The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

UK & World 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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Last Wednesday Night was ZOOM night !

Thursday 28th May 2020

Last Wednesday Night 27th May, club members joined up together for their regular net night on 145.325 S13 FM plus an experimental first night using ZOOM and it proved to be a stunning success !

During the Coronavirus lock-down some members of the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club have been meeting on 145.325MHz S13 FM with around a dozen people on almost every week.  Chaired by Tom G4BKF it has proved a great forum for members to gather for a chat.  So this week it was mooted that we experiment by adding the ZOOM video format as well so combining those who could hear each other on S13 with those unable to join in through radio or antennas not available or who lived out of the area.

(L-R Top Simon XHF, Phil IIM, Gordon MMM, middle - Tom BKF, Stuart SMH, Paul JZP, Lower - Neil OAR, Paul MDQ and Brian VAX)

Thanks to Phil IIM for the enterprising screen shot above of 9 but we also had Neil WBG, Colin FPB and Denis UVR who left before Phil took the picture. Off screen and using FM radios from their shacks or mobile were Geoff, G4WUA, Graham KQS and Russ VEO.  With thanks to everyone for their support for the evening.

It was a great couple of hours and as close to a Drink & Waffle as you could get to without the beer, although one or two were enjoying some local refreshment from their fridges and cool box as we chatted.  I have a feeling this omission will be corrected by everyone next Wednesday.  It also proved that it just wasn't a case of pointing the camera and starting the programme but there was lighting ... or the lack of it in some cases .. to be considered !  One station appeared to be using candles at the start !

Virtual backgrounds will probably feature heavily next week, although I hope they won't all be on my holiday island in North Shropshire !

Finally thanks to Daniel WED for the use of his ZOOM chat room and sad he couldn't make it,  To Simon XHF for chairing and hosting the ZOOM production and for switching our audio on and off as required and to Tom BKF for chairing the 2m 'real radio' activity, and to everyone for taking time to join in.  A really enjoyable evening.

Don't forget, next Wednesday 3rd June 2020 same time, same place .. see you there !

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GB0MZX on air in June to celebrate the world's first advertised wireless broadcast

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Dragon Amateur Radio Club would like to introduce their next special event station GB0MZX (Marconi Zulu Xray).

At 19:10 on the 15th June 1920, the world renowned soprano Dame Nellie Melba stepped forward to a microphone in a makeshift studio within the Marconi factory in Chelmsford to sing the song 'Home Sweet Home'.

This was the start of the world's first advertised radio broadcast using the Chelmsford factory transmitter callsign MZX and was listened to by thousands. Little did anyone know then that within two short years the BBC would be formed and broadcasting would have such a huge cultural effect on the nation, indeed the world.

Therefore, Dragon ARC are going to run a special event call sign of GB0MZX from their own homes to celebrate this event and will be open to Full, Intermediate and Foundation Licence holders to take part. At this point we would like to thank OFCOM for allowing all three licence tiers to operate from their own homes without direct supervision during the Covid-19 lock down.

The event will run from 00:01 UTC on Friday 12th until 23:59 UTC on Sunday 21st June and we shall be attempting to keep the station on air for several hours a day.

There will be award certificates to collect for QSOs with GB0MZX and full details will appear on the page this coming weekend.

So do look out for us and answer our CQ calls!


Simon, MW0NWM

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Kangaroo Island IOTA expedition re-scheduled

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Grant, VK5GR, reports: I am very pleased to announce that the VK5KI Expedition to Kangaroo Island (IOTA OC-139) has been rescheduled, although it has also been scaled down.

It will not be coinciding with the IOTA contest for 2020 and instead will be held during the South Australian school holidays between July 13-18th.
It is also being converted into a holiday style expedition with myself (VK5GR), Andrew (VK5AKH) and my family.

Bands and equipment are to be finalized but it will likely be only one station covering all bands from 80m to 10m. (it remains to be seen if 160m can be activated - we will see).

We are thankful here in South Australia that the authorities have successfully managed my home state's way through the COVID-19 crisis so far. There are no active cases here and havent been (apart from some controlled travel imports) for over a month. They therefore were able to reopen intra-state travel over a week ago, including ferry travel to Kangaroo Island. We are being encouraged to get out into the regions and help our battered hospitality and tourism sectors begin the long road to recovery while continuing to observe social distancing etc.

Consequently, many of the other holiday spots locally will be potentially quite busy as people try to overcome cabin fever from the lock-downs.
Kangaroo Island, which requires that extra amount of effort and cost with the ferry crossing, should be much quieter, with fewer people and plenty of serenity.

We now have a different venue confirmed on the island also, which is quite isolated from the main community. All in all, it should be a great week with some family time, amateur radio and a chance to unwind.

We therefore hope to see you on the air as VK5KI from Kangaroo Island
OC-139 in July after all!


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Amateur radio on BBC Somerset

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

On May 31, RSGB Region 11 Representative Dean Brice G0UIL was interviewed by Mel Everett on BBC Somerset about amateur radio  

The RSGB say the interview starts at 1:37 into this recording

Follow the RSGB

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The Radio Collector

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

On his Soldersmoke blog Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR highlights a vintage video of a 1985 TV show The Radio Collector from the California Historical Radio Society

Bill says:
Here is a really nice five part series of PBS TV programs about the history of radio and about restoring old radios.   I got a kick out of W6AM's description of the "exam" that got him his first radio license -- you will find that story at the end of the first episode

The playlist for all 5 parts
Click here

Soldersmoke Blog

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Credit card chip used to make crystal radio

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Hackaday report Billy Cheung decided to build a crystal radio using a rather unconventional detector – the smart chip in a common credit card

This is possible because the smart chip on many credit cards contains a diode. It’s then a simple matter of hooking up the right pads on the credit card to the rest of a crystal radio circuit, and you’re all set. Of course, Billy goes the whole hog, building the entire radio on a single credit card

Read the Hackaday story and watch the video at

Billy Cheung's blog

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Ofcom updates licence-exemption regulations including 24 GHz

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Ofcom has confirmed technical changes for use of spectrum in 874 to 874.4 MHz and 915 to 919.4 MHz bands to support use of short-range wireless devices and licenced use of 24.100-24.350 GHz at railway level crossings

We have updated the Wireless Telegraphy Regulations to allow networked radio-frequency identification devices (RFIDs) and Internet of Things (IOT) devices to operate in these bands without the need for a licence.

These changes also mean businesses and organisations can use these devices in a harmonised way, which will reduce the risk of interference with other systems operating in the band.

We have also today announced a new licence for the use of Railway Level Crossing Radar Sensor Systems. The new licence supports use of these systems across the UK’s rail network, helping to improve railway safety by detecting obstacles at level crossings.

Ofcom statement can be downloaded from

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

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

EU-042; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State North West group: Volker will be active holiday-style from Sylt (GIA N-16) between the 7th and 16th as DL1WH/p on CW and SSB. QSL via DL1WH (d/B).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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GQRP Club online

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

The GQRP Club has decided to see what support there would be for an online QRP Convention this year to replace the event which would have been hold in England on September 5th and 6th.

If you are interested in attending the Online convention, the GQRP club survey launched today would be interested in hearing from you!

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RSGB Director on national broadcaster Talk Radio

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

RSGB Board Director Mike Bruce M0ITI was interviewed by Darryl Morris about amateur radio and the RSGB on the nationwide broadcaster Talk Radio

Go to the show's website, click on the 02:30–3:00 section, and the interview begins at the start of that 30-min section:

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Radio amateurs stay connected during lockdown

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Warrington-worldwide reports local radio amateurs have been keeping active during lockdown by meeting up on the air each morning, checking that everyone is in good health, and chatting about who else around the world they have been contacting.

Current projects are always a hot topic of conversation with the sharing of ideas, hints and tips, as many of us have interests in electronics.
As normal radio club meetings are not possible at the moment, radio hams meet up on Zoom (the video conferencing app) and are joined by friends in the UK and from further away including the USA and Tunisia. Usually, a pre-advertised radio related talk is given followed by a more general discussion.

Radio amateurs enjoy a hobby with many facets and interests are varied.
Always at the forefront of technology, the first amateur satellite was launched in 1961. Mike from Westbrook talks to people around the world using a geostationary satellite via a small dish in his garden.

Lee from Lymm, likes to transmit using Morse Code. A piece of wire forms his radio aerial among the trees in his garden.

Read the full Warrington-worldwide article

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Quindar Tones: Those iconic NASA PTT confirmation beeps

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

The SWLing Post reports on the PTT confirmation tones used by astronauts in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs

"Last year, after spending a couple of days at the US Space and Rocket Center (and attending the Huntsville Hamfest), I heard numerous NASA audio clips and that lead me down the path of researching those PTT confirmation tones.
Turns out, they’re called Quindar Tones."

Read the story at

SWLing Post

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'Green Ghosts' spotted above sprites in New Mexico

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Citizen scientists have discovered a new form of upper atmospheric lightning: The Green Ghost.

Catalogued for the first time only a year ago, Green Ghosts appear above strong sprites, leaving a weird verdant afterglow at the edge of space.
A fine specimen was just photographed over New Mexico.

Visit for the full story

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Auction 20 cancelled

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Direct Allocation process is being undertaken.

In May 2020, New Zealand's Auction for short-term, early access rights in the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services (Auction 20) was cancelled. This was due to the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, a direct allocation process will be undertaken.

Offers of spectrum will be made to Dense Air (40 MHz), Spark (60 MHz), and 2degrees (60 MHz).

See Preparing for 5G in New Zealand for more information.

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Pulling data from news feed telemetry

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

We are used to seeing shots from TV news helicopters every day, they are part of the backdrop to life in the 21st century.

But so often we hear them overlaid with studio commentary, so it’s interesting to hear that their raw audio contains telemetry. It caught the attention of [proto17], who took some audio pulled from a news helicopter video and subjected it to a thorough investigation to retrieve the data.

The write-up is at a very in-depth level, and while there’s an admission that some of the steps could have been performed more easily with ready-made tools, its point is to go through all steps at a low level. So the action largely takes place in GNU Radio, in which we see the process of identifying the signal and shifting it downwards in frequency before deducing its baud rate to retrieve its contents. The story’s not over though, because we then delve into some ASCII tricks to identify the packet frames, before finally retrieving the data itself. It still doesn’t tell you what the data contains, but it’s a fascinating process getting there nonetheless.

It’s easy to forget that GNU Radio has signal processing capabilities far beyond radio, but it was the subject of a fascinating Superconference talk. We even jumped on the bandwagon in the non-foolish part of our April Fool this year.

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Sable Island DXpedition news

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Randy, N0TG, reports: "Many have asked about the impact COVID-19 could have to the Sable Island DXpedition scheduled for October.

"We are routinely in contact with Parks Canada and cautiously optimistic for October at this time. Certainly, matters can change quickly.
However, if the DXpedition schedule is delayed due to COVID-19 regulations, we have been assured by Parks Canada that they will work with us to reschedule the DXpedition. The team has been polled, and all agree that they will be able to comply to revised dates. Currently the border between Canada and USA is closed until June 21st.

"Shortly after that date, we hope to have a firm decision for October assuming no additional regulations for travel, etc are placed into effect."


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GB7RA the NEW Neston Wirral Repeater

Monday 1st June 2020

Message from Rob M0ORA who reports that GB7RA repeater one is back on air from the new site and fully operational.

GB7RA is now back on air it was off air for about 6 weeks owing to an issue where the bench supply to the repeater went faulty which in turn caused an overvolt situation which took out most of the repeater – none of which was a fault on the repeater but the external PSU from another brand…this happened only a few days after the UK went into lockdown due to Covid-19.

I contacted Yaesu UK who have been nothing short of amazing during this whole situation. The repeater was returned to them for repair once Covid restrictions eased a little. Unfortunately the repeater was non-serviceable but again Yaesu UK dealt with this issue and have swapped out the repeater for a replacement model.

The turnaround time from them to receiving the repeater to it being back on air has been two weeks.

I really value this kind of service from companies which is why I’ve put this section up about it. It’s really good to see just how well they are supporting the amateur radio community even under extreme circumstances.

For full details, frequencies and modes check out the website below

73, Rob M0ORA

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New booking system for online amateur radio exams now available

Monday 1st June 2020

The RSGB has announced that bookings for online Foundation exams, that people can take in their own homes, resumes today, Monday, June 1

The Society has introduced a new online exam booking system which enables you to select your preferred date and time for the exam.
Book your exam at

The 600 exam slots for June are already fully booked and the RSGB says the next available examination sessions are from 8.00 am on Wednesday, July 1.

See the RSGB Online exam remote invigilation FAQ PDF at

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Ham College 64

Monday 1st June 2020

Extra Class Exam Questions – Part 3
Rules pertaining to automatic and remote control; band-specific regulations; operating in, and communicating with foreign countries; spurious emission standards; HF modulation index limit; bandwidth definition.



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RAFAC Exercise Blue Ham 20-2

Monday 1st June 2020

National Cadet Radio Exercise BLUE HAM 20-2

The Royal Air Force Air Cadets are pleased to announce that back by demand the next Exercise Blue Ham will be held on the MoD 5MHz (Shared) Band over the weekend of 6 & 7th June 20.

Be assured that we will have plenty of callsigns available for amateurs over the period of operation using SSB Voice and Data Modes.

Details can be found at

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Global 'STAYHOME' event

Monday 1st June 2020

Stations bearing call signs that promote the 'stay-at-home' message and the value of social distancing and isolation have sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 150 000 messages of support shared around the world.

An on-air gathering over the 6 and 7 June weekend will offer a further opportunity for stay-at-home stations and radio amateurs to share greetings in a contest-like framework, looking toward the day that restrictions will ease, eventually making the stay-at-home injunction obsolete.

The patron of the STAYHOME radio campaign is Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and the worldwide activity has the endorsement of International Amateur Radio Union President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and the United Nations Amateur Radio Club.

"Amateur radio operators across the world are experiencing something we have never seen before, with the current COVID-19 pandemic," Tim Ellam said. "In times like this, on-the-air activities can benefit our communities and ourselves. Events such as this are important to improve operating skills. It is also encouraging us to get on the air and keep active, as well as promoting social distancing."
Tim, VE6SH expressed thanks to the national regulators in more than three dozen countries that made special stay-at-home-suffix call signs available for amateur use.

Sponsoring the event and campaign are the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL), in cooperation with Araucaria DX Group (ADXG) of Brazil and Radio Arcala (OH8X) in Finland.

The 4U1UN station will be on the air to support of the global STAY HOME movement, as will sister stations 4U1GSC (operating as 4U9STAYHOME) and 4U1A (operating as 4U2STAYHOME).

The STAYHOME event gets under way at 10:00 UTC on Saturday 6 June and ending 24 hours later. Bands will include 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT4 or FT8 only. The exchange is a signal report and operator age.

Complete information about the associated award and certificate programme can be found on

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Online talk: The joy of QRP operating

Monday 1st June 2020

The Chair of the GQRP Club Steve Hartley G0FUW will be giving an online presentation on the joy of low-power operating on Wednesday, June 3, at 7:30 pm BST (1830 GMT)

The talk is being hosted by the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society (DDARS) and will be available via Zoom.

Zoom meeting ID 278 609 9353

This is bound to be a popular talk and if demand exceeds Zoom capacity the DDARS have the capability to live-stream the talk on their YouTube channel which also carries videos of their previous online talks, see

Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society

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ITV show features Barry Amateur Radio Society

Monday 1st June 2020

RSGB report the ITV Wales show "Wonders of the Coast Path" to be broadcast at 8:30pm BST (1930 GMT) today, Monday, June 1, features the Barry Amateur Radio Society

Club members are shown re-enacting Marconi making his first CW transmission across the Bristol Channel.

You should be able to watch "Wonders of the Coast Path" episode 6 live online at

A recording should be available after the broadcast at

Follow the RSGB at

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EIDXG Summer Challenge

Monday 1st June 2020

EIDXG members (who brought you 9N7EI, 7Q7EI, 5V7EI to name a few), are running a unique Summer Challenge as a fun event beginning June 1st through August 30th.

Simply work as many unique DXCCs, CQ Worked all Zones, Participating EIDXG members and 32 Irish counties as possible (each one counting just once regardless of band or mode) and whoever accumulates the most points at the end is the Winner.

Full information can be found on their website: where one can see the different categories and 'small print' however this promises to be a fun event and will generate extra activity on the bands both Internationally and on a local level.

Logs to be submitted by September 6th and Winners will be announced at their DX Féile event in October. Enjoy the Chase!


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Video of IARU-R2 'Satellite Communications 101' workshop

Monday 1st June 2020

As I previously mentioned, IARU Region 2 (IARU-R2) is hosting workshops covering different facets of amateur radio.

Last Wednesday (27 May) was the "Satellite Communications 101" workshop I presented. Due to technical glitches, this workshop was not available in real time via YouTube, but the video of Wednesday's presentation is now available on YouTube. Watch it here:

One week earlier, on 20 May, Matias LU9CBL and Guillermo OA4/XQ3SA hosted the Spanish-language version of this workshop, titled "Comunicaciones por Satelite 101". The video of their presentation is available at:

IARU-R2 plans more workshops covering other topics, in English and Spanish. Information on upcoming workshops is available at:

Videos of past workshops are available from the IARU-R2 Workshops channel on YouTube:

Thanks to IARU-R2 for inviting me to be the presenter for Wednesday's workshop!


Twitter: @WD9EWK or


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These people are in power !

Sunday 31st May 2020

Gary: M0PLT writes:

For only £339 you too can shield yourself from "harmful" 5G "radiation", the BBC reports:

Perhaps off the back of this, everyone should consider replying to Ofcom's consultation on EMF.

We could all end up with targets painted on our backs where every conspiracy-theorist and "electrosensitive sufferer" considers us a major threat to their health.

We could find ourselves the subject of verbal abuse (such as the unfounded claims of causing cancer on Channel 5's "Nightmare Neighbours" programme), physical violence, or property damage (such as the 5G towers being burned).

We may also find planning applications refused on the unfounded claims that our transmissions will cause headaches/cancer/etc.
In a world of fake news, we will have to work hard to protect our rights!

Gary: M0PLT

Submit your response to Ofcom EMF consultation Now

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Submit your response to Ofcom EMF consultation Now

Sunday 31st May 2020

The new RSGB EMF consultation response guide notes the impacts of Ofcom's proposal upon Amateur Radio will be disproportionate to the related risks of harm

The RSGB say of Ofcom's proposal:

However RSGB does not agree with Ofcom’s proposals to implement that principle by adding a major new enforceable condition to Amateur licences. We believe this would be:

1. In breach of statutory general duties
  The Communications Act 2003 and the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 together require that regulations made by Ofcom:
Must be proportionate, objectively justifiable, and targeted only at cases in which action is needed;
Must not impose burdens which are unnecessary;
  There would also be a danger of double regulation with what is normally a HSE/PHE matter.

2. Not objectively justifiable
• The Amateur licences include a long-standing requirement that safety precautions should be taken against “radio frequency radiation” which is accepted by Public Health England (PHE), and the NRPB before it, as being proportionate to the low levels of risk arising from Amateur Radio activities.

3. Inadequate with respect to the requirement for impact assessments
• The document contains no impact assessment of any kind.

4. Disproportionate and Discriminatory
We emphasise that all impacts upon Amateur Radio will be disproportionate to the related risks of harm.
They will be extremely disruptive to the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite Service
• They fall most heavily upon the very large numbers of non-commercial licensed spectrum users many of whom lack the resources to make the assessments demanded.

Responses must be submitted to Ofcom before the consultations closes on June 12.

Download the new RSGB Response Guide from

Ofcom Consultation PDF: Proposed measures to require compliance with international guidelines for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)

Ofcom Consultation page

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GB100MZX Dame Nellie Melba Centenary

Sunday 31st May 2020

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will be on-the-air June 13-20 using the Special Event callsign GB100MZX to celebrate the centenary of the broadcast by Dame Nellie Melba

In June 1920 with sponsorship from the Daily Mail newspaper, the Marconi Company broadcast the world's first live recital by a professional musician - the legendary Australian diva, Dame Nellie Melba.

In a makeshift studio at the New Street Chelmsford factory, she opened her recital at 19:10 on 15 June 1920 by singing 'Home Sweet Home' and other popular favourites - the first offical UK Broadcast.

The powerful Marconi company transmitter used in 1920 had been allocated the callsign MZX (Marconi Zulu X-ray). This event subsequently led to 2MT Writtle and later 2LO in 1922 – the birth of the BBC.

Details at

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Temporary rule waivers announced for 2020 ARRL/AMSAT Field Days

Sunday 31st May 2020

ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the 2020 ARRL Field Day to adjust for Covid-19 restrictions. An AMSAT parallel event is held at the same time, and the rules for that have been adjusted, as well.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from
3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centres.

In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.
The waivers may be found at:

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) promotes its own version of Field Day for operation via the amateur satellites, held concurrently with the ARRL event. The rules for the AMSAT Field Day may be found at:

This will mean that there will be another group of certificates for AMSAT Field Day: The top three stations operating from home with commercial power.

The problem is with those operating from home attaching their scores to a club. Because AMSAT only allows one satellite station to be operating at a time, if you are going to attach your satellite contact to a club, only ONE home station can attach per club. This will keep the playing field rather equal as there are areas where there is only one satellite op around and other areas where there are dozens of satellite ops. It would be unfair for an area with a dozen satellite ops to pool all their home contacts towards one club.

Even if satellite operators took turns operating in shifts, it would make it very difficult to score entries correctly. That is why AMSAT has chosen to allow only one satellite home station could be attached to a single club. CLUB NAME MUST BE IDENTIFIED IN THE ENTRY.

There will also be no duplicate certificates. If you are attaching your score to a club, then it goes towards club rankings and not home rankings. Nothing needs to be changed on the submission form. If you are operating 1D and the name of your attached club is included, the club score will be calculated appropriately.

This is new and uncharted waters and hope everyone enjoys AMSAT Field Day. A much larger number of entries is anticipated with this change, so patience is appreciated.

ARRL, Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards and ANS

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IARU-R2 Workshop videos available

Sunday 31st May 2020

IARU Region 2 (IARU-R2) is hosting workshops covering different facets of amateur radio.

Last Wednesday (27 May) was the "Satellite Communica- tions 101" workshop. Due to technical glitches, this workshop was not available in real time, but the video of Wednesday's presentation is now available on YouTube. The direct link to the video of last Wednes- day's workshop is:

One week earlier, on 20 May, Matias LU9CBL and Guillermo OA4/XQ3SA hosted the Spanish-language version of this workshop, titled "Comunicaciones por Satelite 101". The video of their presentation is available at:

IARU-R2 plans more workshops covering other topics, in English and Spanish. Information on upcoming workshops is available at:

Videos of past workshops are available from the IARU-R2 Workshops channel on YouTube:

Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK


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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 30th May 2020

The humble coaxial cable

If you've ever used a spray can of WD-40, you might have wondered what the name means. It stands for "Water Displacement, 40th formula". In my time as a radio amateur I'd never stopped to think what the RG in RG-58 stood for. Turns out that it too has a meaning, "Radio Guide", though I have found some interesting alternative descriptions where the G stood for Government.

This radio guide, really a transmission line, gets a signal from point A to point B. Depending on how you construct that transmission line determines what you'll get at the other end.

Coaxial cable or coax is a length of cable made from several components. There's the outer layer or jacket, that protects the cable from electrical shorting, U/V deterioration and water ingress which causes all manner of problems. Inside that is an electrically conductive shield that forms one half of the transmission line, inside that is a dielectric, essentially a separator or insulator between the shield and the inner most, or central conductor, the core.

Each of these components can change. On the outside the first thing you might notice is the thickness of the cable. The next thing you might observe is how flexible it is. Below the outer surface other things can also be altered. For example, the core could be a solid copper wire, or it could be strands of copper. It could be aluminium, silver or even steel. It might not even be wire. Some coax like Heliax, used in broadcasting, uses a central conductive tube as the core with air as the insulator between the core and the shield.

