The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

Club Members' News Page

 With all the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
      from Wirral, UK and around the World !

   Click for the RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

 

Looking for an archived News Item from last 12 months to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

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WADARC Christmas Night Out 2019

The weather is changing and Autumn is creaping in .. as we head towards moving the clocks backwards to GMT ..(not until am Sunday 27th Oct !)

Thoughts of Christmas, still a while away, also begin to come into our minds.  Gordom G8MMM is leading the field and as a result has been out to check-out the best locations for our 2019 Christmas Night Out this year. 

Your committee has decided on the Hinderton Arms again on the Chester High Road since they offer us the best all round options.  Free off-road parking, our own function room, and most importantly some great food.

Click on the following link for all the details and a chance to read through the mouth watering menu's.  Christmas Bash

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GB 2 JAM

Monday 14th October 2019

This coming weekend we have another BIG Club event.


This coming Friday (18th) to Sunday (20th) October is the Scouts
Jamboree On The Air and I have again secured the N.O.V. for the callsign GB 2 JAM.  In most countries the callsign JAM is reserved for the Scouting Headquarters so we usually have many stations trying to contact us across the bands.

We have also been fortunate that Irby Cricket Club have agreed to us using the club house to operate from and we know from previous year that the location is absolutely superb for H F operation with almost no R.F.interference.

We will be setting up from around 10:00 A.M. on Friday morning and I would appreciate any help that anyone can manage.

We already have some scouts coming to visit on Friday evening and will be on air until things quieten down on the bands.

On Saturday we will be on air all day, starting from around 9:00 A.M. and right through to the late evening.

The Cricket club building is in use on Sunday afternoon but we will be on air until around 11:00 A.M. after which any assistance with dismantling the station would be much appreciated as well.

If there is sufficient interest, I will arrange for some catering on Saturday night at a small cost so please let me know if you would like to participate in that. There will be coffee and tea laid on all weekend and there’s even the chance of an odd biscuit or two. During the times that the scouts are not there, we can even open up the bar.
If you can commit to a specific time then please let me know but if not, you are welcome to just pop in whenever and as often as you like throughout the weekend.
 
Can I also remind you that on Saturday we will also be servicing the antennas that are on the Cricket Club building so we will be able to go on air more often during our Wednesday Club evening meetings.

Simon, G6XHF Club Secretary

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Ham radio data network used in California Wildfires

Wednesday 16th October 2019

The ARRL reports the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) has been employed to monitor California wildfires

The ARRL story says:
Two separate groups took advantage of the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) to monitor wildfires in California.

The Mariposa Area Amateur Radio Organization (MAARO) used the Amateur Radio mesh to stream — via microwave — video from the Briceburg Fire near Yosemite National Park.

The Pleasant Valley Amateur Radio Club (PVARC) employed the AREDN mesh to stream video from the Saddle Ridge Fire near Los Angeles from a repeater site overlooking San Fernando Valley.

The Briceburg and Saddle Ridge fires are now under control, but archived streams are still available. This is the same network that was used to stream video from the Thomas and Woolsey fires in 2017 and 2018, respectively. — Thanks to Ben Kuo, AI6YR

Source ARRL
https://www.arrl.org/news/view/amateur-radio-emergency-data-network-employed-to-monitor-california-wildfires

AREDN
https://www.arednmesh.org/

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RSGB Convention: Digimode Powerpoint slides released

Wednesday 16th October 2019

Neil Smith G4DBN has released the PowerPoint slides for a talk he gave to the RSGB Convention titled 'I can HEAR it, why won’t it decode?' at the RSGB Convention

The slides cover what Aircraft Scatter does to a 144 MHz FT8 signal, Rainscatter and the multiple phase/frequency-shifted signals and cancellation effects caused by Ducts and other tropospheric phenomena.

Download the Powerpoint file from
http://www.g4dbn.uk/?p=1328

Neil G4DBN
https://twitter.com/g4dbn

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Friedrichshafen: Emergency Communications Meeting

Wednesday 16th October 2019

The 44th Ham Radio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen attracted 14300 visitors, among them around 27 Emergency Communicators from 14 countries who attended the IARU meeting for Emergency Communicators on Friday, June 21, 2019

On the IARU Region 1 site Greg Mossop G0DUB writes:

After the introduction and Region 1 report, there were interesting presentations followed by a good exchange of information in an Open Forum session which carried on beyond the official closing time of the meeting.

Mike SP9XWM and Cris SP7WME spoke about the use of new technology in exercises in Poland. There was then an Open Discussion on what use we could make of Satellites and other new modes for Emergency Communications. Discussing Low Earth Orbit as well as Geostationary satellites, HF conditions and weak signal message modes ( e.g. JS8call ).

Alberto IK1YLO spoke about the NEIFLEX ( North East Italian Flood Exercise ) European Exercise of 5/9 June 2018 followed by an update on their national DMR project. Ron 4X1IG presented on how emergency communications as being grown in Israel by using a ‘Contest as a drill’.

Oliver DL7TNY provided an introduction to AREDN data networks which got many attendees to look at the networks in practice on the DARCstand in the main hall.

An Open Forum was then followed by a short exercise on how we may respond to a power grid failure.

The presentations where possible are available at the bottom of this page with the content being the opinion of the presenters.

The next Ham Radio on the Bodensee is on June 26 – 28, 2020 and will include another emergency comms meeting.

These Friedrichshafen presentation slides are now available:
• IARU-R1 Emergency Communications Meeting report 2019
• Use of new technology in Poland 2019
• RNRE in NEIFLEX 2018 and DMR Update
• New Technologies
• Contest as a Drill
• AREDN Networks

Download the PDFs from
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/emergency-communications/1908-emergency-communications-meeting-friedrichshafen-2019

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BBC internet radio petition gathers pace

Wednesday 16th October 2019

A petition calling on the BBC to reinstate its internet radio stations to third-party apps has attracted nearly 2,000 signatures.

The petition is asking the broadcaster to reverse its decision to remove BBC stations from TuneIn, a popular app for listening to live internet radio.

The BBC removed its streams from the service at the end of September.

In a blogpost at the time, the BBC said that it was making the move because services like TuneIn do not allow it to collect data on its streams.

Kieran Clifton, the BBC's director of distribution and business development, said: "We want our programmes, products and services to be the best they can be. And a major way we ensure that is by using meaningful data. Data is more and more important – as it helps us to make more types of programmes we know people like, and equally importantly, identify gaps in our commissioning to ensure we’re making something for all audiences. We also use the data collected about what you watch, listen to or read online to offer personalised programme recommendations – and make our services even more tailored to you.

"When we make our programmes available via third parties, we ask that those platforms either allow you to sign into your BBC account – or provide us with meaningful data directly. Unfortunately, TuneIn doesn’t do either of these, so we couldn’t reach a data sharing agreement with them."

According to the petition, however, the move means that many listeners with digital radio devices can no longer listen to BBC stations.

The petition's creator, Julian Prokaza, said: "The changes mean that a great many new internet devices are now effectively obsolete for people who used them mainly to listen to BBC radio.

"The changes also do not abide by the BBC remit of 'making sure you can watch and listen to our programmes in ways that are both easy and convenient for you.'

"The BBC should restore its TuneIn streams immediately and maintain them at least until fully functional replacement services for affected devices are available."

Source:
https://www.prolificlondon
.co.uk/marketing-tech-news/other-media-news/2019/10/bbc-internet-radio-petition-gathers-pace

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Radio Caroline North - this weekend

Wednesday 16th October 2019

The Boat That Rocks will be rocking this weekend as we bring you another fabulous RADIO CAROLINE NORTH broadcast, LIVE from our historic radio-ship Ross Revenge on the River Blackwater.

We've got a great schedule of presenters lined up - JOHHNY LEWIS, NICK JACKSON, DAVE FOSTER, JERRY WRIGHT, PETER PHILIPS and STEVE ANTHONY - and they can't wait to bring you all the best music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, plus a few 90s classics too.

Our broadcast sponsor this month is The Vintage TV & Wireless Company, Norwich - and you can win money to spend in our web shop, thanks to our competition sponsor Compare Trade Finance.com of Wivenhoe.

Join us on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October on 648 AM in the South and South-East, on 1368 AM via Manx Radio in the North and North-West, online here, on your mobile, on smart speakers … we're everywhere!

We would love to hear from you – send your emails direct to the  Ross studios at memories@radiocaroline.co.uk during the broadcast.

http://radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 16th October 2019

Island activities:

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-014; CT3, Madeira Archipelago: Silva/EA1AP, EA1SA/Alberto, and Tony/CT1HTU will be active from San Jorge on Madeira Island (DIP MA-001, PIP MD-001, WLOTA 0053) between Oct. 18 and 26. QRV as CQ9A on 80 to 6m on CW, SSB, and FT8, with a focus on 60m. QSL via EA1AP (d), LoTW, ClubLog OQRS.

AS-147; JA8, Hokkaido's Coastal Islands: Makoto/JI5RPT will be signing JI5RPT/8 from Okushiri Island on Oct. 19 and 20. QRV on 630m (on JT9) to 10m. QSL via JI5RPT (d/B), ClubLog.

AS-206; JA1/2/7/0, Honsh's Coastal Islands East: A group of Japanese operators (JG1LFF/2, JG3DOR/2, JJ2ONH/2, and JR2NMA/2) plans to operate from Shino Island (Aichi prefecture) on Oct. 20 (ca. 01z to 0730z) on 80 to 6m (CW, SSB). QSL via homecall.

EU-023; 9H, Malta group: Rene/DL2JRM returns to Malta (WLOTA 1113, MIA MM-001) from the 18th to 22nd. QRV as 9H3YY, also during the Worked All Germany Contest. QSL via DL2JRM (d/B).

EU-039; F, Chausey Islands: Fabien/F4GYM and Pierre-Marie/F4FCE will be active from Grande Ile de Chausey between the 19th and 25th, signing their homecalls/p on 80-10m (SSB, CW, digital modes). QSL via h/c (d/B).

NA-018; OX, Greenland: Operators Thomas/OZ1AA, Bo/OZ1DJJ, Dave/OZ5DM, Mikkel/OZ7AKT, and Alex/OZ7AM operate as OX1AA, OX3LX, OX5DM, OX7AKT, and OX7AM from Kangerlussuaq between Oct. 22 and Nov. 1. QRV with 4 rigs on 160-10m on CW, SSB, and FT8. During the contest the group will use the callsign OX7A. QSL for OX3LX via OZ0J (d/B); all others via LoTW, ClubLog OQRS or via OZ1ACB. https://sites.google.com/view/greenland2018/home

OC-005; VK9, Norfolk Island: Mek/SP7VC (digital modes), Jacek/SP5EAQ (SSB), and Marcin/SP5ES (CW) activate Norfolk Island according to the following schedule: Oct. 18 to 28, SP7VC operates as VK9NC Oct. 18 to Nov. 4, SP5EAQ operates as VK9NE Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, SP5ES operates as VK9NG. VK9NE plans to participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. QSL for all calls via SP7VC (d/B), LoTW. http://vk9n-2019.dxing.pl/

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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BBC Essex Quest promotes JOTA 2019

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), where Scouts and Guides from all over the world make contact with each other through amateur radio, will take place this weekend, October 19-20

Every Sunday, the BBC local radio station for Essex runs an on-air treasure-hunt called the BBC Essex Quest. On Sunday, October 13, the BBC Essex Quest team visited Belchamps Scout Activity Centre in Hockley, to pick up a clue, where they spoke to scout leader Derek Hagan M0SCE.

Read the full Essex Ham report and listen to recordings from the BBC Essex Quest show at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/news/bbc-essex-quest-promotes-jota-2019.html

JOTA-JOTI https://jotajoti.scouts.org.uk/

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Hans Summers G0UPL receives first Homebrew Heroes Award

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Today, the Homebrew Heroes Award Program announced its first annual recipient, Hans Summers, G0UPL.

This annual award recognizes persons, groups or organizations who help define the frontiers in amateur radio technology through the long-standing tradition of “homebrew” construction. This is the first of the annual awards to be given by the new program, housed at the website address, homebrewheroes.org.

“Our Steering Committee sought the advice of an anonymous Selection Committee who surveyed the landscape of known homebrew designers in amateur radio. There are indeed many very deserving ones! But only one can be chosen each year. The Steering Committee was very pleased to accept this recommendation to make this first Award to Hans Summers G0UPL,” said Frank Howell K4FMH. Other Committee members are Martin Butler M1MRB and Colin Butler M6BOY. All three are affiliated with the ICQ Podcast (icqpodcast.com).

