-Single entry. QSL via VE2CQ and LoTW.

OC-107. (Correction) Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/5 from Singkep Island, in the Lingga Island IOTA Group, between May 12-15th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL. See for more QSL details.

OC-109. (Correction) Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/5 from Midai Island, in the Natuna Selatan IOTA Group, between May 18-25th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL. See for more QSL details.

SA-027. Operators Fabio/PP5BZ, Roni/PP5ZB, Claudio/PY3OZ, Jose/PU5ATX, Maicon/PU5AGM, Edy/PP5EJ, Valnei/PY5ZW and Alessandro/PY5KC will be active as PQ5M from Sao Francisco do Sul Island (DIB SC-02, DFH SC-06) during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th) as Multi-Op/All-Band/DXpedition entry. QSL via PP5BZ.

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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Younger radio hams disappearing

Saturday 10th May 2014

The Radio Society of Great Britain has released the figure for the number of members aged under 25

Given that RSGB membership is completely free for UK radio amateurs aged 25 and under in full time education, you would expect every youngster interested in the hobby to be a member of the Society, so it provides a good proxy for the national figure for amateurs in that age group.

The figure released may come as a shock to some, just 295 are aged under 25. Take almost any radio club and you will find many members who have been licenced for 40, 50 or 60 years, having first taken up the hobby in their teens or early twenties.

The figure suggests we are sitting on a demographic time-bomb which could see amateur radio all but wiped out in 20 years time.

All is not doom and gloom, there are some glimmers of light. This year the RSGB has decided to take part for the first time in the annual IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air event and the Society also intends to run a separate event for youngsters called YOTA UK in Wolverhampton on July 19-20.

Importantly many amateurs at grassroots level are now becoming involved in attracting younger-blood into the hobby, both Camb-Hams and Essex Hams have been doing a great job in promoting amateur radio to a new generation.

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

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New Ham Radio promotional videos

Friday 9th May 2014

One of the most common questions asked about our hobby is 'What is amateur radio?' This could come from a friend or family member trying to work out what the aerial farm in the garden is all about, or passers-by at the various ham radio field events that take place across the country

To try to help answer the question, and to help bring new people into the hobby, Essex Ham produced a “What is Amateur Radio” video last year. This seven minute feature was distributed online, played at club nights in Essex, used at a couple of public-speaking events in the area, and distributed on DVD to interested parties.

A second version was prepared last year, focusing more on the Foundation syllabus, to help people interested in starting their amateur radio journey. This has been distributed to potential Foundation candidates to give a feel for what’s involved with the practicals and course material.

In response to some very positive feedback on these videos, Essex Ham have produced a couple of new ones. These focus more on the social and interactive side of the hobby, and less on the learning / courses. They are also shorter. The original 7 minute version is joined by new 4 minute and 2 minute versions.

Watch A Taste of Amateur Radio (4 minutes)

The other Essex Ham videos are available at

Essex Ham Promoting Amateur Radio in Essex

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Ofcom Baldock shutdown illegal fishery transmissions

Friday 9th May 2014

The latest issue of the IARU R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports on action by the Ofcom Baldock Monitoring Station against an intruder in the amateur radio 10 MHz band

They report that Peter Jost HB9CET found illegal fishery traffic on 10123 kHz USB daily. Bearings by the German PTT showed the area east of Aberdeen, North Sea.
Chris Cummings G4BOH
asked Ofcom Baldock for assistance.
Result: The British Coast Guard contacted the offenders to tell them, that their phone traffic is illegal. A few days later the frequency was clean.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 April 2014 newsletter can be read at

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged online at

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

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)

Read this article about the vital work carried out by the Ofcom Baldock Monitoring Station

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Winlog32 Forums back up

Friday 9th May 2014

Colin, G0CUZ has announced the forums for Winlog32 are back online after some problems with the system led to them being taken offline in the middle of April.

The forum has been moved to a new platform along with twelve years of posts and useful information.

The 'New' forum lives at

Pre-existing users will need to use the 'I forgot my password' link on the login page to log in, but otherwise it's back to business as usual.

Thanks for your patience while we got this sorted out.

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Radio 5 Live could send robins on the wrong flightpath

Friday 9th May 2014

The popularity of stations such as Radio 5 Live could be causing migratory birds such as the robin to lose their way, scientists have suggested.

Researchers have found that robins' in-built compass is disturbed by electromagnetic "noise" emitted by AM radio transmitters. Migratory birds can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use it as an in-built compass to help them fly in the right direction.

Read the full Telegraph article at:

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Ofcom Wireless Telegraphy Register

Thursday 8th May 2014

Ofcom provide a Wireless Telegraphy Register which enables you to find out who is licenced to use which frequencies

The online database covers Business Radio, Fixed Links, Fixed Wireless Access, Maritime Radio, Public Wireless Networks, Satellite Service and Spectrum Access but does not include the amateur radio service.

Ofcom Wireless Telegraphy Register

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 8th May 2014

Island activities:

AF-004; EA8; Canary Islands: Mike/DG5LAC will be active as EA8/DG5LAC from Fuerteventura (DIE S-006, WLOTA 0883, WWFF EAFF-191) between the 11th and 23rd. QRV on 80-10m in SSB. QSL via h/c, LoTW, eQSL, WWFF-Logsearch.