The dielectric that separates the core from the shield can be made from different materials such as plastics, air and even inert gas such as nitrogen and it comes in varying thickness. Similarly the shield can vary in thickness, material and construction. There are also variations that have multiple levels of shielding, such as for example Quad Shield RG-6, common in satellite television and internet connections that has four layers of shielding.

Other aspects might not be nearly as obvious. If you're running coax down a power line it will need physical strength. If you're burying it in the ground it will need to be protected from water ingress. Temperature and heat dissipation are also considerations and if you're using the coax in a nuclear reactor, its ability to deal with radiation. More commonly if you need to run the coax around a corner, how tight it can be bent is another consideration.

As the materials and dimensions are changed, the characteristics of the coax changes. Each of these are documented and standardised.

The standardisation is both a blessing and a curse. So many options and so much to choose from.

For example, if you compare RG-58 to RG-59 they look pretty similar. If you cut into them you'll notice that they're made from similar materials. If you put them side-by-side, you'll notice that RG-59 is thicker, by about 20%, conversely the core for RG-59 is thinner by about 20%, this also means that the dielectric is about 30% different in thickness. As a consequence, connectors for one might fit on the other, but rarely work well.

These variations mean that while both types of coax are common and priced similarly, they're not interchangeable. RG-59 used to be common in satellite TV installations and is still used in CCTV, whilst RG-58 is common in radio communications.

If you made the decision to actually go out and buy RG-58, you'll come across many variations indicated by extra letters. For example, BC means Bare Copper and TC means Tinned Copper.

The final piece of the puzzle in this tangled offering of transmission line is that each manufacturer has their own way of doing and naming things in pursuit of market share. For example, the coax I installed recently is known as LMR-400, CNT-400, WBC-400 and several others.

If the performance of your coax actually matters that much, I'd recommend that you spend some time looking at your options before handing over any money.

All that behind the name of a piece of coax that runs between your radio and antenna.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Amazing opening on 144 MHz from Cape Verde Islands to Poland

Saturday 30th May 2020

On Friday the 29th of May 2020, there was an extensive Sporadic-E opening across Europe which reached as high as 144 MHz allowing stations across the continent to make many fine contacts.

The most extraordinary contacts however were probably from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Poland on 144 MHz. The longest path recorded with the FT8 digital mode seems to have been from D4VHF to SP5MXU in Warsaw, a distance of just over 5,600kms.

To put that into context, the same distance from Cape Verde Islands to the north would reach as far as Oslo, the capital of Norway or far to the north of the whole island of Iceland. The equivalent distance to the west would reach as far as the US capital Washington DC.

The most likely mode of propagation was via a maritime tropo duct from Cape Verde Islands to the coast of Spain and Portugal and from there via Sporadic-E to Poland.

More details here...

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New RSGB Online exam remote invigilation FAQ

Saturday 30th May 2020

The RSGB have released a new version of the Online exam remote invigilation FAQ PDF which covers the new automated exam booking system that will be available on Monday, June 1

In the PDF the Society says:

We anticipate the demand for remotely-invigilated exams will continue to be high so we have introduced an automated exam booking system on our website:

Once you have completed a booking (which includes your address and contact details) and paid for the exam you will receive email confirmation. At the same time a similar confirmation will be sent to the Exams Department who will complete the necessary processes to enter you for your exam

Download the Online exam remote invigilation FAQ from

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ESA invites proposals for lunar lander mission in late 2020's

Saturday 30th May 2020

Development of Europe’s first ever lunar lander was agreed upon by ESA Member States in
2019 and now ESA is seeking your ideas for science and robotic missions on the Moon.

Set to launch on an Ariane 64 rocket later this decade and return to the Moon on a regular basis, the large lander will provide unprecedented opportunities for science and robotics on the lunar surface and your mission could be one of the first.

The call for ideas comes hot on the heels of ESA signing an agreement to start building the third European Service Module for NASA’s Artemis programme. This module will drive the spacecraft that ferries the next astronauts to the Moon.

Andy, G0SFJ is going to propose an amateur radio mission, using low signal technology in an amateur band, with easily achieveable home technology on the Earth side. This is different from  the AMSAT-NA gateway proposal but will doubtless complement it..

"Outreach and STEM learning will be key outcomes from an amateur project of this nature, together with a general uplift of amateur skills".

G0SFJ invites anybody interested to register on the ESA website and make a similar proposal, with your own version of the basic idea. All proposals will be reviewed by ESA and merged where appropriate.

"Who knows now what the result of the application will be. But it's worth a good shot!"

73 de andy g0sfj

Get your ticket to the Moon: Europe’s lunar lander for science and more

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NHS supporting 'Get on the air to care' campaign

Saturday 30th May 2020

Pete Gordon, Head of Emergency Care Improvement in the Emergency Care Improvement Support Team (ECIST) explains how delighted the NHS is to be partnering with the RSGB in the successful 'Get on the air to care' #GOTA2C campaign

Watch Pete Gordon, NHS - supporting 'Get on the air to care' campaign with the RSGB

Get on the air to care

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The Space Weather Woman

Saturday 30th May 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

The space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Register now for free Amateur Radio Foundation Online training course

Friday 29th May 2020

The next free amateur radio Foundation Online training course run by volunteers from Essex Ham starts on Sunday, June 7

The Coronavirus outbreak and the RSGB's introduction of online exams that can be taken at home has led to a surge in demand for free online amateur radio training courses such as that run by Essex Ham.

These courses have been very popular and early registration is advised. 313 people took the course that started on May 3 and a further 235 are on the course that started on May 17.

You can find out more about online training and register to join a course at

Essex Ham

The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral, with the chance to meet up regularly (under normal non-coronavirus conditions) and ask questions. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exam is the first stage to proving competence and experiencing the joys of an exciting hobby.  It is often chatting with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge as a short cut to complete your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training and so one of the above courses would be an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exams.

After your success, do consider coming along to WADARC for a few evenings (for no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  Our members operate in a wide range of radio and computer activities.

Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for the latest information

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Mid-Altitude ham radio balloon race planned for June 1

Friday 29th May 2020

Students in three Space Station Explorer teams will participate in exciting distance learning

ARISS educator, Joanne Michaelis, an amateur radio operator with callsign KM6BWB.  Joanne is also a science coach at the Wiseburn Unified School District in Los Angeles, California where she leads her students in several balloon launch attempts from the Los Angeles area each year.

With this year different because of the pandemic, Joanne wanted to “shake things up a bit” and give students, world-wide, a unique distance learning treat while keeping all safe during the pandemic. So Joanne challenged Ted Tagami, KK6UUQ, from to a mid-altitude cross-continent balloon race and Ted accepted the challenge!  

Ted plans to launch his balloon from Oakland, California. ISS Above inventor, Liam Kennedy, KN6EQU,from Pasadena, California, got “wind” of the idea and he asked to participate, too.  All three organizations: ARISS, and ISS Above are ISS National Lab Space Station Explorer (SSE) partners that work to inspire, engage, and educate students in Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) topics and to pursue STEAM careers.

The three SSE teams plan to launch their balloons simultaneously on June 1st. The winner will be the first one to cross the “Finish Line” — the Eastern Time zone. Launch time is planned for 15:00 UTC/11:00 EDT/10:00 CDT/9:00 MDT/8:00PDT. A live video feed of the launch is planned to start approximately 5 minutes prior to the event.

Once the balloons are airborne, students can track each balloon’s location, altitude, and temperature via amateur radio APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) which is fed automatically to the web site.
Educators and parents around the globe can excite at-home youth with this initiative. Students can tally and track the states each balloon travels through and plot altitude versus temperature, etc. Also, by researching weather patterns, students can make assumptions from their own data.  This could include speed variations due to weather. They also can predict each balloon’s flight path and when they might cross the finish line!

For more information on the balloon launch, lesson plans, and the livestream video link (when thelivestream URL is available), please go to:

Enjoy the Race!  May the best ballooner win!!
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, the arts, and mathematics topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators,parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio.

For more information, see

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Another amateur radio COVID-19 initiative

Friday 29th May 2020

IARU Region 1 reports the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL) cordially invites radio amateurs around the world you to join them in a global special event featuring their STAYHOME campaign and its radio activity that will be held June 6-7

The United Nations Amateur Club 4U1UN, as well as its sister stations 4U1GSC (operated as 4U9STAYHOME) and 4U1A (operated as 4U2STAYHOME) will participate and look forward to making contact with many stations during this special event.

Details can be found at

Source IARU-R1

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Five new radio amateurs in Bergen

Friday 29th May 2020

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak five candidates in the Norwegian town of Bergen successfully passed the 40 question amateur radio exam for their 1 kW CEPT Class 1 licence, a pass rate of 83%

A translation of the NRRL post reads:

The Bergen group has arranged licensing courses over 15 course evenings during the period February 5 to May 6. Eight participants have completed the course.

6 course evenings are arranged at Sandgotna school in Loddefjord, and 9 course collections are arranged by means of online education (Skype).

6 candidates went to the test on Thursday, May 7, of which 5 got the license!
The new radio amateurs are:
LB8ZI - Krystian Tomasz Buczynski
LB9DI - Ųyvind Heggstad
LB9EI - Christian Egeland
LB9FI - Olav Torekoven
LB9GI - Roger Garshol

We congratulate the new radio amateurs and warmly welcome them "on the air"!

A license test will later be arranged for the rest of the candidates. Instructors have been LB0K Peter Ebsworth and LA1TNA Per-Dagfinn Green. Big thanks to the instructors!

Source NRRL

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ACMA Amateur Radio Fact Sheet

Friday 29th May 2020

Australia's communications regulator, the ACMA, has produced a Fact Sheet for amateur radio

It sets out regulatory and administrative roles of the ACMA, the Australian Maritime College, and the International Telecommunication Union, how the ACMA engages with amateur operators and where to get more information.

The fact sheet provides links to key amateur radio documents on the ACMA site.

Download the fact sheet from

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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 29th May 2020

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

GEORGIA, 4L. Vaho, 4L8A plans to be QRV in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest from Tbilisi as a Single Op/Single Band on 20 meters entry.
QSL via M0OXO.

BARBADOS, 8P. Charles, 8P6ET will be QRV as 8P1W in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via KU9C.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, A6. Members of the Emirates Amateur Radio Society are QRV with twelve stations with the suffix NMT, which stands for National Medical Taskforce, during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Stations A60NMT/1 through A60NMT/12 are active, although the length of their activity is unknown. QSL via operators' instructions.

CHINA, BY. Members of the ZhangJiaGang Amateur Radio Association will be active as BI4WXD during the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Multi 2/High Power entry. QSL via BI4SCC.

PHILIPPINES, DU. Tim, M0FGC is QRV as DU3TW while permanently living in Arayat. Activity is on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 meters using mostly CW, with some SSB, FT8 and WSPR. QSL via LoTW.

ENGLAND, G. Special event station GB2CDK will be QRV from June 1 to 12 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the June 9, 1870 death of author Charles Dickens.

MONGOLIA, JT. Special event station JU85UIA celebrates the founding of the University of Internal Affairs 85 years ago. QSL direct to JT1CH.

ALASKA, KL7. Brayden, KC1KUG will be QRV as KL7/KC1KUG from Fire Island, IOTA NA-158, from June 2 to 27. Activity will be mainly on 40 and 20 meters, and possibly 30 and 17 meters, using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct to home call.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, KP2. Yuriy, N2TTA plans to be QRV as WP2DX in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op/Low Power entry.
QSL via LoTW.

LITHUANIA, LY. Rolandas, LY5AA plans to be QRV as LY88A in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Band on 160 meters entry. QSL direct to home call.

AUSTRIA, OE. Hannes, OE1SGU is QRV with special call sign OE30MAGICBAND from Vienna until June 30 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the allocation of the 6 meter band to Austrian amateurs. Activity is mainly on 6 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via LoTW.

ALAND ISLANDS, OH0. Team OH0Z will be QRV in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Multi/Single entry, although their main purpose will be antenna work. QSL via W0MM.

DENMARK, OZ. Henning, OZ2I will be QRV as 5Q6EE from Odense in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op/Low Power entry. QSL to home call.

GUATEMALA, YS. Enrique, YS1RM is QRV as TG9/YS1RM from Guatemala City. Activity is on various HF bands and modes. His length of stay is unknown. QSL direct to home call.

COSTA RICA, TI. Kam, TI5/N3KS plans to be QRV as TI7W in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/High Power entry.
QSL via W4FS.

CANADA, VE. Jean, VE2JCW will be QRV with special event call sign VE2SPEED during June in reference to the Montreal Grand Prix, even though the event is cancelled. QSL direct to home call.

CAYMAN ISLANDS, ZF. William, KO7SS will be QRV as ZF2SS in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via LoTW.

NEW ZEALAND, ZL. Holger, ZL3IO and Jacky, ZL3CW will be QRV as ZM4T and ZM1A, respectively, in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL direct to home calls.

PARAGUAY, ZP. Manu, ZP9MCE will be QRV in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op/Single Band on 160 meters entry. QSL via LoTW.

The CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest, PODXS 070 Club Three Day Weekend Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, RSGB Hope QSO Party, Feld Hell Sprint and RTTYOPS Weekend Sprint will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The RSGB 80-Meter Club Data Championship is scheduled for June 1.

The RTTYOPS Weeksprint, ARS Spartan CW Sprint and Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest are scheduled for June 2.

The Phone Fray and CWops Mini-CWT CW Test are scheduled for June 3.

Please see May 2020 QST, page 69 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Digital Voice for VHF Marine Band ?

Thursday 28th May 2020

The May edition of the CEPT ECC Newsletter looks at using 6.25 kHz channel spacing Digital Voice in the VHF Maritime Band (156 MHz) instead of the current FM channels

In this issue:
• Digital equipment in maritime VHF voice communications
• Europe watches as the United States and Canada roll out authenticating calling line identification
• Fixed Service towards more efficient spectrum use

Download the CEPT Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) newsletter PDF


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Thursday 28th May 2020

Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.
The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts.

As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage:

Charlie Sufana, AJ9N


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ISWL callsigns for June 2020

Thursday 28th May 2020

The following International Short Wave League (ISWL) club callsigns will be used throughout the month of June 2020:

GX4BJC/A - Callsign not yet allocated for June.

M1SWL & MX1SWL - Operated from Heathfield, in East Sussex, by Arthur, G0KOC (WAB Square - TQ62 - England, IOTA EU-005, WLOTA 1841).

ALL QSLs will be handled by Dick, M5DIK - The QSL Manager and NOT the individual operator

The I.S.W.L. is a member of the European PSK Club. All QSL info is on or or or via


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Update: Licensing drive-in movies and church services

Thursday 28th May 2020

Drive-in movie and church service event organisers could be granted temporary radio licences by Ofcom, which may allow film lovers and congregations to come together while still observing social distancing.

Ofcom has today updated its licensing information to offer guidance to individuals or organisations who may wish to hold these types of events. They require a ‘restricted service licence’ from Ofcom, so that people in their cars can hear the film soundtrack, or what is being said, on their FM car radios.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, we are waiving the usual 60-day notice period for licence applications. We will also process applications quickly, with the aim of providing an answer to applicants within two weeks of it being received.

We recognise that these events may be a way for communities and congregations to enjoy a film or to worship, while still observing social distancing. In granting any licence, however, we are not authorising the event itself. It is for licensees to ensure that any events are permissible under Covid-19-related laws and guidance.

More information, including on how to apply for a restricted service licence, is available.
Licensing information

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Noctilucent clouds are intensifying

Thursday 28th May 2020

The first noctilucent clouds (NLCs) of northern summer have arrived--and they're better than expected.

NASA's AIM spacecraft is monitoring a huge blue cloud pinwheeling around the North Pole, while sky watchers in northern Europe are reporting electric-blue tendrils in the night sky.

Visit today's edition of for the full story.

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French special event

Thursday 28th May 2020

Members of the Radio Club du Val d'Issole (F8KGH) will be active as TM1SAFE from the South of France to promote the "STAY HOME" campaign and stop the spread of COVID-19.

The purpose of this special event callsign is to highlight the importance of staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and to express their solidarity with all the people who are affected by this virus.

In addition, the amateur radio community wishes to express its gratitude to all the medical personnel who give their best in their tireless efforts to comfort all patients in their fight against this pandemic.

QSL is available via eQSL,, LoTW, ClubLog, HRDLOG or their QSL Manager F4GPB


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IARU Region 2 Workshops and Seminars

Wednesday 27th May 2020

IARU Region 2 has been organizing live Workshops via the Zoom platform linked also to their new YouTube Channel at for the past few weeks with great success.

Interest in the first four IARU R2 Workshops has greatly exceeded expectations. The first Workshop in Emergency Communications was held in Spanish on April 29 and had an audience of over 200 participants tuning in via both Zoom and the YouTube Channel. In the following 3 weeks, over 1200 people have viewed this Workshop on YouTube.

The second Workshop on Emergency Communications was held on May 6th to a live audience of 217. This Workshop was in English and was specifically for amateurs in the Caribbean region at the request of the CTU and ITU. Over 550 people have later seen this conference on the channel.

The next Workshop on Emergency Communications was held in English on May 13th and also had some 140 participants. The YouTube video has ovce 380 views in about a couple of weeks.

Last week there was a great presentation on Sattellite Communicactions for beginners (in Spanish) and the audience was more than 230 participants. The YouTube video has over 1,100 views in 6 days.

There are several upcoming workshops you can sign up for. You can visit to sign up. The following is a list of the upcoming workshops:

Wednesday, May 27th: "Satellite Communications 101 (in English)". Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, an AMSAT Ambassador since 2006 is the presenter. Over 200 people have already signed up for it.

Wednesday, June 3rd: "Field Day in Social Distancing (in English)" Anthony Luscre, K8ZT will be presenting it. This is a very relevant conference that ties up nicely with next month's upcoming Field Day in the current COVID-19 situation.

Wednesday, June 10th: "FT8/FT4 Digital Modes (in English)" Anthony Luscre, K8ZT will be presenting it also. Now that propagation has not been very good, Digital Modes have become a great way to do Radio. Also it is a very interesting mode for getting young people involved with Radio as it has elements botth of Ham Radio as well as modern Digital technoloy.

Wednesday, June 17th: "FT8/FT4 Digital Modes (in Spanish)" Pablo Vazquez, OA4AI will be presenting it. Similar to the previous Workshop but in Spanish.

Everyone interested in participation in IARU Region 2's workshops are encouraged to sign up at . If signing up is already closed for a specific Workshop you can still attend via IARU Region 2's YouTube channel at .

Workshops are currently being done every Wednesday at 19:50 EDT / 23:59 GMT.

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Radio hams active in aftermath of Cyclone Amphan

Wednesday 27th May 2020

The New Indian Express reports that as communications failed post-Amphan, a ham radio club tuned in to save the day

For two days after Cyclone Amphan tore through the state, Ramkrishna Kar, a resident of Barasat town in North 24 Parganas district, had no news of his family in Bagbazar area of Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas district.

Kar, who lives in Barasat for work-related reasons, had no idea how his parents, wife and son were doing since Sagar Island, which bore the brunt of the storm, got completely cut off from the rest of the state.

With electricity, internet and mobile networks down, Kar got in touch with the ham radio operators at the West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club). The club dispatched one of its members, Dibas Mondol, to contact Kar’s family.

Mondol cycled through the desolate landscape to reach Kar’s home. Then, he shot their video message, and transmitted it using the slow scan television (SSTV) method, which is a way of sending video [images] over a voice bandwidth.

Read the full story at

West Bengal Radio Club

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Is the South Atlantic Anomaly splitting in two?

Wednesday 27th May 2020

Earth's magnetic field has a weak spot: The South Atlantic Anomaly, where space radiation comes closer than usual to our planet's surface.

New data from Europe's Swarm spacecraft shows that the Anomaly might be splitting in two, creating a new weak spot near Africa in addition to the original over South America.

Get the full story at

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Mysterious transmitter in the woods

Wednesday 27th May 2020

In this video Lewis M3HHY looks at a mysterious radio transmitter hidden in the woods

Watch the video

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Ham radio exams to resume in Austria

Wednesday 27th May 2020

Austria's national society ÖVSV reports oral amateur radio exams will resume on June 15 and 16 in Vienna and the Federal States

Unlike other countries Austria does not have a written multiple-choice style exam paper, the exams are oral in the form of a technical chat. Members of the public are welome in the exam room to listen to the exam in progress.

One candidate has said of the exam "The examiners were really accommodating and helped out like. I've never experienced before so relaxed examination situation."

Another candidate has commented "The atmosphere was very relaxed and loose."

ÖVSV in Google English

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IARU-R2 'Satellite Communications 101' workshop (online)

Wednesday 27th May 2020

Region 2 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU-R2) has begun hosting video workshops covering different facets of amateur radio.

Last Wednesday (20 May), there was a "Satellite Communications 101" workshop in Spanish hosted by Matias Graino LU9CBL and Guillermo Guerra OA4/XQ3SA (an AMSAT Ambassador). Their workshop had over 40 attendees from many countries in the Americas via Zoom, along with others watching a live stream via YouTube. A replay of their presentation is available at:

The next IARU-R2 workshop will be another "Satellite Communications 101" presentation, targeting novices to satellite operating - this time in English. This presentation will take place on Wednesday, 27 May 2020, at 2359 UTC (7.59pm EDT/4.59pm PDT). I am the presenter for this week's workshop.
A link to register for this workshop, and other upcoming IARU-R2 workshops, is available at:

There is a limit on the number of attendees who can participate via Zoom. If you want to watch the presentation without registering for the workshop, a live stream will be available from the "IARU - Region 2 Workshops" YouTube channel:

A video of Wednesday's workshop will be posted on this YouTube channel sometime after the conclusion of the workshop.

Thanks, and 73!

Twitter: @WD9EWK or


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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 27th May 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

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

NA-015; CO/KG4, Cuba: Kelly/NM7H remains active on 40-6m (CW, FT8)as KG4NE, after his departure at the beginning of May was cancelled. He now hopes to return home on May 28. QSL via NM7H (d/B).

NA-085, W4, Florida State North West (Bay to Wakulla County) group: Bruce/K5TEN will be operating from Dog Island (USi FL005S) again between June 1 and 10. QRV as K4D on 40 and 20m (SSB, FT8). QSL via K5TEN (d), LoTW, eQSL.

NA-158; KL, Kenai-Cook Inlet group: Brayden/KC1KUG activates Fire Island from June 2 to 27 as KL7/KC1KUG. QRV mainly on 40 and 20m, maybe also 30 and 17m, on SSB, CW, and FT8. QSL via KC1KUG (d).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Last Few days of GB0GIG

Tuesday 26th May 2020

Dragon Amateur Radio Club and North Wales Radio Society are nearing the end of their marathon 28 day activation of the call sign GB0GIG for the Welsh National Health Service (Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol).

We have made over 3,000 QSOs so far on all bands, all modes, including ssb, CW, AM, ATV and ssb via OSCAR100 and have been chased by many of you to obtain an award certificate!

We have really enjoyed chatting with you all during the lockdown and hope that you have too!

Details of our station can be found via GB0GIG at

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Electrostatic Field Mill Voltmeter Project

Tuesday 26th May 2020

A field mill is a specialized instrument used for measuring the strength of electric fields in the atmosphere, one of the key parameters of atmospheric electricity.

They are used in the launch criteria for rockets bound for orbit, as well as the now-retired Space Shuttle, to avoid lightning strikes. They are also used in outdoor laboratories for lightning protection equipment to determine favourable experiment conditions[1], or simply to measure the atmospheric electric field away from thunderstorms.

The "mill" is a typical rotating shutter design in the instrument. It can be deployed airborne and flown through anvil head clouds to make measurements.

Take and tour of an interesting homemade piece of electrical test gear.

We'll take it apart and explore the inner workings, and cover the theory of operation in detail.

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Indian special event stations

Tuesday 26th May 2020

The following Indian special event stations will be on-the-air until August 18th.

