WADARC meets at – Lions Hall, 21 Roberts Road, Lancing. BN15 8AR.
THE PAST WEEK
Wednesday’s meeting was particularly good as we had a talk on radio surveillance during the 1950s/60s cold war by Brian Spiby. Centred round much of Brian’s early life story, he covered his voluntary recruitment into the Royal Navy and such diverse things as darning socks and listening to the Russian Fire Brigade in a state of panic. Many who were present remarked on how much they enjoyed it.
The club’s projector screen has been moved back onto the stage (stage left) and is now held in place by a bungee cord (thanks to those involved). If you have reason to move the screen, please ensure that it is securely fastened with the bungee, after use.
Andy, M6RFE is out of hospital and on the mend. Let’s hope that’s finally the end of the pains.
Ron, G3SKI continues to flourish and has actually had his station on 40 metres, thanks to Bryan, G0SIU. We hope to see Ron at a club meeting soon.
Committee meets on Skype on Tuesday 17th April at 7.30pm. Anything that needs to be discussed needs to be with me by Monday 16th.
CLUB MEETINGS & EVENTS
- Tea and chat night – Lions Hall, Lancing – Wednesday 18th April – 8.00pm-10.00pm
- Outside event – Bring Radios/Antennas – Meet at Mill Hill, Shoreham – 2nd Car Park – Wednesday 25th April – 7.30pm-9.30pm – Lions Hall will be closed!
- Talk on Algeria trip – Chris, M0VUE – Lions Hall, Lancing – Wednesday 2nd May – 8.00pm-10.00pm
- Moon Bounce talk – Lions Hall, Lancing – Wednesday 9th May – 8.00pm-10.00pm (see WADARC web site for details)
For further information as it occurs, please visit the WADARC website: www.wadarc.org.uk
Monday – 2 metres 145.425 MHz, FM, 7.30pm (local)
Thursday – 40 metres 7.106 MHz +/-QRM, SSB, 11.00am (local)
Saturday – 70 cms on GB3WO, 7.00pm (local)
Sunday – 80 metres 3.712 MHz +/- QRM, SSB, 7.30am-8.00am (local)
15 April 2018 Yeovil ARC QRP Convention
Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3AA.
Admission £3. Open 09:30 to 15:00. Regrettably only guide dogs can be admitted.
Traders. B&B. Club stands. Talks programme (see website). Trader bookings via
the website. Supported by RSGB, RAFARS & BYLARA.
15 April 2018 West London Radio & Electronics Show
Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ.
Open 10:00/09:50. Talk-in. Free on-site parking. Trade. B&B. SIGs. Lectures.
Raffle. On-site catering.
Details: Paul, M0CJX, 0845-165-0351, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.radiofairs.co.uk
29 April 2018 Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally [Rescheduled from 4 March]
America Hall, De La Rue Way Pinhoe, Exeter, EX4 8PW.
Open 10:30/10:15 disabled & B&B bookin – may open earlier in inclement weather.
Admission £2. Trade. B&B. Catering.
Details: Pete, G3ZVI, 07714-198374, email@example.com
Details of other UK rallies can be found on this excellent website: http://www.g4rga.org.uk/All.html
Winter 2017 edition published – http://www.wadarc.org.uk/ragchew/winter-201718
LATEST SOLAR NEWS (Courtesy of Spaceweather News):
EXITING THE SOLAR WIND: Earth is exiting a stream of high-speed solar wind that sparked a G1-class geomagnetic storm and some very strange aurorasearlier this week (April 9-11). NOAA says there is a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms today, subsiding to only 35% tomorrow.
LAST AURORAS OF ARCTIC SPRING? Around the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun is coming, and sky watchers are bracing for a long summer without auroras. A G1-class geomagnetic storm on April 10-11 produced a bright display of lights over Scandinavia–and if it was the last display of the season, it was a good one.
For further info please visit: http://spaceweather.com
Propagation news from RSGB:
Last week saw a continued lack of sunspots as we journey towards solar minimum sometime in 2019–2020. The solar flux index hovered around 68-69, which is only about two to three points above what we can expect when it hits its lowest point. Unfortunately, we are likely to be repeating this sentence quite a lot over the next 12 months or so!
There were no solar flares reported and geomagnetic conditions were relatively calm, with a maximum planetary K index of two. This was due to a lack of earth-facing coronal hole activity, but that isn’t going to last. Next week, the solar flux index is likely to remain around 68, but we can expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the potential for depressed maximum usable frequencies and noisy bands, from the 11th to 15th, as a large coronal hole on the solar equator become geo-effective.
Despite the low solar flux, the current settled conditions means there may be good DX to be had up to 18MHz, and possibly even 21MHz, over this weekend.
