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

Weekly Bulletin – July 22 2017

Here is the latest update, Phil G4UDU

This week:

Chantry Post

There was about 10 club members attending – where are the rest !
Operation on HF and VHF – I was looking for the random 6m openings but all signals were in the noise.
Stations worked across EU
Roger brought along the “Request at the last minute” instant refreshment kit with the tea and biscuits – thank you.

Today – Saturday 22nd – Worthing Fire Station open day – please attend and assist/operate.

Radio band conditions:

Conditions ? Well I think they have been reasonable considering the Solar Indices, I have found no shortage of stations to work using CW, SSB and the new FT8 (see below)
40m Good Caribbean and SA traffic in the evenings
20m The long haul band – NA in the evenings and OC (KH6) in the early mornings
17m Usual spread of DX
15m Low activity
12,10m Sporadic E, very short term and intermittent openings
6m Good place to try the beaconing aspect of the FT8 mode, this has worked various South EU stations and an easy EA8 plus all the usual SSB and CW contacts plus loads of JT65 if you wanted to work it – band has been open up to 2300Z quite often.

Club Program:

22nd July – Worthing Fire Station open day

26th July Tea and Chat Evening

27th July G3GVB SK Surplus sale at Shoreham 2000 – 2100 – speak to a committee member for further details

2nd August Practical Evening – Building and testing Baluns and Transformers. Including a transformer for a 20m EFHW antenna.

A New DATA Mode:

Brief Description of the FT8 Protocol
WSJT-X Version 1.8.0 includes a new mode called FT8, developed by K9AN and K1JT. The mode name “FT8” stands for “Franke and Taylor, 8-FSK modulation”.

FT8 uses 15-second T/R sequences, provides 50% or better decoding probability down to -20 dB on an AWGN channel, and maintains good performance on Doppler-spread fading channels.

An auto-sequencing facility includes an option to respond automatically to the first decoded reply to your CQ. FT8 QSOs are 4 times faster than those made with JT65 or JT9.

FT8 is an excellent mode for HF DXing and for situations like multi-hop E_s on 6 meters, where deep QSB may make fast and reliable completion of QSOs desirable.

Some important characteristics of FT8:

– T/R sequence length: 15 s
– Message length: 75 bits + 12-bit CRC
– FEC code: LDPC(174,87)
– Modulation: 8-FSK, tone spacing 6.25 Hz
– Constant-envelope waveform
– Occupied bandwidth: 50 Hz
– Synchronisation: 7×7 Costas arrays at start, middle, and end
– Transmission duration: 79*1920/12000 = 12.64 s
– Decoding threshold: -20 dB; several dB lower with AP decoding
– Multi-decoder finds and decodes all FT8 signals in passband
– Optional auto-sequencing and auto-reply to a CQ response
– Operational behaviour similar to JT9, JT65

We plan to implement signal subtraction, two-pass decoding, and use of a priori (AP) information in the decoder. These features are not yet activated in v1.8.0.

We haven’t yet finalised what the three extra bits in the message payload will be used for. Suggestions are welcome!

— Joe, K1JT, for the WSJT Development Team
At the time of the v1.8.0-rc1 release the following tasks are yet to be completed:
1. Updates to WSJT-X User Guide.
2. Sample files for FT8.
3. Enhanced FT8 decoding using AP (“a priori”) information.
4. Signal subtraction and multi-pass decoding for FT8.
5. Option for FT8 to Auto-respond to the weakest responder to your CQ.

Announcement from Dorking Radio Club

If you want some “Outside radio” on the 25th July

The South Downs Evening

On Tuesday 25 July 2017 we will continue our annual tradition of radio experimentation on Devil’s Dyke above Brighton.

The aim will be to establish and run a 2 m station, commencing at 6 pm and operating until about 9 pm using G7DOR/P. All are encouraged to participate or to operate other stations on other frequencies.

Please come to Devils Dyke to participate in whatever way you wish. There is a pub with good food for sustenance.

David Browning – M6DJB
Programme Secretary
Dorking and District Radio Society (DDRS)

Club on the air nets, all times local:

Monday at 1930 on 145.425 MHz

Thursday at 1100 on 7.106 MHz

Saturday at 1900 on GB3WO (Club repeater)

Sunday at 0730 on 3.712 MHz

Propagation Report:

Average daily sunspot number this week declined just 1.7 to 26.6,
even though there were two days in the reporting week with no
sunspots, July 18 and 19. The blank sun condition continued at
least one more day on Thursday, July 20 which lands it on the first
day of the next reporting week, July 20 to 26.

Average daily solar flux was 85.9, down 1.1 from the previous week.

Average planetary A index rose 3.9 points to 13, average
mid-latitude A index rose from 9.6 to 10.9.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) on July 16 struck at 0545 UTC driving
the planetary A index to 41, and 27 the following day.

Predicted solar flux is 70 on July 21 to 27, 75 on July 28, 90 on
July 29 through August 11, 85 on August 12 and 13, 80 on August 14,
74 on August 15 to 19, 75 on August 20 to 24, and 90 on August 25 to
September 3.