AT0, INDIA (Special Event). Dinesh "Pandir", VU2DCT, will use the special callsign AT0II (II=Improve Immunity) from Lucknow, India, to spread the awareness of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Activity will be through August 18th. QSL via his home callsign.

AT2, INDIA (Special Event). Utsav, VU3ZIG, will use the special callsign AT2SON (SON=Save Our Nation) from Habra, India, which was issued by WPC Ministry of Telecommunications Government of India, to show the gratitude and tribute for the COVID-19 warriors during this pandemic situation.
Activity will be through August 18th. QSL via his home callsign.


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Please Read, this effects us all if you transmit more than 10 watts   Result = ALL licenses will be changed !

Ofcom EMF consultation deadline

Monday 25th May 2020

Ofcom is threatening radio amateurs with EMF regulations that would be onerous and not proportionate

The deadline for a response to the Ofcom EMF consultation is June 12.

For further information about the RSGB's response on behalf of all radio amateurs and how to make your own considered response, see the RSGB page at


RSGB Details

Follow the RSGB at

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Funding regulations for universal broadband service providers

Monday 25th May 2020

Ofcom has confirmed rules on how universal broadband service providers, such as BT and KCOM, can make a request to claim back any unfair costs involved in providing a universal service.

In 2018, the UK Government introduced legislation for a broadband ‘universal service obligation’ (broadband USO) – a safety net that will give eligible homes and businesses the right to request a decent connection. The service launched on 20 March this year and anyone unable to get decent broadband – defined as download speeds of 10 Mbit/s and upload of 1 Mbit/s – can now make a request to be connected, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

Ofcom is responsible for implementing the broadband USO, including establishing an industry fund to compensate the Universal Service Providers for any unfair costs they incur when delivering the scheme.

Following consultation, we have now confirmed the regulations for the process of compensating Universal Service Providers. Under the regulations, Ofcom can assess requests for funding from Universal Service Providers and then determine whether the Universal Service Provider has incurred a net cost that is unfair, and establish an industry fund, including deciding who contributes to that fund.

These rules apply to the broadband universal service and any other universal service obligations.

We have also published advice on how members of the public can make a request for a USO connection.

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2020 W9DXCC DX Convention news

Monday 25th May 2020

The following was posted on the W9DXCC Web page

The board of directors for the Northern Illinois DX Association voted unanimously on May 19th to cancel this year's W9DXCC Convention (scheduled for September 11-12th) due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected limitations in Illinois surrounding large gatherings this fall.

Plans are already being made to book the 2021 convention at the Marriott in Naperville, where the 68th annual W9DXCC is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 11-12th.

Thank you for your continued support of W9DXCC and we look forward to gathering in person again in 2021. There have been tentative discussions about a possible virtual convention this year. Updates will be shared via email and the website if there are developments.


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ICQPodcast - Maintenance Time

Monday 25th May 2020

In this episode, Colin M6BOY is joined by Dan Romanick (KB6NU), Edmund Spicer (M0MNG) and Leslie Butterfield (G0CIB) to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is the Maintenance Time.

We would like to thank Kelly Breed and Nestor Jacovides (5B4AHZ) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -

News stories include: -

• RAYNET Helps Elderly Man
• Blind Amateur Radio Operator Promotes Hobby with New Aerial and Morse Code
• ARRL Seeks Clarification of Amended Amateur Service RF Safety Rules
• Wireless Power Transfer: CIS/B/737/CDV rejected
• 2020 State of the Hobby Survey
• Director, Vice Director Nominations Invited in Five ARRL Divisions
• Judge Approves Retrieval of Titanic Marconi Wireless Equipment

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 25th May 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 17th May, through Sunday, 24th May there were 209 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, 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, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TU, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XW, XX9, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, 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".


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 25th May 2020

Island activities:

IOTA NEWS. Since no or few new IOTA announcements have been made during the past several weeks (probably because of many COVID-19 travel restric- tions), OPDX decided to list the following IOTA operations that were active this past week between May 17-23rd (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- ------------- ------------
AF-004 EA8AV Tenerife 40m; SSB
AF-004 EA8ACW Canary 20m; FT4
AS-003 4S6NCH Sri Lanka 20m; FT4
AS-007 8J1ITU Honshu 20m; SSB
AS-007 JH3NGD Honshu 17m; SSB
AS-007 JH7RTQ Honshu 20m; FT4
AS-037 JH6HXH Iki/Tsushima 15m; FT8
AS-101 HS0ZGV Samui 30m; FT8
EU-005 G0TSM Great Britain 20m; FT4
EU-005 G4DDL Great Britain 10m; CW
EU-005 GB1PBL Great Britain 20m; FT4
EU-005 GB1945PE Great Britain 80m; SSB
EU-005 GB2CCW Great Britain 20m; FT8
EU-005 GB2SLS Great Britain 20m; CW
EU-005 GB75PEACE Great Britain 40m; CW
EU-005 M0CLH Great Britain 30m
EU-005 M0SUI Great Britain 20m; SSB
EU-005 MM7DWK Scotland 10m; SSB
EU-009 GB2OL Orkney 20m; SSB
EU-009 GM8OFQ Orkney 20m; SSB
EU-015 SV9CVY Crete 20m; SSB
EU-015 SV9RKU Crete 17m; SSB
EU-016 9A9RR Brac 20m; SSB
EU-018 OY1CT Faroe 12/10m; CW
EU-018 OY1OF Faroe 10m; SSB
EU-023 9H4CM Gozo 17m; SSB
EU-024 IS0DCR Sardinia 10m; SSB
EU-024 IS0GGA Sardinia 17m; SSB
EU-024 IS0HQJ Sardinia 30m; CW
EU-025 IT9CAR Sicily 40m; SSB
EU-025 IT9CLX Sicily 10m; SSB
EU-025 IT9EWR Sicily 15m; SSB
EU-029 OV1CDX Sjaelland 17/12m; SSB
EU-030 OZ3OEU Bornholm 20m; FT4
EU-031 IC8SDL Capri 10m; SSB
EU-034 ES0IA Kassaar 17/10m; SSB
EU-047 DL3QB/P North Sea 20m; SSB
EU-067 SY8CDV Kyklades 30m; CW
NA-107 FM4SA Martinique 20m; SSB
EU-115 EI2HI Ireland 40m; SSB
EU-115 EI4KF Ireland 20m; FT4
EU-115 EI5HTB Ireland 10m; SSB
EU-115 EI9FVB Ireland 20m; FT4
EU-115 GB75VEC Northern Ireland 10m; SSB
EU-115 MI0ITS Northern Ireland 10m; SSB
EU-115 MI0SAI Northern Ireland 12m; SSB
EU-116 GD1JNB Isle of Man 20m; SSB
EU-122 GI0IOT N Irish Coastal 20m; FT4
EU-131 IK3PQH Venice 20m; FT8
EU-133 RA1L/P Gulf of Finland South 20m; CW
EU-137 GD0TEP Isle of Man 60m
EU-146 PA3ESJ Zuid Holland/Zeeland 10m
EU-175 CT8/S51TA Central 30/20m; CW
EU-175 CU3HN Azores 20m; SSB
EU-175 CU7AA Faial 20m; FT4
NA-015 CO2OQ Cuba 20m; FT8
NA-015 CO2RQ Cuba 10m
NA-016 ZF1DM Cayman 20m; Digi
NA-021 8P6QA Barbados 20m; FT8
NA-024 J35X Grenada 10m; Digi
NA-034 W9VOB FL State Central West20m; FT8
NA-052 N1UL Marco 40/30m; FT8
NA-062 KV4HV FL State Keys 20m; FT8
NA-065 N0HFS WA State North 30m; FT8
NA-065 N7XS Camano 20m; FT8
NA-083 WB2DHY VA State 20m; FT8
NA-096 HI8RD Dominican Republic 12m
NA-096 HI8S Dominican Republic 10m
NA-099 KP4RV Puerto Rico 17m; SSB
NA-099 WP4IRV Puerto Rico 20m; FT8
NA-102 FG4SO Guadeloupe 20m; SSB
NA-108 J68HZ St. Lucia 10m; Digi
NA-108 J69DS St. Lucia 20m; FT4
NA-120 N5OB LA State West 20m; FT8
NA-133 RA1L/P
NA-134 OX3LX Aasiaat 20m; CW
NA-168 KV4T LA State SE 20m; FT4
OC-005 VK9NK Norfolk 40/20m; FT8
OC-019 KH6TU Hawaiian 20m; FT8
OC-021 8C2WFH Java 20m; FT8
OC-021 YB0JS Java 20m; FT8
OC-032 FK4QX New Caledonia 20m; SSB
OC-036 ZL1WN NZ North 20/17m; SSB
OC-143 YB6HAI Sumatra 20m; FT8
OC-147 YG9WKB W Papua's Coastal 40m; FT8
OC-151 YD6MCE/9 Tenggara Timur 40m; Digi
SA-006 PJ4DX Bonaire 10m; SSB
SA-011 9Z4AH Trinidad & Tobago 17m; SSB
SA-011 9Z4Y Trinidad & Tobago 20m; CW
SA-046 PY7RL/7 Itamaraca 20m; Digi

IOTA QSO MATCHING VIA LOTW! Roger, G3KMA, announced the following on the IOTA Web page, May 19th [edited]: Islands On The Air (IOTA) Ltd is delighted to announce the implementation of the ARRL application which allows the use of QSO matching via LoTW. We wish to thank ARRL for having made their application available. This will allow IOTA chasers to obtain credits by matching their logs with those at LoTW in addition to those at Club Log.
We have a lot of work ahead of us to identify the time windows of past IOTA operations and this will be phased in over the next few months.
An initial list of operations arising from the link-up with LoTW has been added to the database and these will become available for QSO matching from Thursday, May 21st. Further additions will be made on an ongoing basis.
We are sure that the IOTA community will welcome this development for which they have long been pressing. Instructions for LoTW QSO matching are found here, and notes on Accepted Activations here

NA-039. (Rescheduled) Members of the Russian Robinson Club will be
active as KL7RRC/P from Adak Island, Alaska, between September
11-18th (originally scheduled for June). Operators mentioned are Yuri/N3QQ, Robert/N7QT, Slav/OK8AU and Yuri/UA9OBA.
Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8 (F/H), with
three stations on the air. QSL via N7RO.

NA-070. (Rescheduled) Members of the Russian Robinson Club will be
active as KL7RRC/P from Kiska Island, Alaska, between September
5-10th (originally scheduled for June). Operators mentioned are Yuri/N3QQ, Robert/N7QT, Slav/OK8AU and Yuri/UA9OBA. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8 (F/H), with three stations on the air. QSL via N7RO.

NA-085. Bruce, K5TEN, who usually activates Dog Island (WW. Loc EL79)
every year in June as K4D, has postponed his operation until September 9-18th. Dog Island, Florida, is an extremely rare IOTA because access is controlled by the 25 or so homeowners on the island. There are no hams on the island, and the only activations have been done by Bruce over the last 6 years.
Access is by permission only and permission by one of the homeowners.
It is only accessible by private charter or single engine fixed wing aircraft. The airstrip is overgrown so private charter is the only real choice.
There are no streets, roads, stop signs, trendy cafes, or beach-front bars. If you need it, you bring it.
This year's activity will only be on 40 and 20 meters primarily on SSB and FT8 Digital mode using 100 watts an ICOM 7100 into an off center fed dipole. QSL via K5TEN, SASE REQUIRED for stateside and DX (DX 2 USDs REQUIRED). Also, QSL via LoTW, eQSL and ClubLog.

NA-158. Bryden, KC1KUG, will be active as KL7/KC1KUG from Fire Island,
Alaska, in the Cook Inlet Group, between June 2-27th. Activity will be mostly on 40/20 meters, possibly 80/30/17m, using mostly SSB, some CW or FT8. QSL via KC1KUG.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <> 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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Amateur radio today is as relevant as it was 95 years ago

Sunday 24th May 2020

In a media statement about the SARL 95th anniversary, President Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL said, "Amateur Radio has withstood the test of time because it is based on three major guiding principles: Communication between people, continuous technological development and self-education and training"

SARL News reports:

Amateur Radio's history dates back to the days of Marconi and other early radio experimenters. In the last years of the 19th century they stunned the world by showing that it was possible to communicate wirelessly.
In South Africa, the early radio experiments were carried out by a telephone technician, Alfred Jennings, in Port Elizabeth who demonstrated wireless communication as early as 1899. Radio amateurs in various parts of South Africa established wireless associations which were amalgamated in 1925 into one national body, the SARRL. The word 'Relay' was dropped in 1947.

It was the experimenters in the amateur radio fraternity who, in the early days of radio, proved that shortwaves propagate around the world. In modern days they showed the world the value of low earth orbiting satellites, today the backbone of GPS and soon the broadband satellite connectivity, once Elon Musk's Starlink constellation is complete.

Since the beginning of the amateur radio service at the dawn of the previous century, radio amateurs have made significant contributions to radio technology and the understanding of radio science. This work continues today, as the primary purpose of the amateur radio service is the "continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.”

Recent advances in the fields of computing, software defined radio and signal processing provide unprecedented opportunities to meet this mandate. These opportunities are already beginning to be realised with the advent of systems such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN), the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting Network (WSPRNet) and PSKReporter. In addition to enabling radio amateurs to make and contribute legitimate scientific observations, it will expose amateur radio to a wider community of people around the world interested in science.

On the science front of Amateur Radio, the SARL is collecting data about the radio frequency noise floor. RF noise monitoring is part of an international campaign to quantify the increases in the RF noise floor because of the widespread use of devices that generate noise as an unintended consequence. The rapid increase in the radio frequency noise floor is of great concern as the reliance on radio is increasing at an exponential rate. Just think of cell phones, wireless internet connection and the whole world of IoT.

The South African Radio League has developed a monitoring system powered by a Raspberry Pi and an RF dongle. There are currently too few monitoring points, hence the SARL is planning to reach out to universities and technical high schools to join the project and set up monitoring receivers on their campuses. Currently only a few radio amateurs are participating in the project but once the lockdown is something of the past, it is hoped that more radio amateurs, universities and high school science clubs will become involved.

Radio Amateurs pioneered low earth orbit satellite communication and recently gained access to the first amateur radio geostationary satellite providing 24 hour communication across Africa, Europe and the Near East. A South African group, AMSAT SA, is currently constructing a Software Defined Radio (SDR) powered CubeSat as part of its ongoing amateur radio satellite technology development.

Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL has said that one of the pillars of Amateur Radio is communication. It has withstood all the challenges of the internet and the mobile phone. Amateur Radio was in fact the world's first social network, decades before Twitter and Facebook. Talking to and making friends all over South Africa and the world is unchallenged and will always remain the reason why many remain involved and the younger generation is showing increasing interest. It is the magic of the ether waves that draws people together. As one of the astronauts speaking from the international space station said to a young person via an amateur radio link, “the magic of radio surpasses everything, even here in space!"

Source SARL News

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QSO Today Amateur Radio Podcast - Bob Fontana - AK3Y

Sunday 24th May 2020

Bob Fontana, AK3Y’s, ham radio and electronic career was a friend’s broken shortwave to AM downconverter.

Bob shares his ham radio story, his past and current ham radio interests, and the ultra wideband technology that he developed over his career.

Listen to the podcast

See also:
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo open Aug 8 and 9th

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AMSAT announces 2020 Field Day rules

Sunday 24th May 2020

It’s that time of year again; summer and Field Day!
Each year the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sponsors Field Day as a “picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!”

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) promotes its own version of Field Day for operation via the amateur satellites, held concurrently with the ARRL event.

For 2020, the event takes place during a 27-hour period from 1800 UTC on Saturday June 27, 2020 through 2100 UTC on Sunday June 28, 2020.
Those who set up prior to 1800 UTC on June 27 can operate only 24 hours.

AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards Bruce Paige, KK5DO, has announced the rules for the 2020 event.

Paige notes that "AMSAT has followed the ARRL when it comes to the date, times and most rules with regard to Field Day. [ARRL has made some modifications due to COVID-19]. With that in mind, AMSAT is going to have to adapt as well."

Paige further elaborates, "What we will do for AMSAT Field Day is con- centrate on rovers and operating from home." In line with this new concentration, the awards issued this year will be modified.
The top three club stations will receive certificates as will the top three stations overall (instead of the top three home operators on emergency power). AMSAT will also award certificates to the top three roving stations.

The 2020 rules can be found at

Bruce Paige, KK5DO
AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards


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AO-27 returns from the dead

Sunday 24th May 2020

A number of amateurs have reported that the FM repeater of AO-27 has been active for brief intervals in recent weeks.
When commanded on by control operators, the transponder is active for about two minutes before reverting to telemetry transmissions only.

Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, remarks that AO-27 wasn't originally intended to be an FM satellite. It lacks the audio filtering normally seen with a n FM receiver, since its uplink receiver was going to be used for data.

With the lack of audio filtering on the uplink receiver, AO-27 was used for tests with D-Star radios.

The Wayback Machine has captures of the former web site, detailing how those tests were done. Two radios were used for those D- Star QSOs, one for uplink and the other for downlink).

Many are hopeful that control stations will eventually be able to recover the satellite sufficiently to provide more regular operation.

In the meantime, if you hear the satellite active, make your contacts quickly!

Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK
AMSAT Board Member


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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 23rd May 2020

The antenna and coax you use matter

During the week I climbed on my roof and installed a base antenna for the 2m and 70cm band. The antenna is a Diamond X-300N. It's 3 meters tall, has a gain of 6.5 dB on 2m and 9 dB on 70cm. I've owned it for just under eight years and this week I finally took it out of the box and installed it.
I know, I know, in my defence, you shouldn't rush these things.

Truth is, until this week I really didn't have a realistic way of installing it. Several factors needed to come together. Some of them trivial, others less so. In the end, the antenna is now installed on my roof, connected via coax through my roof to my radio.

Now before we get all excited about what that means, let's compare my previous outdoor setting to the current one.

Today I'm using LMR-400 coax, 30 meters of it. Previously I used RG-58, but only 20 meters of it.

From a coax perspective, even though I increased the length by 30%, my loss actually went down, on 70cm it went down by over 4 dB. If you recall, 3 dB loss is the same as losing half your signal, so before my 5 Watts even got to the antenna, I'd already lost more than half of it using RG-58.

I will mention right now that the numbers I'm giving here are purposefully not exact. There's no point. Your situation and mine are not the same, and my two installations are barely equivalent, so actual numbers don't help you.

The point I'm making is that the type of coax you use to feed your antenna can make a massive difference. In my case that difference means that half of my 5 Watts never even made it to the antenna.

In addition to this the two antennas are different. Not by much, but enough to make a difference. As icing on the cake the new antenna is longer by a third, so my new antenna has a better horizon, it's higher off the ground, even if it's installed at a similar height.

You might recall that loss and gain are dependent on frequency, so any calculation needs to be done for each band you're going to use. In my case I had to do this twice, once for the 2m band and once for the 70cm band.

I should also mention that depending on the SWR of your antenna, the losses also change, but let's not go there today.

If you want to actually figure out what this means for your station, the calculation goes a little like this.

Take the power output from your radio, subtract the coax loss and add the antenna gain. The end result is a number that represents the gain - or loss - from the entire system. If coax loss and antenna gain are the same, you're not losing anything, but you're also not gaining anything.

The reward for the aches and pains from climbing on and in my roof are represented by the fact that now my 5 Watt signal on 2m effectively became 10 Watts. On 70cm it became 13 Watts.

With the added height and gain in addition to being able to hit all the local repeaters, I can now hear the local beacon and I've successfully decoded the JT4 and JT65 messages that the beacon spits out.

It's only been a week, but it's already made a massive difference.

No doubt my on-air experience will also benefit from this adventure.

Unfortunately, to do this for yourself is not quite as simple as giving you a link and punching in the numbers. I won't make any promises I cannot keep, but I am looking into it.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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New product HAMKit VMAC ESP32

Saturday 23rd May 2020

The new HAMKit VMAC ESP32 product, has just been released.

This is a small but powerful board, driven by an ESP32, which provides a very flexible Audio and Video Switching Matrix, with on-board DTMF Decoder, OSD Graphics, Video Signal Detectors and Synchronous Bucks.

The HAMKit VMAC ESP32 is easily software controlled from the on-board ESP32 WROOM 32D. Software can be easily developed such as using the Arduino IDE, Visual Studio Code and Platform IO IDE, Espressif IDF or Espressif ESP RainMaker. Home Automation via MQTT a great opportunity too for the ATV station or remote ATV/DATV repeater control.

Features: Flexible Audio/Video Matrix, ESP32 (with Wifi and BT), MQTT Home Automation Capable, OSD (On Screen Display), DTMF Decoder, 5 x Video Detectors, 5 x Video Inputs, 5 x Audio Inputs, 5 x Squelch / RX Inputs, DC Input 6-30V (Max32V), 3v3 and 5V PSU, Synchronous 2A Bucks, Matrix Video Output, Matrix Audio Output, PTT Output (FET), Relay Output (NC/NO), UART Programming.

Further details maybe found on our website

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Ham radio YOTA Online

Saturday 23rd May 2020

The Youth Working Group within IARU Region 1 has created a newly developed program called Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) Online

In these monthly gatherings they will try to bring the YOTA feeling towards the online community and spread the word that there is Youth in Ham Radio.

A YOTA team consisting of active youngsters will present different topics. While answering questions from the community there will be also a part where different recent YOTA events will be described and participant stories will be shared followed by a Q&A session with the presenters. At the end of the event we will also do a prize raffle amongst all participants.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all planned YOTA events until September 2020 had to be cancelled or postponed. This included for example the Summer Camps in all IARU Regions 1, 2 and 3 as well as Subregional Camps, Youth Contest Programs, or our presence during the HAMRADIO fair 2020 in Friedrichshafen. This and the fact that lots of youngsters want to join YOTA activities each year led the YOTA Team to create an interactive format to gather youngsters online on a regular basis.

The first meeting will take place on May 28, 2020 from 1800 UTC as a livestream and will take around one hour. Of course, the participation is for free and open to anyone who wants to take part worldwide.

They will share the link to the server one day prior to the event on the HamYOTA homepage and social media channels. The event will also be livestreamed to the HamYOTA Youtube Channel and will be recorded to be available online at any time.

YOTA Online Press Release

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Spain's URE makes June magazine PDF available

Saturday 23rd May 2020

In response to the ongoing Coronvirus situation Spain's national amateur radio society URE is allowing everyone to download the PDF of the June edition of their magazine Radioaficionados

A translation of the announcement on the URE site says:

One more month, and we have already been three, with the aim of accompanying its readers in the exceptional situation caused by the spread of COVID-19, the URE in its commitment to collaborate and help to cope with the complicated situation we are currently experiencing in our country, has decided to offer free access to the magazine of the month of June and we remind you that magazines prior to December 2019 are also available to you. In this way, citizens who wish to can read these publications for free.

A small gesture so that nobody feels alone at home in the face of this global challenge.

Access is through the website download area, click on "Descargas" under "Junio 2020 - Revista" at:

URE in Google English

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Monthly performance of 8J17CALL for April-May

Saturday 23rd May 2020


This is 7M4VQJ, Satoshi from 7-CALL Amateur Radio Club (JS1YEY), Tokyo based club station organized by Japanese 7-CALL amateurs.

7-CALL is Japanese callsign starting with “7" and it is a symbol of the golden age of Japanese amateur radio history.

Our club operates 7-CALL 30th Anniversary Special station "8J17CALL" from 23rd April, 2020 to cerebrate 30th Anniversary of Japanese 7-CALL issuance.

The special station is also known as a brand new prefix "8J17" according to the WPX regulation.

Please kindly refer to the hyperlink below for monthly performance of 8J17CALL for April-May, 2020.

For Twitter user:
Welcome your retweeting!!

For details of our club and the special station:
(English and Chinese available)

We highly appreciate if you could share this information through your channel.Thank you very much for your attention and we hope to hearing from you on the air.