EU-008; GM/MM; Inner Hebrides: Gil/F4FET is going to activate Mull (IOSA NH15, SCOTIA CN10, WLOTA 2485) from May 12 to 18 signing MM/F4FET/p. He also plans to visit Lunga (EU-108, IOSA FL07, SCOTIA CS37) between the 14th and the 18th. QRV from each island for a few hours a time. QSL via h/c (d/B), ClubLog.

EU-021; TF; Iceland: His first expedition will lead Jose/EA5IDQ to Island (WLOTA 2975). He plans to work holiday-style as TF/EA5IDQ from May 11 to 22 on 40-10m in SSB, PSK, JT65, and RTTY. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-049; SV; North Aegean Islands: Fred/PA1FJ returns to Samos (GIOTA SAS-006, MIA MG-099, WLOTA 4163, WW Loc. KM37as) for another holiday from May 13 to 19. QRV as SV8/PA1FJ/p on 40-6m in SSB and CW. QSL via PA1FJ and ClubLog.

EU-109; G/M; Farne Islands: Christian/EA3NT, Vincent/F4BKV, Gil/F4FET, and Col/MM0NDX will activate Longstone Island on May 10/11 with 3 or 4 stations on HF and 6m in SSB and CW, using the call MX0INT. QRV only during daylight hours. QSL via F5CWU (d/B).

EU-171; OZ; Jylland North group: Tom/DL4VM will get on the air from Vendsyssel (DIA NJ-001) and the Thy National Park (OZFF-009) as OZ/DL4VM from the 10th to the 24th. QRV on HF mainly in CW. QSL via DL4VM (d/B).

EU-171; OZ; Jylland North group: Ela/DL1TM (OZ7TM) and Tor/DJ4MG (5P4MG) continue to work from Vendsyssel (DIA NJ-001, WW Loc. JO47uh) until May 8. Both are active on 160-10m, mainly in SSB and PSK. QSL OZ7TM via DL1TM (d/B), 5P4MG via DJ4MG (d/B).

DH5JBR - GM-Islands-Tour:
Following Joachim/DH5JBR on his tour of Scottish Islands, his next stops will be:
May 7 Colonsay Island (EU-008; IOSA NH18)
May 8 Jura Island (EU-008)
May 9 Islay Island (EU-008)
May 10 Gigha Island (EU-008)
May 11 Easdale oder Seil Island (EU-005)
May 12 Lismore Island (EU-008)
May 14 Mai Holy Isle of Iona or Ulva&Mull (EU-008)

OC-107; YB5; Lingga Islands: Imam/YB4IR announces an activation of Singkep Island as YB4IR/5 from May 12 to 15. QRV on 40-10m in SSB, CW, and RTTY. QSL via YB4IR (d/B), ClubLog.

OC-122; YB5; Tambelan Islands: A team of 4 or 5 operators plan to get on the air from Tambelan Island as YE5T from May 10 to 20. QSL via W2FB (d/B).

SA-003; PY0F; Fernando de Noronha Archipelago: Andre/PP6ZZ activates Fernando de Noronha (DIB OC-01, WLOTA 1208, WWFF PYFF-016 WW Loc. HI36td) as PY0FF from May 2 to 8. QRV on 30-10m in SSB, CW, and digital modes. QSL via W9VA.

Compiled by
Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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New 472-479khz spectrum allocation for Amateur Radio in Canada

Wednesday 7th May 2014

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) is pleased to announce the official Canadian implementation of the 472-479 kHz band.

“Agreed to in 2012 at the World Radio Conference (WRC), and now approved in Canada this is more good news for Canadian amateur radio”, said RAC President Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, enthusiastically.

The amateur service is now authorized to use the 472-479 kHz band with the release of the new Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations by Industry Canada. While approved at WRC 12 by the ITU, each country then must implement regulations for its amateurs before the band is available. Operations are subject to the international foot notes, which limit power to 5 watts EIRP except in certain areas within 800 km of certain other countries. Industry Canada release:

The RAC 0-30 MHz Band Planning Committee will be proposing a suitable band plan to enable best use of this new very narrow band. Comments and suggestions may be sent to the committee via Those looking to become active on this new band are encouraged to write of their experiences for TCA, given the challenges of antennas and equipment for this new band.

This addition to our allocations is especially appropriate given that Industry Canada, with Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, acting as a representative for both RAC and IARU, lead the charge for this new band at WRC 12. Of course, WRC 12 was the end of a long process that started many years earlier and many others need to be recognized for their contributions: Industry Canada which brought together all of the industry players to form consensus, Ken Pulfer VE3PU (SK) who started it all off and provided help and insight throughout the multi-year process, Dave Conn VE3KL did the critical antenna analyses. Jim Dean VE3IQ oversaw getting licenses for 504 – 509 kHz experiments to verify non-interference to power control systems. Also, Norm Rashleigh VE3LC who guided the favourable responses to the proposed amateur secondary allocation at 472-479 kHz through IC’s Request for Public Consultations on the WRC-12 decisions. Many others also provided valuable support and work over a seven year process.

Canadian amateur operators have two new segments of spectrum thanks to the very hard work by RAC with our regulator. Five 60 meter band channels were made available by Industry Canada a few month ago.

