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

Weekly Bulletin January 27 2017

WEEKLY BULLETIN  – 27 January 2017






Some improvement but must try harder.!




Just a lot of hot air.


Soldering ….as it is done in 21st century was a very instructive affair on Wednesday .

AlanGNX was infinitely patient demonstrating hot air gun soldering of 2mm size components which your humble scribe had not seen demonstrated before. “Blown away” was an apt description of several early attempts but perseverance earned its own reward.


I came away with two thoughts – “Stick to valve gear soldering, Bryan” and – “Andy’s not here tonight….. hope he’s not ill, he looked a bit peaky last week……. if anything happened to him we’d be silent under a pile of  solid state gear not working or – worse – in thrall to some anti-competition monopoly conglomerate or other     …..   maybe buy Andy some vitamin and tonic pills”


But then I cheered up.” I have enough valve gear to get on the air without a transistor in sight…..”  .so I saved my money and didn’t buy the pills but the AR88 is not now for sale .


On the reflector….the valuable practice of members instantly reporting interesting stations being heard, is growing. PhilUDU and KennNDZ both deserve our thanks for this.




Rallies this weekend.


Nil around here but  get limbered up for next weekend ….


  32nd Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally

  Sunday Feb 5th


The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, SS8 0JA.
Open 10:30 (08:30-traders). Trade. SIGs.  Free parking.
Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes.
Details: Vic Rogers, G6BHE, 07957-461694 or Dave Speechley, G4UVJ, 01268-697978,




Not for nothing have you all been urged to get QRV for 160m and preliminarily tested over Christmas. Probably one of the more “Fun” events of the year is :-


The CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW Contest starts tonight at 22.00 

(next month is the ‘fone’ version)





QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt,

NCCC Sprint CW Ladder,

Montana QSO Party,

REF CW Contest,


UBA SSB DX Contest

Winter Field Day


are all on this weekend.


See the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details


More on 160


Are you looking for an operating challenge? If so, we’ve got a double dose for you! Operating “top band” — 160 meters — is always a challenge, but with the promise of great DX when you “get it right.” Operating a contest is always a challenge as well, competing with other stations for every contact and then competing again for the highest score. The CQ World Wide 160-Meter Contest combines both as one of the most challenging operating events on the ham radio calendar each year, but with great opportunities to work new stations in new places and improve your operating skills. Your goal is simple — contact as many stations as you can in as many countries as you can within the 48-hour contest period (single-operator entries are limited to 30 hours of on-air time; multi-ops, 40). The CW weekend comes first, from 2200 UTC on Friday, January 27, through 2200 UTC on Sunday, January 29. The SSB weekend is a month later, from Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26, also from 2200-2200 UTC. Remember to abide by any frequency or power restrictions imposed by your country’s radio regulations.

,The contest exchange (the information you exchange with the other station) is also simple: A signal report in RS(T), and your location — either U.S. state or Canadian province, or CQ zone for stations outside the U.S. and Canada. (If you’re not sure of your CQ zone, visit .) There are several operating categories: Single-operator/high power (up to your country’s legal limit); single-op/low power (up to 150 watts); single-op QRP (no more than 5 watts); single-op assisted (high power only), and multi-operator (high power only). Single-op assisted and multiop stations may use passive spotting assistance such as a DX Cluster, spotting nets, or a CW Skimmer; all other single-op categories must be unassisted, using only what you hear on the band to locate and identify stations. Self-spotting or asking someone to post a spot for you is never allowed and may be grounds for disqualification. (Additional definitions and restrictions may be found in the complete rules, along with rules for remote operation.) Scoring is based on the number of contacts you make and where they’re located, as well as your number of multipliers, the total of states, provinces, and DX countries that you contact. If you’re a casual contester, don’t even worry about your score as it will be calculated for you by the contest robot when you upload your log. Serious competitors will want to find the right balance of contacts and multipliers to maximize their scores. (The complete rules have more details about points and multipliers.) After the contest, we encourage you to submit your log, even if you don’t think you have a chance of winning anything (you might be wrong!), as it will help our log-checking process. If you’ve used a logging program, it’s easy —just have the program output a Cabrillo file and email it either to <> or <>, depending on the weekend in which you’ve been operating. If there are problems with your log, the robot will send you an email telling you what needs attention; otherwise it will send you an email with a tracking/confirmation number. If you’ve logged on paper or don’t have internet access, paper/disk logs may be mailed to: CQ 160 Meter Contest, 17 W. John St., Hicksville, NY 11801 USA. Indicate CW or SSB on the envelope. Mailed logs must be postmarked by the deadline (see below). Logs must be submitted/postmarked within five (5) days after the end of the contest, February 3 and March 3, respectively. Hardship cases that require more time for log submission will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Email your request and reasons to <director@”” id=”yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1485515085066_17100″>. See the complete rules on the CQ website or the CQWW 160 website .




 Island activities : Malaya


Note : Prior to “Merdeka” (independence) Malaya stations used the prefix VS2. G3GVB was licensed as VS2FD for several years. It was wonderful to be a desirable DX station.


WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2. A group of operators will be QRV as 9M4LI from Lalang-Lalang Island, IOTA AS-072, from February 3 to 5. Activity will be on various HF bands and modes. QSL direct to 9W2NDQ.




Programme of club events 



The Sun


Ever since the ChrisVUE talk, his favourite star has been waking up :-

SUNSPOT SURPRISE: Barely visible only 24 hours ago, a new sunspot group big enough to swallow Earth is bubbling up through the solar surface. So far the active region poses no threat for strong solar flares, but this could change if its rapid growth continues.

HIGH-LATITUDE AURORA WATCH: A hole in the sun’s atmosphere is spewing a stream of solar wind toward Earth. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the stream arrives on Jan. 27-28. 



Above: New sunspot AR2629 photographed on Jan. 25th by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Earth inset for scale.





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



Weekly Comment


You can’t beat ‘proper’ radio. 0

New £3.8bn emergency communications network ‘could put lives at risk’ if it flops, report warns

Govt. ministers have embarked on a ‘high-risk’ scheme to replace the current Airwave radio system used by fire, police and ambulance crews.

In future, 999 crews will share a super-fast commercial 4G network run by mobile phone firm EE with the public.

But in a scathing report, the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee expressed concern about moving on to the controversial Emergency Services Network (ESN) because the ‘unproven technology’ risked potentially dangerous failures.

MPs are concerned that ENS, which will be used by the 105 police, fire and ambulance services in the UK, may not meet security needs.

The committee urged the Government to address ‘real security concerns’ about the communications network’s ability to function on the London Underground – to avoid the risk of call blackouts.


Radio Broadcasting


Caroline North is back this weekend live from the MV Ross Revenge on the River Blackwater Estuary near Bradwell, Essex.

Relayed on 1368 kHz with a transmitter power of 20kw from the Isle of Man.

According to Manx Radio’s website as well as being heard in the Isle of Man,

 the AM service is also audible in Southern Scotland, in the North West, in North Wales and in the West of Ireland and Northern Ireland. With suitable loops it should be possible in Sompting and Lancing. Also online worldwide.




Weekly message


160m, 160m, 160m





(PS.  As I watched ALOAL stagger into the hall on Wed, with heavy boxes of demo gear, this thought came to me  : “God bless the committee for all their hard work” )