Public Relations, 7-CALL Amateur Radio Club

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FT8 used for ham radio Moonbounce (EME) contact

Friday 22nd May 2020

Joe Taylor K1JT reports what is possibly the first FT8 contact via Moonbouce (EME) which took place on Thursday, May 21, 2020 between Paul W2HRO and Peter PA2V

Joe writes:

Paul and Peter used WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1, a beta-release candidate for version 2.2 of the program WSJT-X.  Both stations have moderate 4-yagi setups on 432.  Conditions today were not particularly good: degradation around 3 dB, and the Sun only 20 degrees from the Moon.

For terrestrial use the FT8 decoder searches over the range -2.5 to +2.4s for clock offset DT between transmitting and receiving stations. 
When "Decode after EME delay" is checked on the WSJT-X "Settings" screen, the accessible DT range becomes -0.5 to +4.4 s.  Just right for EME.

FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation with tones separated by 6.25 Hz.  At the time of this QSO the expected Doppler spread on the W2HRO - PA2V EME path was 8 Hz, which causes some additional loss of sensitivity.  Nevertheless, as you'll see in screen shots posted here, copy was solid in both directions:

Why might you want to use FT8 instead of "Old Reliable JT65" for EME QSOs?  FT8 is about 4 dB less sensitive than JT65, but with 15-second T/R sequences it's four times faster and it doesn't use Deep Search.

When I was active in EME contests on 144 MHz, I was always frustrated that even with reasonably strong (for EME) signals, one's maximum JT65 QSO rate is about 12 per hour.  With FT8 you can do 40 per hour, as long as workable stations are available.

What about FT8 EME on 1296 MHz?  It might sometimes work, but Doppler spread will probably make standard FT8 a problem.  But if there were sufficient interest, we could make an "FT8B" or "FT8C" with wider tone spacing.

Please try FT8 for EME on any of the bands 144, 432, and 1296 MHz, and let us know your results.

73, Joe, K1JT

The popular WSJT-X software for FT8 can be downloaded from

Moon-Net Email Reflector

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In 'Memory of Dayton Hamvention 2020' net

Friday 22nd May 2020

Astronomy Meets Amateur Radio will be conducting it’s “In Memory Of Dayton 2020” net on Saturday May 23 5:00 PM. EDT/2:00 PM PDT.
The net will be on TGIF talk group 440, AllStar 42235 and Echolink node 42704.

This group is dedicated to the pursuit of two objectives:

(1) The training, education, and dissemination of the benefits, fun, excitement and value of Amateur Radio.

(2) The training, education, and dissemination of the art and excitement of astronomy.

The group was featured on a story in Amateur Radio Newsline.

Details about the new group can be found at

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Telford radio amateurs get newspaper coverage

Friday 22nd May 2020

Shropshire Star newspaper reports members of the Telford and District Amateur Radio Society (TDARS) take to airwaves to support each other

The newspaper says:

Telford area amateur radio enthusiasts itching to get their club active again have launched a series of virtual talks.

Meetings of Telford and District Amateur Radio Society have been suspended because of the lockdown, but members have been having radio chats, known as nets, up to three times weekly, where members have a chat and check up on each other living across Shropshire and over the Welsh border.

And it has taken on board the Radio Society of Great Britain’s "Get On The Air To Care" campaign to promote wellbeing and help ease the effects of social isolation among the 75,000 UK radio amateurs, organising a Wednesday evening get-together to hear about the national society's new Beyond Exams scheme framework.

Telford & District Amateur Radio Society

The RSGB produce a handy Media Guide and Template Press Release, see

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Ham radio operators still transmitting

Friday 22nd May 2020

CHAT News reports on amateur radio in the city of Medicine Hat in southeast Alberta

The news report says:

The radio waves were the home for chatrooms for most of the 20th century and long before the advent of the internet. And despite the world relying more and more on the World Wide Web, amateur radio operators continue to talk the talk in the city.

Ralph Garnett VA6RHG, chair of the Medicine Hat Amateur Radio Club, says there are still about 300 licenced operators in the city but likely only a few dozen who are active.

But while ham radio is largely considered a hobby which allows people to communicate offline across the planet, it’s the ability to utilize the older technology in emergencies which also allows it to continue.

Watch the video and read the full story at

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IC-705 QRP SDR transceiver update

Thursday 21st May 2020

Icom have announced details about the launch of the IC-705 QRP SDR ultra-portable transceiver.

Available to the Japanese HAM community from the middle of June 2020, deliveries are planned to the rest of the world shortly afterwards.

We here at Icom UK are very excited about getting our first 705's very soon.

This new "go anywhere" HF/VHF/UHF is the radio that everyone has been talking about since its announcement at the 2019 JA fair in Tokyo.

After being seen at the Show in Japan, the Global Ham community has been anticipating its arrival with much demand.

Including its SDR platform, internal battery, GPS, Bluetooth and D-STAR, in a compact and lightweight body, the Icom IC-705 uses the same 4.3″ colour touch screen display as the IC-7300 and IC-9700 and features a real-time spectrum scope and waterfall display.

We expect the UK version of the IC-705 to arrive soon after the Japan launch and anticipate a price of around £1299.99 including VAT (subject to confirmation). We encourage you to  sign up to our newsletter  or  our social media channels   for news updates regarding this model.

For more details about the IC-705 including a video introduction to this product, visit the  IC-705 QRP SDR transceiver Product Page .

As you may expect, the demand for this product is very high when it does hit the UK. So If you want to be one of the first customers to get your hands on this model, contact your Amateur Radio dealer today.

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Record numbers to take UK Foundation exam

Thursday 21st May 2020

The RSGB reports that despite a record number of 600 online amateur radio exam slots being made available in June, they are already fully booked!

A post on the RSGB website reads:

In response to the demand for remote invigilation exams, the RSGB is launching a new, automated booking system. It will make each part of the process smoother for applicants and HQ staff. As all 600 exam slots in June have now been filled, the new booking system will go live on 1 June in readiness for booking July exam slots.

Over the next ten days we will share more details about the system and how to use it.

In the meantime, please note that we are not accepting any new bookings via the old application form.


Prior to the introduction of remotely-invigilated online exams that people can take from their own home, there were only about 1500 Foundation exams held each year, that equates to just 125 a month, demand is now running at over four-times that level.

Remote-invigilation and Online Training seems to have made the hobby accessible to so many more people for whom the geographically-patchy club-based training and exams were out of reach.

Follow the RSGB on Twitter at

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Ofcom: Opening up 100-200 GHz

Thursday 21st May 2020

Ofcom are holding a public consultation on updated technical analysis information on proposals to open up access to spectrum in the 100-200 GHz range

In January 2020 Ofcom proposed to open up access to 18.2 GHz of spectrum in the 100-200 GHz range to support innovation across a range of industries.

Ofcom have published a consultation providing further details of the technical analysis underlying these proposals, following requests from stakeholders for more information.

Ofcom welcome comments on this analysis by June 17, 2020, see

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AMSAT receives PPP funds during COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday 21st May 2020

On March 31, 2020, AMSAT's Board of Directors authorized the organization's leadership team to pursue relief afforded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Pursuit of this relief was in accordance with the Directors' fiduciary duty to pursue all funding sources available to sustain AMSAT's operations.

AMSAT has received funds under the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Participation in this program gives us certainty that AMSAT will be able to continue uninterrupted service to our members during these uncertain economic times.

It helps AMSAT offset cash flow losses due to the pandemic and avoid dipping into our reserves. Using reserves at this time would incur substantial realized losses due to fluctuating investment market conditions.

Receiving the PPP funds also allows AMSAT to continue paying Martha, AMSAT's Office Manager of over 40 years, even though our physical office remains closed.

Although AMSAT remains in a healthy financial position with a strong balance of cash and reserves, the current economic situation and loss of events like Hamvention and Ham-Com will likely continue to negatively impact donations and membership renewals.

AMSAT's senior leadership team continues to pursue avenues to reduce operational costs such as the recent successful roll out of the Wild Apricot membership management portal.

Clayton Coleman, W5PFG
AMSAT President


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Twelve UAE NMT stations on the air

Thursday 21st May 2020

Members of the Emirates Amateur Radio Society (EARS) will activate twelve stations with suffix NMT (National Medical Taskforce) during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

This is recognition of the efforts of all medical teams and cadres, and all health workers in the country, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrators and technicians, who work around the clock, in light of the conditions and challenges that the world is currently experiencing due to the outbreak. Length of their activity is not known at this time.

Look for the following stations:
A60NMT/1 - Op A61M; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/2 - Op A61Q; QSL via EA7FTR
A60NMT/3 - Op A61NN; QSL via A61NN
A60NMT/4 - Op A61FK; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/5 - Op A61DD; QSL via A92AA
A60NMT/6 - Op A61QQ; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/7 - Op A61FJ; QSL via direct
A60NMT/8 - Op A61RJ; QSL via direct
A60NMT/9 - Op A61HA; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/10 - Op A61GC; QSL via direct
A60NMT/11 - Op A61AY; QSL via direct
A60NMT/12 - Op A61BK; QSL via A61BK


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Introduction to the AMSAT GOLF program

Wednesday 20th May 2020

AMSAT is developing a satellite program that should see amateur transponders in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and eventually High Earth Orbit (HEO) 

GOLF is an acronym for "Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint"

The goal of the GOLF program is to work by steps through a series of increasingly capable spacecraft to learn skills and systems for which we do not yet have any low-risk experience.  Among these are active attitude control, deployable/steerable solar panels, radiation tolerance for Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) components in higher orbits, and propulsion.

The first step is to be one or more Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites similar to the existing AO-91 and AO-92, but with technologies needed for higher orbits.  With proven technologies, an interim high LEO or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite would follow on. 

The eventual goal is a High Earth Orbit (HEO) similar to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40, but at a currently affordable cost combined with significantly enhanced capabilities which in turn will allow the use of much less complex ground stations.

Read the AMSAT GOLF article at

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Ofcom release ham radio Club Call sign list

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request Ofcom released a list of amateur radio Club call signs in the UK and Crown Dependencies

In the UK you cannot tell from a basic call sign if it is a Club licence or an Individual licence. On-the-Air some clubs may choose to use a special Regional Secondary Locator when they give a call sign but that is entirely optional. Some call signs may appear as "Details Withheld" in Callbooks or under the Individual holders name and give no indication it is a Club call.

Ofcom's list, released on April 30, 2020, shows there are currently over 1600 Valid Club call signs, it can be seen at

Note: 1600+ Live Club Calls doesn't mean 1600 Clubs. Some Clubs hold two call signs, a legacy of the old Class System of the last century which made clubs hold separate Class A and Class B licences.

Additionally in the past some amateurs set up Dummy Clubs which appeared in-practice to have only one active member and the aim seemed to be just the holding of a prized call sign.

Strangely many Club Calls appear in both the Live and Terminated lists. Checking the Ofcom database for March 26, 2020 seems to show such call signs are in fact very definitely Live. It is not known what "Terminated" refers to.

Database of all Allocated call signs as at March 26, 2020

Surprisingly Ofcom say they do not hold records of any licences which were Cancelled before April 1, 2014, see

You can submit a Freedom of Information request to Ofcom via the What Do They Know Site

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AMSAT Executive VP congratulates HuskySat-1 team

Wednesday 20th May 2020

"The first of what will be many AMSAT Linear Transponder Modules in orbit was opened for amateur use worldwide Sunday morning.

I wanted to offer my thanks and congratulations to the team that made this possible:

AMSAT Engineering
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
John Klingelhoeffer, WB4LNM
Marc Franco, N2UO
Dan Habecker, W9EQ
Bob Davis, KF4KSS
Burns Fisher, WB1FJ
Eric Skoog, K1TVV
Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA

AMSAT Operations
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
Mark Hammond, N8MH

"And, last, but certainly not least, the entire team at the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington.

"The AMSAT Linear Transponder Module (LTM) is a crucial part of AMSAT's mission. The GOLF program will fulfill the first part of our mission statement, to deploy satellite systems with the goal of providing wide-area and continuous coverage, while ARISS and AREx fulfill the second part of our mission statement to continue active participation in human space missions.

The LTM represents the primary work AMSAT is doing to "support a stream of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community and other amateur satellite groups". Five Fox-1 satellites have been completed. HO-107 is just the first of many more missions that will help us to Keep Amateur Radio in Space at a low cost to AMSAT.
The future is bright!

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
AMSAT Executive VP

Amsat website

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Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO - Early years and favourite space missions

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Radio amateur Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO has recorded a series of home videos from Coronavirus lockdown to record answers to the questions he is most frequently asked

In this episode he talks about his inspiration for pioneering the original SmallSats revolution and reveals two of his favourite SSTL missions.

Watch Sir Martin Sweeting - early years & favourite missions


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ARISS continues test of MultiPoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio

Wednesday 20th May 2020

ARISS completed the second test of the new-style radio contact called Multi point Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio.

The concept was developed for distance learning when schools closed worldwide due to COVID-19. The virus eliminated all opportunities for ARISS radio contacts at education organizations.

The radio contact was completed on May 15 with ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. A new ARISS telebridge ground station was operated by John Sygo, ZS6JON located near Johannesburg,South Africa.
The telebridge linked to the astronaut and each youth tied in from home via their telephones. Each student took a turn asking their question of the astronaut. Their families, faculty and the public could also listen from home.

The youth taking part in ARISS's second test belong to the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, AB, Canada. Prior to COVID, the students had participated in space and radio communications lessons such as balloon launches with ham radio payloads and building model rockets to launch. Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ, one of the five club leaders related, "During this pandemic, our opportunities to develop kids' interest in space has been interrupted. This ARISS contact gets them looking back up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day."

Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS Public Relations

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First British settlers in South Africa

Wednesday 20th May 2020

The special event station ZS1820S celebrates the arrival of the first British settlers at the South African Cape 200 years ago.

QRV throughout 2020.

QSL via ZS2EC (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog.

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Czech Republic

Wednesday 20th May 2020

On May 19 in 1930, the first amateur radio licenses were issued in Czechoslovakia.

The following special event stations commemorate this 90th anniversary: OL901AA, OL901AB, OL902AC, OL901AF, OL902AG, and OL901AH.

In addition, OL90SKEC, OL90KVAC, OL90CAV, OL90ROH, OL90SVAZARM, and OL90CRK mark past and present amateur radio organisations in the Czech Republic. All QRV until May 31. An award is available as well.

QSL via bureau, LoTW, eQSL. For more information see:


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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

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

AS-007; JA1 etc, Honshu Island: The callsign 8J17CALL will be used by the 7-CALL amateur radio club (JS1YEY), absed in Tokyo, until 22 April 2021. The callsign refers to the first issue of Japanese callsigns beginning with a 7 in the Tokyo region. The first one (7K1AAA) was issued on 23 April 1990, and the last one (7N4XZZ) on 20 June 2003. QSL via bureau and eQSL.

EU-042; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State North West group: Mike/DG5LAC will be operating as DG5LAC/p from Amrum (WLOTA 2464) between the 18th and 24th on SSB and FT8/4. He also plans to visit DLFF-0242. QSL via DG5LAC (d/B).

NA-168; W5, Louisiana State South East (Lafourche to Plaquemines Parish) group: Allan/KV4T and his wife Bridget/KS4YT activate Grand Isle from May 22 to 25, signing homecalls /p. QRV on 80, 40, 30, and 20m on SSB, CW, FT4, and FT8. QSL via homecalls (d), LoTW, eQSL.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Australia moves closer to getting WRC-15 60m (5 MHz) band

Tuesday 19th May 2020

WIA reports the ACMA has released a public consultation titled Possible use of the 5351.5–5366.5 kHz band by the amateur service  

Recently released on the ACMA website for public comment, the ACMA is currently seeking feedback on amateur access to the 5 MHz band in Australia. This is excellent news from our friends at ACMA given the amount of hams globally who will be chasing Australia for confirmation on 60m but with 15W EIRP, the DX will be challenging.

It is also an excellent band choice for general low power experimentation with even new digital modes like WSPR, FT8 etc and for inter continental communications around Australia and our close neighbours when 80m and 40m may be unsuitable that 60m is the better solution, especially for outback and remote emergency communications.

Read the WIA story Is 60m Within Our Grasp?

ACMA Public Consultation on an Amateur Radio 5 MHz (60m) band is at

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New Zealand: Ham radio exams can be held at Alert Level 2

Tuesday 19th May 2020

NZART reports the great news that New Zealand can now start holding amateur radio examinations under Alert Level 2, however, this does come with conditions  

The following rules must be strictly adhered to:

1.  All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are still encouraged where possible.

2.  Talk with those present to identify risks and ways to manage them.

3.  Ask everyone, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.

4.  Keep groups 1 metre apart.

5.  Keep contact-tracing records of anyone who will have close interaction
(candidates and supervisors) maximum of 10 persons in a room maintaining rule 4 above.

6.  Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
(desks/chairs etc)

7.  Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Points 1 & 2 may not necessarily apply for holding exams; however, these rules have been taken from the COVID-19 web site Alert Level 2 Guidelines.

Ham Crams [weekend training/exam sessions] may NOT be held at this alert level at this time. This may change if the Government allows different changes under Level 2.

However, if you can hold classes via social media, Zoom/Skype in preparation for a reduced exam environment, you may then allow 4 – 6 persons to come to a nominated venue to hold their exam. These numbers allow for a minimum of two Supervisors to be present but ensuring we do not have more than ten in the group in one area to allow one-metre distancing. (Note: maximum time per session is two hours.)

Source NZART Infoline

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Kerala: Ham radio stations to be set up at major dam sites

Tuesday 19th May 2020

The New Indian Express reports in preparation for the onslaught of another monsoon, radio amateurs in Kerala  are setting up stations at major dam sites to ensure communications are maintained

The newspaper says:

As Kerala prepares for the onslaught of another monsoon, ham radio operators are setting up stations at major dam sites to negate communication breakdowns in an emergency. Idukki, Mullaperiyar, Edamalayar and Kallarkutty are lined up to get ham radio channels. Idukki Ham Radio Emergency Communication Society secretary Manoj T R, who coordinates operations in the district, told TNIE that ham stations will be set up at major dam sites by next week.

“As the meteorological department predicts heavy rains, we are going to set up ham stations at major dams. The communication channels between dams were broken during the 2018 deluge. Considering that, dams like Kallarkutty, Mullaperiyar, Idukki and Edamalayar will have ham stations soon. We are awaiting the nod from the district collector and the KSEB chairman,” he said. Three other stations will be set up at the Karimanal power house, Vallakkadavu and Uppukandam along the path of the Periyar. In emergency situations, ham radio stations play a crucial role.

During the devastating floods in 2018, the lack of such a communication facility had foiled attempts to reinstate the operation of dams which were breached. “We are like police officers,” said Subramanian N Shastry VU2NSL, director, Institute of Amateur Radio in Kerala. “Similar to their march past, we have daily roll drills. As a warming-up process, all our stations go through the drills between 7am and 8am.” Currently, the operators are pushing themselves to the next level to ensure Covid precautions.

Read the full story at

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The Space Weather Woman

Tuesday 19th May 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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News and sermon about Covid-19 on Loveworld breaks broadcasting rules

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Ofcom has today imposed a sanction on the licensee Loveworld Limited, which broadcasts the religious television channel Loveworld, after a news programme and a live sermon included potentially harmful claims about causes of, and treatments for, Covid-19.

Our investigation found that a report on Loveworld News included unsubstantiated claims that 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a “global cover-up”. Another report during the programme presented hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for Covid-19, without acknowledging that its effectiveness and safety as a treatment was clinically unproven, or making clear that it has potentially serious side effects.

A sermon broadcast on Your Loveworld also included unsubstantiated claims linking the pandemic to 5G technology; as well as claims which cast serious doubt on the necessity for lockdown measures and the motives behind official health advice on Covid-19, including in relation to vaccination. These views were presented as facts without evidence or challenge.

Ofcom stresses that there is no prohibition on broadcasting controversial views which diverge from, or challenge, official authorities on public health information. However, given the unsubstantiated claims in both these programmes were not sufficiently put into context, they risked undermining viewers’ trust in official health advice, with potentially serious consequences for public health.

Given these serious failings, we concluded that Loveworld Limited did not adequately protect viewers from the potentially harmful content in the news programme and the sermon, and the news reports were not duly accurate. We have directed Loveworld Limited to broadcast statements of our findings and are now considering whether to impose any further sanction.

Sanction on the licensee Loveworld Limited

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NASA to make announcement about WFIRST space telescope mission

Tuesday 19th May 2020

NASA will host a special edition of NASA Science Live at 11 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 20, to share an exciting announcement about the agency’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission. The episode will air live on NASA’s website, NASA YouTube, NASA Facebook and Twitter/Periscope.

Members of the mission will respond to questions from the livestream chat in real time during the episode. Follow @NASA and @NASAWFIRST on Facebook and Twitter for additional information.

WFIRST is a space telescope that will conduct unprecedented large surveys of the infrared universe to explore everything from our solar system to the edge of the observable universe, including planets throughout our galaxy and the nature of dark energy.

WFIRST is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, with participation by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the California Institute of Technology’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center in Pasadena, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and a science team comprising scientists from research institutions across the United States.

For more information about WFIRST, visit:

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SWODXA announces DXpedition of the Year

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Tom Inglin, NR8Z, President of the Southwest Ohio DX Association (SWODA), announced the 2019-2020 SWODXA "DXpedition of the Year" award on May 14th.

The winner was the February 2020 Cocos Island TI9A DXpedition (

The TI9A Team consisted of: Dmitry/RA9USU, Andy/UA3AB, Mats/RM2D and Jorge/TI2JV.

To see the complete announcement, go to:

CQ News reports: The DX Hall of Fame induction is planned to air live on the Ham Nation podcast ( on Wednesday, May 20th.


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VDSL interference

Monday 18th May 2020

The RSGB report that in many areas of the UK, all of the HF amateur bands up to and including 20m are being blighted by interference from VDSL (Very high-speed Digital Subscriber Line).

This is the most widespread means of providing residential broadband internet services in the UK. Ofcom, which is responsible for investigating radio interference, says that it receives, on average, only six complaints per year on the topic and won’t take any significant action.

The RSGB urges all who are suffering from VDSL interference to submit complaints to Ofcom. Many have already submitted complaints to Ofcom but they would like yet more people to submit complaints. Ofcom has yet to be persuaded to take action. 

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Wireless Power Transfer: CIS/B/737/CDV rejected

Monday 18th May 2020

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) has rejected a proposal by the Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) lobby that would have resulted in pollution of the precious HF RF spectrum

While Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems nominally operate on frequencies below 150 kHz they can pollute the entire HF spectrum up to 30 MHz not only ruining people's enjoyment of radio but also potentially disrupting the communications of key services.

A WPT paper notes:

"the business case for WPT systems expects a wide spreading of their usage; in the ideal case, nearly one system per household when mostly electric vehicles will be used in the future."

Such an outcome could result in horrendous interference levels and ruin the HF radio frequency spectrum which is a precious natural resource.

See the WPT paper at

CIS/B/737/CDV Voting Result

RSGB: Overview of WPT

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2020 State of the Hobby Survey

Monday 18th May 2020

Dustin N8RMA reports it's time for the fourth annual survey into the State of Amateur Radio

First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying healthy out there.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has, for better or worse, certainly cause a large amount of change in the world today.

While I was originally hoping to release this survey mid-March, due to the pandemic response I was forced to change this up. I trust many others have had to make similar adjustments, so I hope folks understand.

Last year saw a huge increase in participation and I hope to continue that trend in 2020.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey for this year and share with your radioactive peers. You can check out the survey link, along with previous results on my blog!

Dustin N8RMA

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Deep ‘Solar Minimum’ is feared

Monday 18th May 2020

Forbes magazine reports a deep ‘Solar Minimum’ is feared as 2020 sees record-setting 100-day slump

Jamie Carter writes:

While we on Earth suffer from coronavirus, our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its own. reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots.

That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots

So are we in an eternal sunshine of the spotless kind?

