Amateur radio in West Sussex - Training, Exams, Contests and Special Event Stations

WEEKLY BULLETIN – 23 December 2016

WADARC  –  Boldly  we lead so that others may follow.

WEEKLY BULLETIN  –  23 December 2016




Highlight of the week was the ‘on the radio’ meeting on wednesday 21st.

The preliminary via GB3WO was fair, the later 40 m was predictably covered with European stuff,  80m was better than 40 but the success story was 160………..

Fifteen, yes fifteen members found they really could get on to 160m if they made the effort. Signals were Q5 from almost everyone, including ‘Our Kenn’ in the wild west.


It has to be said tho,  that some people are real masochists, 4 watts to a big antenna is ok, a makeshift antenna with 50 watts is ok, but one hardy soul was using 4 watts to a makeshift antenna  and was only just readable.


Listen again on 1848 kHz. next Wednesday 28th at 1930


BTW  Where was Ron ?



Rallies this weekend


Ho! Ho!




note the ionospheric forecast 

Auroras for Christmas

Earth is about to enter a solar wind stream flowing from a large hole in the sun’s atmosphere.

Polar G1-class geomagnetic storms are expected to begin on Dec. 21st with magnetic unrest continuing through Dec. 25th as Earth slowly crosses the broad stream of solar wind.

Santa, be alert for Northern Lights!


Santa Claus DX


Here is the Santa Claus info for those who are true believers.


Santa Claus’  call sign is OF9X /He has keen Elves helping on phone and Licensed Reindeer on CW.  His ops. can spring up with their funny red hats on all modes and frequencies. OF9X will always be the call  used but each

elf will give his personal ID / name  during the QSO  –


Arto, OH2KW (ART); Arttu, OH2FB (ATU); Jyri, OH2KM (JYR); Martti, OH2BH (MAR);Niko, OH2GEK (NIK); Paul OH5BQ (PAU); Pekka, OH2TA (PEK);

Pertti, OH2BEE (PER);

Raimo, OH2BCI (RAI);Tom, OH6VDA (TOM); Pertti, OH2PM (SIM) and

Erik, OH2LAK (LAK)


Grimeton Radio/SAQ Transmission on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016

Message from Lars Olsen SM6NM


We are now planning for the traditional transmission with the Alexanderson 200 kW alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz on the morning of Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24. The message transmission will take place at 08:00 UTC and the transmitter will be tuned up from around 07:30 UTC.

Since the plant is old, there is always the risk that the transmission will be cancelled with short notice. An updated information will be published on our website

There will be activity on Amateur Radio Frequencies with the call SK6SAQ.
Frequencies: – 7,035 CW or 14,035 CW

QSL-reports on the SAQ transmission or SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– E-mail to:
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by mail to:
Alexander – Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner,
Radiostationen Grimeton 72

The radio station will be open to visitors.


Lars SM6NM





  • Forthcoming CLUB EVENTS
  • Club Evening on the RADIO ONLY.   28 Dec.  at 19.30  tune to 1848  Tell the jokes from your Christmas crackers
  •  –
  • Sunday Hungover Breakfast  (Don’t  talk too loudly)- Sun 1st January 2017 – 9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Club Evening – ( this is Committee-speak for ‘can’t think of anything’)   Wed 4th January – 7.30 for 8
  • Club Evening –  Wed 11 th January – 7.30 for 8
  • Talk about “The Sun” by Chris Suddell Wed. 18th Jan. 7.30 for 8
  • Wed. 25th   Soldering teach-in

After that is still the subject of some cogitation.



DX News


KENYA, 5Z. Sila, AK0SK is QRV as 5Z4/AK0SK from Taveta until January 6, 2017. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

SENEGAL, 6W. Vlad, UA4WHX is currently QRV as 6W/UA4WHX/p from Carabane Island, IOTA AF-078. Activity of late has been on 17 meters using CW, SSB and other digital modes. His length of stay is unknown. QSL to home call.