Not a member of RAC? Please join to support amateur radio in Canada:

RAC Communications, Ottawa ON.
Tel: 1-877-273-8304

Radio Amateurs of Canada website

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Ham Video premiers on Space Station

Wednesday 7th May 2014

The European Space Agency (ESA) have published an article about the amateur radio Ham Video DATV system on the International Space Station

Read the article at

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Smoke detectors prone to RF interference

Wednesday 7th May 2014

The WIA report that a recall on certain smoke detectors prone to RF interference has been issued in Australia.

Photo Electric Smoke & Thermal detector 449 Series are used to detect smoke threats and communicate to a security panel.

The recall only affects certain model numbers manufactured between March 25th, 2013 and February 28th, 2014, which will have date codes between 13084 & 14059.


What are the defects?

When the Smoke Detectors are near a device with frequency levels ranging between 440Mhz – 470Mhz, the Smoke Detectors may possibly become idle or activate false alarms.

Some devices, other than 70cm Amateur gear, such as Satellite Phones and hand-held ‘Walkie Talkies’, also use this frequency range for their operation.

Frank VK2AKG

via the WIA

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Asian Trek for Radio Ham's B-47 Party Balloon

Tuesday 6th May 2014

A solar-powered foil party balloon, B-47, transmitting telemetry on 434.500 MHz USB using the amateur radio data mode Contestia 8/250 was launched on Monday, April 28, 2014 from Silverstone in the UK by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER

The balloon’s eight-day journey took it over the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea before flying over Japan at an altitude of 11860 metres on Monday, May 5.

8-Day flight path of the B-47 party balloon

Depending on the altitude, the balloon can have a radio range of 300-500 km. See the current track of the balloon at
APRS backup:!call=a%2FM0XER-7

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.

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for chat about launches. A web client is available at

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

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CQ-DATV 11 magazine now available

Tuesday 6th May 2014

The May issue of the free Amateur TV magazine CQ-DATV is now available for download

Unfortunately, Ian the editor and site operator is in hospital so the magazine cannot be put on the usual site, instead you can download this edition from

At the moment it is only available in PDF, but this may change so keep checking the site

In this month's issue:
- DATVExpress Project. March update
- Measurement & Display Software
- Remote Control of Sony Broadcast VT Machines
- DigitalATV Understanding DVBS Protocol
- Construction Project100W
- Power Meter
- Review eBay MAX7456 OSD Generator Modules
- DVBTReceiver HV110
- ATV Reaches for the Sky

Download this and previous editions at

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Basics of Ham Radio Sound Card Interfaces

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Randy Hall K7AGE has produced a short video showing how to hook up your amateur radio transceiver to a PC

Many Ham Radio operators are interested in PSK-31. You will need some type of sound card interface to go between your radio and computer. Once you have the interface working, you are then ready to use many of the other digital modes. JT-65, WSPT, FreeDV, SSTV, Digital SSTV, RTTY and many more.

Watch Basics of Ham Radio Sound Card Interfaces

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Breakthrough  in Data Storage .. back to Tape !

 Monday 5th May 2014

More data is being kept for longer and longer periods and that means drives are getting bigger .. until now !

Sony has developed a new storage tape that is able to hold up to 185 terabytes (TB) of data per cartridge.

It also sets a new world record, beating the old one set in 2010 by more than 5 times !

Click on the following link to the BBC website and read the article which includes some mind blowing statistics :-

Thanks to Simon G6XHF for the information.

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How GCHQ built on a colossal secret

Monday 5th May 2014

During World War Two, Britain led the world in its creation of machines that excelled at cracking codes used by its enemies.

Messages scrambled using the Enigma machine were cracked by devices largely designed by maths genius Alan Turing.  Colossus was kept secret for decades after the war and it is only recently that a full picture of its influence and engineering brilliance has become apparent. 

They also built 10 of these machines for different jobs.

Take a few minutes and click on the link below to the BBC website and read the article by

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UK astronaut Tim Peake is now KG5BVI

Monday 5th May 2014

UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake took the opportunity to sit his Technician amateur radio exam at the end of April while he was in Houston for astronaut training. He has now been issued the ham radio callsign KG5BVI

At the beginning of March Tim gave a presentation to the UKSEDS National Student Space Conference in Leicester. During the talk he expressed his enthusiasm about getting his amateur radio licence and operating from the International Space Station.

Tim is currently training for Expedition 46/47 to the International Space Station which is scheduled for November 2015.



The UK’s first astronaut was Helen Sharman GB1MIR who launched into space 23 years ago on May 18, 1991, see

The USA Technician licence is the equivalent of the UK Foundation. The 35-question Technician exam covers topics such as radio theory, regulations and operating practices. 26 of the 35 questions need to be answered correctly to pass. Unlike the system in the UK there are no practical assessments for the USA exams just a single multiple choice exam paper. All the questions and answers for the US exams are available online and you can try a practice Technician exam at

Technicians are allowed to use up to 1500 watts output on all the VHF, UHF and Microwave bands and 200 watts output on four HF bands. USA Technicians have full amateur privileges in the frequencies they are allocated, for example they can do set up beacons or repeaters, operate maritime mobile and design and build their own equipment.