The Hero for 2019, Hans Summers stated, “To be the honouree for the first of these Homebrew Hero Awards is quite significant for me. I am humbled and, frankly, just blown away by it all. I’ve been sharing my homebrew work through my personal website at hanssummers.com for years now and my company, QRP Labs (qrp-labs.com), for just a few years. But the latter is my full-time work these days. To have these efforts publicly recognized in this way is so personally gratifying!”

Martin Butler, M1MRB from London added, “Hans has continually demonstrated to all with at least one eye open that the traditional homebrew craft and science is alive and well. I am glad that I was not part of the choosing process per se but I am very pleased to accept the recommendation.” “I’ve watched Hans Summers continue to innovate in his design of terrific homebrew kits and products that have made a fantastic impact on the amateur radio market place,” added Colin Butler M6BOY, of County Kilkenny, Ireland.

“The donated prizes to our Hero 2019 are beginning to arrive at Hans’ residence. These very supportive donors deserve note by those in the homebrew space when they consider their own purchases. As publisher of the ICQ Podcast, I am delighted for us to serve as the official promotional partner of this Awards Program,” Colin Butler continued.

Frank Howell K4FMH added, “Commercial companies making prize donations for this year include: Digilent Inc., a National Instruments Company; Siglent Ltd.; MFJ Enterprises; the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast; and Heil Sound. Other companies have expressed positive interest and are evaluating the right product to donate.”

The formal video presentation is available at the Award Program website, homebrewheroes.org. A longer audio feature interview is available in Episode 308 of the ICQ Podcast at icqpodcast.com.

For more information, press only:
Frank M. Howell
Contact page on Homebrew Heroes website
@frankmhowell (Twitter)

To contact the Award recipient, Hans Summers G0UPL, e-mail him for arrangements at hans.summers@gmail.com

For more information on the Hombrew Heroes Award:
https://homebrewheroes.org

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December is YOTA month

Tuesday 15th October 2019

The Region 1 Youth Working Group is excited to announce that our famous December YOTA Month will happen again this year.

We would like to invite you to take part with a call sign with YOTA in suffix. The idea for this is to show amateur radio to young people and to encourage youngsters to be active on the amateur bands. This is a great moment to show amateur radio to the world and to invite newcomers.

Diplomas can be achieved by working the various YOTA suffix special stations which are run by young operators throughout December! This is of course not a contest, but aimed at getting as many youngsters on air from as many countries as possible. The aim is that YOTA stations are in general operated by young people, with the age of maximum 25 years.

The event will take place from 00:00 UTC on 1 December 2019 to 23:59 UTC on 31 December 2019.

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The toxic tail of interstellar Comet Borisov

Tuesday 15th October 2019

For the first time, amateur astronomers are beginning to clearly see the tail of interstellar Comet Borisov, the first known active comet from another star system.

New measurements of gas in the tail show that 2I/Borisov is spewing cyanide--a possible clue to the nature of the comet's faraway home.

Visit Spaceweather.com for the full story

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AmateurLogic 135: Happy 14th Birthday ALTV

Monday 14th October 2019

October marks the 14th Anniversary of AmateurLogic.TV.

We celebrate the event by awarding one lucky viewer an Icom IC-7300 transceiver with all the accessories you need for a complete HF station.

Peter’s back for the party with an update on what he’s been up to and details of his Friedrichshofen Germany Hamfest visit.

Tommy has tips for easily configuring the MFJ-1234 RigPi Stations Server.
Why fatigue your ears unnecessarily? Get the noise out with Emile’s guide to proper RF Gain adjustment. Enjoy quick and friendly HF operation.

George has the details on how to combine a HF Transceiver with a SDR Play and MFJ SDR T/R Switch for complementary interaction.

1:49:44

Download

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ICQPodcast - Announcing Homebrew Hero 2019

Monday 14th October 2019

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Edmund Spicer M0MNG and Matthew Nassau M0NJX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is Homebrew Heroes.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS
We would like to thank David Reid (W6KL) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• OR Prefix Celebrates Belgium Princess Birthday
• US radio ham flies to UK to present First Class Operator Club Honor
• SOTA Mountain Goat Award
• Ofcom 2018/19 Annual Report
• GB3JV London TV Repeater
• Melbourne QRP by the Bay
• HAREC exams at HAMEXPO show 12 October 2019

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

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NASA spacecraft launches on mission to explore frontier of space

Monday 14th October 2019

After successfully launching Thursday night, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is in orbit for a first-of-its-kind mission to study a region of space where changes can disrupt communications and satellite orbits, and even increase radiation risks to astronauts.

A Northrop Grumman Stargazer L-1011 aircraft took off at 8:31 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying ICON, on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, to launch altitude of about 39,000 feet. The first launch opportunity around 9:30 was skipped due to communication issues between the ground team at Cape Canaveral and the aircraft. On the second attempt, the aircraft crew released its payload at 9:59 p.m. EDT and automated systems on the Pegasus rocket launched ICON, a spacecraft roughly the size of a refrigerator, into space.

The spacecraft’s solar panels successfully deployed, indicating it has power with all systems operating. After an approximately month-long commissioning period, ICON will begin sending back its first science data in November.

ICON will study changes in a region of the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. In addition to interfering with communications signals, space weather in the ionosphere can also prematurely decay spacecraft orbits and expose astronauts to radiation-borne health risks. Historically, this critical region of near-Earth space has been difficult to observe. Spacecraft can’t travel through the low parts of the ionosphere and balloons can’t travel high enough.

“ICON has an important job to do – to help us understand the dynamic space environment near our home,” said Nicola Fox, director for heliophysics at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “ICON will be the first mission to simultaneously track what’s happening in Earth’s upper atmosphere and in space to see how the two interact, causing the kind of changes that can disrupt our communications systems.”

ICON explores the connections between the neutral atmosphere and the electrically charged ionosphere with four instruments. Three of the instruments rely on one of the upper atmosphere’s more spectacular phenomena: colorful bands called airglow.  

Airglow is created by a similar process that creates the aurora – gas is excited by radiation from the Sun and emits light. Though aurora are typically confined to extreme northern and southern latitudes, airglow happens constantly across the globe, and is much fainter. But it’s still bright enough for ICON’s instruments to build up a picture of the ionosphere’s density, composition and structure. By way of airglow, ICON can observe how particles throughout the upper atmosphere are moving.

ICON’s fourth instrument provides direct measurements of the ionosphere around it. This instrument characterizes the charged gases immediately surrounding the spacecraft.

“We put as much capability on this satellite that could possibly fit on the payload deck,” said Thomas Immel, the principal investigator for ICON at the University of California, Berkeley. “All those instruments are focused on the ionosphere in a completely new science mission that starts now.” 

ICON’s orbit around Earth places it at a 27-degree inclination and altitude of about 360 miles. From there, it can observe the ionosphere around the equator. ICON will aim its instruments for a view of what's happening at the lowest boundary of space, from about 55 miles up to 360 miles above the surface. This rapid orbit circles Earth in 97 minutes while precessing around the equator, allowing ICON to sample a wide range of latitude, longitude and local times.

ICON is an Explorer-class mission. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorer Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The University of California at Berkeley developed the ICON mission and the two ultraviolet imaging spectrographs, Extreme Ultra-Violet instrument and the Far Ultra-Violet instrument.

The Naval Research Laboratory in Washington developed the Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging instrument. The University of Texas in Dallas developed the Ion Velocity Meter. The spacecraft was built by Northrop Grumman in Dulles, Virginia. The Mission Operations Center at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory is tasked with operating the ICON mission.   

For more information on ICON, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/icon

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It's the best radio club in the UK

Monday 14th October 2019

It’s official. The Hilderstone Radio Society is the best radio club in the United Kingdom! The Radio Society of Great Britain gave the club the award at a radio convention.

Phil Challans received the prize radio worth £1000. The club is very active by putting on special amateur radio events such as for the RNLI in May. They train new members to gain their amateur radio licence. Also they help brownies, scouts and guides gain their radio communications badge.

Thanks to the club, schools in Thanet were fortunate enough to speak to Tim Peake when he was on the International Space Station. Therefore the Hilderstone Radio Society is keen to continue its efforts with schools and the local community.

If you would like to learn more about the hobby and electronics contact Ian the secretary on secretary@g0hrs.org

Full story with pictures at:
https://theisleofthanetnews.com/2019/10/13/thanet-community-news-awards-litter-picking-silver-sunday-first-responders-and-more/

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Mysterious chirps in 80m band

Sunday 13th October 2019

The latest IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports on the mysterious chirps on 3510 kHz USB that have been noted every evening since September 25

DK2OM and HB9CET report they cover about 3 kHz and DFing suggests the source is in the area of Voronezh (Воронеж) in the Russian Federation but the purpose is unknown.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 September 2019 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2019/news1909.pdf

Recordings of military transmissions can be found on the Signal Identification Guide Wiki at
https://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Category:Military

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at
http://www.websdr.org/

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)
https://www.iarums-r1.org/

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Request from Secklow Sounds to change its Key Commitments

Sunday 13th October 2019

We are consulting on a request from Milton Keynes-based community radio station, Secklow Sounds, to change its ‘key commitments’.

A station’s key commitments form part of its broadcasting licence. They include the character of the service, its required programming, and accountability to listeners in the local area. 

Secklow Sounds’ request includes proposals to significantly reduce its hours of original programming, and change its playlist to include music from the 1960s onwards, instead of the 1930s onwards as it does currently.

While we are minded to approve these changes, we are first seeking views from interested or affected parties, including listeners in the Milton Keynes area, before making our final decision. Responses must be submitted by 5pm on 8 November 2019

Read more

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St. Lucia

Sunday 13th October 2019

Jay, AA4FL, will be active as J6/AA4FL between October 21-28th.

His main visit to the island is primarily as a member of the J68MD CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 26-27th) team.

The team members are of "The Medical Amateur Radio Council" (home club callsign WB5D). For J68MD QSLs see info on their QRZ page.
Jay states the following on his QRZ.com page about his activity outside of the contest:

"I will be doing OSCAR satellite operation by schedule as we are visiting vacation style in varying locations. My schedule needs to take into account my shifts as a team member of the CQWW J68MD team. E-mail me to coordinate both FM simple SATs and SSB linear transponder bird QSO schedules. Radios will be a FT-817ND and FT-818ND for full duplex operation using an Arrow II antenna.

"During Oct. 19-21st, my operations will be satellite only from the Gros Islet area (FK94mb) and Pigeon Island (FK94mc). Signal Peak at Pigeon Island is where in the 1700's the British signaled ships with fires and lanterns and spied on the French in Martinique.

"My QTH from 10/21 to 10/28 will be the Villa Grand Piton just north of Soufriere in Grid FK93lu. For J6/AA4FL contacts QSL to my home call. I will submit contacts by LoTW, the preferred mode of confirmation. Paper card submissions should be accompanied by - a SASE for USA stations - a SAE and 2 USDs for stations outside the USA."

OPDX

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Sunday 13th October 2019

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 6th October, through Sunday, 13th October there were 212 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 7P, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, ST, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T32, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, XZ, YA, YB, YJ, YL, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZK3, ZL, ZP, ZS

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Sunday 13th October 2019

Island activities:

AS-066. Operators Vladimir/UA0LCZ and UD0LEN are once again active as UA0LCZ/P from the Island of Popov (WW Loc. PN52UX), Asiatic Russia, until October 14th. Activity will be on the following suggested frequencies: 3507, 7007, 10107, 14017 and 18077 kHz. QSL via UA0LCZ, by the Bureau or direct: Vladimir Miroshnichenko, P.O.Box 41-21 Vladivostok-41, 690041, RUSSIA.

AS-206. (Change Due To Typhoon Hagibis) Members of the Nara DX Association will be active as JK3ZXK/2 from Suga Island between November 2-4th. Operators mentioned are Tosy/JA3FGJ, Hid/JA3KGF and Joe/JJ3PRT. Activity will be on 40-17 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. They will focus on EU and NA. QSL via a famous YL DXer JP3AYQ direct only. No Bureau.

EU-024. Tibor, OM3RM, will once again be active as IS0/OM8A from Sardinia, but this time during the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 26-27th) as a Single-Op/All-Band/High-Power entry. QSL via OM2VL.

EU-031. Jim, N6TJ, will be active as IO8T from the Island of Ischia during the CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 26-27th) as a Single- Op/All-Band entry. QSL via N6TJ.

EU-175. Operators Torsten/DG0OHD, Rocco/DG5AA, Rich/DK8YY, Hans/DL1AOB, Dieter/DL1AWD, Andi/DL7ZZ and Lu/DL8ALU should now be active as CT8/homecalls from Graciosa Island, Azores, until October 21st. The team will be active as CR2Y during the Worked All Germany Contest (WAG) on October 19-20th.
QSL CR2Y via DH7WW or OQRS. QSL all others via their home callsigns.