Read the full article at

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IARU WRC-19 team recognised

Monday 18th May 2020

The IARU Region 1 President reports members of the IARU team involved in WRC-19 have been recognised by the Radio Society of Great Britain in a recent awards announcement

On the IARU-R1 site Don Beattie G3BJ writes:

At the annual RSGB AGM, some of the more significant recognition awards are normally presented, recognising exceptional contribution to aspects of the Society’s work or to amateur radio.

The IARU team have been awarded the RSGB Founders Trophy, which is awarded for outstanding service to the Society.

The team included not only Murray Niman, G6JYB, John Regnault G4SWX, Barry Lewis, G4SJH and Dave Court G3SDL/EI3IO but also the many international colleagues, who are all recognised by RSGB for their significant contributions to WRC-19 (World Radio Conference)

Additionally, the Harold Rose Plate, which is awarded for outstanding contribution to 50 MHz, was awarded to David Court, G3SDL/EI3IO (IARU’s 50MHz project Manager at WRC-19) for securing the 50 MHz band for the amateur service in Region 1

Congratulations to Dave, Barry, Murray and John and to all the IARU international team who share in the award of the Founder’s Trophy and further congratulations to Dave Court on the award of the Harold Rose Plate.

IARU Region 1

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IARU-R1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter

Monday 18th May 2020

Edition 86 of the free IARU Region 1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter is now available for download

The newsletter notes:

In 50 MHz IARU Region 1 is keen to encourage:

• Overriding the current 12 kHz Bandwidth limit
• Wideband modes which can tolerate the variations in 6m propagation perhaps for 32-64 and/or 128-256 kbps
• Review/deletion of multiple #SSTV/Image frequencies (50.51 and 50.55)

Concerning the Galileo GNSS constellation which is now operating in the 23 cm Amateur and Amateur Satellite allocation the UK Microwave Manager Barry G4SJH says:

"the IARU takes a view that the potential for large scale interference to RNSS is overstated but is working with all parties in a good spirit of cooperation."

Download the newsletter from

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Big sprites and colorful airglow over west Texas

Monday 18th May 2020

This week, a colorful "bullseye" formed at the edge of space above a towering thunderstorm in west Texas.

An astronomer at the McDonald Observatory captured the display, which also featured a ferocious outburst of sprites.

Visit today's edition of for a must-see movie and explanations

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 18th May 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 10th May, through Sunday, 17th May there were 211 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4U1U, 4X, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5U, 5V, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, 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, S2,mS5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T2, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, YB, YI, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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".


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 18th May 2020

Island activities:

IOTA NEWS. Since no or few new IOTA announcements have been made during the past several weeks (probably because of many COVIN-19 travel restrictions), OPDX decided to list the following IOTA operations that were active this past week between May 10-16th (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- -------------------- ------------
AF-004 EA8ARI La Palma 40/20m; SSB
AF-004 EA8DEG Arona 20m; SSB
AF-004 EA8JK La Palma 17m; SSB
AF-016 FR4NT Reunion 80m; FT8
AF-022 ZD7FT St. Helena 15m; SSB
AF-022 ZD7MY St. Helena 17m; FT8
AS-007 JA0IKP Honshu 80m; CW
AS-007 JA1GZV Honshu 40m; CW
AS-007 JA3CZY Honshu 40m; SSB
AS-007 JR7TKG Honshu 17m; SSB
AS-017 JR6FC Okinawa 10m; Digi
AS-077 JF6TWP Kyushu 12m; SSB
AS-101 HS0ZGV Malay Peninsula (E)17m; FT8
EU-006 EA6UP Balearic 20m; CW
EU-004 EA6VQ Balearic 12m; FT8
EU-005 2E0TXE Great Britain 20m; FT8
EU-005 G0UWK Great Britain 20m; SSB
EU-005 G3BJ Great Britain 20m; SSB
EU-005 G3XBI Great Britain 10m; FT8
EU-005 GB0ELR Great Britain 40m; SSB
EU-005 GB1RNLI Great Britain 20m; CW
EU-005 GB1VE Great Britain 40m; SSB
EU-005 GB1945PE Great Britain 10m; CW
EU-005 GB1945PJ Great Britain 30m; FT8
EU-005 GB4GCT Great Britain 40/20m; CW/SSB
EU-005 GB75PEACE Great Britain 20/10m; CW/SSB
EU-005 GM2TT Scotland 20m; FT8
EU-005 M0XTA Great Britain 60m
EU-005 MM0HVU Scotland 60m
EU-009 GM8OFQ Orkney 20/10m; SSB
EU-023 9H4CM Gozo 17m; SSB
EU-024 IS0WKK Sardinia 60m
EU-030 OZ30EU Bornholm 20m; SSB
Eu-030 OZ8IE/P Bornholm 40m; SSB
EU-062 LA6OP Nordland/Nord-Trondelag 20/17m; FT8
EU-084 SM0CXS Trasko 20m; FT8
EU-114 GU75LIB Guernsey 80m
EU-115 MI0HZD Northern Ireland 20m; FT8
EU-116 MD0CCE Isle of Man 20m; Digi
EU-120 M0OPV Wight 20m; SSB
EU-152 EA7IYF Almeria/Granada/Malaga 10m; SSB
EU-171 5P1KZX Vendsyssel/Thy 17m; FT8
EU-172 5P6MJ Jylland East/Fyn 20m; FT4
EU-175 CU3HN Azores 20m; SSB
EU-186 TA4VA Turkey 20m; SSB
NA-021 8P6NW Barbados 20m; SSB
NA-026 WA2HMM Long 10m; Digi
NA-027 VO1AW Newfoundland 20m; FT8
NA-027 VO1TXC/M Newfoundland 20m; SSB
NA-090 XF3PAS Cozumel 15m; SSB
NA-096 HI3Y Dominican Republic 40m; CW
NA-099 KP4ATF Puerto Rico 20m; SSB
NA-099 WP3R Puerto Rico 20m; SSB
NA-102 FG4OJ Guadeloupe 20m; FT8
NA-105 FS5GL St. Martin 20m; CW
NA-134 OX3LX Aasiaat 20/17m; FT8
NA-187 K6AVP CA State Central 20m; FT8
OC-013 E51JD Rarotonga 20m; SSB
OC-019 KH6RX Hawaiian 20m; SSB
OC-019 WH6S Hawaiian 20m; CW
OC-021 8C2WFH Central Java 20m; Digi/SSB
OC-036 ZL1BD NZ North 20m; SSB
OC-036 ZL1MVL NZ North 40m; Digi
OC-036 ZL1WN NZ North 20m; SSB
OC-042 DU3LA Luzon 20m; SSB
OC-070 YB8XOB Seram 20m; FT8
OC-097 5W1STAYSAFE Samoa 17m; FT8
OC-129 DU7EYG Visayan 40m; FT8
OC-134 ZL4AS NZ South 20m; Digi
OC-147 YG9WKB West Papua's Coast (N) 40m; FT8
SA-011 9Z4AM Trinidad and Tobago 20m; SSB
SA-018 CE7VPQ Chiloe 20m; SSB
OC-088 9M8DEN Borneo 20m; Digi

Per the RSGB Contest Committee: In line with "Stay at Home" guidance, to minimize the impact of Covid-19, the IOTA Contest in 2020 is exclusively for Single Operators using their home stations; Single Operator Fixed "Island" or "World" Stations are eligible to enter. RSGB will not be awarding trophies in 2020 but downloadable certificates will be available to winners....

EU-042. Mike, DG5LAC, will be active as DG5LAC/P from Amrum Island
(WLOTA 2464, maybe sometimes WWFF DLFF-242 Amrumer Dunes) between May 18-24th. Activity will be on SSB and FT8/FT4. QSL via DG5LAC, direct, by the Bureau, ClubLog's OQRS, LoTW, eQSL or ClubLog's OQRS.

NA-039/NA-070 Members of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC) plan to activate Kiska Island (NA-070) between September 5-10th (dates are subject to change due to travel restrictions). Callsign mentioned is KL7RRC. Operators mentioned are Yuri/N3QQ, Rob/N7QT, Vyacheskav/OK8AU and Yuri/UA9OBA (possibly Tim/NL8F and Alexey/NW7M).
Activity will be on 40-6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8 (F/H), with three stations.
Suggested FT8 frequencies are:
7056, 10131, 14090, 18095, 21091, 24911, 28091 and 50323 kHz.
QSL via N7RO. All donors will receive QSL direct. After their Kiska Island operation, the team will activate Adak Island (NA-039) between September 11-18th (also subject to change).
For more details and updates, see:

SA-079. Members of the PARA DX Group are planning to activate for the first time ever Ilha das Palmas (new DIB for Brazil, RJ [to be defined]) in the Rio de Janeiro State Center Group as ZV1M between July 24-26th, during the next RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th).
Operators mentioned are Renato/PY8WW, Carlos/PY1CG and Marcelo/PY1MT.
Ilha das Palmas is a small island, uninhabited and without any infrastructure, there is no electricity or drinking water. Landing is done on rocks and sea conditions are generally not good. The Grid Locator is GG86FW.
Activity will be on 80/40/20/15/10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. QSL via PY1MT, direct or by the Bureau. For more information, see:

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <> 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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AmateurLogic 143: N5BOC Hotspot, Huskylens, Squelch Tapping

Sunday 17th May 2020

Ray Novak, N9JA joins us for the latest information on the Icom IC-705. Tommy demonstrates his favorite new hotspot, the N5BOC Duplex Multiple Mode Digital Voice Modem. George shows how to ‘Tap That Squelch’. Get a Squelch Open signal from a rig to interface with a computer rather than relying on Vox. Great for Echolink, digital mode software and more.
Mike explores the Huskylens AI Machine Vision Sensor.


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QSO Today Amateur Radio Podcast - Jim Andrews, KH6HTV

Sunday 17th May 2020

Jim Andrews, KH6HTV, has spent a life in amateur radio and technology, and is known for his contributions to amateur radio television and now amateur digital television.

Jim and the Boulder Amateur Radio Club use this technology to support emergency communications in and around Boulder, Colorado.

KH6HTV shares his ham radio story in this QSO Today.

Listen to the podcast

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Happy 95th birthday to the SARL on Wednesday, May 20

Sunday 17th May 2020

SARL News reports the SARL celebrates its 95th anniversary on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Let us go back 95 years. The year 1925 saw the formation of the South African Radio Relay League (SARRL), but in considering our history we must remember some radio societies that existed before that date, as many of their members became the nucleus of our League. We think of the Transvaal Radio Society and the Radio Society of South Africa in Cape Town.
For some time prior to 1925, there was a conviction among those engaged in transmitting that they should form a society in South Africa on somewhat similar lines to the ARRL, as the radio societies then existing did not quite embrace the ideals required. Only those who have had actual experience of such an undertaking will realise the difficulties that had to be surmounted, but in the capable hands of Raymond Coombs and L. E. Green in Johannesburg, the spadework of the organisation was enthusiastically and successfully performed.
On Wednesday, May 20, 1925, the South African Radio Relay League was established with Raymond Coombs as the Honorary Organising Secretary. In this initial work valuable assistance was rendered by such stalwarts as Mr Pleass, A4M, Mr Fisher, A3K and others in Johannesburg, while Mr Streeter, A4Z, at the Cape, Mr Dixon-Bennett, A3V in Bloemfontein, Mr Davidson, 1SR in Rhodesia and Mr Heywood, A3E and Douglas Mail, A5B in Durban, did yeoman service in the cause. They established the temporary headquarters of the SARRL in Johannesburg.

SARL 95 Birthday Certificate

ZS95SARL will be on the air on Wednesday, May 20 to celebrate the 95th birthday. Work ZS95SARL on HF, VHF and UHF during the day and then submit a list of stations worked to by 23:59 CAT on Sunday, May 24. Your PDF certificate will be e-mailed to you.
The information required is your name, surname and call sign together with the time, call sign, name and frequency of the stations worked.

Source SARL News

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Radio amateurs honor veterans for Memorial Day

Sunday 17th May 2020

Ohio's Highland County Press reports members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association helped honor veterans buried in the Hillsboro Cemetery

The newspaper says:

In preparation for Memorial Day, on Friday, May 15, several members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association assisted the Hillsboro Cemetery Association, the Highland County Historical Society and the local DAR Chapter in placing flags honoring the 900-plus veterans who are buried in the Hillsboro Cemetery.

The project took a bit more than an hour to cover the 30 acres, thanks to the number of hams and others who assisted.

The Highland ARA is an organization of more than 125 local federally licensed amateur radio operators and others interested in electronics and emergency communications.

Picture at

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Radio amateur interviewed on BBC Radio Cornwall

Sunday 17th May 2020

RSGB reports 11-year-old Anne-Marie 2E0RUX was nominated by Nicola Neal, Headteacher of Leedstown School, as local 'Hero of the week' for running Amateur Radio nets during the Coronavirus lockdown

Nicola and Anne-Marie were interviewed by Martin Bailie on the BBC Radio Cornwall May 16 Breakfast Show, listen at 3:26:43 into the recording

Anne-Marie 2E0RUX also featured in this BBC News story on May 5

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 16th May 2020

Buying and using pre-loved equipment

The other day I received an email from Colin VK2JCC who mentioned that he was a keen home brewer and he was interested in a discussion about using ex-military gear in amateur radio. If you want to see his beautiful rig, check out Colin's Clansman PRC 320 Radio, does 2 to 30 MHz at 3 or 30 Watts. Look for his callsign and you'll also find a video of him calling CQ.

Colin also shared his efforts for the construction of a Ground Tuning Unit which started a whole different exploration, but I'll leave that for another day.

Back to the topic at hand, ex-military gear in our hobby. My initial thoughts on the subject were predictable: "What on earth do I know about this and do I have anything useful to contribute on the matter?"

It turns out that this isn't something new to me. You might recall that I'm an IT professional in my non-amateur life. In that role you'll likely never see me buying second hand or refurbished gear, unless I installed it myself and was the person responsible for its maintenance.

This same mindset prevails within my hobby. Although I am the owner of several pieces of pre-loved equipment, it arrived either because I knew the previous owner and where they live, or because it arrived unencumbered at my door.

I go to hamfests and look askance at the gear on offer. I'll buy connectors, a tower, but not so much anything in the way of electronics. I asked around and I'm not alone in this. Many of my peers have the same view. Why pay good money for something that has been abused?

It occurred to me, that this mindset is based on the idea that something can go wrong because the equipment has been invisibly damaged. Of course that is possible. However, on reflection, the reality is likely different.

In my professional life I've seen plenty of badly maltreated equipment. I remember being called out to a faulty computer that sat on the ground in the office in a car mechanics workshop. The computer, used for accounting, would on warm days just stop. On opening it up, in 2006, I found a motherboard with a Pentium processor on board. It was untouched from when it had been built in around 1994. The CPU fan was no longer moving and the amount of caked on dust - complete with microscopic motor oil - had formed a solid cake around the cooling fins. After removing the dirt, the fan spun back into life and the computer was once again rock-solid.

That is the definition of abused electronics.

Yes, in case you're wondering, I did recommend replacing the computer, but out in the back roads of Australia, that's easier said than done.

Story aside, I came to the conclusion that while abuse might reduce the circuit life from a millennium down to a century, that was unlikely to happen in my lifetime.

Back to the ex-military gear.

Based on Colin's comments, his historic radio, and my insights into the scale of abuse and their impact, I'm more inclined today than I was yesterday to investigate.

I will note that I'm spoilt for choice. I can pretty much buy off the shelf any gadget required, limited by my imagination and my budget, but that wasn't true for several of my amateur friends. I know of several modifications of aviation and military rigs, born from necessity, that eventually made it into amateur radio and come to think of it, there's not much difference from me adding a serial interface to my Commodore VIC 20 back in the 1980's.

Before I start shopping for radios that glow in the dark, there is another consideration. I did the same with computers over 20 years ago. I ended up with about a dozen of them in my office. Today that's replaced by a single one that runs as many virtual computers as I need.

In radio terms, do I fill my shack with boxes, or should I spend my efforts on getting an RF signal into a black box with SDR written on the side? It's hard to know what the differences are without seeing both sides of the equation, but I'm sure that at my next hamfest I'll be looking around with different coloured glasses.

Thank you to Colin VK2JCC for asking the question and showing his toys.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Ham radio antennas proposed at East Vancouver home

Saturday 16th May 2020

A radio amateur in East Vancouver has applied for a permit to enhance a property with three ham radio antennas

The radio amateur has submitted the application under the name of Little Hippo Enterprises.

The site says:

According to City Hall, the project will increase the height of the house at 439 East 54th Avenue by about 18 feet.

In a letter to the city, Little Hippo Enteprises wrote that amateur radio, which is commonly called ham radio, is useful during emergencies.

According to the applicant, amateur radio does not rely on the Internet and phone service.

If electricity goes down, Little Hippo Enterprises wrote that it can “shift over the main power to batteries or generator”.

“As of 1991 in Hong Kong, I have been a licensed Ham Radio operator, I brought this passion with me to Canada in 2000…,” the applicant wrote.

Little Hippo Enterprises explained that “antenna length is critical for any given frequency and it can be quite long”.

“I truly believe that amateur radio will have a lasting role in technical and cultural education for enthusiasts, as well as general public safety where means of alternative communication is needed,” the applicant stated.

Read the full story at

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ITU WRC-19 Final Acts

Saturday 16th May 2020

The Final Acts of ITU WRC-19 are available to all for download with no registration or log-in!

The Final Acts WRC-19 constitute a record of the decisions taken at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) that comprises both the new and revised provisions of the Radio Regulations, including all Appendices, and the new and revised Resolutions and Recommendations approved by the Conference. Statements made by Member States at the time of signing the Final Acts are also included.

Download the PDF from

WRC-19 Final Acts

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Special callsign II2EMCA to commemorate Emilio Caimi

Saturday 16th May 2020

The special station 'II2EMCA' will be active – cw only (HF / WARC) from 01.07.2020 until the end of the year - to commemorate Emilio Caimi (Milan 1876 – 1963), the famous key maker, who supplied the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica), since 1932.

QSL direct via IZ2FME, and / LOTW.

Info at “iz2fme /at/ amsat /dot/ org”

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EM100/EO100 Ukraine special event

Saturday 16th May 2020

Look for EO100A, EM100ALK and EM100LK from Sumy, Ukraine, special memorial stations to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of "Marshal Kozhedub".

A Marshal of Aviation, Ivan Nykytovych Kozhedub was a Soviet military aviator and a WWII fighter ace. He is credited with 62 individual air victories!

Activity will be on various HF bands. Listen for the QSL route.

A special diploma is available.

See for details.


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Invitation to apply for community radio licences in Northampton

Saturday 16th May 2020

Ofcom is today inviting applications for FM community radio services in Northampton.

The current licence holder for the area is Inspiration FM whose licence expires on 23 July 2020. Inspiration FM has stated its desire to continue broadcasting, but it did not meet the statutory deadline to submit an application to extend the duration of its licence.

We do not plan to invite applications for community radio services in other areas and consider this to be an exceptional circumstance. We are providing this opportunity as we want to ensure that Northampton does not lose the benefit of a local community radio service at a time when local news and information, and a sense of connection with others in the community via radio, is particularly important to people.

The closing date for receiving applications is 3pm on Monday 13 July 2020

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Radio Society of Kenya special event

Saturday 16th May 2020

Members of the Radio Society of Kenya (RSK) are proud to share in the activity with their special event callsign 5Z4STAYHOME in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has wrought globally!

Length of activity was not mentioned.

QSL via the Bureau only.

Visit their Web page at:


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Update on Ofcom’s auction plans and consultation on technical model

Saturday 16th May 2020

Ofcom has today published a consultation on one aspect of the technical modelling in its statement on the award of spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands.

These airwaves are important for helping improve mobile services and support 5G – bringing benefits to mobile users and the wider economy.
So we want to see the spectrum put to use as soon as possible, and we remain committed to releasing the airwaves through an auction.

One company said that it had hoped to be able to comment on the use of a technical model which informed part of the decisions in our statement on the award of this spectrum, published in March. So today we have published more information about that model and adjusted some of the results we published in our statement.

The revised results, remain consistent with our view that it is likely to be technically feasible to support a wide range of 5G services with holdings of 5G ready spectrum smaller than 80 MHz.

We welcome comments on the matters set out in this consultation by 12 June 2020.

Auction plans

We are separately considering how our processes for running spectrum auctions securely and safely could be adapted to the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our priority will be both to ensure the appropriate personal safety of those involved and the integrity of the process – in particular its security and resilience.

For these reasons, we do not think it would be appropriate to commence the auction itself until we are reasonably confident it can be completed without interruption.

If there is no litigation of our final auction decision, following today’s further consultation, we consider that the earliest bidding could start is November 2020. We recognise that this is dependent on how the Government’s plans for lifting the current lockdown restrictions evolve.

We also welcome industry’s views on how they would operate secure bidding processes in these circumstances.

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60 metres moves closer in VK

Friday 15th May 2020

The VK radio regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have produced an options paper on amateur use of the 60 metre (5 MHz) band.

“The paper proposes various options for sharing of the band between amateur and commercial users” President of the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA), Glenn VK4DU said.

ACMA are calling for comments on the paper. These close on 19th June.

RASA has conducted a 60 metre monitoring program over the past few months.

“We received numerous monitoring logs from VK amateurs” Glenn said.

“These logs, along with our own monitoring, have helped us build a picture of 60 metre activity during daylight and evening hours from the east and west coasts of Australia. European and US amateur stations are regularly heard in VK on FT8 and CW at dusk and into the evening.” Glenn said.

“We believe that, with coordination, sharing is possible on 60 metres between amateurs and commercial services.”

“RASA have previously made submissions to ACMA on 60 metre access for amateurs, and we will be providing a considered response to the latest ACMA paper” Glenn said.

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HuskySat-1 designated HuskySat-OSCAR 107 (HO-107)

Friday 15th May 2020

On November 2, 2019, the HuskySat-1 CubeSat launched on the Cygnus
NG-12 mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, USA  

The satellite was constructed by the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington, and utilizes an AMSAT-constructed radio system for primary communications.

Deployed from the Cygnus vehicle on January 31, 2020 after departing the ISS, HuskySat-1 began a 3-month educational mission. Upon completion of that mission, the satellite began operation of a V/u linear transponder in amateur service.

At the request of the Husky Satellite Lab and AMSAT teams, AMSAT hereby designates HuskySat-1 as HuskySat-OSCAR 107 (HO-107). We congratulate the Husky Satellite Lab, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them continued success on this and future projects.

73, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator

Huskysat-1 Transponder is Open

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New Facebook group to promote 40 MHz and 60 MHz activity

Friday 15th May 2020

There has been an upsurge of interest of late in the the low VHF spectrum around 40 MHz and 60 MHz as radio amateurs in some countries have gained access to the experimental 8-metre and 5-metre bands.

Radio amateurs from Ireland, Lithuania, South Africa and Slovenia can currently transmit on the 40 MHz band while amateurs from several other European countries are interested in trying cross band experiments, usually from 10-metres or 6-metres.

In order to promote the sharing of information about equipment, antennas, propagation and tests, a new Facebook group has now been established and anyone with an interest in this part of the low VHF spectrum is welcome to join and contribute.

The group can be found at...

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Zoom satellite talk now on YouTube

Friday 15th May 2020

A video of the talk on amateur radio satellites, EME, Meteor scatter and the International Space Station by Robin Moseley G1MHU given via Zoom on Wednesday, May 13 is now available on YouTube

Watch G1MHU talk on satellites

The talk was organised by the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society, their next talk on Zoom will be by the Editor of Practical Wireless, Don Field G3XTT, at 7:30pm BST on Wednesday, May 20, Zoom meeting ID 278 609 9353


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Radio amateurs take part in RAF celebrations

Friday 15th May 2020

The Dorset Echo reports radio amateurs participated in an annual RAF (Royal Air Force) celebration amid the coronavirus lockdown restrictions

The newspaper says:

The South Dorset Radio Society took part in the Airfields on the Air event, commemorating the former RAF Chickerell airfield whilst having to respect social distancing guidelines.