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Success for Ham Radio Club's Balloon Flight

Monday 5th May 2014

On Sunday, May 4 the Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) launched a High Altitude Balloon with a transmitter payload from Cambridgeshire

The balloon had a flight time of around three hours, reached almost 100,000 feet and traveled just over 70 miles including a portion of the ascent right over the city of Cambridge. The transmissions were received by radio amateurs in the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany.

Pictures of the flight can be seen on the Society's Facebook page

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Spring 2014 edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter now available

Monday 5th May 2014

The latest - Spring 2014 – edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter is now available for free download in pdf format from

It can also be found in the ‘External Links’ part of the Wikipedia 60 Meter Band page and in the 5 MHz section of the Southgate Ham Forum

This is our 10th edition and features include: new allocations, WRC 2015 preparation news from the US, a US amateur – government ALE interoperability exercise, a ‘ground’ antenna for 5 MHz, UK Cold War communications using 5 MHz and various updates on 5 MHz activity in a number of countries.


Paul Gaskell, G4MWO

The 5 MHz Newsletter

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Two QB50 satellites with ham radio payloads delivered

Monday 5th May 2014

The QB50 project has reached another crucial milestone. The first two QB50 satellites have been delivered for shipment to the launch site after a successful flight acceptance test campaign

The satellites will form the QB50 Precursor mission that seeks to de-risk and validate key technologies of the QB50 main flight that will be performed in the coming years.

The launch is planned for June 19, 2014 from the Russian ICBM base at Dombarovsky near Yasny on a Dnepr rocket manufactured in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. The satellites will be put into a 650 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

The following payloads were integrated into the ISIS satellite platforms:

(Left in photo right)
• INMS Payload from MSSL, UK
• QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
• Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
• AMSAT-NL 435/145 MHz linear transponder (FUNcube-3) from AMSAT-NL, The Netherlands

(Right in photo right)
• FIPEX Payload, University of Dresden, Germany
• QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
• Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
• AMSAT-Fr 435/145 MHz FM voice transponder from AMSAT Francophone, France

QB50p1 (FUNcube-3) will have a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a separate payload from AMSAT-NL. This will comprise of a linear U/V transponder similar to that already flying on FUNcube-1 with an output of 400 mW.
• 145.815 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• Inverting SSB/CW linear transponder 400 mW PEP
- 435.035 – 435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
- 145.935 – 145.965 MHz Downlink USB

QB50p2 will have a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a separate RF payload from AMSAT-F which will comprise of a FM voice transponder with UHF uplink and VHF downlink. It will also transmit FX25 telemetry at 9600 bps.
• 145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25

The project was executed to an unprecedented timeline. Formal Kick-Off was in October 2013 and all hardware from the different partners was delivered for integration into the satellites in January 2014. This means that two satellites were delivered in just over 6 months. Furthermore, with a precursor launch scheduled in June, launch and operations will commence within 9 months of project Kick-Off.

This fast-track project shows how successful a close cooperation between academic institutes and experienced companies can be. With ISIS’ experienced team of engineers that design and build nanosatellites on a regular basis (ISIS remains on track to delivering 1 satellite system per month in 2014), throughput times of nanosatellite projects can be shortened significantly.

The upcoming launch of the QB50 precursor satellites will also be the first satellites to be launched that were funded through the EU’s FP7 space technology programme, in which a number of innovative small satellites will be launched in the coming years to demonstrate new European space technologies.

The lessons learned from the QB50 Precursor development and operations have already led to many recommendations to further improve and streamline the QB50 main flight. All teams involved in QB50 stand to benefit from the experiences gained over the last months.




QB50 Precursor Flight

AMSAT-UK Colloquium announcement

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 5th May 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 27th-April, through Sunday, 4th-May there were 223 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, CY0, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T32, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2V, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9,

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


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 5th May 2014

Island activities:

AF-018. Operator Raffaele, IH9YMC, will be active from Pantelleria Island (IIA TP-001, MIA MI-124, WW Loc. JM56XT), African Italy, during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th). QSL via eQSL.

EU-008. Gordon, MM0GOR, will be active as MM0GOR/p during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th) from the Isle of Islay (IOSA NH22, SCOTIA CS25, WLOTA 1826), Inner Hebrides. QSL via his home callsign, the Bureau preferred.

EU-009. Members of the Stockport Radio Society will be active as GM5O from Orkney Island (IOSA OR01, SCOTIA OI14) during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th) as a Multi-Op entry. Operators mentioned are Sarah/2E0KUH, Carsten/G0SYP, Dave/G0LZL, Bernard/G3SHF, Tom/M0DCG, Evan/M0TJU, Pete/M1PTR and Kieron/ M5KJM. QSL via M5KJM, by the Bureau or direct.

EU-034. Operators Jaakko/OG1J, Kari/OH3BJL, Keijo/OH3HPV, Ari/OH3KAV and Veikko/OH3LB to be active as ES0/OI3V from Hiiumaa Island (WLOTA 2017, WWFF ESFF-045) between May 29th and June 1st.
Activity will be on all bands and modes, propagation permitting. QSL via OI3V, by the Bureau or direct.

EU-038. Operators Eddy/ON6EF, Jan/ON6VJ and Raf/ON5RZ will be active as PA/OT1S from Terschelling Island (WLOTA 0943) between May 29-31st. Activity will be on 80-6 meters (including 30/17/12m) using SSB only. QSL via ON6EF, Bureau preferred.