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Live streaming of AMSAT-UK Colloquium talks

Saturday 12th October 2019

The AMSAT-UK Colloquium takes place this weekend in Milton Keynes and the talks will be streamed live to a global audience

The talks will start at 09:30 am BST on Saturday, October 12, and can be viewed at https://batc.org.uk/live/amsat2019

For the talk schedule see the Lecture Room 5 stream at
https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/rsgb-convention-programme/

AMSAT-UK: https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook: https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube:
https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

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VK Licence Conditions changes

Saturday 12th October 2019

Several weeks have gone by since the Licence Conditions Changes and still we see on social media and hear on the bands hams just realising some of the changes.

In summary, from the article dated September 29 on wia.org.au :

'The WIA is pleased to see the significant changes to the Foundation Licence class to modernise its appeal and relevance today.

All in all, a great result for the entry-level licence.

Go get digital!

The relaxation of emission and bandwidth restrictions are also welcomed for all licence classes.

These changes, albeit limited todate, are the culmination of persistent work by the WIA with the regulator in various consultations that started in 2014. We also acknowledge the many submissions made by individual amateurs and also various amateur radio clubs. During that time, the WIA has initiated multiple member surveys, the last in 2018 and actively sought feedback from its members.

The last WIA consultation submission to the ACMA was a joint submission in conjunction with ALARA, ARNSW and ARVIC and had the direct support of many of the WIA Affiliated clubs.

There is more work to do to maintain the current momentum, especially with the 5 MHz band access and potentially a high power endorsement approach for Advanced licences to overcome potential EME and EMI concerns by the ACMA.

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED?

All restrictions on emission modes have been removed for all licensees

Restrictions on permitted transmission bandwidths have been removed for all licensees across all bands allowed for each licence class, with the exception of the 2200 metre and 630 metre bands, which only Advanced licensees can use;

Restrictions to the 3.X GHz band, which affect only Advanced licencees.

ALL license classes now have the same spectral power density limits of 1 watt per 100 KHz for wide bandwidth transmissions. The definition of wide bandwidth is band specific. This covers, for example, ATV / DTV and Spread Spectrum modes.

Read more here
Wireless Institute of Australia

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5-day Calypso Bay visit

Saturday 12th October 2019

John, W5JON, will once again be active as V47JA from his Calypso Bay, St. Kitts, West Indies vacation home, located 200 feet from the Caribbean Sea, between October 16-22nd.

Activity will be on 160-6 meters (incl. 60m) using SSB and FT8.

Equipment is a Yaesu FT1000MP, FT857D and an Elecraft KPA500 Amplifier.

John states his antennas are a Mosley Mini32A 10/15/20m, 33' Vertical 10-40m, 35' Top Loaded 80m Vertical, 160m Vertical and 6m 5 element Yagi.

ALL QSLs go to W5JON direct or via LoTW. NO Bureau QSLs.

John states to OPDX, "Just a quick five day visit to get the QTH ready for V49V Contest Group's operation in the CQWW SSB Contest (Oct. 26/27)"

OPDX

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Fernando de Noronha Island

Saturday 12th October 2019

Members of the Noronha Contest Group will be active as PY0F from Fernando de Noronha Island (SA-003) during the CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 26-27th), possibly as a Multi-Single/High-Power entry but not yet decided.

The team will be active between October 22-29th.
There will be some activity during the week before the contest on 160-10 meters (as time allows; maintenance) using mainly SSB and FT8.

QSL via PY7RP direct or ClubLog's OQRS. No Bureau. All QSOs will be uploaded to LoTW.

For more details and updates, see: https://py0f.wordpress.com

OPDX

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Amateur radio operator faces fine for blocking other amateurs

Friday 11th October 2019

The In Compliance website report a New York amateur radio operator is facing the prospect of a major fine from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for deliberately interfering with other radio amateur operations.

The case against Harold Guretzky of Richmond Hill (Queens), NY is outlined in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued by the FCC in early October. According to the Notice, Guretzky repeatedly caused interference to a nearby amateur repeater in 2017 and 2018, thereby preventing other amateur licensees from using the repeater and prompting the filing of “numerous” complaints with the Commission.

Despite several verbal and written warnings from agents of the Enforcement Bureau, Guretzky continued to interfere with the repeater until at least December 2018. In addition to preventing other amateur radio operators from conducting legitimate communications, Guretzky also reportedly made threatening comments to other operators. These actions led to the Commission’s decision to propose a penalty in the amount of $17,000 against Guretzky in connection with his violations of FCC rules.

Read the Commission’s Notice of Apparent Liability in connection with Guretzky.
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-989A1.pdf

Source:
https://incompliancemag.com/amateur-radio-operator-faces-fine-for-blocking-other-amateurs/

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Japan's Class 4 ham radio licence

Friday 11th October 2019

Japan introduced its entry level Class 4 licence in the the late 1950's, it would prove to be the world's most successful category of amateur radio licence, taken by over 3 million people

The work required to get a Class 4 licence is less than that needed for UK Foundation. It takes about 10 hours study and unlike the UK Foundation there are no Practical Assessments just a short multiple choice test at the end of the course. It seems pass rates of 97% or higher are commonplace.

A Class 4 licence permits the following:
• 1 watt EIRP on 135 and 472 kHz
• 10 watts output on 1.9, 3.5, 7, 21, 24, 28 MHz bands
• 20 watts output on 50, 144 and 430 MHz bands
• Varying power levels between 10 watts and 0.1 watts on ALL amateur bands between 1240 MHz and 250 GHz.

It is notable that Japan gives their Entry Level Licence class full access to all the Microwave and Millimetric bands.

Japanese call signs, licence conditions and statistics
http://www.motobayashi.net/callsign/enigma/index.html

Japanese Operator Statistics
http://www.ah0a.org/MPT/JA-Op's.html

JARL in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/JapanJARL

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Air Cadets Exercise Blue Ham

Friday 11th October 2019

The next Exercise will take place during the 12th – 13th October 2019 – Expected Operating Times 08:00 to 17:00 – UTC.

You will find some stations may only be on air on one of the days either in the morning or afternoon, these are known as ‘Pop Up Stations’.

Please note:- If you are operating on 5398.5kHz you MUST change to another available frequency by 14.30hrs UTC on the Sunday as the GB2RS Weekly News Bulletin will be read out to all Radio Amateurs from 15:00hrs on this frequency. Do not tune up or operate until this station has announced that the frequency is clear for use.

https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham/

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BBC TV on Devon school's ham radio contact with ISS

Friday 11th October 2019

On October 8 the BBC TV show Spotlight featured an item about the amateur radio contact between pupils at Bampton Primary School (GB4BPS) and astronaut Drew Morgan KI5AAA (NA1SS) on the ISS

A video of that segment of Spotlight has been shared on YouTube.

Watch BBC Spotlight - Bampton School, Devon talking to ISS-Astro Drew Morgan NA1SS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAZm3FJazR8

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The Space Weather Woman

Friday 11th October 2019

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Latest ITU News Magazine

Friday 11th October 2019

The latest ITU News Magazine it's all devoted to Spectrum Managing and, among many other, there is an article from David Sumner K1ZZ about Amateur Radio perspective and concerns on the near future (WRC-19).

https://www.itu.int/en/itunews/Documents/2019/201905/2019_ITUNews05-en.pdf

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Can online ham radio exams improve accessibility?

Friday 11th October 2019

It's been estimated that since the introduction of UK Foundation in 2002 some 40% of local clubs have run training courses, but what if you live in areas served by the other 60% ?

The short answer is you have to be prepared to travel if you want to get started in amateur radio.

Maybe it's no big deal if you have a car and are fortunate to have several clubs within a 30 minute drive of your home but for many the nearest club that can do the Foundation Practical Assessments and multiple choice exam may be a 60 minute drive away.

There was a recent case of someone driving 200 miles each-way, from Wales to Essex, in order to do the Practical Assessments and Exam. All that just to get started in the hobby.

It's clear that something is needed to supplement what is essentially a club-based training and exam system so that those living in much of the UK have the opportunity to take up the hobby.

One way around this is to take advantage of the internet to provide not just training but also the exams online. An obstacle standing in the way of this is the Mandatory Practical Assessments.

Practicals may be a very good way of teaching certain aspects of the hobby but they are by no means the only way to do so. Removing the Mandatory aspect of these Assessments would give all course providers flexibility in how subjects are taught and enable all aspects of Foundation to be examined online.

Trevor M5AKA

RSGB Course and Exam Finder
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/course-exam-finder/

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One month until the transit of Mercury

Friday 11th October 2019

Mark your calendar. One month from today, the tiny black form of Mercury will cross the disk of the sun--a rare transit that happens only 13 times each century.

Start planning now so you can witness this beautiful event on Nov. 11, 2019.

Visibility maps and observing tips are featured on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

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Norfolk Island operation

Friday 11th October 2019

Operators Jacek SP5EAQ (VK9NE), Mek SP7VC (VK9NC) and Marcin SP5ES (VK9NG) will be active from Norfolk Island (OC-005) between October and November.

All three operators will have different lengths of stay on the island: SP5EAQ (October 18th-November 4th), SP7VC (October 18-28th) and SP5ES (October 28th-November 4th).

Activity will be on various HF bands.
Modes: Jacek/SP5EAQ (SSB exclusively); Mek/SP7VC (Digital modes) and Marcin/SP5ES (CW). Jacek/ SP5EAQ will participate in the CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 26-27th).

QSL Manager will be SP7VC (direct, by the Bureau or LoTW).
Jacek, SP5EAQ, informed that the Internet access on the island will be very limited, so it will be a problem to have real time online logs. However, if possible the logs will uploaded in batches to a database which will be available online. So there will be some delay.

For more details and updates, visit their Web page at:
http://vk9n-2019.dxing.pl

OPDX

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The American Radio Relay League's round-up of the forthcoming week's DX activity on the amateur radio bands

Friday 11th October 2019

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by HK6O, 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.

ZAMBIA, 9J. Mario, IK1MYT is QRV as 9J2MYT from Lusaka until June 2020. Activity is on 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters. QSL to home call.

AZORES, CU. Operators DG0OHD, DG5AA, DK8YY, DL1AOB, DL1AWD, DL7ZZ and DL8ALU will be QRV as CT8/home calls from Graciosa Island, IOTA EU-175, from October 13 to 21. During the upcoming Worked All Germany contest they will be active as CR2Y. QSL CR2Y via DH7WW and all others to home calls.

GUADELOUPE, FG. Philippe, F1DUZ will be QRV as FG4KH from October 14 to 29. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using SSB and FT8. QSL to home call.

MAYOTTE, FH. Willy, DJ7RJ will be QRV as FH/DJ7RJ from October 15 to November 3. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

COLOMBIA, HK. Special event station 5K6MZL is QRV from Manizales until October 14 in celebration of the 170th anniversary of the city of Manizales. Activity is on 160 to 2 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via bureau. In addition, look for special event stations 5J500LDV, 5J500L, 5J500D and 5J500V to be QRV from October 16 to 30 in remembrance of 500 years of the passing of Leonardo da Vinci. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via bureau.

SAN ANDRES AND PROVIDENCIA, HK0. A large group of operators will be QRV as 5K0K from San Andres Island, IOTA NA-033, from October 15 to 30. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via OK6DJ.

JAPAN, JA. Markus, DJ4EL will be QRV as JR6/DJ4EL from Yomitan, Okinawa, IOTA AS-017, from October 13 to 25. Activity will be on 20 meters. He also plans to visit other islands and maybe be active on other bands as well. QSL to home call.

SVLBARD, JW. Operators Erling, LA6VM, Halvard, LA7XK and Just, LA9DL are QRV as JW6VM, JW7XK, and JW9DL, respectively, from Longyearbyen, IOTA EU-026, until October 14. They will be active as JW5X in the Scandinavian Activity SSB contest. QSL JW5X via LA5X and all others to home calls.

NETHERLANDS, PA. Special event station PH100ADL is QRV until the end of 2019 to commemorate the first commercial flight in the Netherlands 100 years ago. Activity is on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via bureau.

PALAU, T8. Operators JH7IPR, JQ6FQI and JA6KYU are QRV as T88UW, T88WM and T88HS, respectively, from Koror, IOTA OC-009, until October 16. Activity is on the HF bands and 6 metersd using CW, AM, SSB, FSK, FT8 and FT4. This includes being an entry in the Oceania DX CW contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

ASIATIC RUSSIA, UA0. Vlado, UA0LCZ is QRV as UA0LCZ/p from Popov Island, IOTA AS-066, until October 14. Activity is on 80 to 17 meters using CW. QSL to home call.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, V4. John, W5JON will be QRV as V47JA from St. Kitts, IOTA NA-104, from October 16 to 22. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using SSB and FT8. QSL direct to home call.