LESOTHO, 7P. Chris, ZS1CDG is QRV as 7P8GOZ from Teyateyaneng until December 31. Activity is holiday style on 20 meters using PSK31, and possibly 15 meters. QSL to home call.

PHILIPPINES, DU. Chris, VK3FY, Nik, VK3FNIK and Dindo, DU1UD are QRV as DX8DX from Luzon Island, IOTA OC-042, until December 29.
They may also be active from IOTAs OC-130, OC-235, and possibly others. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters, and possibly 160 and 80 meters, using CW and SSB. QSL via operators’ instructions.

NORTH COOK ISLANDS, E5. Warwick, E51WL is QRV from Penrhyn Atoll, IOTA OC-082, and has been active using JT65 on 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters between 1200 to 1600z and then from 0000 to 0800z. QSL via operator’s instructions.

SOUTH COOK ISLANDS, E5. Milan, OK1DWC is QRV as E51DWC from Rarotonga Island until early next year. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

LIECHTENSTEIN, HB0. Georg, NZ1C is QRV as HB0/NZ1C until December 25. QSL to home call.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HI. Ez, NK4DX is QRV as HI3AA until December 30. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using only CW. QSL to home call.

  1. LUCIA, J6. Steve, NY3B plans to be QRV as J6/NY3B from Rodney Bay from December 24 to 31. Activity is holiday style on 40 and 20 meters using mostly CW with some SSB. QSL to home call.

OGASAWARA, JD1. Hiroyuki, JG7PSJ is QRV as JD1BMH from Chichi-Jima Island, IOTA OC-031, until January 1, 2107. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to home call.

PALAU, T8. Ryosei, JH0IXE will be QRV as T8CW from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, from December 26 to January 6, 2017 Activity will be on 80 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. QSL direct to home call. In addition, Tetsuya, JA7XBG will also be QRV as T88GA from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, from December 25 to 29. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and some digital modes. QSL direct to home call.

ZIMBABWE, Z2. Herbert, DE1ZHB is QRV as Z21LS from Harare until January 2017. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL to home call.

CAYMAN ISLANDS, ZF. Jeff, K5WE is QRV as ZF2WE from Cayman Brac until December 30. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using mostly CW with some RTTY. QSL to home call.

PRINCE EDWARD AND MARION ISLANDS, ZS8. David, ZS1BCE is stationed on Marion Island, IOTA AF-021, until May 2018 and plans to be QRV as ZS8Z during his spare time. QSL via ZS1LS.KENYA, 5Z. Sila, AK0SK plans to be QRV as 5Z4/AK0SK from Taveta from December 22 to January 6, 2017. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.



HF forecasting 


Truly, I can still do no better than direct you to the best site known to me… thus :-


VOACAP Online – professional-grade high-frequency (3-30 MHz) point-to-point propagation predictions



A lesson for all………


The author of this bulletin is sometimes criticised for being “Details withheld” in various directories. He  takes the view that the less people know the less the harm they can do. The following item seems to vindicate this approach……


Destruction of RSGB Callbook 2017


The UK communications regulator Ofcom has admitted it released radio amateurs’ private home addresses  instead of their mailing address

This information was published in the RSGB Yearbook 2017 and the 2017 Callseeker Plus CD and Flash Drive.

Ofcom has asked the RSGB to destroy all the unsold copies of the RSGB Yearbook 2017 and replace those that have already been issued with a corrected edition.
.…so that’s alright then ?  ……….




Ham Radio – Avoid These Mistakes

[ Shamelessly copied with just  a little editing ]


Here is a list of mistakes that most new radio hams make when they launch themselves into our hobby, but don’t worry, we all make mistakes.


New transceivers are packed full with many features and benefits, some benefit certain area’s and others just make life more complex, the majority of new hams buy a two metre transceiver either a mobile or handheld to get onto the local repeater. Problems start when you try to upload too many frequencies onto your handheld, after all there are usually just a couple of VHF repeaters in your vicinity and a number on UHF

Trying to load up with hundreds all around the land is a big mistake and will lead to confusion.