EU-049. Five members of the Sands Contest Group from Morecambe, England, will once again be visiting the Island Samos (GIOTA SAS-006, MIA MG-099, WLOTA 4163), for a holiday and DXpedition between May 14-30th. The group will be using the callsign SZ8S (kindly loaned to them by the Aegean Radio Association), and operating from the Radio House at Zervou Point above Samos town. Operators mentioned are Barrie/G1JYB, Steve/G1TLQ, Stephany/G1LAT, Hughie/G4UME and Frank/G8BME. QSL "ONLY" direct via G1LAT the QSL Manager in the UK (w/SASE and outside the UK w/SAE + 1 IRC or 2 USDs). QSLs by the Bureau or eQSL are via M0SCG. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY QSLS TO THE LISTED ADDRESS FOR SZ8S (FOR THIS DXPEDITION), AS YOU WILL NOT GET A REPLY. AS THIS IS THE AEGEAN RADIO ASSOCIATION’S SPECIAL CALLSIGN.

EU-130. Bodo, DF8DX, will be active as IV3/DF8DX from Grado Island (IIA F001) between July 25-29th. Activity will be on the HF bands using 100 watts into a vertical antenna. His focus will be on the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th). QSL via DF8DX, 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 May 22nd and June 3th. He will operate mainly CW, with some SSB and RTTY, on the HF bands (usually on 40/30/20/17/12/10 meters) and on 6 meters. He will enter the CQWW WPX CW Contest (May 24-25th) as a Single-Op/All-Band entry.
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.

OC-107. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/5 from Singkep Island, in the Natuna Selatan Island IOTA Group, between May 12-15th.
Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL. See for more QSL details.

OC-109. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/5 from Midai Island, in the Lingga Island IOTA Group, between May 18-25th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL. See for more QSL details.

OC-215/OC-270. Budi, YF1AR, will be on an Indian Ocean IOTA Tour during the month of May. The first leg will be to Simeulue Island (OC-270) from the Teluk Sinabang LightHouse (ARLHS IDO 378) between May 15-18th, sign YF1AR/6. His leg will be to Siberut Island (OC-215), in the Mentawai Islands IOTA Group, from the Tanjung Sigep LightHouse (ARLHS IDO-379) between May 24th and June 1st, signing YF1AR/5. Activity from both places will be on 40-10 meters using mainly SSB as well as some CW and Digital modes. Equipment is Yaesu FT 450D with tuner, 100 watts into a 40m vertical dipole and a HB9CV 20/15/10m antenna. QSL via N2OO for both operations. For more details, see the following Web pages at:

SA-080. Renner, PY7RP, will be active as PY7RP/6 from Tinhare Island
between May 6-12th. Activity will be holiday style using a FT-450D and a G5RV antenna hanging on coconut trees in front of the beach. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS or direct.

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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KickSat Sprite deployment may not happen

Sunday 4th May 2014

An unexpected reset of the master clock on KickSat may mean that the deployment of the 104 Sprite 437 MHz satellites will not take place before the KickSat CubeSat burns up in the atmosphere

Radio amateur Zac Manchester KD2BHC has posted this update:

First off, I'd like to sincerely thank all of you for your support over the past two years. KickSat has been a success up to this point because of you.

As those who've been keeping up with the telemetry data coming in from KickSat on our mailing list may have noticed, the packets we've been receiving have changed in the last couple of days. This was due to a hard reset of the "watchdog" microcontroller on KickSat - the sort of "reptile brain" of the satellite that manages turning on and off the rest of the subsystems and keeps the master clock.

It appears the reset happened some time in the morning of Wednesday, April 30th. The reset doesn't seem to be the result of power issues (the watchdog should run until the batteries reach 5.5 volts, and they've been holding steady around 6.5 volts). Instead, it seems the likely culprit was radiation.

One consequence of the watchdog reset on KickSat is that the spacecraft's master clock was reset, thus also setting the deployment countdown for KickSat back to 16 days. That would put the deployment some time in the morning of May 16th. Unfortunately, it looks like KickSat will most likely reenter and burn up before the 16th.

We've spent the last couple of days here at Cornell trying to think of every possible contingency, but it seems there aren't very many options right now. KickSat's uplink radio, which we could use to command the deployment, can't turn on unless the batteries reach 8 volts, and it doesn't look like they'll reach that level in time.

While the situation looks a little bleak, there is still some hope that the batteries may recharge sufficiently to command the satellite. There is also a small chance that KickSat could remain in orbit until the 16th, at which point the timer would set off the deployment as originally planned.

We'll continue tracking KickSat over the next few days with the help of the ham community, so that we can keep track of its battery voltage and the Sprite deployment status. I'll post updates here, as usual, but you can also see the latest data as it comes in on our mailing list.

Thank you again for your support. I promise that this won't be the end of the KickSat project.

- Zac

Kicksat Wiki

KickSat mailing list!forum/kicksat-gs

Kicksat Updates

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New technique to manufacture super-capacitors cheaply

Sunday 4th May 2014

SARL News report that scientists at George Washington University have devised a new technique to manufacture super-capacitors at a fraction of the current cost.