BERMUDA, VP9. Josh, W9HT will be QRV as W9HT/VP9 from Hamilton Parish from October 12 to 15. Activity will be on the HF bands and 6 meters. QSL to home call.

SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. James, Z81C is QRV from Juba while working for a non-governmental organization for the next 18 months. Activity is mostly on SSB. QSL via operator's instructions.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The Makrothen RTTY Contest, Oceania DX CW Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, QRP ARCI Fall CW QSO Party, Nevada QSO Party, Microwave Fall Sprint, SKCC Weekend CW Sprintathon, Scandinavian Activity SSB Contest, Pennsylvania QSO Party, Arizona QSO Party, FISTS Fall Unlimited CW Sprint, South Dakota QSO Party, PODXS 070 Club 160-Meter Great Pumpkin Sprint, UBA ON 80-Meter CW Contest and UBA ON 6-meter Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint and RSGB 80-Meter Autumn CW Series are scheduled for October 14.

The CWops Mini-CWT Test and Phone Fray are scheduled for October 16.

The Canadian National Parks on the Air, CNPOTA, operating event runs for the entire year of 2019, with special stations active from Canada's parks and historic sites.

Please see October QST page 90, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Pitcairn Island DXpedition

Thursday 10th October 2019

On September 29th, the following was posted on the Pitcairn Island DXpedition VP6R Web page

We are pleased to announce our pilot station network for the Pitcairn Island DXpedition.
Our pilot station system is in place to relay your reports, concerns, and advise to us through our pilot stations. Initially, the information most important to us will be when we are being heard in your area. This is especially true if there are openings to more than one geographical area at the same time and one of those areas has strong signals that obscure stations calling from the other areas. We need to attend to those weaker signals and your reports will help us do that.

With time your band and mode needs will be relayed to us through our system. Constructive criticism is welcome as well. Our system is somewhat "Eurocentric," with north, south, east, and western Europe each having a representative in our system. We do this because needs for a VP6 contact are greater in Europe and European signals may be "under" stronger signals from other geographical areas.

Our chief and North American pilot is Jerry, WB9Z. He will be supported by JJ3PRT, OG2M, R7LV, G3XTT, EA3AKP, IK0FVC, NP4G, ZS1C, and ZL3IO.
Please go to our Pilots and Off-Island Team Members page for more details. We want you in our log and we want you to have fun working us.

On October 3rd, the following was also posted: We have added Lance, W7GJ, to our off island team. He will be our EME pilot, helping to maximize our effectiveness on 6 meter EME.

We have also formalized our FT8 protocol. You can find the details on the "How to Work VP6R" page. Read and study them carefully. We also suggest you use the link on this page to read "The FT8 DXpedition User Guide" by Joe Taylor, K1JT.

https://pitcairndx.com/news-and-updates

OPDX

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Comoros Island DXpedition

Thursday 10th October 2019

Members of the Mediterraneo DX Club (MDXC) will be active as D68CCC from Comoros Island (AF-007) between October 21st and November 2nd.

The following was posted on their FaceBook page October 1st:

Here we are! Yes just few steps more and the multinational team of the Mediterraneo Dx Club is ready to fire the radios with their signals from Comoros Islands under the callsign of D68CCC.

Their usual inter-national DXped will be on air from 21st October to 1st November. The leader IZ8CCW and the co-leader I2VGW are checking once again all items and so you make the same at home and be ready.

Donation will be very very welcomed and QSL via IK2VUC.
Official site:
www.mdxc.org/d68ccc

OPDX

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DXCC Most Wanted

Thursday 10th October 2019

The 'DXCC Most Wanted' entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of October 2nd.

The list contains 340 entities. The following are the top 10 entities:

1. P5 DPRK (North Korea)
2. 3Y/B Bouvet Island
3. FT5/W Crozet Island
4. BS7H Scarborough Reef
5. CE0X San Felix Islands
6. BV9P Pratas Island
7. KH7K Kure Island
8. KH3 Johnston Island
9. FT5/X Kerguelen Island
10. 3Y/P Peter 1 Island

No changes this month. The complete "DXCC Most Wanted" entities list
is available at:
https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

OPDX

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Mobile Matters: new Ofcom research on how people use their mobile phones

Thursday 10th October 2019

Ofcom research on how people use their mobile phone sheds new light on people’s experiences of making calls and getting online on the move.

Ofcom’s Mobile Matters report analyses how around 150,000 people used their Android phone between 1 January and 31 March 2019 – helping Ofcom to understand mobile users’ changing needs.

The research compared how long people in 10 major UK cities spend on conversations from their mobile. Liverpudlians came top, spending almost seven minutes on the average call – more than 40% longer than Londoners, who came second; and twice as long as people in Bradford, who had the shortest conversations. 

Other findings show that a quarter of people made less than five mobile calls a month, with 6% of people not making any standard mobile calls at all.

The research highlights that people spend most of their time online connected to Wi-Fi (69%), rather than using 3G or 4G. This helps explain why more than half of us (60%) use less than 1 gigabit (GB) of mobile data a month, and only one in 10 (10%) use 5GB or more. 

Ofcom has today published a published a new online guide offering help and advice for people who struggle for mobile reception at home. 

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New UK Entry Level Licence proposed

Wednesday 9th October 2019

RSGB VHF Manager John Regnault G4SWX has set out his proposal for a new Entry Level amateur radio licence

John's proposal was posted on the RSGB-Workshop reflector and this copy of the post has been provided with his permission:

There has been lots of discussion on this reflector and elsewhere from amateurs that do not think that the hobby should be allowed to change because they like things the way that they imagined that they used to be!

The basic FACT is this reluctance to change, the desire to involve radio clubs (stranglehold?) in the exam process and a number of elected RSGB people who are afraid of what the membership might think is assisting the hobby along to a slow death.

I have a really hard job justifying the VHF/UHF bands based on their current usage. Yet I have amateurs saying that we need more repeater channels when many of the repeaters in operation are rarely used.

There is an increasing need to attract a greater number of younger age people into amateur radio. The current 3 tier licence regime; Foundation, Intermediate, Full, whilst it is maintaining a steady annual number of candidates has, over recent years seen a marked decline in attracting younger people. In 2006 25% of Foundation exam candidates were under 21 years of age by 2013 this had declined to 14%, today it is even lower.

I am a highly technical radio amateur, yet I see plenty of room for people in the hobby with no technical skills whatsoever. The amateur radio hobby embraces aspects of both technology and personal development in communications. To date the amateur examination has required all candidates to demonstrate an understanding of radio technology which might be appropriate as the amateur licence permits modification and manufacture of transmitting equipment. This technical requirement can be a significant perceived barrier to younger people who otherwise would like to investigate radio communications beyond the capabilities offered by licence free CB or PMR446 transceivers. There are many other facets of the hobby that are about communicating and personal development in communications rather than building and modifying radio equipment. Technical skills, just as operating procedures, Morse if you like, can be learnt once somebody is hooked into the hobby.

So how about this: A Proposal for a Beginner Amateur Licence

A low-power VHF/UHF (144/430 MHz) entry class 'Beginner Amateur’ licence

• Targeted at newcomers and offering opportunity for involvement by youth organisations.
• Amateur Callsigns  
• A relatively simple online examination with a pass certificate issued by the RSGB.
• A clear path for further progression with the online ‘Beginner’ exam being accepted as exemption/credits for part of the Foundation exam
• Equipment to be used will be limited to low power, 5W output, <25W ERP, CE approved VHF/UHF FM/Digital Voice transceivers. (To protect other users of the VHF spectrum in the UK and nearby nations)
• Equipment to be unmodified
• Abuse identified by AROS will result in licence revocation
• Callsigns issued to use an additional letter to clearly identify ‘Beginner ‘licensees.
• ‘Beginner’ licensees to be permitted to operate amateur club stations under supervision of a full licensee.
• Process administered by RSGB with weekly updates provided to Ofcom
• Launch initiated by RSGB including outreach by local radio clubs to forge links with youth organisations.
• RSGB to investigate whether ‘Beginner’ amateur licence could be accepted as part of personal development and training by established youth organisations (Scouts, Air Cadets etc)
• Minimal cost of administration for Ofcom
• The training and development of communications skills by young people taking up a ‘Beginner’ amateur license will ensue additional benefit to ‘UK plc’.

John G4SWX


The RSGB-Workshop is an Open Group - anyone can contribute - you can see John's post and join the group at
https://groups.io/g/RSGB-Workshop/message/1080

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Devon school's ISS contact

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Essex Ham reports on the successful Amateur Radio contact between Bampton School in Devon (GB4BPS) and astronaut Drew Morgan KI5AAA (NA1SS) on the ISS that took place on October 8

Essex Ham's Pete M0PSX says "it’s always great to hear an ISS contact with a school. I’m lucky enough to have been present for two scheduled ISS contacts, and also to interview Kenneth N5VHO, NASA ARISS coordinator. I still get a buzz hearing the start of a live contact. Today’s [Oct 8] has a slightly special extra connection too."

Read the Essex Ham story and listen to a recording of the contact at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/news/iss-contact-08-oct-2019.html

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/
https://twitter.com/amsat-uk

The AMSAT-UK Colloquium takes place on October 12-13 as part of the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes, all welcome, details at
https://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

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Vital work of WWV at Fort Collins, Colorado

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Broadcaster KUNC reports that a little-known radio station in Fort Collins might one day save the world

An array of radio towers sits behind security fences amid farms and pastures north of Fort Collins. This is home to WWV, the country's oldest radio call letters. The station's high-frequency broadcasts can be heard around the globe if you have the right kind of radio.

Now playing: pulsing sounds, every second, followed by an announcement of the exact time.

The station is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, which is home to the atomic clock. WWV is capable of more than telling time. It could, if need be, save the world.

"Could be," said Elizabeth Donley, chief of NIST's Time and Frequency Division. "It's an important part of our work."

This year the station conducted communications exercises in coordination with the Department of Defense. Thirty-seven states, National Guard units, emergency management agencies and others participated in simple announcements. They were meant to see how many listeners are out there and how far away they can be reached. The answer: there are thousands of listeners as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Mark Jensen, a civilian planner with U.S. Northern Command, the military's homeland security operation in Colorado Springs, called WWV a "most essential asset to our nation."

Should an emergency arise, volunteers would jump into action. They're part of a program the military dubs MARS, which stands for Military Auxiliary Radio System. While jokes abound that the operators should not be confused for Martians, their work is serious. It's doomsday stuff, like responding to the aftermath of a nuclear attack because the associated electromagnetic pulse could wipe out most communications.

Listen to program and read the full story at
https://www.kunc.org/post/how-little-known-radio-station-fort-collins-might-one-day-save-world

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Arctic aurora surprise

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Who needs sunspots?
Yesterday, the spotless sun sparked an outburst of Arctic auroras right in the middle of Solar Minimum.

A crack opened in Earth's magnetic field, exposing our planet's magnetosphere to the solar wind. The resulting display of Northern Lights took forecasters and sky watchers by surprise.

Learn more about this phenomenon on today's edition of Spaceweather.com.

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BBC Television received in South Africa

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Norman G4AYU wrote:
Just been posted on the BBC Archive twitter account. It's an old video from 1949 featuring G8IG and ZS1PK:-

https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/1180860261382508544

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Help celebrate the 75th anniversary of Voice of America – Bethany Relay Station

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Her six massive transmitters may be quiet, but she is far from silent.

Amateur radio operators routinely talk to the world from station WC8VOA in West Chester, Ohio, located about 25 miles north of Cincinnati.

This former VOA relay station is now a museum with collections from the Gray History of Wireless Radios; Powel Crosley Jr., and Cincinnati radio and TV broadcasting history; and the Voice of America.

The museum celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Bethany Station in September with a fundraiser to make the first floor of the museum accessible for people of all abilities.

SIT AT THE BOARD

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting is open every weekend from 1 to 4 p.m. Tours are given continuously on weekend afternoons by knowledgeable docents. It houses the Bethany station’s last control room and one of the remaining 250 kW Collins shortwave transmitters.

You can sit at the massive audio console that controlled the six shortwave transmitters and literally take a tour inside one of the Collins transmitters. You can view the massive switch gear, built during World War II, that changed Bethany’s 24 rhombic antennas to its six transmitters.

Read the full Radio World article, with pictures, here:
https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/national-voa-museum-asks-for-your-support

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Raspberry Pi Ham Radio Remote reviewed

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Al Williams WD5GNR writes on Hackaday about the MFJ amateur radio RigPi Station Server

One problem with ham radio these days is that most hams live where you can’t put a big old antenna up due to city laws and homeowner covenants.