Access tones are often problematic to the newbie, C.T.C.S.S. tones were introduced many years ago to prevent operators unwittingly raising repeaters in other parts of the country during lift conditions.

Take your time and find out what your local repeater tone is. In this area of Sussex it is 88.5 Hz  C.T.C.S.S. adds a sub audible tone to your transmission to open the repeater and sometimes it is needed on receive. C.T.C.S.S. stands for Constant Tone Coded Squelch System.

Check through your radio manual and research how to set whichever  C.T.C.S.S. tone you need,  to quickly access your local network and allow you to engage in your first contacts.

Repeaters use two frequencies an input and output, make sure to learn what the frequency shift is between your transmit and your recieve frequency On two metres your transmit  600 kHz down from your recieve.  Your UHF transmit may be either 1.6 or 7.6 mHz higher than your recieve frequency.

Speak a couple of inches away from the microphone holding it sideways on to your mouth.


Don’t expect too much from a handheld transceiver, it  is designed as a pocket set and often arrive with a short rubber duck  helically wound stub, Checking these on sophisticated sweep generators has shown many to be less than ideal on two metres, due to the shortening involved.  430 megs. seems to be where most rubber duck aerials are optimised, however better, longer,  hand-held aerials are available to solve this problem.


Listening is of great benefit to the new radio Ham, one can learn a great deal by simply listening. Find out who the best HF operators in your area are,   [modesty forbids, GVB ]   take particular note of how they conduct themselves. Listening for local nets will also help your understanding, join in and make new friends and above all ask lots of questions and before long you will be making regular contacts and gaining confidence.


Remember : if you give your call sign at the end of an over, then utter it _last_




Note for Newbies…Those who revel in the warm glow of filaments and cathode heaters of valves  glowing in the gloaming are sometimes known as “Glowbugs” .


The following sentimental song can be sung (if desired) to the tune of “These are my favourite things ” from ‘The sound of music’



A Glowbug’s Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the shack
Not a heater was glowing
In all of the rack.

Sitting totally silent and quiet that night
The old HRO shedding nary a light.
The Johnson exciter and its homebrew final
Felt cold as leftovers, or seat-cover vinyl,

I drowsed at my workbench feeling tired and weary,
The print in the Handbook looked fuzzy and smeary.
I thought, “I’ll make coffee”, and groaned to my feet
When I heard a loud clatter outside in the street.

What the–? I wondered and turned on the lights
And there I beheld a wondrous sight:
A battered old van heaped high with components
And a grizzled old ham with a bagful of doughnuts.

I noted his callsign– can’t recall it today–
But a patch on the side read “FMLA”.
I opened the door and hollered “Come in!
The coffee pot’s heating,  we’ll sit down and chin!”

He spoke not a word but whistled in Morse
A “GE OM”, and “By golly, I’m hoarse.
Too many contacts, and hot resin smoke.”
I nodded and poured him a mug of jamoke.

He emptied the doughnuts in a pile on a plate
And explained in a whistle, “I’m running real late.
I’ve new 6L6s and fine 211s, 6146s and good ‘SN7s.
And 866s and 0B2s, type 45s and mil-spec 807s.”

“For the regennie crowd, 201s by the score
And good ol’ type 30s and 19s galore.
I haven’t neglected the passive-parts run
There’s lots of good iron by old Thordarson.”

I nodded and smiled, suppressing a chortle
As he reached in his pack for a 304TL.
He whistled, “I’m leaving, the coffee was great,
But I’m overdue in the neighboring state.”

“Keep everyone building the rigs of their choosing
Or we’ll lose the bands that we’re lazy in using.
Transistors or tubes– any project is fine–
Just keep on constructing and sharing on line.”

He leaped to his feet and waved a gloved hand
As he sprang for the door and his rusty old van.
I heard him exclaim as he drove off from me………….
……….”Merry Christmas, you Glowbugs, best 73!”