The research team made the new ultracapacitor out of graphene flakes and single-walled carbon nanotubes by using a special tecnique involving a high voltage arc. They then combined graphene flakes and carbon nanotubes, spread them on paper, and rolled them into a new light-weight, high-performance, low cost ultracapacitor.

Ultracapacitors sometimes called Supercapacitors are generic terms for a family of new electrochemical capacitors. These devices don't have a conventional solid dielectric. Rather the capacitance value is determined by two storage principles, which both contribute to the devices total

The significance of this new ultracapacitor is its light weight and low cost making it useful in a variety of tasks from acting as a source of voltage to maintain static memory to larger jobs such as being part of the power system in electric cars.

An in depth abstract on this research report is available from the Journal of Applied Physics at


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Anvil Screamer: corona discharge pulses - spectrograph

Sunday 4th May 2014

Thomas Ashcraft has released a recording made at his shortwave radio observatory of a corona discharge on 20.9 and 22.6 MHz

The Vimeo description reads:

This afternoon a developing electrical storm snuck up on my radio observatory without much preceding lightning or sonic thunder to warn me. I was inside, deep in my head working on a project when I started to hear the howl of an "anvil screamer" through two of my radios at 22.6 MHz and 20.9 MHz.

I have heard this phenomenon before in conjunction with an approaching storm before so I sprang into action and disengaged my antennas expecting a lightning strike to happen at any moment. It is possible I was directly under a highly charged anvil part of a lightning cloud.

This so-called "anvil screamer" was caused by a corona discharge on my antennas as small discharges occurred off of pointy objects ( grasses and cactus spines ) in the vicinity of the antennas due to a charge differential between the ground and the air. I did not get it together in time to look outside but my antennas might have been glowing violet blue in this moment with St. Elmo's Fire.

I was able to capture a one minute forty second radio recording which builds in intensity and frequency and then stops abruptly as I got my system unplugged and disconnected.

Luckily, no close lightning bolt struck, as I thought I was about to "meet my maker" so to speak. It was a close call in any case.

Listen to the recording at

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Airchat in The Register

Sunday 4th May 2014

Writing in The Register Richard Chirgwin explains the Airchat data mode software and clears up the misunderstandings in an article which appeared on Motherboard

Read The Register article at

Read the Motherboard article at

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Anvil Screamer: corona discharge pulses - spectrograph

Sunday 4th May 2014

Thomas Ashcraft has released a recording made at his shortwave radio observatory of a corona discharge on 20.9 and 22.6 MHz

The Vimeo description reads:

This afternoon a developing electrical storm snuck up on my radio observatory without much preceding lightning or sonic thunder to warn me. I was inside, deep in my head working on a project when I started to hear the howl of an "anvil screamer" through two of my radios at 22.6 MHz and 20.9 MHz.

I have heard this phenomenon before in conjunction with an approaching storm before so I sprang into action and disengaged my antennas expecting a lightning strike to happen at any moment. It is possible I was directly under a highly charged anvil part of a lightning cloud.

This so-called "anvil screamer" was caused by a corona discharge on my antennas as small discharges occurred off of pointy objects ( grasses and cactus spines ) in the vicinity of the antennas due to a charge differential between the ground and the air. I did not get it together in time to look outside but my antennas might have been glowing violet blue in this moment with St. Elmo's Fire.

I was able to capture a one minute forty second radio recording which builds in intensity and frequency and then stops abruptly as I got my system unplugged and disconnected.

Luckily, no close lightning bolt struck, as I thought I was about to "meet my maker" so to speak. It was a close call in any case.

Listen to the recording at

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Meteors from Halley's Comet

Sunday 4th May 2014

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower.

Forecasters expect the shower to peak on the night of May 5-6 with as many as 60 meteors per hour in the southern hemisphere and half that number in the north.

Check for more information and observing tips.

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Ofcom: Statement on Spectrum Sharing

Thursday 1st May 2014

Ofcom has today published its Spectrum Management Strategy and Statement on Spectrum Sharing

The Spectrum Management Strategy sets the strategic approach and priorities for managing radio spectrum.

As the intensity of spectrum use increases, with greater levels of sharing between different uses, managing the co-existence between services will become more important. Ofcom’s strategic approach relies on market mechanisms where possible and effective and on regulatory action where necessary. It also places increased emphasis on:

exploring opportunities for new types of spectrum sharing;
managing the co-existence of different services and by promoting technology improvements that minimise interference;
providing more information on how spectrum is used in the UK. As part of this, Ofcom has published today an interactive spectrum map providing easy-to-access details on how different frequencies are used in the UK; and
leading discussions on international spectrum issues.

Six priorities for spectrum management

Ofcom has identified six priority areas for future spectrum use. They are:
1. Future mobile data demands: Ofcom will consider the potential impact these demands have on other users of spectrum. Ofcom will also contribute to international decisions, examine in detail the case for using more spectrum for mobile data, support improvements in mobile coverage and monitor developments towards 5G technology.

2. The future of the 700MHz band and free-to-view TV: Ofcom is investigating the potential to rearrange the bands used for digital terrestrial TV. This could release more of this prime spectrum for mobile broadband use sometime after 2018, while ensuring that viewers would continue to benefit from digital terrestrial TV.