If you’re just working local stations on VHF or UHF, that might not be a big problem. But for HF usage, using a low profile antenna is a big deal. However, most modern radios can operate remotely...

Read Al's post at
https://hackaday.com/2019/10/07/raspberry-pi-ham-radio-remote-reviewed/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Island activities:

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-027; FH, Mayotte Island: Willy/DJ7RJ will be signing FH/homecall from Mayotte Island (DIFO FH-001, WLOTA 0376) between Oct. 15 and Nov. 3 on 160 to 10m (SSB, CW). QSL only via DJ7RJ (d/B).

AS-017; JA6, Okinawa Islands: Markus/DJ4EL operates from Yomitan, Okinawa (WW Loc. PL36uk) between the 13th and 25th as JR6/DJ4EL on 20m. He also plans to visit other islands and maybe expand his activities to other bands as well. For more information see qrz.com or Twitter. QSL via DJ4EL, LoTW, ClubLog.

AS-206; JA1,2,7,0, Honshu's Coastal Islands East: Ted/JF1CCH and Eiji/JQ1SUO will be signing their homecalls/0 from Sado Island on Oct. 13 and 14 on CW, FT8, and SSB. QSL via homecalls.

AS-206; JA1,2,7,0, Honshu's Coastal Islands East: Members of the Nara DX Association are going to put Suga Island on the air as JK3ZXK/2 from Oct. 12 to 14. QRV on 40-17m (CW, SSB, FT) with a focus towards Europe and North America. Operators are Tosy/JA3FGJ, Hid/JA3KGF, and Joe/JJ3PRT. QSL via JP3AYQ (d).

EU-026; JW, Spitsbergen Island: Erling/ LA6VM, Halvard/LA7XK, and Just/LA9DL will be operating as JW6VM, JW7XK, and JW9DL respectively from Svalbard between the 9th and 14th. During the SAC SSB Contest they will use the callsign JW5X. QSL via homecalls, JW5X via LA5X (d/B).

EU-175; CU3-7, Central group: Torsten/ DG0OHD, Rocco/DG5AA, Rich/DK8YY, Hans/ DL1AOB, Dieter/DL1AWD, Andi/DL7ZZ, and Lu/DL8ALU will be activating Graciosa Island from Oct. 13 to 21. During the WAG Contest they will sign CR2Y, before and after as CT8/homecalls. QSL for CR2Y via DH7WW, OQRS.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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From amateur radio buff to NASA's go-to guy

Tuesday 8th October 2019

ABC News article about radio amateur Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI says 'NASA considers this 80-year-old radio buff part of the astronaut family'

ABC News say:
To NASA personnel, he is VK5ZAI. To his neighbours at Pinks Beach, a small coastal town in South Australia, he goes by Tony.

In his 30-year association with the US space agency, Tony Hutchison has been called upon to help in times of crisis, moderate calls between astronauts and their families, and run a worldwide schools program.

He's shared a beer with first commanders, had barbecues with mission specialists, and watched the space shuttle launch from the bleachers at Kennedy Space Centre.

Looking back, it's a life he never expected.

Mr Hutchison, 80, fell in love with radio at age 10, had his amateur radio licence by 21, and became involved with satellite communication a few years later.

In October 1992 he made his first contact in space — cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev U6MIR onboard the Mir space station.

Read the well-illustrated ABC story at
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-06/nasa-considers-amateur-radio-buff-part-of-astronaut-family/11530046

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Coaxial cables summary

Tuesday 8th October 2019

All radio amateurs use coax and often quite a bit of it. Not only is it used for connecting between units in the shack, but it is also used, normally as the feeder of choice for taking the transmitter power to the antenna and conversely the received signals from the antenna to the receiver.

The performance of the feeder is crucial to the overall performance of the station. It is easy to lose significant amounts of power between the station and the antenna. Even a modest run of cable can see losses of 3dB and more dependent upon the length, frequency and the performance of the coax.

Coax can be surprisingly expensive, especially when long runs are required. Understanding the key aspects of coaxial cable as well as hints and tips for its use can ensure that the optimum choice is made for the coax, it is used in the best way, and also installed in such a way that it lasts as long as possible. 

Read more about the key aspects of coaxial cable from the basic way in which it works to aspects like velocity factor, loss, and installation etc
:

https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/antennas-propagation/rf-feeders-transmission-lines/rf-coaxial-feeder-cable.php

Ian Poole

Editor: Electronics Notes (https://www.electronics-notes.com)
17 Glebe Road
Dorking
RH4 3DS
United Kingdom

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AO-7 to enter full illumination period October 9, 2019

Tuesday 8th October 2019

On or about October 9, AO-7 will enter a period of full illumination that will last until approximately December 2.

During this time, the satellite's onboard timer should switch it between Mode A (145 MHz uplink / 29 MHz downlink) and Mode B (432 MHz uplink / 145 MHz downlink) every 24 hours.

To check or report the satellite's current mode, please see the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page at
https://www.amsat.org/status/.

Reporting observations during the first few days of the full illumination period will be helpful for determining the approximate time of the daily mode change.

Historical information on AO-7's systems, including the functioning of the 24 hour timer, and operational plans can be found in the AMSAT-OSCAR 7 Technical Operations Plan And Experimenter's Guide, available at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-279-AO-7.

Mode V/A (A) Linear Transponder (Non-Inverting):
Uplink: 145.850 - 145.950 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink 29.400 - 29.500 MHz SSB/CW

Mode V/A (A) TLM Beacon:
Downlink 29.5020 MHz CW

Mode U/V (B) Linear Transponder (Inverting):
Uplink: 432.125 - 432.175 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink 145.975 - 145.925 MHz SSB/CW

Mode U/V (B) TLM Beacon:
Downlink 145.975 MHz CW

Mode U TLM Beacon
Downlink 435.100 MHz CW

Additional frequency details are also posted at:
https://www.amsat.org/two-way-satellites/ao-7/

AMSAT Operations, ANS

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OL19CAMP – YOTA Subregional camp

Tuesday 8th October 2019

The Czech radioclub 'CRC' organized a subregional YOTA camp called 'Weekend of Experiencies' from September 27-29

Writing on the IARU Region 1 site Martina, OK2YLQ says:

It took part in the south part of Czech Republic with participation of 18 youngsters and 9 lectors from the OK and OM member societies.

The first Czech YOTA Subregional camp started on Friday just before 4 p.m. with the arrival of the first participants. Registration of newcomers lasted until 7 p.m. when Martin OK1VHB began with his introduction into HAM radio and HAM spirit. Program continued with a lecture of Honza OK1JD about physics, antennas, radios and QSO basics.

All of the participants learned how to make a phone contact and in the end of the day everybody was able to understand the principles, so the night 80 m operation could follow. After a little stress before first CQs the small expectations of all lectors were quickly exceeded. Children were really outstanding and their honest enthusiasm and opened mind were a big surprise.

It’s important to say that this camp was for most of the kids their first touch with our hobby!

Believe me or not, our Saturday program started at 6 a.m. - kids are unstoppable! A lot of them couldn’t stay in bed and started to occupy the radio in the early morning.

The official Saturday’s program started with workshops. Participants were divided into 4 groups which rotated between five stands –

1) Fox hunting theory by Martin OK1VHB,
2) J-Pole workshop by Jindra OK1NOR,
3) Electronics basics (teached by game) by Vlada OK2ZKR,
4) Satellite operation by Leo OK2UUJ, and
5) DX, DXCC and contest basics by Honza OK1JD

Read the full report at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/general/1904-ol19camp-yota-subregional-camp-2

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GB3JV TV repeater for London

Monday 7th October 2019

Justin, G8YTZ is delighted to announce that the from 14:50 on 6th October 2019 the GB3JV Amateur TV repeater is now on the air in beacon mode. The new repeater is located in Petts Wood, Kent, and transmits on 3404MHz.

The Tx antenna is a slotted waveguide design and gives the station and ERP of 150 Watts. Receiver Inputs are available on 1249MHz and the repeater output will shortly be streamed on the BATC Web Site.

To receive the repeater all that’s required is a tuneable DVB-S2 Satellite Receiver, or a BATC Minitiouner, a small dish and a C-Band LNB. Coverage predictions show reception possibilities across the heavily populated area of South-East & East London as well as parts of Essex.

Justin would especially like to thank Noel Matthews G8GTZ for his help in obtaining the NoV, Bob Dunne for his help in acquiring the site and members of the Bromley & Distract Amateur Radio Society, Gareth G4XAT, Andy G4WGZ and Mortimer Group for the site facilities.

Technical Details:
Location: Petts Wood, Kent JO01AJ
Frequency: 3404MHz
Symbol Rate: 2000 kS/s
FEC 3/4
QPSK
150W ERP from Slotted Waveguide
DVBS2 High Definition

Inputs to be announced for 23cm and later 70cm

Information and updates are published on the repeater web site www.gb3jv.co.uk

Justin G8YTZ

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ISS SSTV Oct 9 and 10

Monday 7th October 2019

Russian cosmonauts are expected to activate Slow Scan Television (SSTV) image transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station on October 9 and 10

This is the schedule for the planned activation of the MAI-75 SSTV activity from the ISS.
- Oct 9 09:50-14:00 GMT
- Oct 10 08:55-15:15 GMT

Transmissions will be sent on 145.800 MHz FM in the SSTV mode PD-120. Once received, images can be posted and viewed by the public at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php

ISS SSTV uses a Kenwood TM D710E transceiver which is part of the amateur radio station located in the Russian ISS Service Module.

Please note that SSTV events are dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and subject to change at any time. You can check for updates regarding planned operation at:
ISS Ham https://twitter.com/RF2Space
ARISS Status https://twitter.com/ARISS_status
ARISS SSTV Blog https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/
AMSAT Bulletin Board http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

Read the MagPi article Pictures from space via ham radio
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/pictures-from-space-via-ham-radio/

ISS SSTV info and links
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

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What time is it?

Monday 7th October 2019

Chris Tran GM3WOJ / ZL1CT wrote an article about getting accurate time on your PC for the GMDX Digest

What do you do when you need to know the exact time?  You look at your phone or your watch, or you look at the time on your laptop or iPad etc. All very easy if you have internet connectivity or mobile phone coverage (and if your watch battery has not gone flat)

All right - what do you do if you are on a DXpedition to a remote (Pacific or Scottish) island where there is no mobile phone network and the internet connectivity is patchy – sometimes disappearing completely for hours or days?  Not a problem – most laptop internal clocks only lose or gain a few seconds per day – perfectly OK for logging the DXpedition QSOs – yes?

No – DXpeditions at this low point in the sunspot cycle need to operate FT8 and FT4, both of which modes rely on very accurate timings for the transmit and receive periods.  FT8 transmissions last for 12.64s in a 15.0s period, FT4 transmissions last for 4.48s in a 6.0s period – you cannot use either mode if your PC clock is inaccurate by any significant amount.

Read the article at
http://www.vk9cz2019.com/gpstime1.htm

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Amateur Station Licence Examination

Monday 7th October 2019

The next Amateur Station Licence Examination will be held on Thursday 14th November in the ComReg Offices in Dublin and at other centres if warranted by the numbers.

Full details, including entry procedure, examination fee and how to pay the fee on line are available at www.irts.ie/exam

Please note that it is necessary to download the application form from the web page and forward the completed form and the appropriate fee so as to secure a place for the examination. If you pay the fee on line you must still complete and forward a signed application form.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Thursday, 31st October.

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 7th October 2019

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 29th/September, through Sunday, 6th/October there were 214 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E3, E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH0, 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, PY, PZ, S0, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZK3, ZL, ZP, ZS

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).

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 7th October 2019

Island activities:

AS-017. Markus, DJ4EL, will be active from Yomitan, Okinawa, between October 13-25th. His (JR6) callsign is pending upon his arrival (possibly JR6/DJ4EL). Activity will be on 20m using a Quad antenna (other bands are possible, if propagation allows) using 50 watts. QSL via LoTW or ClubLog's OQRS. For updates, watch his Twitter page at: https://twitter.com/rapanuiman

AS-147. Makoto, JI5RPT, will be active as JI5RPT/8 from Okushiri Island between October 19-20th. Activity will be on 630m (475 kHz) to 10 meters. The "630m Band" will mainly be the JT9 mode. QSL via his home callsign. Log will be uploaded to ClubLog.

AS-206. Members of the Nara DX Association will be active as JK3ZXK/2 from Suga Island between October 12-14th. Operators mentioned are Tosy/JA3FGJ, Hid/JA3KGF and Joe/JJ3PRT. Activity will be on 40-17 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. They will focus on EU and NA. QSL via a famous YL DXer JP3AYQ direct only. No Bureau.