The South Dorset Radio Society is a group of local amateur radio enthusiasts.

They use low-power short-wave radios to communicate with other hobbyists, using the sun’s ionisation of the upper atmosphere to reflect their signals over long distances.

Read the full story at

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Sable Island DXpedition (October 17-26th)

Friday 15th May 2020

Randy, N0TG, reports:
Hmmm..... Coronavirus Stay At Home and bored---looking for something to do?
Check out our Sable Island Dxpedition Web site (

Check out the sponsors, maybe even become one, visit the team page to see who's who, and enjoy viewing the team's previous video Dxpedition to St. Paul Island ---2019--- you can even download it as MPG4 and share with friends, clubs, etc. at:

And, take the survey as to your Sable most needed band, mode, ATNO, etc.
Planning continues for OCTOBER 2020


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French special event

Friday 15th May 2020

Members of the French Radio Club APRA62 (F4KLR) will be active as TM18JUIN during the following dates in May (23-24th, 30-31st) and June (6-7th, 13-14th, 18-21st, 27th).

Activity is to commemorate General Charles de Gaulle's appeal to the French on the BBC (June 18th, 1940) to continue to resisting the German occupation, refuse defeat and to continue fighting with him in Great Britain, within the Free French Forces.

QSL via F4AHN.

For more details, see


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Nicki Pointer, NHS - supporting 'Get on the air to care' and IND

Thursday 14th May 2020

The RSGB have shared a video clip they were given on May 12, 2020, by the NHS as part of the 'Get on the Air to Care' #GOTA2C campaign

It features Nicki Pointer who is a Queen's Award winner, the Crowborough Community First Responders' Team Leader as well as a Ward Manager/Senior Sister at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

Nicki talks about visiting the National Radio Centre Bletchley Park, the RSGB #GOTA2C campaign and, importantly for the May 12, International Nurses Day (IND) which is observed around the world each year to mark the contributions that nurses make to society.

This year's IND commemorates the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.

Watch Nicki Pointer, NHS - supporting 'Get on the air to care' and International Nurses Day


As a follow-up to the BBC news online feature last week, BBC Radio Manchester also mentioned amateur radio at the weekend on the breakfast show with Eamonn O’Neal. The piece featured a chat with a member of the Stockport Radio Society who talked generally about amateur radio, how the hobby is seeing a resurgence at the moment, our Remote Invigilation (RI) exams and how amateur radio is helping wellbeing at this time:

The full interview starts at 1:08:25 and lasts about ten minutes. The RSGB didn't facilitate this interview but are pleased that the BBC continues to see amateur radio as a topic worth air time!


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ARRL seeks clarification of amended Amateur Service RF safety rules

Thursday 14th May 2020

ARRL has filed a Petition for Clarification addressing two issues arising from amended FCC RF safety rules that go into effect on June 1 for the Amateur Service and other FCC-regulated services

Licensees will have 2 years to determine if an RF safety evaluation is now required under the new rules and to perform an evaluation and implement any needed mitigation measures. Current rules already require amateur stations to meet RF exposure limits, but more radio amateurs will have to evaluate their stations under the new rules. The revised final rules, adopted last November, appeared in the April 1 edition of The Federal Register.

“For applicants and licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, we substitute our general exemption criteria for the specific exemption from routine evaluation based on power alone in §97.13(c)(1) and specify the use of occupational/controlled limits for amateurs where appropriate,” the FCC said. While radio amateurs have always had to comply with RF exposure limits, certain stations have been exempted from having to conduct evaluations based upon power and frequency.

On May 8, ARRL asked the FCC to clarify that using maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits be permitted in the Amateur Service for required RF safety evaluations of 2200-meter operations, just as they are elsewhere in the amateur spectrum. Removal of the exemption for amateurs resulted in a requirement to use specific absorption rate (SAR) limits for amateur frequencies between 100 and 300 kHz.

“SAR evaluations are very complex to directly measure and, we believe, generally exceed the capability of most individual amateur operators,” ARRL argued in its petition, asserting that MPE limits correspond to conservative estimates of SAR.

Read the full ARRL story at

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IARUMS April newsletter now available

Thursday 14th May 2020

The latest IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports almost all of the IARU-R1 coordinators reported intruders predominantly in the amateur radio 20m and 40m bands

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 April 2020 newsletter can be read at

Recordings of military transmissions can be found on the Signal Identification Guide Wiki at

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)

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Keeping in touch around the world using amateur radio

Thursday 14th May 2020

Peoria's 25 News reports while video chatting apps like Zoom are rising in popularity, a group of local people are using a slightly older technology to stay in touch

The hobby of amateur radio -- better known as ham radio -- allows people like Jon Dainty NM0O and Thomas Hunt W8NWG to talk with each other and others without having to leave their “shacks” -- coming naturally during the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.

Both members of the Peoria-Area Amateur Radio Club, they can talk over different frequencies based on class of license.  

Both Dainty and Hunt hold "extra" class licenses -- the highest class -- giving them the ability to talk around the world using HF depending on solar weather conditions.

“...One in Hungary, and one in England, and one in Croatia, as well as hams locally in the U.S.,” said Thomas Hunt, trustee at the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club. “Course, all of us are talking about the COVID-19 virus which we found we have more in common with those who are sheltering-in-place all over the world as we do here in the United States.”

Watch the TV news report and read the full story at

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The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921

Thursday 14th May 2020

99 years ago this week, the biggest solar storm of the 20th century struck Earth.

It set fire to buildings, burnt out telephone lines, and sparked auroras as far south as Tonga and Samoa.

New research suggests that the Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921 may have been even stronger than previously thought.

Get the full story at

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Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic

Thursday 14th May 2020

Average UK broadband speeds largely held up during the coronavirus lockdown despite rising demand, Ofcom’s latest research shows.

Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report measures the broadband speeds delivered to a sample group of people’s home wifi routers. This year’s report includes analysis of how broadband speeds changed before and after the coronavirus lockdown measures came in during March

Overall, UK broadband networks have held up well, despite a surge in broadband use due to homeworking, online lessons and TV streaming.
During this period, average download and upload speeds fell by 2% and 1% respectively. 

The report also shows that average download speeds increased from 54.2 Mbit/s in 2018 to 64 Mbit/s last year. Upload speeds almost doubled from 7.2 Mbit/s to 14 Mbit/s/

Latest broadband and mobile coverage revealed

We have also published our Connected Nations spring update, setting out the availability of broadband and mobile services in the UK as of January – before the coronavirus restrictions came in. Our latest data shows:

A news release is available.

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Sweden to hold portable amateur radio contest on May 17

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Sweden's HF (SSB/CW) portable contest for both single-operator and multi-operator amateur radio stations takes place this Sunday, May 17 from 0700-1100 GMT

A translation of the SSA post reads:

On May 17, it is time for the portable contest's spring round. We run as usual and we also avoid the competition from Dayton and the OHDXF / CCF meeting.

With Coronavirus in mind, it is important that those who run in the multi-operator class think about following the recommendations issued by the authorities regarding keeping distance etc.

The rules for the tests can be found here

A news for this year is that the program now supports the portable contest.
The program can be downloaded from

Now take the chance to come out and enjoy the spring when it is best.


Source SSA

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Japan: Spreading the appeal of amateur radio

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Yoshinori Takao JG1KTC, Chair of the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL), has called on radio amateurs to help promote and spread the appeal of amateur radio

A translation of his post made before the start of the second year of the Reiwa era says:

Spread the appeal of amateur radio in Japan and abroad by spreading the power of the new era !

We would like to thank all members for their understanding and support for the operation of the league as we approach the new year
[Reiwa 2, May 1].

With the recent spread of the new coronavirus, we have given top priority to the health and safety of all of the participants, including the 19th West Nippon Ham Fair and other ham gatherings and branch meetings that were planned to be held in various places. Considering the feelings of the members who were canceled and are looking forward to participation, and everyone in the relationship who made a tough decision despite efforts for the event over a long period of time, It's a pain. I just hope for an early end.

With the postponement of the "Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," which was scheduled to be held this summer, a commemorative station commemorating the holding of the "Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games" will be opened until the details are decided. We decided to suspend the operation.

In addition, we will also postpone the scheduled "Tokyo 2020 JARL Memorial QSO Party" and "Tokyo 2020 JARL Memorial Award", so we would like to inform you as well.

Last year, in order to strengthen the organizational foundation, we actively worked on membership development activities and worked to enhance various campaigns, etc. and continued to hold "WAKAMONO amateur radio event" and "free entry for youth and women at ham fair" etc. We made active efforts to revitalize the organization and expand the membership for those with a small population in the amateur radio field.
As a result of such training activities for young people, the number of young people who are interested in amateur radio and people who can play an active role as members has increased.

At this year's Tokyo Ham Fair, Beginner Ham will also focus on the further development of amateur radio for the new era and the youth who will be active for generations to come, with the catchphrase "Flame to Reiwa amateur radio! ~ Gathering WAKAMONO ~" Together with veteran hams, we will call out the appeal of amateur radio and promote the promotion of amateur radio.

This year as well, to promote the promotion of amateur radio and JARL, we will actively promote the attractiveness and activities of JARL through the JARL Web (home page), video distribution such as YouTube, and information provision via the Internet such as SNS and mail magazines. I shall go.

In the radio information program "Radio" that started distribution from last year, we will continue to transmit information that is easy to understand not only for members but also for the general public. Furthermore, we will continue to carry out a wide range of public relations activities by the "JARL Public Relations Ambassador" to those who do not know amateur radio.

Last but not least, in the second year of Reiwa, we will continue to make every effort to improve the satisfaction of our members, and we will continue to do our utmost to manage the federation of members first and members. We would like to ask for your continued understanding, support, and cooperation.

Source JARL

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50 MHz interference problems in Switzerland

Wednesday 13th May 2020

The Swiss national amateur radio society USKA asks amateurs to take the time to identify and document obvious sources of interference and to report this to OFCOM

A translation of the USKA post reads:
Unfortunately we have to do without this year's EMC conference. In the current situation with Covid-19, it is not responsible to hold the event on June 13, 2020. We will hold an EMC conference again in June 2021.

OFCOM will also not be able to take place on May 14 as planned. It will be made up for later.

But the EMC problems have not disappeared because of this. On the contrary: we keep discovering new massive, structural sources of interference. At the moment we are faced with significant interference on the 6m band, which probably comes from new, faster PLCs. Armin HB9MFL, made us aware of the problem.

I also found massive interference at 6 m in my own environment: outdoors between two houses, the Yaesu FT 817 with a 40 cm antenna shows an interference signal of S9 +!

Now that you may be at home a little more often, take the time to identify and document obvious sources of interference and to report this to OFCOM.

OFCOM needs as many qualified fault reports as possible in order to be able to take action against those who caused the faults!  Only because of a few individual accidents per year will no provider be able to persuade them to improve or withdraw their devices.

I also discovered a small, inconspicuous plug-in power supply for a router that causes considerable interference in the 6 m band of 50-52 MHz.
Michael, HB9GFA showed on the HB9AG website how to do the first limitation of faults. Here are his instructions.

Anyone who is unsure should get support. The first point of contact for EMC issues is the person responsible for your section. If the section does not offer help, the USKA EMC team can also be requested ( We can then assess whether an error report to OFCOM is justified. Nobody has to fear that they will have to pay costs if there are actually disruptions from third parties. To this day, I don't know of any cases where the troubleshooting was at the expense of the radio amateurs.

I also recommend that you do not troubleshoot the fault yourself, but consult OFCOM from the start. Then it is official and official, and it strengthens the position of amateur radio as an official radio service monitored by OFCOM, but also protected.

Let's fight the EMC virus together! We can only win this fight by persistently identifying those who caused it. And for this it is necessary that all obvious faults are also reported to OFCOM.

I wish you all interference-free radio communication and remain healthy.

Bernard, HB9ALH

USKA Board member responsible for authorities and EMV a.i.

Source USKA

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Socially distanced in-person Ham Radio exam sessions

Wednesday 13th May 2020

The ARRL reports in-person amateur radio exam sessions have been held in the USA and Norway

With some states starting to relax restrictions on events and activities, the Grant County, Oregon, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) held an in-person exam session on April 26 in the town of John Day that adhered to social distancing recommendations.

Exam organizers held the gathering to within Oregon’s 10-person limit for gatherings, keeping everyone 6 feet apart and requiring all participants to wear face masks. The exam session was held outdoors under a car port.

“We had an exceptionally successful test session, with candidates passing exams at every amateur radio level,” said Ed Ellesson, AF7YX, the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison for the Grant County Amateur Radio Club.
Grant County Emergency Coordinator Steve Fletcher, K7AA, noted that many clubs had canceled their planned sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Grant County decided to approach the problem by obeying all the restrictions but still holding the exam,” he said. “As a result, we had people come here from all over the state.”

In Oklahoma, the Mid-Del Amateur Radio Club, W5MWC, administered an open-air exam session on April 25 that held to social distancing guidelines. Over the course of the 3-hour session, 16 candidates tested and all were successful. One candidate passed all three exam elements to come away with his Amateur Extra-class license.

Read the full ARRL story at

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The GB0GIG team is having a great time on air!

Wednesday 13th May 2020

GB0GIG continues on air until the 28th May, celebrating the work of the National Health Service / Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol in Wales, plus supporting the RSGB 'Get On The Air To Care' campaign. We thank all health workers for their hard work and dedication during the Covid-19 pandemic and at all times!

So far on our 12th day of operation, members of Dragon Amateur Radio Club and North Wales Radio Society have made over 1,600 QSOs (contacts) on HF, VHF, UHF and OSCAR100. Modes used so far are SSB, CW, FT8, FM, AM and ATV.

Finally a reminder that award certificates are available for making a certain amount of contacts with our station, full details are on our page at QRZ.COM.

Please keep an eye out on the cluster and if you hear us, do call and say hello!

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Ofcom awards six new community radio licences

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Ofcom has announced the award of six new community radio licences in England and Scotland.

Licences have been awarded to:

A news release with more information is available.

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AM40LAR - 40th anniversary of ham radio programme

Wednesday 13th May 2020

AM40LAR celebrates the 40th anniversary of a radio programme dedicated to amateur radio braodcast by RNE Radio 4.

With over 2300 episodes the programme is one of the station's most successful programmes.

AM40LAR will be on the air between May 14 and 31. An award is available as well.

QSL via eQSL or LoTW.


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SOS Radio Week

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Throughout May, the SOS Radio Week draws attention to the valuable work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI).

A number of special event stations are active.

For a list and for further information see:


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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

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

NA-134; OX, Greenland's Coastal Islands North West: Bo/OX3LX is currently back on the air from Aasiaat Island (WW Loc. GB38nq) on HF.
QRV until the 21st, mostly around local noon and evening hours.
QSL via OZ0J.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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New Beta of FT4 and FT8 software WSJT

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Joe Taylor K1JT reports the new beta version of the popular FT4 and FT8 software, WSJT-X version 2.2.0, is a significant program upgrade offering many new features

He writes:

The first candidate release, WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1, is now available for download and use by beta testers.  This candidate release is your first chance to test the new features and provide feedback to the WSJT Development Group.

A list of program changes since WSJT-X 2.1.2 can be found in the cumulative Release Notes

... and also in the updated WSJT-X 2.2.0 User Guide here:

Upgrading from earlier versions of WSJT-X should be seamless.  There is no need to uninstall a previous version or move any files.  You might want to install to a different directory from your WSJT-X 2.1.2 installation.

Links to installation packages for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh are available here:
Scroll down to find "Candidate release:  WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1".

You can also download the packages from our SourceForge site:
It may take a short time for the SourceForge site to be updated.

WSJT-X is licensed under the terms of Version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL).  Development of this software is a cooperative project to which many amateur radio operators have contributed.  If you use our code, please have the courtesy to let us know about it.  If you find bugs or make improvements to the code, please report them to us in a timely fashion.

We hope you will enjoy using this beta release of WSJT-X 2.2.0.  Please report bugs by following instructions found here in the User Guide:

73 from Joe, K1JT, Steve, K9AN, and Bill, G4WJS,
for the WSJT Development Group

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ARISS to attempt second test of new Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is announcing a second test of its new distance-learning ARISS radio contacts with astronauts.

ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and astronauts with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be the second test of the new-style radio contact, called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio.The concept was developed for distance learning when schools closed worldwide due to COVID-19.
The virus eliminated all opportunities for ARISS radio contacts at education organizations. A new ARISS telebridge radio ground station will be used this time, this operated by John Sygo, amateur radio call sign ZS6JON, near Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new concept requires three things. The ARISS telebridge radio ground station --a satellite ham radio station with special equipment that an ARISS team member uses for teleconferencing, the ham astronaut on the ISS using the ARISS ham radio station, and students at their homes. The telebridge radio operator links to the astronaut at the ARISS radio mic, and each youth ties in from home via their telephones. Their families can listen along with faculty and the public from home. Each student takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.

The youth taking part in ARISS's second test belong to the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, AB, Canada The radio contact is scheduled for May 15 at 15:10 UTC. ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, amateur radio call sign KF5KDR, will support the ARISS radio contact. Prior to COVID, the students had participated in space and radio communications lessons such as balloon launches with ham radio payloads and building model rockets to launch.
Brian Jackson, amateur radio call sign VE6JBJ, is one of the five club leaders. He related,"During this pandemic, our opportunities to develop kids' interest in space has been interrupted. This ARISS contact gets them looking back up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day." ¯

The ARISS telebridge ground station ZS6JON, located in South Africa, will operate the radio contact.

ARISS invites the public to view the livestream of the upcoming ARISS radiotest at:

During the contact, youth will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1.How has seeing Earth from its orbit affected you, in your frame of reference when moving around the ISS,or in your perspective of humanity as a whole?
2.What happens if you vomit in the space station? How do you clean it up?
3.How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you while you are in space?
4.What will be your first meal when you get back to Earth?
5.What does it feel like when the rocket lifts off?

6.What does the space station smell like?
7.Was training to be an astronaut harder or easier than training to be a navy seal?
8.What experiment that you've done had the most unexpected results? What was the expected and actual outcome of said experiment?
9.How successful is your 3-D printer on the station?
10.We are a model rocket building club. Did you ever build model rockets when you were young?

11.What does microgravity feel like on your body?
12.Does the Earth look any clearer or less polluted now compared to when you flew in 2009 and with Canadian Chris Hadfield in 2013?
13.Do you play any games while you are on the ISS?
14.What kind of music do you listen to?


About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperativeventure 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, the arts, and mathematics topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see

Like us on Facebook at Amateur Radio On The ISS (ARISS)
Like us on Instagram at ariss_int
Follow us on Twitter at ARISS_status

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

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Upcoming amateur radio talks on Zoom

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society's series of online presentations using Zoom continues on Wednesday, May 13, with an Introduction to amateur satellites, meteor scatter, EME and ISS by Robin Moseley G1MHU 

The following Wednesday, May 20, will see a talk from Don Field G3XTT Editor of UK radio magazine Practical Wireless. Both talks start at 7:30pm BST (18:30 GMT).

Zoom meeting ID 278 609 9353

Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society

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RSGB online amateur radio exam figures released

Tuesday 12th May 2020

On Monday, May 11, it was reported that 216 candidates had taken the remotely-invigilated online amateur radio Foundation exam since April 10, of those 201 (93%) passed

This shows a significantly improved Foundation pass-rate since remotely-invigilated exams, that people could take in their own homes, were introduced. In the 5 months from September 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 only 79% had passed, see ESRG minutes for February

One of the reasons for the improvement may be because online tuition enables people to learn at their own speed.

There has been a surge of interest in getting an amateur radio licence since remotely-invigilated exams were introduced. In addition to the 216 exams already taken there are another 617 Foundation candidates already booked in for their Exam.

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Additional information on the new 40 MHz beacon in Ireland

Tuesday 12th May 2020

In a previous news item, we were able to announce that the new 8-metre beacon in Ireland is now on air. We now have more details about its operation.

The new EI1KNH beacon operates on a frequency of 40.013 MHz and is only the second operational amateur 8-metre beacon in the world. It runs 20 watts into a converted CB vertical antenna on an elevated site about 20 kms to the south of Dublin. While it is blocked somewhat by local mountains to the west, the take off towards the UK and Europe is excellent.

The beacon went on air on the 9th of May 2020 and it was reported just two days later on the 11th by a station in the south-east of France in a Sporadic-E opening.

In the same Sporadic-E opening, EI stations successfully completed 40 MHz to 50 MHz crossband contacts with stations in Austria and Germany.

It is hoped that the new beacon will generate more interest around Europe for those wishing to carry out tests on this new VHF band.

More details about the beacon can be found here...

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77 5G and other masts torched

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Business Insider report that a conspiracy theory that baselessly links 5G  technology with the coronavirus has led to a series of arson attacks on cell phone towers in the UK

The conspiracy theory began to gain traction in the UK in late March and early April, coinciding with the rising number of cases in the country and its nationwide lockdown. Conspiracies around phone signals have existed for years, however.

The scaremongering is thought to have led directly to arson attacks on mobile phone infrastructure

Read the full article at

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VE2DX CI-V hubs and AUX1 Breakout Boxes available again

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Ok, 3D printer back online and plenty of parts came in so the CT-17Bs (Icom CI-V hubs) and IAB1 (Icom Breakout Boxes) are available for shipment again this week.

Let me know if you are interrested


Richard VE2DX

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Rebel DX Group DXpedition update

Tuesday 12th May 2020

The Rebel DX Group reports on FaceBook:

Unfortunately, our plans regarding activating Banaba Island and Tuvalu has been affected by the current COVID-19 situation - just like in case of many other DXpeditions around the world. We're forced to postpone the DXpedition, but it's not cancelled. No worries! We'll resume our plans once the island would become accessible again.

Meanwhile, we keep an eye on any possibilities to continue our plans in terms of activation Bouvet Island at the end of this year. Surprisingly, the long wait until the end of 2020 may not affect our plans at all and we'll be able to continue with our initial 3Y0I plans without any disruption. We still miss a portion of our necessary budget to activate Bouvet. Just like in case of many other top-most-wanted-DXCC DXpeditions, it can't happen without your support.

We kindly ask for any possible donations via our GFM page at:
Don't forget to add your callsign in the donation form. Once donated, your callsign would automatically be listed in the donors' list there.


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IPARC activity from Germany

Tuesday 12th May 2020

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the International Police Association (IPA), German radio amateurs of the IPARC (IPA-Radio-Club) will be active as DL70IPA with the main activity between August 2nd and 6th, November 7th (CW) and 8th (SSB) (IPARC-Contest 2020) and various weekends.

Therefore, QSOs will be on CW and SSB, every Sunday, starting on the
August 2nd, from 0800 UTC until 1000 UTC on QRG 7080 kHz +/- QRM, and starting Thursday, August 6th, from 0600-0700 UTC on QRG 3680 kHz +/- QRM, followed by every Sunday/Thursday until the end of 2020.

They will also try 20 meters, if the conditions are OK.

For more details, see their page or (


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Coronavirus: Netherlands to hold amateur radio exams again

Monday 11th May 2020

VERON reports in-person amateur radio exams will be held again in the Netherlands on June 17 and 24

A translation reads:

Due to the phasing out of the corona measures, meetings are again possible under certain conditions. The Stichting Radio Examens (SRE) therefore announces on its website that it will soon be organizing radio exams again. As previously communicated, these exams are primarily for candidates who registered for one of the cancelled exams. The next exams are on Wednesday June 17 and Wednesday June 24.

On Wednesday 17 June, the Radio Exams Foundation in Assen organizes an exam. This exam is for candidates who would actually do their exam on May 13. On Wednesday 24 June, the SRE in Nieuwegein organizes an exam for candidates who would actually take their exam in Vlaardingen on 25 May . The relocation of the exam to Nieuwegein is necessary because the location in Vlaardingen is not available in the short term. There are still a few places available for the F exam in Nieuwegein on June 24.

The safety of candidates and volunteers remains the most important thing for the Radio Exams Foundation. Therefore, additional measures will be taken to prevent the risks of spreading the coronavirus. Because the exams are at different locations, the measures differ per location. Candidates will receive more information about this two weeks before the exam, when they are invited for their exam.