3. Public sector spectrum release: Ofcom will support the Government in achieving its target to release 500 MHz of spectrum from the public sector. A first step will be the release of spectrum at 2.3 and 3.4 GHz, currently held by the Ministry of Defence.

4. Programme Making and Special Events: Ofcom is working with PMSE stakeholders to understand their current and future spectrum demands for wireless microphones and cameras.

5.Machine-to-Machine applications: Ofcom has started work to understand the implications of the expected growth in M2M. Enabling licence exempt access to the 870-915 MHz band is a first step towards ensuring spectrum availability to support innovation in this area. The UK is among the first countries globally to release spectrum that can support M2M communications.

6.The emergency services: Ofcom will support the Government is assessing how best to deliver the wireless communications needs of the emergency services over the long term.

Encouraging the wider use of spectrum sharing

In the UK, half of all adults own a smartphone and one in four households has a tablet computer, fuelling a surge in demand for more data capacity. Meanwhile, research commissioned by Ofcom found that by 2022 over 350 million additional devices in the UK – including cars, crop sensors and washing machines – are also likely be connected to the internet, many using tiny slivers of spectrum.

To help meet this demand and building on our existing work to open up TV white spaces for use by a range of innovative services, Ofcom has identified three key areas where spectrum sharing can play an important role:

for indoor use: by continuing to provide high speed wireless network connectivity to ensure that consumers can fully benefit from the increasing availability of superfast broadband;
for outdoor use: by increasing the supply of spectrum for use by a growing number of small mobile broadband cells, which are being deployed to help meet the growth in demand for mobile data capacity driven by the increasing use of smartphones and tablets; and for
the internet of things (IoT) use: by helping provide the spectrum needed to support growth and innovation in the emerging IoT sector, which is set to see hundreds of millions of devices become wirelessly interconnected by the end of the decade. These new services have the potential to provide benefits across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, energy distribution, transport and agriculture.

Read the document The future role of spectrum sharing for mobile and wireless data services

Ofcom Spectrum Management Strategy can be found at

A Statement on Spectrum Sharing can be found at

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Ofcom RF spectrum map

Thursday 1st May 2014

Ofcom’s Interactive RF Spectrum Map is an easy way to browse and search how different spectrum bands are used in the United Kingdom

Use the dashboard to find out how spectrum is being used, by sector and by product/application. The map covers spectrum from 8.3 kHz to 275 GHz.

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Taking Amateur Radio to near the world's roof top

Thursday 1st May 2014

A devotee of the Summits On The Air (SOTA) program in set to use portable Amateur Radio as he joins others on one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas.

He will walk from Nepal to the Southern Everest Base Camp, travelling through the Sagarmatha National Park (9NFF-007), which is on the World Wide Flora and Fauna list.

On the WWFF website Allen Harvie VK3HRA said he had gained a permit to take and operate a QRP radio. Due to weight and size needs, only 20-metres CW will be possible from May the 6th to the 9th, during local sunset to sunrise.

Sherpas are elite mountaineers serving as guides at the extreme altitudes in the region. Supplies are carried by them on animals, usually yaks, to replenish the Everest Base Camp that attracts thousands of trekkers each year.

The base camp becomes the end of a journey for most, and those going higher in altitude take two days of rest by for acclimatization before climbing Mt Everest.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Radio Hams keep 'Queen Mary' wireless on the Air

Thursday 1st May 2014

The Queen Mary, an ocean liner that once sailed the North Atlantic, is now permanently berthed in Long Beach, California, where it's a tourist attraction and hotel. In one of the rooms aboard the ship, the tradition of ship-to-shore wireless operations is continued and visitors are introduced to the hobby of ham radio.

A young visitor recently got an introduction to Morse code, the system of dots and dashes once used for wireless communication. Amateur radio operators, called "hams," still use it today.

The Queen Mary was the pride of the Cunard Line after its 1936 launch, and is now a popular tourist attraction.

The wireless room preserves the ocean liner's communications hub. Queen Mary Commodore Everette Hoard said it was a lifeline in emergencies, providing two-way messages -- ship to shore.

“And not only did they carry several transmitters for transmitting the ship's business, they also, even in 1936, had radio-telephone service,” said Hoard.

Today, volunteers from the local amateur radio club show off old equipment and operate new gear, as they talk to hams around the world.

Read the full VOA article at:

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DXpedition to the Island of Samos

Thursday 1st May 2014

Between 14th and 30th May 2014, five members of the Sands Contest Group from Morecambe, England will be visiting Samos Island, for a holiday and DXpedition

We will be using the call sign SZ8S while on the island.

The actual days for operation are uncertain, hopefully we will start on Thursday evening 15th May, please watch the cluster’s for information. Operation will be from various locations on the Island, but mainly from our Base in Ireon.

Operators will be:
Baz G1JYB, Steph G1LAT, Hugo G4UME, Frank G8BME & Steve G1TLQ.


QSL direct – Via ~ G1LAT the QSL manager
Rest of the world SAE + 1 IRC or $2
Bureau only - VIA M0SCG


QSL manager’s address:
Stephany Kirkwood (G1LAT)
1 Nether View : Lodge Lane
Wennington : Lancaster
Lancashire : LA2 8NP
United Kingdom

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LituanicaSAT-1 FM transponder active May 1

Thursday 1st May 2014

The LituanicaSAT-1 team have provide a further update on upcoming operation of the CubeSat’s amateur radio FM transponder

Dear amateur radio operators,

The LituanicaSAT-1 FM transponder is scheduled to be operative again on May 1, from 9:30 UT to 14:00 UT.