AS-206. Operators Masa/JG1LFF, Ryo/JG3DOR, Yoshi/JJ2ONH and YJ Kaori/JR2NMA will be active as homecall/2 from Shino Island for only a few hours (sometime between 0100-0730 UTC) on October 20th.  Activity will be on 80-6 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns.

EU-039. Operators Bastien/F4EYQ and Fabien/F4GYM, members of the F6KOP Radio Club de Provins, will be active as F4EYQ/P and F4GYM/P from Grande Ile de Chausey between October 19-25th. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes (RTTY, PSK, FT8). QSL via their home callsigns, by the Bureau or direct.

EU-138. Fred, SM7DAY, is once again active as SM7DAY/P from Senoren Island until October 12th. Activity will be on CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau or ClubLog's OQRS.

SA-100. The 3G1DX operation from Pajaros Rocks that was to be active for 3 days sometime around October 18-23rd, has been cancelled. The team reports on their Web page, September 30th, at 0437z:

"After long and exhausting negotiations with the Chilean Navy we have been informed that they have denied the permit to land on the island. With the tickets and licenses in hands, all the gear packed and the logistics planned, regretfully, we have now cancelled the operation.
All the donations will be refund to the sponsors and donors.
According to the Chilean Navy standing it is our humble opinion that the activation of this IOTA Group will not occur in the next few years."

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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LAPAN-A2 satellite used during earthquake disaster

Sunday 6th October 2019

Indonesia's national amateur radio society ORARI reports Joko Santoso YC8NYJ was the first person to successfully communicate during the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Palu, Central Sulawesi in September 2018

"I made my first contact via the LAPAN-A2 satellite and was immediately responded to by other AMSAT colleagues," he explained.

"As long as the telecommunications network is lost, he continued, reliable communication is only via satellite."

"Based on my experience, the LAPAN-A2 satellite is an alternative communication when a disaster occurs. Hope in the future, LAPAN Pusteksat can make other satellites for disaster mitigation", concluded Joko.

Read the ORARI story at
https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

Joko Santoso YC8NYJ
https://twitter.com/yc8nyj

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FCC takes decisive action against deliberate interference

Sunday 6th October 2019

The ARRL report a New York Radio Amateur — Harold Guretzky, K6DPZ, of Richmond Hill — is facing a $17,000 fine imposed by the FCC  
Guretzky was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on October 3 for causing intentional interference on a local repeater and preventing other radio amateurs from using it.

“Given his history as a repeat offender, this violation warrants a significant penalty,” the FCC said in the NAL.

The NAL recounted numerous complaints alleging that Guretzky was deliberately interfering with a repeater in Glen Oaks, New York. In June of 2017, the FCC issued a Warning Letter to Guretzky, advising him of the nature of the allegations against him and directing him to stop using the repeater going forward. Nonetheless, additional complaints were filed. In April 2018, agents from the FCC New York Enforcement Bureau office drove to Richmond Hill to investigate. Following an inspection of Guretzky’s station, the agents advised him in writing that he was prohibited from using the local repeater.

After the FCC received further complaints regarding Guretzky’s continued operation on the local repeater, an Enforcement Bureau agent again drove to Richmond Hill to investigate. The agent monitored the VHF repeater’s input and output frequencies and, after observing deliberate interference to other stations, used direction-finding techniques to identify the source of the transmission as Guretzky’s station.

Read the full ARRL story at
https://www.arrl.org/news/view/fcc-proposes-fining-new-york-radio-amateur-17-000-for-deliberate-interference

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WRC-19: ITU Preparatory report released

Sunday 6th October 2019

The Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) Report on technical, operational and regulatory/procedural matters to be considered by WRC-19 is available for download

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, October 28 to November 22, 2019.

The Amateur Service 50 MHz allocation is one of the items on the agenda. The CPM report says:

Agenda item 1.1

1.1 to consider an allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1, in accordance with Resolution 658 (WRC-15);

Resolution 658 (WRC-15) – Allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1

5/1.1/1 Executive summary

This agenda item addresses a possible new Region 1 allocation to the amateur service in the frequency band 50-54 MHz by full or partial worldwide harmonization with the existing 4 MHz primary allocations in Regions 2 and 3.

The spectrum needs for the amateur service has been quantified in two studies using an application-based approach. One of them indicates that 4 MHz of spectrum is required while the other indicates that 1.75 MHz is required.

Administrations in parts of Region 1 are party to the ST6133and GE8934Regional Agreements which remain in force in the band 50-54 MHz.

Studies have been undertaken to assess the possibility of sharing with the incumbent broadcasting, land mobile and radiolocation services. The studies have demonstrated that large separation distances are required for sharing with incumbent services. Furthermore, regulatory provisions will need to be implemented. Depending upon the incumbent service to be protected, the different protection distances and some measures can be found in Report ITU-R M.[AMATEUR_50_MHz].

Four methods are provided to satisfy the agenda item including the No Change method:

Method A: An allocation to the amateur service on a primary basis in Region 1 in the band 50-54 MHz, or part thereof;
Method B: An allocation to the amateur service on a secondary basis in Region1 in the band 50.080-50.280 MHz, (Method B1), or in the band 50-52 MHz (Method B2);
Method C: An allocation to the amateur service in Region 1 on a partly primary and partly secondary basis in all or part of the frequency band 50-54 MHz;
Method D: No changes in the frequency band 50-54 MHz.

Regulatory text is also provided for implementation of the proposed methods.

5/1.1/2 Background

In ITU Region 1, the frequency band 50-54 MHz is allocated to the broadcasting service on a primary basis, with additional or alternative allocations to the amateur, fixed, mobile, and/or radiolocation limited to wind profiler radars (WPR) services in some countries.

The frequency band 47-68 MHz in most of Region 1 is governed by the ST61 and GE89 Regional Agreements, which remain in force, noting that several countries in Region 1 were not party to the original agreements

ITU WRC-19 Preparatory report
https://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-r/md/15/cpm19.02/r/R15-CPM19.02-R-0001!!PDF-E.pdf

Download other WRC-19 documents from
https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/conferences/wrc/2019/

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 5th October 2019

Leave some bread crumbs behind

About a year or so ago I received a message from a friend of mine.
The message asked if I would have or could find a use for some amateur radio gear from their active amateur father who became a silent key.
That started a sequence of events that leads us here, today.

In the year that followed that message I became the grateful owner and archivist of an amateur shack that belonged to Walter VK6BCP (SK). Walter had two calls that I know of, VK6BCP, last logged on the DX cluster on the 5th of April 2012. His other call, from Switzerland, was HB9CAI, last reported on the cluster on the 23rd of February 2005.

The more I dig into Walter's collection of all things that make a shack, coax, connectors, boxes with spares, power supplies, odds-and-ends, the more I find a kindred spirit. I never met Walter, but he and I share the same sense of order. We sort things in the same way, we have the same kinds of things on hand and it's gotten to the point where it's hard to tell where his shack ends and mine begins.

Walter's shack contributed several radios, some of which I loan out to beginning local amateurs, I took one with me on a recent trip and I've been using one to run a weekly net to see how this particular radio works and what quirks exist.

One of the requirements to actually switching on that last radio brings me to bread crumbs.

I needed a power supply to make the valves glow - well, the digital display - but you get the idea. There was a suitable power supply on the shelf, but I had no idea when it was last switched on, if it worked, if it would set fire to my shack, what the state of it was. It looked near new, no scratches on the paint, bit dusty, but it looked as well loved as my own power supply, which is now coming up to nearly a decade old.

I picked it up and the power supply rattled. Never a good thing in a device that has no moving parts. On closer inspection I noticed that only four of the fourteen screws were holding the case together and it stopped me from plugging the thing in and turning it on - with a stand-by fire extinguisher at the ready - mind you, I might have been slightly exaggerating with the fire extinguisher.

I did what any enterprising radio amateur would do in that situation, I got out a screwdriver and extracted the four remaining screws and lifted the lid. I wasn't sure what I would find, but nothing prepared me for what was there, though Walter being Swiss should have.

Inside this lovingly maintained power supply I found a little zip-loc bag with ten screws. The ones missing from the case. This was the source of the rattle.

I also found a disconnected fan lead, actually, it had been purposefully cut and folded back.

Now why do you suppose that was?

For my money, Walter knew this power supply well. His power requirements didn't need a fan - truth be told, mine probably don't either - and to keep everything in one place and to remind himself that he'd made a modification, he'd done the smart thing, make it obvious that something had been modified.

He could have put a sticker on the case, but over time that would have faded. He could have carved his initials into the case and carved an instruction, but both of those would have reduced the aesthetics of the power supply and if his callsign ever changed, or if he reconnected the fan, he'd have to start again.

What I found was something that gave me pause to consider how you manage to document what you've done, not only for yourself, but for others who might stumble on your modification. I'm certain that Walter never considered that one day I'd be telling you this story and thanking him for his preparation, but that's exactly where we are.

You might come away from this wondering what the point was of all this?

The point is, you can prepare your shack for events that might not happen. You might lose your memory, become a silent key, or have a beginner borrow your kit. You'll never know what it will be. What you can do is make it possible to discover that something has been changed. Walter could have just as easily put all fourteen screws back in and I would have never been any the wiser. I might have thought that the fan only came on under load, instead of not coming on at all, ever, because the lead had been cut. My first sign of trouble would have been magic smoke escaping and perhaps the need for a fire-extinguisher.

Leaving bread crumbs for discovery is a really simple and helpful way to document your adventures.

Thank you Walter VK6BCP (SK) - it's been a pleasure to know you through your shack.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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HRN 414: There's no such thing as free rack space

Saturday 5th October 2019

David Goldenberg W0DHG and Jim Aspinwall NO1PC discuss this week's BIG California ham radio story. Was the repeater kicked out of the CalFire vault, or did the state just decide that it needed to be "official"....

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USKA to address ham radio youth crisis
(USKA = Union of Swiss Shorwave Amateurs)

Saturday 5th October 2019

The promotion of youth in amateur radio is a central concern of Switzerland's amateur radio society the USKA but in 2018 only one amateur under 25 joined the UKSA

UKSA say for more than five years, they have been providing a training fund and youth USKA Funding Initiative Grants are paid out to amateur radio educational institutions.

Despite this incentive system, only a few grants have been made in recent years. The numbers of newly licensed under 25 radio amateurs who've joined the USKA have slumped:

2017: 3 CEPT Novice (HB3) + 1 CEPT Class 1 (HB9)  
2018: 0 CEPT Novice (HB3) + 1 CEPT Class 1 (HB9)

What's next? Simply "continue as before" is certainly not an option say the UKSA. The realization that we are facing a paradigm shift here, is probably clear on the basis of the facts.

If intensive marketing of a "product" does not lead to success, it can be the marketing or the product, or both. Or on more attractive offers on the "market". So, how can we find the way back to provide again an attractive "product"?

For young people, dealing with long-outdated "museum technologies" is not at all attractive.

USKA is holding a conference "Future Radio Amateur" on October 19 which will address this matter. Participation in this strategic symposium is free of charge for all participants.

Source "Future Funkamateur" - Conference Training coordination of USKA October 19, 2019
https://www.uska.ch/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Zukunft_Funkamateur.pdf

Details of the conference in Google English are at
https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

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Ham radio use of 2400 MHz in Spain

Saturday 5th October 2019

Spain's national amateur radio society URE reports that amateurs will be allowed to use 2,400.050 to 2,409.500 MHz for QO-100 (Es'hail-2) geostationary satellite contacts until Dec 26, 2020

A translation of the URE post says:

At the request of the Spanish Amateur Radio Union (URE), last March the Secretary of State for Digital Advance authorized until September 26, 2019 under certain conditions and on a temporary and experimental basis the realization of emissions from the amateur service in the frequency band 2400,050 to 2409,500 MHz.

The URE has again requested the Secretary of State for Digital Advance the extension of the aforementioned administrative authorization for a period of one year.

On September 26, the Resolution of the Secretary of State for Digital Advance is approved by the resolution Authorize until December 26, 2020 to the holders of amateur radio authorizations, the realization of emissions from the amateur service in the frequency band 2,400,050 to 2,409,500 MHz., With a maximum eirp of 1500 watts and using directive antennas with a gain not less than 22.5 dBi, from authorized amateur radio stations located anywhere in the national territory to the QO-100 satellite located in the 25.9ºE orbital position of the geostationary orbit.