It is still a little too early for reliable Sporadic-E openings on 24 and 28MHz and we may need to wait until the end of April or early May, but do check.
Looking more generally, we are starting to see a shift towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions in the northern hemisphere. Daytime maximum usable frequencies may be lower than they were in winter, and east-west HF paths are likely to be worse. But the good news is the HF bands may stay open longer in the evening.
We are already seeing 20 metres remaining open until around 2100 UTC on 3,000km paths, and 40m and 80m continue to be worthwhile evening bands as well.
It looks like another week of uncertain fortunes, although unlike last week, there is at least the hint of high pressure to the northeast of Britain, favouring some potential Tropo conditions from the north of the country to southern Scandinavia and the Baltic. The south of Britain may just be far enough away from the high to see some heavy April shower activity and possible rain scatter on the microwave bands, especially in the southwest.
Now another mention for Sporadic E, which at times of thin HF propagation can liven up 10m, and of course the more traditional 6m bands. The weather patterns can influence this by the distribution of jet streams, and daily charts are available on www.propquest.co.uk along with occasional commentary.
The long winter meteor minimum is drawing to a close soon, with the April Lyrids coming up on the 22nd, so get prepared for better reflections. We’ve just passed minimum Moon declination for the month. Apogee, the point where the moon is furthest away from Earth, is today, so losses are at their maximum and Moon windows are short. We are a week away from declination going positive again, but conditions will slowly improve throughout the week.
In the run up to Easter, it’s been very unsettled again, so there is little chance of enhanced tropo. There will be periods of wet and windy weather and some risk of snow in the north. This Easter weekend there is a hint of a weak high developing over Scotland, which will transfer east over the North Sea. The end result is that the UK is still under low pressure with rain or April showers and early signs that there may be more significant low developing towards the following weekend with a chance of severe gales. It’s a long way off, but it is a flag to check the forecasts carefully as we get closer. In the odd quieter days beforehand, it may be worth checking those mast guys before the end of the second week.
So what modes are options? You can try rain scatter on the microwave bands from April showers, sporadic E on 10m and 6m, especially on weak signal digital modes at the end of next week as strong jet streams arrive, but sadly no strong signal for tropo.
Moon declination is negative again and at minimum next Saturday. Apogee is only seven days away so losses are high and increasing and moon windows are shortening.
Beacons often heard in our area:
GB3WSX – IO80QW – 70.007 MHz
GB3BAA – IO91PS – 70.016 MHz
F1ZXK – JN18KF – 144.438 MHz
F5ZSF – IN88GS – 144.409 MHz
GB3VHF – JO01EH – 144.430 MHz
ON0VHF – JO20HP – 144.418 MHz
F5XBA – JN18KF – 432.830 MHz
GB3UHF – JO01EH – 432.430 MHz
ON0UHF – JO20ET – 432.567 MHz
This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by UR5BCP, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.
AGALEGA AND ST. BRANDON ISLANDS, 3B6,7. A large group of operators are QRV as 3B7A from Saint Brandon Island, IOTA AF-015, until April 17. Activity is on the HF bands with five stations active using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via F5CWU.
CROATIA, 9A. Dusan, S52DG is QRV as 9A/S52DG/p from Krk Island, IOTA EU-136, until April 15. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.
SOUTH COOK ISLANDS, E5. Oleh, UR5BCP will be QRV as E51BCP from Rarotonga Island, IOTA OC-013, from April 15 to 20. Activity will be on 40 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, FM and various digital modes. This includes some SOTA activations. QSL via KD7WPJ.
CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Mike, DG5LAC is QRV as EA8/DG5LAC from Fuerteventura, IOTA AF-004, until April 28. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB and FT8. QSL to home call.
MOLDOVA, ER. Ben, DL7UCX and Bernd, DL7VBJ are QRV as ER/home calls until April 15. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW and various digital modes. QSL to home calls.
PHILIPPINES, DU. Bodo, DF8DX will be QRV as DU1WQY/1 from Palawan Island, IOTA OC-128, from April 15 to 18. QSL to home call.
MARIANA ISLANDS, KH0. Antonio, AH0D is QRV from Saipan Island, IOTA OC-086. QSL direct to home call.
DENMARK, OZ. Special event station 5P0WARD will be QRV on April 18 to mark the 93rd World Amateur Radio Day. The station will be active with various call sign extensions. QSL via LoTW.
TUVALU, T2. Antoine, 3D2AG is QRV as T2AR from Funafuti, IOTA OC-015, until April 21. Activity is in his spare time on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, JT65 and FT8. QSL to home call.
PALAU, T8. Kazuhiro, JA7WFT and Shinichi, JI6IHG will be QRV as T88FT and T88IH, respectively, from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, from April 17 to 25. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to home calls.