Satellite’s ground control station in Vilnius will be monitoring the transponder’s frequency and attempt to call CQ with the amateur call sign LY5N (LituanicaSAT-1 callsign) when the satellite will be in sight of the ground station. The expected time windows are:

* 2014/05/01 10:46:22 UT – 2014/05/01 10:56:24 UT
* 2014/05/01 12:21:48 UT – 2014/05/01 12:31:47 UT

All QSO’s with the call LY5N will be granted special QSL cards, signed by the LituanicaSAT-1 core team members and sent out via bureau (no directs).

Every amateur working the FM repeater is encouraged (but not obligated) to RX and answer only the LY5N CQ call during the above time windows.

LituanicaSAT-1 team

Frequency are approximately 435.1755 MHz for the downlink and 145.950 MHz for the uplink (+/- Doppler Shift).

FM transponder operating techniques

Lithuanian CubeSat LituanicaSAT-1

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 1st May 2014

Island activities:

EU-014; TK; Corsica Island: Julien/F4FJZ spends the next months until October on Corsica and will get on the air as TK4QL. QRV mainly /m on 10, 12, 15, and 17m. QSL via F4FJZ (d).

EU-032; F; Poitou-Charentes Region group: Didier/F4ELJ activates Oleron Island (DIFM AT-025) from May 3 to 10 as F4ELJ/p on HF. QSL via LoTW and F4ELJ (d/B).

EU-042: Operators Siggi/DL3HBZ, Stefan/DJ7AO, Helge/DF6LPC, Ben/DB2LS, Stefan/DJ7AO, Uli/DJ9IE, Henrik/DF1LEO, Lothar/DL8HAL, and Harry/DL5HAQ, all members of the DARC club in Ratzeburg (DOKE39) will get on the air from Hallig Hooge (EU-042, DID/GIA N-22, WWFF DLFF-013). QRV from May 1 to 3 as DK0RZ and as DL0DFF from a beach location in SSB, CW, and digital modes. QSLs via bureau or direct.

EU-070; F; Provence-Cote D'Azur (Var) Region group: Fred/F5OZK, Paul/F4DVT, and Christian/F8HJV get on the air from the Ile du Levant (DIFM ME012) and the Fort Napoleon (DFCF 83-118) from the 1st to 4th of May. QSL via F5KKD (d/B).

EU-128; DL; Schleswig-Holstein State East group: Fehmarn (DID/GIA O-001, WW Loc. JO54mm) and the lighthouse Westermarkelsdorf (DLTD/GLHA #57, ARLHS FED-261, WLOTA 0637) will be activated by Markus/DJ4EL, Dirk/DK4DJ, Sebastian/DK6BA, and Henning/DK9LB from May 1 to 5. They are QRV on 40-10m in CW and SSB signing their homecalls/p. QSLs via h/c (d/B).

EU-146; PA; Zuid Holland/ Zeeland Province group: Peter/PH4P and Peter/PD1RP plan to get on the air from Schouwen-Duiveland (WW Loc. JO11xo) with their homecalls/p. QRV from May 5 to 7, QSLs via homecalls (d/B).

DH5JBR - GM-Islands-Tour:
Joachim/DH5JBR sets out for another Tour of Scottish Islands and aims to activate 30 islands during 30 days. He begins this endeavour on the afternoon of May 4 on 14260 from Great Cumbrae (EU-123, IOSA CL03). Joachim plans to work mainly on 20m but also hopes for good condx on 10 and 15m. Look for him on the IOTA frequencies, particularly in the afternoon. His itinerary for the next days is:
May 5 Bute Island (EU-123, IOSA CL02)
May 6 Arran Island (EU-123, IOSA CL01)
May 7 Colonsay Island (EU-008; IOSA NH18)
For further details see his page on, or standby for more info in the upcoming editions of DXNL. QSL via DH5JBR (d/B).

GM, SCOTLAND (Islands Op): In a similar vein Alex, G0DHZ, and Andre, GM3VLB, plan to activate the following 27 Scottish Islands within 3 weeks, starting on May 3: 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. QSL GM3VLB only via direct; GM0DHZ via G0DHZ (d/B), eQSL.

AF-049; 3B8; Mauritius Island: Robert/M0RCX hopes to find some on-air time during a family vacation on Mauritius from May2 to 27.
QRV as 3B8/M0RCX with 100W on 40-10m in SSB, PSK, and JT65. QSL via M0RCX (d/B).

OC-021; YB0-3; Java Island: Bert/PD1SA is QRV from Java Island as YB1/PD1SA from May 1 to 13. QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-022; YB9; Bali Island: Roberto/PB5X continues to operate holiday-style from Bali until May 6 as YB9/PB5X. QSL via h/c (d/B).

SA-080; PY6; Bahia State Centre group: Renner/PY7RP activates the Ilha de Tinhare (DIB BA-05, WLOTA 1624) as PY7RP/6 from the 6th to the 12th of May. QRV holiday-style on HF in CW and SSB. QSL direct via PY7RP or OQRS via ClubLog.

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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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:-