To see the resolution of the Secretary of State for Digital Advance
https://www.ure.es/images/noticias/generales/2019_09_26%20-%20Resoluci%C3%B3n_satelite%20Es'Hail-2%20-%20ampliaci%C3%B3n.pdf

QO-100 information
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

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From amateur radio social club to 50 years of disaster response

Friday 4th October 2019

Steve Landers KD4MNJ started with an amateur radio club that felt like family, led to participation in disaster response that continued through a lifetime of emergencies and disasters

The GovTech site reports:

Steve Landers was about 16 years old when he joined a group of amateur radio enthusiasts. He found a unique camaraderie within the group and deep desire to help those in need.  Those feelings still run deep, countless disasters and 50 years later.

Of that initial ham radio group, Landers said, “Basically it was a social club of two-way radio enthusiasts, but it didn’t take long to figure out that the main interest was the support of the civil aid unit.”

Landers has volunteered his services as part of the Macon-Bibb, Ga., Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Volunteer Group ever since, starting with dragging the Ocmulgee River for drowning victims to responding to fatal traffic accidents on the motorway, to responding to tornadoes, to participating in the response during the devastating floods of 1994.

Read the full story at
https://www.govtech.com/em/preparedness/From-Amateur-Radio-Social-Club-to-50-Years-of-Disaster-Response.html

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144 MHz low power EME talk on YouTube

Friday 4th October 2019

On September 7, Bill Keicher KC1HTT gave a presentation on amateur radio 144 MHz Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communication to the NorthEast HamXposition event in Boxborough, Massachusetts

Amateur Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communications is one of the most challenging projects that an amateur radio operator can attempt. The objective of this video presentation is to give the amateur radio enthusiast an idea of what is needed to successfully model, build, and operate a small EME station.

The KC1HTT small, low power, 144 MHz, Earth-Moon-Earth amateur radio station is described.  Included are the physics of EME communications, site constraints, communication system analysis, design, and hardware implementation. In addition, the JT65B communication mode, waveforms, and signal processing are briefly described.

Finally, EME operations are reported including QSO planning, safety considerations, EME support web sites, with examples of six successful QSOs and a signal-to-noise analysis of the QSOs based on the bistatic radar equation. Plans for the next generation KC1HTT EME radio station improvements are also discussed.

Watch A Low Power 144 MHz Earth-Moon-Earth Amateur Radio Station by Dr. William E. Keicher, KC1HTT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9_xbltSQUQ

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Short-term restricted service licensing review

Friday 4th October 2019

Ofcom is today seeking views on its proposal to change two parts of its ‘short-term restricted service’ licensing (‘SRSLs’) policy.

Short-term radio licences are granted for analogue services broadcasting to defined locations, or for coverage of particular events such as music or religious festivals, or sporting events.

Under our proposals, we intend to lift current restrictions to allow for the same applicant to be granted more than two SRSLs in a single year. Our planned new approach would also allow for SRSLs to be granted to services that offer similar content to existing commercial and community radio stations in the same area.

We are seeking views from interested or affected parties by 31 October 2019, before making our final decision.

Read more

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The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Bouncing ham radio signals off the Moon

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Al Williams WD5GNR writes on Hackaday about bouncing amateur radio signals off the moon

One of the great things about ham radio is that isn’t just one hobby. Some people like to chit chat, some like to work foreign countries, some prepare for emergencies, and there are several space-related activities. There are hundreds of different kinds of activities to choose from.

Just one is moonbounce, and [Ham Radio DX] decided to replicate a feat many hams have done over the years: communicate with someone far away by bouncing signals from the moon.

Read his post at
https://hackaday.com/2019/10/01/bouncing-signals-off-the-moon/

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Netherlands: Changes to ham radio call sign policy

Thursday 3rd October 2019

The Netherlands communications regulator Agentschap Telecom (AT) has announced changes to the amateur radio call sign policy effective October 1

A translation of the VERON post reads:

The new call sign policy entered into force on January 18, 2018. Then the most important adjustments were:
• A call sign can only be issued and linked to one person.
• Only a person to whom a call sign has previously been issued can request the call sign again.
• It is only possible to request previously issued call sign names. This makes it possible to request not yet issued call sign in the PA0 series.

From October 1, AT is introducing a few minor changes.

The most important adjustment is:
• Special call letters are issued for the duration of the event.
• This was a maximum of 28 days, but is now possible for a maximum of 1 year.
• Until 1 January 2020 you can request special call letters up to 3 weeks in advance via the customer portal.
• But from January 1, 2020 this is possible via the customer portal until 1 day before the start of the event or the radio competition

Source VERON https://tinyurl.com/NetherlandsVERON

Agentschap Telecom - Explanation about assigning radio identifications to radio amateurs
https://www.agentschaptelecom
.nl/onderwerpen/radiozendamateurs/documenten/richtlijnen/2019/10/01/toewijzen-radio-identificaties-radiozendamateurs

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Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Contact Opportunity

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Call for Proposals
New Proposal Window is October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 30, 2019. Proposal information and documents can be found at www.ariss.org.

The Opportunity
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world with the support of NASA and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe present educational organizations with this opportunity. The ham radio organizations’ volunteer efforts provide the equipment and operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world using Amateur Radio.

More Information
For proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of Information Webinars, go to www.ariss.org.

Please direct any questions to ariss.us.education@gmail.com .

About ARISS:
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.

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Supporting community radio across the UK

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Many more people across the UK are now able to tune in and enjoy community radio, following work by Ofcom to extend coverage and improve reception.

Community radio stations are fuelled by the work and enthusiasm of volunteers. They reflect a wide range of cultures and interests, and provide a mix of locally-produced content including news, information and discussion.

During 2019, Ofcom agreed to improve the quality of the coverage of 63 community radio stations, and extend the coverage of 33, bringing the benefits of community radio to a wider audience than ever.

We are now processing applications for new community radio licences and expect to make awards to successful stations by the end of March 2020.

This will be the last round of community radio licensing on FM or AM for the foreseeable future, as we will shortly begin licensing new local digital radio stations that will use cutting-edge ‘small-scale DAB’ technology, pioneered by an Ofcom engineer. We expect to invite applications in 2020.

More information on our small-scale DAB consultation and our work to support community radio is available.

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IARU to take action on radio spectrum pollution

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

The IARU Administrative Council meeting in Peru Sept 28-29 agrees to steps up efforts to combat radio spectrum pollution

The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual in-person meeting on September 28-29, 2019 in Lima, Peru, just before the triennial General Assembly of IARU Region 2. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

Attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ, Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ, and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP. Region 2 executive committee member George Gorsline, VE3YV, was present as an observer.

The AC conducted its final review of IARU preparations for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). WRC-19 will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for four weeks beginning on 28 October. The conference has a lengthy agenda, with items of direct interest to the amateur service including consideration of improvements to the amateur allocation in Region 1 at 50 MHz, protection of existing allocations to the amateur service, and development of the agenda for the next WRC in 2023.

For the past four years IARU volunteers and its member-societies have been working to influence the proposals from national telecommunications administrations and regional telecommunications organizations (RTOs) that will be considered in Sharm El-Sheikh. IARU efforts have reduced the number of potentially damaging proposals that otherwise might have been offered for consideration, but several challenges remain. A small team of IARU observers will attend WRC-19 and will work with amateurs and friends on national delegations to reach the best possible outcomes.

Looking beyond WRC-19 the AC recognized the need for an increased commitment to influencing the work of standards organizations, particularly the International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) and its participating national committees. The rising level of radio spectrum pollution caused by unnecessary and unwanted emissions from electronic devices such as wireless power transfer for the recharging of electric vehicles is a serious threat to radiocommunication services including the amateur service.

While the work of the IARU is done by volunteers, attending meetings is expensive and requires the financial support of individual radio amateurs through membership of their national IARU member-societies. Additional qualified volunteers are needed in order to meet present and future challenges.

An extensive discussion was held to identify the principal challenges facing amateur radio and how the IARU and its member-societies can better address them.

Upgrading of the current websites of the IARU and its three regional organizations is underway and should be completed in the coming months. The AC adopted a Brand Guide to ensure a common identity across the IARU organization.

The theme for next year’s World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, was confirmed as “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.”

The next in-person meeting of the AC is scheduled to be held immediately prior to the IARU Region 1 Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, in October 2020. Virtual AC meetings are also planned beginning in December 2019 and January 2020.

Source IARU
http://iaru.org/

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The SOTA 2020 (and beyond) 'Flavours' Challenge

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

A series of themed challenges will take place in 2020, as part of the SOTA - Summits On The Air awards programme. 

The idea is to encourage SOTA activity on bands and modes that are popular in amateur radio generally, but somewhat under-represented in SOTA.

The SOTA 'Flavours' Challenge 2020

January 1st-7th 2020: LF - 160m & 80m
February 1st-7th 2020: Datamodes
March 1st-7th 2020: Digital voice
April 1st-7th 2020: LF - 160m & 80m
May 1st-7th 2020: Datamodes
June 1st-7th 2020: 12m, 10m & 6m
July 1st-7th 2020: 70cm
Aug 1st-7th 2020: 17m
Sept 1st-7th 2020: Datamodes
Oct 1st-7th 2020: Digital voice
Nov 1st-7th 2020: LF - 160m & 80m
Dec 1st-7th 2020: 12m, 10m & 6m

Scoring:

Activators:
Number of unique QSO partners worked multiplied by the number of unique summits activated.

Chasers:
Number of unique activators worked multiplied by the number of unique summits worked.

Only QSOs made on the nominated band or mode, on the dates specified, will count towards Challenge scores.

To take part in the “Flavours” Challenge, simply enter your activator and chaser logs into the SOTA Database as normal.

Background/further information:
There hasn't been a SOTA Challenge for several years. Like in the past we want to encourage use of parts of the spectrum, and operating modes that are generally less represented in SOTA, but keen to maximise participation by making the Challenge both diverse and inclusive.

The first seven days of each month will be “Challenge Days”.
This guarantees that there is no bias towards weekday or weekend days, and also ensures that the majority of each month will see a more “normal” distribution of SOTA operating.

There may be one or two “Flavours” in the schedule that are not of interest or not available to individual participants. This “unique x unique” scoring algorithm will mean missing one or two “Flavours” out should not be hugely detrimental to your score in comparison to other participants. Nonetheless, the spirit of the Challenge is to encourage activators and chasers to try something new!

Towards the end of 2020, we will review the Challenge and determine the 12 “Flavours” for 2021. It is thought unlikely that any year would have exactly the same schedule of “Flavours” as the previous, but this schedule will always be decided and published in advance.

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Major enhancements to the Sotabeams Wolfwave

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

The WOLFWAVE Advanced Audio Processor offers a huge range of facilities to improve radio reception in difficult and noisy situations.

The latest firmware release for this innovative product adds new functionality for SSB and CW users as well as those with hearing difficulties.

The new binaural mode goes well beyond the simple "binaural" implementations in many transceivers (which is generally just a delay or phase shift) to deliver a truly immersive "sound field" for the CW operator.
Using an artificial head model, different tones appear to come from different directions, giving a whole new way for signals to be differentiated. Three separate modes are available to experiment with, each being fully adjustable.

SSB users had requested notch filtering for intereference such as ADSL carriers. SOTABEAM has implemented 10 notches with bandwidths as low at 100 Hz and very sharp edges. The notches are shown on the WOLFWAVES spectrum display making them easy to adjust for optimum performance.

 Users with age-related hearing loss are already catered for with a sophisticated system that just requires them to enter their age and sex to benefit from a median hearing loss correction .

New with this firmware release is a left/right balance facility to help people with assymetric hearing loss.

The new firmware is available for all users to download at: www.wolfwave.co.uk/firmware

WOLFWAVE is available direct from SOTABEAMS in the UK and from agents in many other countries. Details at: www.sotabeams.co.uk/

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Results of IARU Region 1 ATV contest released

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

The popularity of the geostationary DATV satellite QO-100 has been cited as a possible reason for reduced activity in the IARU Region 1 ATV contest in June

The IARU Region 1 website says:

The IARU 2019 Region 1 ATV Contest was held on 8/9 June 2019. There were 55 entrants from 9 countries competing, using all bands from 432 MHz to 76 GHz.

The overall winner was Wim PE1EZU. The best DX was a 70 cm ATV Contact between Rolf F9ZG and Jean-Michel F1AGO at 293 km.

Participation was reduced from last year (100 to 55), possibly because of the distraction caused by ATV Activity on QO-100.

Full results are presented in the following pages.  The BATC 2m and 4m ATV contest results have also been included for information only.

Please don’t forget next year’s IARU ATV Contest on 13/14 June 2020.

Dave, G8GKQ

Complete results are available here :
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/vhfuhsshf/contest-matters/cr

Source IARU Region 1
https://iaru-r1.org/

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A green flash on Venus

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

You've heard of green flashes on the sun. But green flashes on Venus? They're real, and now is a good time to observe them.