EAST KIRIBATI, T32. Ken, KH6QJ will be QRV as T32AZ from Kiritimati Island, IOTA OC-024, from April 17 to 24. Activity will be on 20, 15 and 10 meters. This includes being an entry in the upcoming Worked All Provinces China contest. QSL to home call.
MICRONESIA, V6. Sho, JA7HMZ will be QRV as V63DX from Pohnpei Island, IOTA OC-010, from April 18 to 24. Activity will primarily be on 160 meters using FT8. QSL direct to home call.
VANUATU, YJ. Grant, VK5GR will be QRV as YJ0AG from Efate Island, IOTA OC-035, from April 16 to 30. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using some CW, SSB and various digital modes. This include being an entry in the upcoming SP DX RTTY Contest. QSL via M0OXO.
ROMANIA, YO. Special event station YR57GC is QRV until April 20 to commemorate the first manned space flight 57 years ago by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. QSL via YO8AXP.
KOSOVO, Z6. A group of operators will be QRV as Z66D from April 14 to 22. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 with several stations active. QSL via OK6DJ.
THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The ARRL SSB Rookie Roundup, Japan International DX CW Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, QRP ARCI Spring CW QSO Party, OK/OM DX SSB Contest, F9AA PSK Cup, New
Mexico QSO Party, Georgia QSO Party, North Dakota QSO Party, Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest, International Vintage HF Contest, WAB 3.5/7/14 MHz Data Modes and the Hungarian 80-Meter Straight Key CW Contest are scheduled for this weekend.
The Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest is scheduled for April 16.
The 222 MHz Spring Sprint is scheduled for April 17.
The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test and Phone Fray are scheduled for April 18.
The ARRL International Grid Chase runs during all of 2018.
Please see April QST, page 84, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest Web
Sites for details.
15th April – 1st 50MHz Contest – 09.00-12.00
19th April – 70MHz FMAC – 19.00-20.00
19th April – 70MHz UKAC – 20.00-22.30
21st/22nd April – 1st MGM Contest – 14.00-14.00
In one of the RSGB forums there has been discussion regarding VHF & UHF repeater use, especially in the digital domain.
Paul GW8IZR writes:
Sadly you need to be prepared to listen to hours on end of complete silence, punctuated by a few VERY short contacts ‘for fear of tying up the network’
Reply from John, G4SWX
This is one of the slightly disturbing results of the ‘digitalisation’ of UK repeaters:
1) They have divided the activity between FM+ Fusion, Dstar and DMR. All of which are pretty incompatible. Therefore amateurs with one system find low activity and don’t come on very much!
2) There are some that resent the networked clusters of repeaters being tied up and discourage others from doing so. Therefore activity drops.
3) The very cheap price of Chinese VHF/UHF hand held FM transceivers makes it very easy for new Novice amateurs to become active. Yet the FM activity is not there to keep their interest going. This should be of concern to everybody as new blood has almost dried up!
The end result has been a very drastic fall in 432MHz activity in the past 5 years or so despite the very large increase in the number of repeaters! This drop is far greater than has been seen on other bands and modes of activity! Some repeaters do not see much activity in a whole week! I am concerned as Ofcom do monitor 70cms and of all of our VHF/UHF bands it is the one that faces the greatest threat. Although ‘local chat’ is not my ‘cup of tea’ we do need activity to maintain our position with the regulator.
Amateur radio is about communication, it seems to me that the many ‘tongues’ of UHF voice have led to a situation of ever decreasing numbers of contacts because the different technologies are incompatible. If ever there was a ‘Tower of Babel’………….
From Paul, GW8IZR:
Yes John it is a concern. I have a DMR set in the car and monitor the network on many journeys and I have to say the number of contacts is minimal.
It is regrettable that the many factions cannot see i2i as it would be possible to link all of the technologies at the Internet level
At the moment all we have is many kilowatt hours of electricity being burned to no advance of technology or communication.
Internet linking and repeaters in general are not my thing, but in modern cars if you want to have some kind of radio with the simple antenna afforded by UHF it’s kind of the best option for a bit of company on long journeys (especially when Jeremy Vine is on)
In my terminal scan group I have the local UHF FM repeater and I’ve noticed that there are far more contacts on that than any of the numerous talk groups supported by the DMR repeater (they are co-sited) so it’s clear that the “band police“ active discouragement of the network occupation it’s having a detrimental effect.
Some food for thought when it’s so obvious that our own repeater GB3WO is grossly under-used and VHF/UHF activity in general seems to have hit an all time low. We owe it to ourselves to maintain activity, even if it’s to tell Ofcom that we do need the bands!