A measure that applies to all locations for the upcoming exams is that the exam is only accessible to exam candidates and employees of the Stichting Radio Examens. Therefore, in the coming exams, representatives of the associations or trainers should not be present for the moral support of the candidates.

Radio Exams Foundation

Source VERON

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Huskysat-1 transponder is open

Monday 11th May 2020

After a week of testing, the transponder on HuskySat-1 is enabled and open for use and testing.

It’s fairly sensitive, and 5-10 watts is plenty most of the time. There are some fades due to satellite orientation, and some passes are definitely better than others. The opera- tions and engineering teams are also watching a few anomalies. Please keep an eye on the beacon during transponder ops, for those with spectrum scopes. Strong signals may impact the beacon strength.

HuskySat-1 is the Husky Satellite Lab at University of Washington’s first cubesat, and the first mission with AMSAT’s linear transponder module (LTM-1), a V/u transponder and integrated telemetry beacon and command receiver. UW recently completed their Part 5 operations and have graciously let AMSAT’s Part 97 transponder operations commence.

This transponder module is available for use in educational cubesat missions willing to enable the transponder for worldwide use. Contact myself or VP Engineering Jerry Buxton for additional details.

Reports and observations are welcome to the amsat-bb mailing list.

Congratulations to Husky Satellite Lab, and to the entire AMSAT Engineering team for keeping amateur radio in space. Thanks to Dr. Mark Hammond, N8MH for commissioning and operations support.

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations

HuskySat-1 V/u inverting transponder, 145.910 to 145.940 uplink, 435.810 to 435.840 downlink, telemetry beacon 1200 baud BPSK at 435.800

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New Chinese amateur satellites expected to launch in September

Monday 11th May 2020

Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are now expected to launch on September 15, 2020.

The first of these satellites, CAS-7A, is a 27 kg microsat (750 mm x 650 mm x 260 mm) with three-axis stabilization and several transponders.
The transponders include a 15m to 10m linear transponder (H/t), a 15m to 70cm linear transponder (H/u), and a 2m to 70cm linear transponder(V/u). The satellite also includes a 2m to 70cm (V/u) FM transponder.

Several beacons and data downlinks are also featured, CW beacons on 10m and 70cm, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70cm, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3cm for the on board camera.
IARU coordinated frequencies for the uplinks and downlinks are listed below.

This launch is also expected to carry CAS-7C, a 2U CubeSat with a V/u linear transponder and a CW beacon. Frequencies for CAS-7C have not been coordinated by the IARU at the time of this writing. CAS-7C will also deploy a 1 mm diameter 1080 meter long carbon fiber rope.

CAS-7A and CAS-7C will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 98 degrees.


CAS-7A H/t Linear Transponder
Uplink - 21.245MHz through 21.275 MHz
Downlink - 29.435MHz through 29.465 MHz
CW Beacon 29.425 MHz

CAS-7A H/u Linear Transponder
Uplink - 21.3125 MHz through 21.3275 MHz Downlink - 435.3575 MHz through 435.3725 MHz CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u Linear Transponder
Uplink - 145.865 MHz through 145.895 MHz Downlink - 435.385 MHz through 435.415 MHz CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u FM Transponder
Uplink 145.950 MHz
Downlink 435.455 MHz

4.8k / 9.6k GMSK telemetry downlink - 435.480 MHz
1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink - 10460.00 MHz


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ICQPodcast - Restoring Valve/Tube Gear

Monday 11th May 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Ed Durrant DD5LP, Frank Howell K4FMH and Bill Barnes WC3B to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is the Restoring Valve/Tube Gear.


We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit

News stories include: -

• Register for Next EssexHam Foundation Online Amateur Radio
• Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite found by Amateur Radio Operator
• Beyond Exams Resources Launched by the RSGB
• FCC Providing Flexibility to Volunteer Examiners in Developing Remote Testing Methods
• RASA launches Welcome to AR guidebook for Newcomers
• PRESENTER OPINION : A Way Back to Relevance for Amateur Radio?
• Coronavirus: How Amateur Radio is Connecting People during Lockdown
• Blind Amateur Radio Operator Promotes Hobby with New Aerial and Morse Code
• Richard Newstead Retires from SOTABeam
• Special Event Station GB0GIG (Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol)

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from

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Eight Metre update

Monday 11th May 2020

IRTS report the EI1KNH beacon is now on 8m using 20W on a vertical monopole. It shares the same site as EI0SIX and EI4RF.

EI1KNH is running using PI4 & CW, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd minute of every 5 minutes. Links to download PI4 decoding software are on the QRZ page for EI1KNH, but it's easy to ID as it will make a CW ID every period.

Tony EI7BMB deployed the new setup for EI0SIX. It's now running about 50W from a Sommerkamp PA to a pair of horizontal loops stacked on a new tower approximately double the height as previously. Again, PI4 and 1,2 & 3rd minute of every 5.

This should be a new ballgame for EI0SIX, as it's been plagued with issues for the last year.

Some changes have been made to EI4RF. Previously it's been alternating between 2 antennas, north and east. The mast has now been rotated clockwise by about 45degrees, so now it's alternating NE and SE. This should improve chances of reception to the south, which has never been it's strong point. The original antenna to the north was due to 4m being a UK/EI thing.

An aim to modernize EI4RF next is underway, hopefully when they change it's frequency to 70.013 MHz it can also be moved to PI4 or FT8 + CW.
For now, it remains on 70.130 in CW mode, but with new headings for both periods.

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The Space Weather Woman

Monday 11th May 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Coronavirus creating short-term delivery delays from ARRL Headquarters

Monday 11th May 2020

ARRL is currently experiencing delays in the fulfilment of orders due to a record number of orders received in the past weeks.
Combined with excessive demands on many shipping carriers, our members and customers should expect a 1–3 week delay in the delivery of their orders over the next few weeks.

State of Connecticut safety requirements limit the number of employees allowed within the warehouse at one time to ensure their health and safety, further contributing to the fulfillment slowdown. Warehouse personnel are utilizing all available resources to get customers their products as quickly as possible and anticipate that the standard 3 – 7 day US delivery time will be restored sometime in June, once the state mandate has relaxed.

ARRL remains committed to making sure that all customers get their orders as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time and thank you for your continued support of amateur radio and ARRL

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 11th May 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 3rd May, through Sunday, 10th May there were 212 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5Z, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 8R, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, 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, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, 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, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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".


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 11th May 2020

Island activities:

Since no or few new IOTA announcements have been made during the past several weeks (probably because of many COVIN-19 travel restrictions), OPDX decided to list the following IOTA operations that were active this past week between May 2-9th (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/M

AF-004 AO8EU Canary 20m; CW
AF-004 EA8ARI La Palma 20m; SSB
AF-004 EA8BWL Tenerife 20m; SSB
AF-004 EA8W Canary 20m; FT8
AF-014 CT3MD Medeira 20m; FT4
AF-016 FR4QT Reunion 15m; SSB
AS-003 4S7VG Sri Lanka 17m; CW
AS-154 TA7I Black Sea Coast East 20m; CW
AS-201 TA0ACL Prince 40m; SSB
EU-003 CQ82AS Azores 30m
EU-004 EA6NB Balearic 40m; CW
EU-005 G3YJQ Great Britain 20m; FT4
EU-005 G4KHG Great Britain 20m; FT4
EU-005 GB1945PJ Great Britain 20m; CW
EU-005 2E0SPS Great Britain 80m; Digi
EU-005 GB4ARP Great Britain 20m; SSB
EU-005 GM4FDM Scotland 20m; CW
EU-005 MI0OBC Northern Ireland 20m; FT4
EU-005 MM0BSM Scotland 20m; FT8
EU-005 MM0LGS Scotland 20m; FT8
EU-005 MM3N Scotland 20m; CW
EU-009 GM8OFQ Orkney 20m; SSB
EU-026 JW6VDA Svalbard 40m; SSB
EU-029 OV1CDX Sjaelland 17m; SSB
EU-048 F5OWK Belle 80m; FT8
EU-067 SV8JVM Kyklades 30m; FT8
EU-093 EA5HJ Alicante/Murcia Prov 17m; FT8
EU-115 MI0OUT Northern Ireland 20m; FT8
EU-124 MW7CVT Anglesey 40m
EU-130 IV3DXW Grado 15m
EU-133 RP75KT Kotlin 20m; CW
EU-152 EA7LH Ameria/Granada/Malaga20m; FT8
EU-175 CU3HN Azores 20m; SSB
EU-175 CU7AA Faial 20m; SSB
EU-180 RP75KC Respublika Krym 20m; SSB
EU-183 YO4SRK Sacalinu Mare 20m; FT4
AS-006 VR2XAN Peng Chau 40m; FT8
AS-007 JA3FYC Honshu 160m; FT4
AS-007 JH4UYB Honshu 40m; CW
AS-007 JM7OLW Honshu 20m; CW
NA-015 CO2KY Cuba 20m; FT8
NA-015 CO8NMN Cuba 20m; FT8
NA-015 CO8ZZ Cuba 20m; FT8
NA-021 8P5AA Barbados 20m; SSB
NA-021 8P6NW Barbados 20m; SSB
NA-026 KC2MBV NY State 20m; FT4
NA-034 N1XX FL State Center West 40m; Digi
NA-052 N1UL Marco 60m; FT8
NA-059 NL8F Fox 20m; FT8
NA-080 C6AFV Grand 40m; CW
NA-096 HI8AT Dominican Republic 20m; SSB
NA-096 HI8RD Dominican Republic 20m; FT8
NA-096 HI8K Dominican Republic 15m; FT8
NA-099 WP4WW Puerto Rico 20m; FT8
NA-102 FG4SO Guadeloupe 20m; SSB
NA-108 J68HZ St. Lucia 10m; FT8
NA-108 J69Z St. Lucia 20m; SSB
OC-013 E51JD Rarotonga 20m; SSB
OC-016 3D2TS Viti/Vanua Levu 40m; FT8
OC-075 YF5TKN Tanjungpinang Riau 40/15m; FT8
OC-150 YC9KXX Tenggara Barat 40m; FT8
SA-006 PJ4KY Bonaire 20m; SSB
SA-011 9Z4Y Trinidad & Tobago 40m; CW

EU-034. Igor, ES0IA, will once again be active from Kassaar Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th) as a Single-Op/ SSB-Mode/Fixed-Island entry. QSL via ES0IA, direct (3 USDs), by the Bureau, eQSL or LoTW.

NA-134. Bo, OZ1DJJ, will be active as OX3LX from Asiaat Island (WW Loc.
GP38NQ), Greenland, between now and May 21st. Activity will be on various HF bands. When not active, he will run a WSPR beacon on 160 to 6 meters. He states this is NOT a DXpedition, and the best chance to work him will be around lunchtime and after dinner (his local time UTC-2). Also during the weekend, possibly at night/morning. QSL via OZ0J direct (see Logs get uploaded to LoTW, ClubLog and sometimes eQSL. For more details
and updates, see:

NA-168. Operators Allan/KV4T and XYL Bridget/KS4YT will once again be
active from Grand Isle between May 22-25th. Activity will be on 40/30/20 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes, with two stations. QSL via their home callsigns, LoTW or eQSL.

OC-130. Look for three stations to be active from Mindanao Island,
Philippines, during the upcoming RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th).
The announced stations are:
DV8VMI -- Op Renante, DV8VMI; Single-Op/Single-Band (40m);
QSL via Bureau
DX8CAD -- Op DX8CAD; Single-Op/All-Band; QSL Bureau
DX9EVM -- Op Ernesto, DU9CA; Single-Op/All-Band/Mixed-Mode/
Low-Power; QSL via IK2DUW

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <> 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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Get Your Foundation Licence FAQ!

Sunday 10th May 2020

The CORONA virus outbreak, country-wide lockdown and the RSGB's introduction of ‘Remote Exam Invigilation’ seems to have sparked a lot of interest in the UK's Foundation Licence.

Figures have shown that over 300 candidates have signed-up for the popular Essex Ham online training course and, with no end to lockdown in sight, one radio amateur has been wading through lots of 'this is how to get licenced' information to make getting your ticket easier.

Leigh Preece, M5GWH, based in North Staffordshire, noticed a lot of "….How do I get my Foundation licence?" pleas on various Facebook Amateur Radio groups and, as a RSGB volunteer Foundation Tutor and Examiner, also found his inbox started to fill with people wanting to find out more.

That's when he spotted another Facebook user had started to compile a simple 'help guide' on Facebook and realised he could help to clear up the fog of information circulating by putting a written guide together.

"It seemed that some replies were saying contact a club, others saying ring the RSGB and, often, things were started to read as a mass of confusion" said Leigh, referring to Facebook groups "That's when I realised the info I had found posted by Mark of Northamptonshire, who’s also studying for his Foundation Licence, could be put to some use".

Leigh set about checking the two part guide that lays out what you need to get the Licence - starting with buying the Foundation Licence Manual, where to go for online training courses and where to find revision materials through to what YouTube videos to watch, which mobile apps can be used for Mock exams and how to start studying.

The second part goes through the RSGB exam application process, the software used for the remotely invigilated examination and hints and tips for on the day and even how to pre-register on OFCOM to make applying for your callsign easier.

"The FAQ is growing and constantly evolving with training sources and a recently written alternative revision guide added", says Leigh, who's updated the FAQ five times since the start of May. "There's something new to add each day or sometimes remove and people are submitting additions and ideas too which shows how amateurs are at helping others”.

The guide currently lives on Leigh's Google Drive at: - but may move to it's own website and he’s happy to email the current copy out on request:

“I just hope it's useful to everyone out there trying to get their Foundation Licence while self-studying”, says Leigh as a final thought “and please let me know of your success and good luck!”

Leigh, M5GWH

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World Amateur Radio Day Certificates

Sunday 10th May 2020

World Amateur Radio Day Award Certificates are now ready for download for those who successfully contacted a RAC official station as described below.

Thank you for participating in the first RAC “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” (WARD) Special Event on April 18, 2020! 

To commemorate the event, RAC official stations operated across Canada from 1200Z to 2359Z on April 18. The RAC official station call signs are: VA2RAC, VA3RAC, VE1RAC, VE4RAC, VE5RAC, VE6RAC, VE7RAC, VE8RAC, VE9RAC, VO1RAC, VO2RAC, VY0RAC, VY1RAC and VY2RAC.

Those contacting one or more of these stations are eligible for a special commemorative certificate noting their participation in RAC’s Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day Event.

Participants simply needed to complete one or more contacts, on any band and mode, with RAC official stations to earn their certificates.

No logs need to be submitted, simply visit the following webpage and enter your call sign in the space provided and then click on the “Submit” button. 

Certificate generator site:

We will also be including an article about the special event in the July-August 2020 issue of  The Canadian Amateur  and I would appreciate it if you would please send any comments to me at

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director | TCA Editor

Radio Amateurs of Canada

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Amateur Satellite Workshop on YouTube May 27

Sunday 10th May 2020

IARU Region 2 will be holding a Satellites for Beginners Workshop at 2300 GMT on Wednesday, May 27, and you can participate via YouTube

Interest in the first two IARU R2 Workshops has greatly exceeded expectations.  The first Workshop in Emergency Communications was held in Spanish on April 29 and has an audience of over 100 tuning in on Zoom and YouTube.  In the following 10 days over 700 have viewed this Workshop in the IARU R2 YouTube channel. 

The second Workshop on Emergency Communications was held on May 6th to a live audience of 217.  This Workshop was in English and was specifically for amateurs in the Caribbean region at the request of the CTU and ITU.

The next Workshop on Emergency Communications will be in English on May 13th starting at 2300 UTC.  Next on the schedule will be two “Satellites for Beginners” Workshops, one in Spanish and one in English.  Registration is now closed for Workshop Zoom access, but all interested amateurs may participate via the IARU-R2 YouTube channel:

A list of Workshops can be seen at

All IARU R2 Workshops are free and open to all radio amateurs.  Suggestions for future Workshop topics and volunteers for instructors may be addressed to

George Gorsline VE3YV IARU R2 Secretary

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AMSAT-EA English language newsletter available

Sunday 10th May 2020

Spain's AMSAT organisation AMSAT-EA has released the English language version of their May newsletter

It features:
• The new DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) satellite with a linear (SSB/CW) transponder
• QUETZAL-1 CubeSat
• Project for the QO-100 geostationary satellite amateur transponder 

You can download the PDF from

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Coronavirus: The rise and rise of Amateur Radio during lockdown

Sunday 10th May 2020

Bournemouth's The Breaker reports the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) have experienced a threefold increase of people wanting to sit licensing exams since the government rules on lockdown

The Breaker is the news and features site run by journalism master’s students of the School of Journalism, English and Communication, Bournemouth University.

Roxanne McKenzie writes:

Working in partnership with the NHS ‘Get on the air to care‘ campaign, this has been encouraging people to chat and support each other. Campaigning to improve the health and well-being of communities, who are concerned that social isolation is negative in lockdown. A whopping 75,000 licensed radio amateurs are registered in the UK, including those returning from hiatus.

The Breaker spoke with Rufus Maher, foundry worker from the West Midlands, who gave us some insight on why amateur radio is popular.

Read the full article at

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Tenth YOTA postponed to 2021

Sunday 10th May 2020

The 10th edition of the Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Summer Camp, to be hosted by the Croatian Amateur Radio Association (HRS) between 8th and 15th August has been cancelled and postponed to 2021.

HRS remains the host for the 2021 YOTA Summer Camp.

Also postponed until the summer of 2021 is the first IARU Region 2 YOTA Summer Camp, which was expected to be held between 21st and 26th June.

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 9th May 2020

How much is a bit worth?

During the week I finally made the decision to purchase my first software defined transmit capable radio. It wasn't an easy choice for me, given that the range of options vary in price from "not much" to "more than my car is worth" and an infinite number of choices between those.

One of the considerations, other than price, was a thing called bit-depth. In the past I've spoken about how an analogue to digital converter or ADC uses bits to represent a radio signal. In short, a voltage coming from an antenna is represented as a digital value inside the radio. No signal represents a value of zero and maximum signal represents the maximum value that fits into the decoder. A concrete example might be an 8-bit ADC which can represent 256 different values.

If you look at the choices available to you, you'll see that there are 8-bit radios, 12-bit ones, 16-bit, 18-bit and 24-bit radios. On the face of it you could just say, more bits is better, but how much better?

For example, an ANAN-10 and a FLEX-3000 radio, both costing about the same, have a different ADC. The ANAN is a 16-bit device and the FLEX is a 24-bit device. At the other end, a HackRF One is an 8-bit device and costs twice as much as an ADALM Pluto that's a 12-bit device.

How do you choose and what are you choosing?

Essentially you're choosing something called dynamic range. Think of it as the range of signal strengths that you can represent using a number of bits.

As it happens there's a formula for that. It's 20 times the log 10 of 2 to the power of the number of bits times the square root of 3 divided by 2 and it represents decibels relative to full scale or dBFS.

In more recognisable terms, it comes down to a bit being worth 6 dB of range. A good approximation is the number of bits times six plus two.

For example, a 6-bit SDR will have a dynamic range of 6 times 6 bits is 36, plus 2 makes 38 dB of range. An 8-bit SDR has 6 times 8 bits is 48 plus 2 makes 50 dB of dynamic range.

I'm using rounded off numbers here but it gives you a pretty accurate sense of scale. Six times the bits plus 2 works until about 36-bits and then it's off by one dB, until we hit 85-bits - which we won't likely be able to buy at the local ham store for a little while yet - and then it'll be off by 2 dB.

Another way to think of dynamic range is to think of it as the difference between the weakest signal you can measure and the strongest signal. Given your SDR is going to be using a whole chunk of radio spectrum, you likely will have to deal with your local broadcast stations as well as that QRP signal you want to decipher, so more dynamic range is better.

Let's give this some context. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the ABC, has a local AM station on 720 kHz that has a transmitter with an EIRP of just under 155 kilowatts. My QRP station uses 5 watts. My signal is 45 dB weaker than that local transmitter.

This means that in order for an SDR to be able detect my signal in comparison to the broadcast station, it would need to have a range of 45 dB or 45 less 2 is 43 divided by 6 is 8 bits range at a minimum.

Now this isn't precise or complete, but it should give you some sense of scale.

In this example, the amplitude range of my 5 watt signal is represented by a digital range of 1 and the broadcast transmitter is represented by a range of 255 values.

That means that the best you could hope for in decoding my signal would be if I was transmitting Morse, the absence or presence of my signal would make the value representing my signal go from 0 to 1.

As you might imagine, this is not suitable to decode something more complex like SSB. My Morse signal is also right at the noise floor, so it might not even be detectable at all.

Similarly, in the absence of a 150 kilowatt station, but say a 1500 watt station, you'd need just under 25 dB range, or 4-bits.

Now before you start pointing out that there are other issues, yes, there are, sample rate, clock stability to name two. We'll get to those. I should also point out that normally you'd represent the voltage range using both positive and negative values and I didn't mention that the maximum is calculated using RMS.

In the meantime, I'm getting excited to see my new toy arrive. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Radio amateurs gather to support the Hamburger Factory

Saturday 9th May 2020

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the Poway Amateur Radio Society rallied to support the Hamburger Factory restaurant on Saturday, May 2, holding a take-out food rally in the parking lot

The restaurant has hosted the weekly PARS Saturday breakfast for over 30 years. At the meetings, ham radio operators discuss technologies, radio communications procedures and plans to support the local community during declared emergencies.

Vice President Charlie Ristorcelli NN3V said appreciating the financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the members decided to hold a take-out rally that followed all personal protective guidelines to give the restaurant’s employees business and support.

After receiving their food, the plan was to eat in the parking lot and converse via their vehicle’s ham radios.

According to Ristorcelli, of the 45 PARS members, 32 participated, resulting in “good business and $325 in tips for the employees.”

Source with pictures at

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France: REF makes April and May magazines available

Saturday 9th May 2020

France's national amateur radio society REF has made both the April and May editions of its magazine Radio-REF available for free download as convenient PDF's

A translation of the post by REF President Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL says:

In recent weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has accelerated suddenly around the world, causing a totally unexpected health and economic situation for all: border closures, confinement of populations, declarations of emergency, suspension of air links and maritime… It is a profound change in our lives and as a result, our country and the world more generally isolate themselves to fight the pandemic.

In this difficult context, the first sentences of this editorial will be for the members of our community and their families, those affected by the disease but also and all those particularly who on the front line treat the sick, as well as all those who deliver services and goods essential to ensure a form of continuity for the good of all.

The functioning of our amateur radio community has been profoundly changed. Many events are canceled or postponed: trade fairs, meetings of radio clubs, the rules for participation in competitions are changed. Strict compliance with official recommendations in order to protect yourself and yours is absolutely necessary in all forms of the practice of our activities.

However, we radio amateurs are fortunate and used to being able to easily keep in touch with each other over the air and thus minimize the effects of the social distancing imposed on everyone during this period. Multiple initiatives have emerged to this effect  : regular QSOs have been set up daily, the attendance of our bands has increased , as well as participation in days of activities and contests, etc.

We must not forget that this forced confinement for many of us can be an opportunity to complete the projects waiting on our shelves : a QO-100 station, the discovery of digital modes, the writing of an article, a little training with friends at the CW, the further preparation of the license through the courses broadcast on the Internet… The richness of our activity offers multiple possibilities, even in a situation of confinement.

This April 2020 issue of our review is in electronic form with free access to all on our website, we hope that reading it will enhance your isolation and encourage those who know us less to discover the life of the association and of our community and participate.

We had to quickly adapt the functioning of the association, and the Board of Directors took, in agreement with the association of Radio amateurs of Deux Sčvres (ARADS 79), the decision to cancel the 2020 Congress of Bressuire and to postpone the 2020 general assembly at a later date , probably in October 2020 during the HAMEXPO fair, if the future health situation allows it to be held.