Venus is just emerging from solar conjunction. This means that seaside photographers can capture the rare flashes as Venus sinks into the waves not far behind the sun.

Pictures of an actual green flash on Venus and observing tips are featured on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

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Tanzania operation

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Maurizio, IK2GZU, has once again returned to 'Mission Ilembula' to do some work at the new hospital and orphanage until October 28th.

He plans to be active during his spare time as 5H3MB on various HF bands.

Maurizio will use his FT-100 and the mission's TS-850 into a tri-band 3 element beam (20/15/10m) fixed on Europe and a vertical or dipole for the other bands.

QSL via IK2GZU, direct or by the Bureau.
Also, QSL via LoTW (after his return home) and eQSL.

For more details, updates and an online log, visit his Web pages at:
http://www.buffoli-pm.it/5h/Tanzania%202011.htm
http://www.buffoli-pm.it/5h/qsl%20request.htm

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Island activities:

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AS-004; 5B/ZC, Cyprus Island: Kasimir/DL2SBY will be signing 5B/DL2SBY from Avia Napa on Cyprus (WLOTA 0051, MIA MCI-002) between Oct. 3 and 13 on 80 to 6m (CW, SSB, digital modes). QSL via DL2SBY (d), LoTW, ClubLog OQRS.

AS-122; HL2, Kyonggi-do Province West group: Tae-Su/DS3EXX and Lee/DS3FGN activate Daecheong-do Island (WW Loc. PM27it) from the 3rd to 9th of October with their homecalls/2 on SSB, CW, and FT8. QSL via DS3EXX (d) or via LoTW; DS3EXX/2 log will be uploaded to ClubLog.

AS-206, JA1,2,7,0, Honshu's Coastal Islands East: Harry/JG7PSJ plans to operate from Oshima Island between Oct. 4 (22z) and Oct. 6 (06z) as JG7PSJ/7. QSL via JG7PSJ. http://jg7psj.starfree.jp/

EU-053, OJ0/SM, Market Reef: The next activation of Market Reef  (WLOTA 0542, ARLHS MAR-001) will be conducted by Pasi/OH3WS from the 5th to 12th of October. He plans to use the callsigns OJ0/OG3A, OJ0/OH3WS, and OJ0W on 80m to 30m (CW, SSB). QSL via OH3WS (d/B).

EU-058; F, Provence-Cote d'Azur (Alpes-Maritimes) Region group: Thierry/F6CUK will be active from Sainte-Marguerite Island (DIFM ME-020, MIA MF-028, DFCF 06-063, FFF-1450) on Oct. 5 and 6. QRV on 40 and 20m on SSB and CW. QSL via F6CUK (d/B), ClubLog OQRS.

EU-088; OZ, Kattegat group: Between Oct. 2 and 7 Gunnar/DL2GLA and Axel/DK2AJ will be signing OZ/homecalls from Laeso Island (OZFF-0001) on HF (SSB, digital modes). QSL via homecalls.

EU-138; SM7, Blekinge County group: Fred/SM7DAY is going to sign /p from Senoren Island between the 5th and 12th on HF (CW, SSB, PSK).
QSL via SM7DAY (d/B).

NA-082; W5, Mississippi State group und NA-089; W5, Louisiana State East (St Bernard Parish) group: Between Oct. 4 and 6, AB5EB, AD5A, K0AP, N5LN, W5GAI, W5XMD, and W5XU activate the Isle au Pitre (NA-089) as K5P and Cat Island (NA-082) as N5C. QSL via K0AP (d/B).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Hurricane Lorenzo: Radio hams in Azores respond

Tuesday 1st October 2019

As hurricane Lorenzo approaches the Azores the amateur radio emergency network has been activated

Amateur Radios will be active with the Government and emergency response teams.

Local analog and DMR repeaters, both in VHF and UHF, satellites and HF.

We ask all stations to give way for emergency traffic coming in and out of the Azores islands (CU, CQ8, CR8, CS8 and CT8 prefixes).

WORKING FREQUENCIES:

VHF – Priority Communication Systems (Repeaters) – Faial Island
1 – VHF Repeater (R0) (Cabeço Gordo): 145,600; Shift: -600 kHz; Tone: 123 Hz (coverage Faial Island, Pico and S.Jorge)
2 – VHF (R7) repeater (Pico Verde): 145,775; Shift: -600 kHz; Tone: 123 Hz (west side cover Faial island)
3 – UHF Repeater (Cabeço Gordo): 438,800; Shift: -7.6 MHz; Tone: 123 Hz
4 – Alternative: direct frequency 145,500

UHF – DMR Digital Repeater
DMR Repeater – Faial Island (east side coverage of Faial Island and west of Pico Island)
RX Frequency: 438.300 TX Frequency: 430.700 MHz
Slot2 – TG 26867 (Faial)
Slot1 – TG268 for outdoor communications

HF – Inter-Island Links
1 – 80 meters – 3,760.00 MHz. – 3,770.00 MHz. – 3,750.00 MHz. (Inter-islands)
2 – 40 meters – 7,110.00 MHz. – 7,100.00 MHz. – 7,060.00 MHz. (Inter-island)
3 – 20 meters – 14,300.00 MHz. – 14,310.00 MHz. – 14,320.00 MHz. (Communications with the outside)

Courtesy Carlos Nora - CT1END

Source IARU Region 1 https://iaru-r1.org/

See also Hurricane Lorenzo: Amateur satellite AO-92 will be available
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/09/29/hurricane-lorenzo-ao-92/

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Decoding Numbers Stations article available free

Tuesday 1st October 2019

The article Decoding Numbers Station by Allison McLellan which appears in the November 2019 issue of ARRL's QST magazine is available for free download

Download the article PDF from  
http://www.arrl.org/this-month-in-qst

Digital membership of ARRL costs just £40 ($49)
https://www.arrl.org/membership-levels

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Welcome to Russian WW Digital 5-6 October 2019

Tuesday 1st October 2019

Dear Fellow Radio Amateurs,
the Russian Digital Radio Club has the honour to invite the radio amateurs all over the world to: 6th Russian WW Digital Contest 2019 - BPSK63, RTTY - 12.00 UTC on Saturday 5 October till 11:59 UTC on Sunday 6 October, 2019

RULES: http://www.rdrclub.ru/russian-ww-digital-contest/51-rus-ww-digi-rules

Certificates RUS-WW-DIGI 2019 to all participants (except for CheckLog) under condition of carrying out not less than 30 CFM QSO.

All certificates for contests and days of activity, since 2019, are loading on site http://awards.rdrclub.ru/certificate/

You should send your log upload via the Web interface ua9qcq.com or by email to rusww(at)rdrclub.ru ... (at) = @ ...

All logs must be sent no later than 5 days after the contest.

New awards programm - DIGITAL QSO LONG DISTANCE:
https://rdrc.hamlog.ru/?locale=en

73! - Russian Digital Radio Club

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The Weather Channel cites amateur radio as storm resource

Tuesday 1st October 2019

ARRL report Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator of WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) explained Amateur Radio’s role during severe weather situations to interviewers from The Weather Channel (TWC)

The ARRL say:

In a September 16 segment headlined as “Using Old School Tech During a Storm,” Ripoll — seated at WX4NHC — told Weather Channel interviewers Rick Knabb and Mike Bettes, that information NHC forecasters receive via Amateur Radio volunteers and spotters “sometimes fills in gaps they can’t get from satellites or reconnaissance.”

Knabb recounted an occasion when he was trying to pin down information about a storm system in Central America. “The only way I was able to accurately document what happened with that system in Central America was because of data through the ham radio operators that relayed it,” he told Ripoll.

Ripoll cited the WX4NHC volunteer staff of approximately 30 radio amateurs who gather and essentially screen information gathered via Amateur Radio for weather data that may be of use to forecasters.

Pointing to the continued use of analog technology in a digital world, Bettes said Amateur Radio “may be a dinosaur, but you’re not extinct.”

For his own part, Ripoll over the weekend expressed appreciation to WX4NHC, Hurricane Watch Net, and VoIP Hurricane Net volunteers for the time they donate during hurricanes and the reports they send to WX4NHC.

“Sometimes, we sit for hours listening to static. Sometimes, we receive many reports that are unremarkable. Sometimes, we receive very few reports. But then there are those times that one or two reports make a difference,” Ripoll said. He noted that NHC Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart cited Amateur Radio in a Hurricane Humberto advisory.

The advisory noted, “An Amateur Radio operator at Ports Island near the southern end of Bermuda reported a sustained wind of 75 MPH and a gust to 104 MPH during the past hour. An Amateur Radio operator in Somerset Village recently reported a sustained wind of 70 MPH and a gust to 89 MPH.” — Thanks to Julio Ripoll, WD4R

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/the-weather-channel-cites-old-school-tech-amateur-radio-as-storm-resource

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NASA Television to air 10 upcoming spacewalks, preview briefing

Tuesday 1st October 2019

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station plan to conduct what may become a record pace of 10 complex spacewalks during the next three months, a cadence that has not been experienced since assembly of the space station was completed in 2011.

Experts will discuss those plans in a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 1, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Live coverage of the briefing and all spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The station crew will replace some of the orbiting laboratory’s solar array batteries during the first half of the spacewalks and then refurbish a renowned scientific instrument that explores the fundamental nature of the universe during the final five excursions.

Media wishing to participate in the briefing in person must request credentials from the Johnson newsroom no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30. Media interested in participating by phone must contact the newsroom by 1:45 p.m. Oct. 1.

Participants in the briefing are:

The first of a set of five spacewalks is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Oct. 6, at about 7:50 a.m. Live NASA Television coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. This series of spacewalks is dedicated to replacing batteries on the far end of the station’s port truss. The existing nickel-hydrogen batteries will be upgraded with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries transported to the station aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, which arrived Saturday, Sept. 28. These spacewalks continue the overall upgrade of the station’s power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017.

The second half of this sequence of spacewalks will focus on repairs to the space station’s Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Dates for those spacewalks still are being discussed, but they are expected to begin in November.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Learn more about International Space Station research, operations, and its crew at:
http://www.nasa.gov/station

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SOTA Mountain Goat Award

Tuesday 1st October 2019

This week's WIA News report that John Burton G4TQE from Shropshire, United Kingdom has achieved the coveted SOTA 'Mountain Goat Award', for achieving 1000 activator points.

He did this with an activation of Waun Fach GW/SW-002 in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, earlier this year. Existing SOTA Mountain Goat Allan Jones GW4VPX was with him.

John, inactive for quite a while, was tempted to get back on air because of the SOTA - Summits on the Air scheme. He is an accomplished mountaineer, having completed all the Munros, Nuttalls and Wainwrights.

Speaking after his Mountain Goat triumph, John said "I cannot thank SOTA enough for encouraging my return to amateur radio".

Many radio amateurs enjoy traveling to the tops of mountains for the challenge of seeing just how far their radio transmissions can be heard. Experimentation with different types of antennas from mountains is very popular. Operating with minimal transmitter power is often as much a requirement for running on portable battery power, as it is to see how far a signal will travel with minimal transmitter power.

Australia has a number of active SOTA participants.

Visit the WIA web site for more info.
http://www.wia.org.au/discover/introduction/mountaintop/

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NASA Television to cover return of astronaut Nick Hague and crewmates

Tuesday 1st October 2019

NASA astronaut and Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Nick Hague, KG5TMV (photo right) and two crewmates on the International Space Station are scheduled to conclude their stay on the orbiting laboratory Thursday, Oct. 3.

Live coverage of their return will begin at 11:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 2, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Hague, Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates, will close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft Oct. 3 and undock from the station.

A little more than three hours later, a parachute-assisted landing is planned southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan on the Kazakhstan steppe.

Hague and Ovchinin are completing a 203-day mission, spanning 3,248 orbits of Earth, and a journey of 80.8 million miles. Hague is completing his second flight in space totaling 203 days, while Ovchinin will have logged 375 days in space on his third flight at the time of landing. Hague and Ovchinin flew together on an abbreviated mission in October 2018, cut short by a technical problem that triggered an ascent abort minutes after launch. Almansoori is wrapping up an eight-day stay on the station that covered 128 orbits of Earth and 3.1 million miles.

After landing, the crew will return by helicopter to the recovery staging area in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, where Hague will board a NASA plane for return to Houston, and Ovchinin and Almansoori will return to their training base in Star City, Russia.

Full NASA TV coverage is as follows:

Wednesday, Oct. 2:

Thursday, Oct. 3:

At the time of undocking, Expedition 61 will begin aboard the station, with Parmitano, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka comprising a six-person crew on the orbital outpost.

Get breaking news, images and features from the space station on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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then click on More News

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