Predicted planetary A index is 8, 12 and 8 on July 21 to 23, 5 on
July 24 through August 4, then 25, 10 and 8 on August 5 to 7, 5 on
August 8 to 14, 8 on August 15 and 16, then 15 and 12 on August 17
and 18, 5 on August 19 to 31, and 25, 10 and 8 on September 1 to 3.

F. K. Janda, OK1HH of the Czech Propagation Interest Group sent us
this geomagnetic activity forecast for the period July 21 to August
8, 2017

“Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on July 25 and 26, August 1 and 2
Mostly quiet on July 24, 27, 30 and 31, August 4, 8
Quiet to unsettled July 23, August 3
Quiet to active on July 21 and 22, 28 and 29, August 7
Active to disturbed on August 5 and 6

Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on
July 21, (23 and 24, 28 and 29), August 6 to 8.

DX News:

ARLD029 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by
KI1U, QRZ DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL,
Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web
sites. Thanks to all.

FIJI, 3D2. Bill, VK4FW is QRV as 3D2T from Viti Levu, IOTA OC-016,
until July 27. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 15 meters using
mainly CW. He plans to be active from some World Wide Flora and
Fauna areas as well. QSL to home call.

SAMOA, 5W. Roly, ZL1BQD will be QRV as 5W0RR from Apia from July 26
to August 15. Activity will be on the HF bands using mostly JT65
and possibly the new mode FT8. QSL to home call.

WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2. Members of the Kuala Lumpur DX Team will be QRV
as 9M4IOTA from Pangkor Island, IOTA AS-072, from July 22 to 24.
Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various
digital modes. QSL direct to 9M2OOO.

OMAN, A4. Members of the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society are QRV
as A43FD until July 22 during their Field Day event from Al Jabal Al
Akhdar. QSL via A47RS.

ANGOLA, D2. Paulo, CT1FJZ is QRV as D2FJZ from Luanda. Activity of
late has been on 20 meters using SSB. His length of stay is
unknown. QSL to home call.

LIBERIA, EL. Dickson, EL2DT has been active on 20 meters using CW
around 1900z. QSL to home call.

ECUADOR, HC. Special event station HD086QRC is QRV until July 23 to
celebrate the Quito Radio Club’s 86 years. Activity is on the HF
bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via HC1QRC.

WAKE ISLAND, KH9. Randy, WW6RG will be QRV as WW6RG/KH9 on July 24
on 20 meters using SSB and QRP power around 0330 to 0730z. QSL
direct to home call.

POLAND, SP. Special event station HF6TWG is QRV from Wroclaw until
July 30 during the 10th World Games. QSL via SP6PKO.

EGYPT, SU. Christian, DM4DX is currently living in Cairo until at
least November, and is QRV as SU0ERA from the Egyptian Radio
Amateurs Society station. He is also active as SU/DM4DX. Activity
is on 20 to 10 meters using SSB. QSL via operator’s instructions.

DODECANESE, SV5. Georgia, SV1QXU is QRV as SV5/SV1QXU from Rhodes,
IOTA EU-001, until July 24. Activity is holiday style on the HF
bands. QSL via operator’s instructions.

PALAU, T8. Ted, JA7XBG will be QRV as T88GA from July 22 to 30.
Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters. QSL to home call.

ICELAND, TF. Special event station TF15MOOT will be QRV from July
25 to August 2 during the 15th World Scout Moot from the Scout
Activity Centre in Ulfljotsvatn. QSL via operators’ instructions.

CAMEROON, TJ. Dan, TJ3PD has been active on 20 meters using SSB
around 1600 to 1700z. QSL via N2OO.

ASIATIC RUSSIA, UA0. A group of operators will be QRV as R66IOTA
from Popova Island, IOTA AS-066, from July 25 to 30. Activity will
be on 80 to 10 meters using only CW. This includes being an entry
in the upcoming RSGB IOTA contest. QSL via UA0LCZ.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, V2. Tim, VE6SH will be QRV as V29SH from
Jumbay Bay Island, IOTA NA-100, from July 23 to August 7. Activity
will be on 30 and 17 meters. QSL direct to home call.

MARSHALL ISLANDS, V7. After his Wake Island activity, Randy, WW6RG
will be QRV as V73/WW6RG from Kwajalein on July 26 from around 0330
to 0800z on 20 meters using SSB and QRP power. QSL direct to home

CANADA, VE. Mike, KI1U will be QRV as KI1U/VE9 from Grand Manan
Island, IOTA NA-014, from July 23 to 30. Activity will be on 40 to
10 meters using CW and various digital modes, including possibly the
new mode FT8, as well as possible activity on the FM satellites.
QSL to home call.

SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. Diya, YI1DZ is QRV as Z81D from Juba. Activity of
late has been on 40 meters using SSB. QSL via OM3JW.

Marion Island, IOTA AF-021, until May 2018 and has been active on 20
meters using SSB between 1200 to 1300z. QSL via ZS1LS.

Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, Scottish DX Contest and SA Sprint Contest
are all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The CWops Mini-CWT Test, Phone Fray and SKCC CW Sprint are scheduled
for July 26.

Please see July 2017 QST, page 82, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest
web sites for details.