We thank ARADS 79 for its cooperation in managing this exceptional situation and for its proposal to organize the 2021 Congress in Bressuire, we will therefore be happy to welcome you on the BOCAPOLE website in 2021. We will disseminate information relating to the 2020 general assembly, statutory and voting documents, in our July-August 2020 issue, hoping to have better visibility of its organizational conditions during the HAMEXPO 2020 exhibition.

The head office has changed its operation, but the services are still maintained to this day. The QSL service ensures the sorting of the cards already received but, in accordance with the official recommendations and in consultation with the IARU, we limit postal shipments. The operation of the shop is ensured within the limits of postal facilities.

The ANFR has put in place a service continuity plan, however the amateur radio examination sessions are suspended until further notice and, although some of the international CMR 2023 coordination meetings are held by video conference, some delay on the works is anticipated.

Even if it will be, we know, proven, we are certain that our community will be able to use all its values to get through this difficult period as well as possible. The Board of Directors and I will participate with all our strength.

Take care of yourself and yours, best friends.

Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL, president of REF

April Radio-REF

May Radio-REF

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Glasgow Times features Amateur Radio

Saturday 9th May 2020

The Glasgow Times newspaper features an article about visually-impaired radio amateur Terry Robinson GM3WUX

A radio enthusiast from a young age, Terry Robinson has constructed a 50-foot radio aerial in his garden, allowing him to communicate with other radio heads across the world.

The 69-year-old sends dots and dashes to other Morse code radio operators - amateur and professionals - on five continents from his back garden in Crosshill.

Terry is encouraging people looking to beat isolation blues to contact him for pointers or a chat on amateur radio. You can email him
on gm3wux <at>

Read the full Glasgow Times story at

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Hack-a-Sat call for participation

Saturday 9th May 2020

I've put out the call for participation for the Hack-a-Sat competition in the past, and would like to bring you all up to date on the developments and opportunities that have developed since.

The website is here:

Hack-a-Sat is an activity that was scheduled to happen at the in-person DEFCON event.

As of today, yes, it's true. DEFCON has been cancelled.

Those of you that have volunteered at Ham Radio Village in the past are familiar with the event. For those of you that are not, it's a long-running hacking and cybersecurity event that has enthusiastically adopted everything RF and amateur radio.

The United States Air Force, in conjunction with the Defense Digital Service, organized this year's Space Security Challenge, called Hack-A-Sat.

This challenge asks hackers from around the world to focus their skills and creativity on solving cybersecurity challenges on space systems.
This competition is going to be held! It's now a virtual event.

Security in the amateur radio sense of the word is fundamentally different from commercial and military applications. We have an advantage here, mainly due to the enormous leverage we have due to our context being completely different from what the Air Force and commercial interests assume. This is, essentially, a diversity advantage.

If you want to participate on an experienced Capture The Flag (CTF) team, then I am here to extend an invitation. Anyone that reads through the rules and can afford to spend some time during the event is invited to apply to join Vaporsec. This is a team that has a majority of information security professionals. There are some satellite industry people, some amateur involvement, and I'd like to make sure that anyone interested in competing from AMSAT-BB gets a chance to join a competitive team.

The benefits to amateur radio are primarily technical, with policy and security a close second. The Air Force has some agendas here in terms of improving satellite security. Exposure to the challenges alone is a an excellent opportunity to learn more about modern satellite technology... and what a significant player in space wants to find out more about.
Don't assume that that the challenges in the competition are going to be "too hard". What is trivial for one viewpoint is unsolvable for another.

I'll be writing about the event and what we learned when it is over, so this sort of knowledge will not be secret. However, there is no replacement for participation, and you could very well have the practical knowledge, gained from operating real satellites, that wins the competition. As you can see from the website, there is some real money involved and opportunities for technical writing.

Let me know at w5nyv[at] if you would like to talk more about joining a CTF team for this really neat and unique event.

Know someone that you think should participate? Please forward to them.

Michelle W5NYV


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Belarus Special Event

Saturday 9th May 2020

Look for the following special event stations from Belarus to be active between May 1-10th, to celebrate 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War (June 22, 1941 - May 9, 1945):

EV75B - From Minsk; QSL via Bureau
EV75F - From Brest; QSL via EW3W direct or ClubLog's OQRS
EV75GK - From Grodno; QSL via EW4A; All logs will be uploaded to
ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL within a week. Please, be patient
for a few days.
EV75K - From Kalinkovichi; QSL via EW8BQ
EV75M - From Minsk; QSL via EW1I; All logs will be uploaded to
ClubLog, LoTW and eQSL within a week - PLEASE BE PATIENT!
EV75PG - From Radoshkovichi; QSL via RW6HS


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Indian special event

Saturday 9th May 2020

Members of the Indian Institute of Hams, Bangalore Club (IIH) [VU2IIH], will be active as AT2GOK until July 26th, providing assistance in fighting COVID-19.

They state, "We conduct roll call net everyday on VU2ZO repeater 145.275 minus shift at 10:00 am, 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm. On HF, 8:00 am and 7:00 pm. We monitor these frequencies at all times for any assistance.
Also to encourage SWLS we do conduct roll call net on Hamsphere 11:30 am on 7070 kHz.

QSL via direct (see


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Online Training for Amateur Radio

Friday 8th May 2020

Now that people can take the UK amateur radio Foundation exam online from their own home, what online training courses are available?

Currently we are aware of two free online Foundation training courses.
If you are running an online course not mentioned here please let us know.

The courses so far are:

• Foundation Online run by Essex Ham

• GM6DX Foundation licence course

On April 3, RSGB announced that Foundation Practical Assessments have been waived so candidates will not need to do them

The RSGB publication 'Foundation Licence Manual: for Radio Amateurs' is available in Kindle format at
The RSGB Online exam remote invigilation FAQ describes how to apply for an exam

The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral, with the chance to meet up regularly (under normal non-coronavirus conditions) and ask questions. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exam is the first stage to proving competence and experiencing the joys of an exciting hobby.  It is often chatting with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge as a short cut to complete your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training and so one of the above courses would be an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exams.

After your success, do consider coming along to WADARC for a few evenings (for no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  Our members operate in a wide range of radio and computer activities.

Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for the latest information

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P*75FREE celebrating freedom in the Netherlands

Friday 8th May 2020

75 years ago the allied forces liberated The Netherlands from Nazi rule, ending the second World War, five years after it started. The southern part of The Netherlands was liberated in the autumn of 1944, while the northern part was only liberated in the spring of 1945.

On May 4, 1945 the German forces formally capitulated to the British Field Marshall Montgomery. The capitulation was effective the next day.

The Dutch therefore celebrate the end of WW2 for the whole of the country on May 5 every year.

YNOMY DX Group & friends want to place attention on the valuable freedom we attained and have enjoyed ever since, with a radio-activity during the month of May.

We will activate 10 different special callsigns from May 1 to May 31: PA75FREE, PB75FREE, PC75FREE, PD75FREE, PE75FREE, PF75FREE, PG75FREE, PH75FREE, PA75FREEDOM and PD75FREEDOM.

A special QSL card will be available for OMs who have contacted one or more of our stations. We will send out cards to all contacts via the bureau approximately two months after the activity. If you want to receive your card direct, please use ClubLog OQRS: (replace the ? for the letter in the call you worked)

For those interested - both OMs and SWLS - we offer an electronic award for free in three levels: bronze (15 points), silver (25 points) and gold (35 points). Each callsign will get you 3 points on the first contact and 1 extra point for every next contact on a different band or mode.

SWLs are advised that cluster spots do not constitute valid RX reports.

The award will be made available for download on the YNOMY website.

Till the 7th of May we have already worked 3000 unique calls. A few awards are already issued.

We invite all HAMs around the world to chase us on the bands.

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Amateur Radio on BFBS

Friday 8th May 2020

The RSGB Get on the Air to Care #GOTA2C campaign featured on the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) breakfast show

The RSGB reports:

Paul Devlin, G1SMP - NHS England Emergency Care Improvement Support Team and also RSGB District Representative - was interviewed on the British Forces Broadcasting Services Breakfast Show on May 7, 2020.

Paul chatted about the GOTA2C campaign, amateur radio, the RSGB and the NHS radio station GB1NHS.

BFBS radio broadcasts nationally across the UK and in 20 countries, 10 of which have permanent radio stations. They operate wherever British forces are deployed.

Jason Herbert, M6KZJ also hosts an international radio show for BFBS with the BBC on Saturdays and the interview will be repeated on that show on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Listen to a recording on the RSGB website at

RSGB Get on the Air to Care


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CQ-QSO magazine available for free download

Friday 8th May 2020

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak Belgium's national Amateur Radio society, the UBA, is making the latest issue of its magazine CQ-QSO freely available as a convenient PDF

You can download the May-June edition of the bi-lingual magazine CQ-QSO at


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The new V5IMA Award

Friday 8th May 2020

Harry de Jong, PA3249 (SWL) writes:

As QSL manager for Mike, V51MA,  I want to let you know that Mike has made a nice award for the award collector.

For more information, see further down on his QRZ.COM page.

"You can also have for your "ShackWall" YOUR PERSONAL DX certificate with 3/5/7 or combinations of all bands QSO's worked from my station" (V51MA)


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Short Wave SDR in IEEE Spectrum magazine

Friday 8th May 2020

Take your software-defined radio into the shortwave band to receive signals sent around the globe by commercial, government, and amateur stations

In this article Stephen Cass KB1WNR explains how to eavesdrop on long-distance communications with a converter board and a jerry-rigged antenna.

"A couple of months ago, I wrote about how a cheap USB dongle designed to pick up digital television broadcasts could be hacked to act as a software-defined radio, or SDR. With this dongle and a TV antenna, I could decode an impressive range of analog and digital radio transmissions from about 50 megahertz up to a little over 2 gigahertz [see “A $40 Software-Defined Radio,” IEEE Spectrum, July]. But I wanted more. I wanted to get below 50 MHz, into the shortwave bands where signals can be sent vast distances around the globe by commercial, government, and amateur broadcasters."

Read Software-Defined Radio, Part II

A $40 Software-Defined Radio

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Enhanced 50 MHz allocation in Germany

Thursday 7th May 2020

The DARC reports the Federal Network Agency made a preliminary provisional implementation of the WRC results for the 6-m band in message 111 from the May 6 official journal 08/2020  

A translation of the DARC post reads:

A request by Germany's Amateur Radio Round Table at the beginning of March was met as follows with an enhanced access regime:
• Frequency range 50.000 MHz – 52.000 MHz
• Secondary
• Bandwidth max. 12 kHz
• Transmission types: all
• Antenna polarization: Horizontal
• Contest operation: Permitted

In addition to the extended frequency range from 50 to 52 MHz (based on the result of the WRC19), above all a significantly improved power level for the 50.000-50.400 MHz sub-band has been permitted.

Holders of an authorization to participate in the amateur radio service of class A ("A license") can now send in this area with a maximum of 750 W PEP, holders of an "E license" with 100 W PEP.

In the rest of the band, the limitation to 25 W PEP applies to everyone as before.
This new regulation, which is very positive for amateur radio, is the result of a series of discussions between the Bundeswehr (Military) primary user and the DARC's Frequency Management Unit (DK4VW and DF2ZC), which has been ongoing since the end of 2018.

In the meantime, a very factual and trustworthy basis of cooperation with the military frequency management has been established. This expanded enhanced allocation is valid until December 31, 2020 or until a revised Frequency Ordinance comes into force - whichever is the case earlier.

Bernd J. Mischlewski, DF2ZC, from DARC speaker Frequency Management

Source DARC

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NASA TV to air Cygnus departure from space station

Thursday 7th May 2020

Nearly three months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrup Grumman’s unpiloted Cygnus cargo craft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Monday, May 11.

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo craft approaches the International Space Station delivering about 7,500 pounds
of research and supplies to the Expedition 62 crew. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan would command the Canadarm2 robotic arm
 to reach out and capture Cygnus after a two-and-half-day trip that began with a launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credits: NASA

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 11:45 a.m. EDT, with release scheduled for noon.

Dubbed the “SS Robert H. Lawrence,” Cygnus arrived at the station Feb. 18 with supplies and science experiments following its launch on Northrup Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Flight controllers on the ground will send commands to robotically detach Cygnus from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module, maneuver it into place, and release it from the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Station commander Christopher Cassidy, KF5KDR of NASA will monitor Cygnus’ systems as it moves away from the orbiting laboratory.

Within 24 hours of its release, Cygnus will begin its secondary mission, hosting the Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment – IV (Saffire-IV), which provides an environment to safely study fire in microgravity. It also will deploy a series of payloads. Northrop Grumman flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, will initiate Cygnus’ deorbit to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere Monday, May 25.

More information on Cygnus’ mission and the International Space Station can be found at:

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Germany extends 50 MHz allocation

Thursday 7th May 2020

In bulletin 8/2020 ( published on May 6th 2020, the German regulator (Bundesnetzagentur) announced that the following changes (based on WRC19) were implemented for radio amateurs in DL, just in time for the upcoming sporadic E season:

* Frequency range extended: 50 - 52 MHz is now available (previously: 50 - 51 MHz)

* Power limits: 750W for CEPT 1, 25W for Novices (previously: 25W for CEPT 1, no allocation for Novices)

* Contest operation is now allowed without restrictions

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A naked-eye outburst from Comet SWAN

Thursday 7th May 2020

This week, an outburst from Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) surprised observers in the southern hemisphere, who could actually see the comet brighten with their unaided eyes.

SWAN is a fresh comet, and more outbursts from its newly-sunlit core are possible in the nights ahead.

Visit today's edition of for the full story

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5K0K DXpedition video

Thursday 7th May 2020

A video of the 2019 5K0K DXpedition to San Andres Island (NA-033) by Pavel, OK1GK, is now available on YouTube.

The video is a little over 15 minutes long and can be viewed here:

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RAYNET helps elderly man

Thursday 7th May 2020

The RSGB reports that during the Coronavirus outbreak the amateur radio UK’s national voluntary communications service RAYNET assisted an elderly man who was running out of food

Read the RSGB story at

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Chinese special event callsigns

Thursday 7th May 2020

Members of the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club (CRAC) will activate 10 special event callsigns (B0CRA - B9CRA) across their country making QSOs with amateur radio operators all over the world.

Operations will take place between 0000 UTC May 1st and 1200 UTC May 7th. QSL via BA1GG. Log search entry:

This activity/event takes place every year. It started on May 5th, 1940, where Chinese amateur radio operators started an "On air conference". On May 5th, 1947, the conference covered all the regions in China, it was the biggest on air event.
In 1942 and 1944, there were 2 exhibitions associated with the "On air conference". In recent years, the CRAC organized several events on May 5th every year and designated that day as a Chinese amateur radio festival, called "5.5 Festival". Due to COVID-19, the CRAC called for all amateur radio operators "Stay Home" to fight for the Conoravirus situation. The 2020 "5.5 Festival" was shifted to the air waves.

The CRAC provides special awards to whose who meet the criteria below.
Award application can be sent to (; indicate your call- sign, award category and E-mail address to receive the award. The award application deadline is September 30th, 2020.

Award Rules: The award has three categories Bronze, Silver and Golden, which will be measured by slots worked. One slots is a combination of a special callsign, band and mode. For example, worked B1CRA in 20m, SSB, model is 1 slot.
For All Applicants:
Bronze Award: 20 slots
Silver Award: 40 slots
Golden Award: 50 slots -- Must consist of all 10 special callsigns


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RSGB-NHS campaign and amateur radio on the BBC today

Wednesday 6th May 2020

The RSGB say:

We're delighted that amateur radio and our 'Get on the air to care' campaign with the NHS is featured prominently in the BBC news today:

We worked with the journalist to provide facts and contacts as part of our continuing media campaign. # GOTA2C

Our campaign has had a great response from radio amateurs across the world as we all cope with the challenges of the pandemic together, so it is excellent that it has been picked up in the national BBC coverage today as well as in the regional BBC radio interviews we’ve already had.

Many thanks


Heather Parsons
Communications Manager
Radio Society of Great Britain

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RASA launches Welcome to AR guidebook for newcomers

Wednesday 6th May 2020

The Radio Amateur Society of Australia is pleased to announce the release of a free guidebook for all newcomers to our hobby.

New to the hobby? Are you a club looking for additional reference material to support new members?

The RASA Welcome to Amateur Radio guidebook provides an introduction to our hobby for newly licenced Foundation class amateurs.

The book is published digitally. It contains many hotlinks to external websites with useful information.

It is available as an Acrobat pdf file suitable for reading on a PC or tablet.
It can be printed if required.

It will also available as an eBook for the Kindle, Nook and Kobo readers as well as the Apple Books app in the next week or so.

Download your free copy here:

We welcome your feedback - please notify us of any errors or suggestions for improvements.


Glenn VK4DU

President RASA

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IARU Region 2's Virtual Workshops are now underway

Wednesday 6th May 2020

On Wednesday, April 29th, IARU Region 2 presented the first of its program of Virtual Workshops in English and Spanish with “What is WinLink and its importance during Emergency Communications" (in Spanish)

The workshop presenter was Alfonso Tamez, XE2O of the FEDERACION MEXICANA DE RADIOEXPERIMENTADORES. He gave an insightful view into the usefulness and application of WinLink during emergencies, based on his past and ample experience, offering  participants an understanding of the importance of having such a tool available during an emergency.

Workshop  attendance was far larger than expected with participants from at least 18 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, México, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. The total number of attendees exceeded 180!

The formal presentation was followed by a Question-and-Answer session with participants able to ask questions using both the Zoom platform as well as through the IARU Region 2’s YouTube Workshops channel. The initial estimated time of 90 minutes was extended beyond two hours to accommodate the high level of interest.

The use of Zoom together with the simultaneous broadcast via IARU Region 2's Workshops YouTube channel

enabled expansion of the number of participants from the 100 users Zoom platform maximum, as the YouTube channel is unlimited. The only difference is that questions made on the YouTube channel chat are forwarded to the instructor via the moderator.

At the end of the workshop, participants expressed their satisfaction as well as their desire to continue with more workshops as soon as possible. All future workshops will be announced as soon as they become available on IARU Region 2’s website ( where you will also find a registration sign-up form. Please keep in mind that due to the high volume of requests, signing up for workshops can only be done online and not by email.

For suggestions for future workshop subjects as well as to volunteer as a presenter or instructor, please send an email message to

Augusto Gabaldoni, OA4DOH, Workshops Coordinator, IARU R2

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Using amateur radio technology to stay connected

Wednesday 6th May 2020

The St. Albert Gazette reports using technology to connect with each other is old hat for ham radio operators

Amid the coronavirus outbreak and people being forced to spend more time at home, people are using technology to bridge the physical gap and stay connected.

However, this is not new to amateur radio operators. From the early days of radio, “ham radio operators”, as they are more commonly known as, have been using the airways to connect with other amateur radio enthusiasts.

Ham radio operators use the radio frequency spectrum to pass non-commercial messages to each other using a wide variety of transmission mediums such as voice, Morse code, television and as well as other digital modes.

Barrhead resident Jeff Attrill VE6JJA is one of the more than 7,900 operators in Alberta. In Canada, there are upwards of 70,000 hams.

Amateur radio operators are also often called upon to provide emergency communications.

“It is a great hobby,” he said, adding amateur radio operators come from all walks of life and age demographics.

Read the full story at

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It's raining plasma on the sun today

Wednesday 6th May 2020

Today, a number of large prominences have sprung up on the sun. At least one of them is leaking plasma, producing a glowing-hot rain that is splashing down on the solar surface.

Visit today's edition of for a must-see movie of the ongoing rainstorm.

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Inmarsat supports HF, Amateur Radio communications for Antarctic expedition

Wednesday 6th May 2020

Radio Resource International report Inmarsat Government provided mobile communications support to the South Orkney Expedition.
This multidisciplinary expedition, supported by the research vessel RV Braveheart, took place on Signy Island Feb. 21 – March 6. The South Orkney Islands are located in the Southern Ocean about 375 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

This expedition was undertaken by the Perseverance DX Group, a nonprofit expedition organization that conducted record-setting, multimode high frequency (HF) communications using amateur radio frequencies, ranging from just above the AM broadcast band to the edge of the VHF band, under widely varying space weather (ionospheric and solar flux) conditions. The team also collected marine sediment samples for scientific research.

Additionally, middle and high school science teachers were provided information for use in their classrooms on a number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics. The expedition team also tested satellite communications and new amateur radio technologies in this remote region of the world.

During the expedition, Inmarsat Government provided its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) satellite communications services to enable expedition members to partner with schools to supplement STEM classroom education of the Antarctic. The expedition also relied on Inmarsat’s Global Satellite Phone Service (GSPS) via the Inmarsat-4 constellation to stay connected in this remote region.

“These internet activities would not have been possible without Inmarsat’s services,” said David Lloyd, South Orkney expedition leader. “We appreciate Inmarsat Government’s cooperation, technical assistance and the equipment that included BGAN and satellite phone services. Conducting expeditions to remote parts of the world to do research and support student STEM education requires having communications equipment that can reliably provide voice and broadband data communications under extreme conditions.”

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 6th May 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

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

EU-114; GU/MU, Guernsey group: Members of the Guernsey Amateur Radio Society (GARS) will be celebrating the liberation of the island with the callsign GU75LIB between May 6 and 12. QRV from St. Peter Port on HF. QSL via GU8ITE (d/B).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Changes at SOTABEAMS

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Richard Newstead G3CWI has announced his retirement from his amateur radio company SOTABEAMS

A post on the company site says:

During the lockdown period there has been a major change at SOTABEAMS.
I have decided to retire and my colleague Martin Jackson has taken over as Managing Director. I will still be around in the background of course, but the day to day running of the company will be done by Martin. After taking a bit of a break I intend resuming my Radio Adventures video series.

Martin is an Engineering Graduate and has worked as our Technical Director for four years. Martin has developed some of our most popular products, such as the WSPRlite and the WOLFWAVE. You will hear more from him in the months to come. Martin can be contacted at Please use for technical support.

On a more personal note, I have met, spoken to and corresponded with many wonderful customers over the years. I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement. I hope that you will continue to support the company as Martin takes over.

Stay safe

73 Richard G3CWI


Richard's Radio Adventures videos can be seen on his YouTube channel at


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Amateur Radio Exams 'Al-fresco'

Tuesday 5th May 2020

IARU Region 1 reports on how a club overcame the Coronavirus restrictions to hold an amateur radio exam in a country where online exams aren't available

On the IARU-R1 site Don G3BJ writes:

The local radio amateur club LA3F, south of Oslo, had just completed its annual course for would-be radio-amateurs. The latest 3 participants were just ready for their exam when the corona virus struck. We can all imagine their frustration when Norway started to shut down activities and meetings for an indefinite period.

A normal exam was not possible due to the strict rules of physical distance and limitations on the number of people who could meet. At that time Norway had strict rules of not more than 5 people together, minimum 2m physical distance and frequent hand wash.

So in order to get these 3 new amateurs on board, LA2RR, Ole, agreed with the Norwegian regulator to hold an outdoor exam where all these guidelines were obeyed. Armed with all the necessary paperwork and with Antibac for hand disinfection, he meet with the three candidates in the forest outside the local scout cottage. Here, in the open air, there are tables a minimum of 5 m apart, so with just the four of them, it was “corona safe” to hold the written exam.

Although early spring in Norway, the temperature was around 10 degrees Celsius and everybody had dressed warmly so that the temperature out in the forest could not be used as an excuse should any of them fail. Ole is happy to report that all 3 candidates passed and we can all welcome LA5EUA, LB8QI and LB8RI to the world of amateur radio.

Source IARU Region 1

Norway only has one class of license and that permits 1 kW output. To get it candidates must pass a HAREC equivalent exam paper with 40 questions.

An Excel spreadsheet of the 7,004 Norwegian radio amateurs as at April 28, 2020 can be downloaded from the site of the regulator NKOM
click here

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FT8/FT4 and 'screen savers or power savers'

Tuesday 5th May 2020

This is a short article which could explain a phenomena that you may have experienced. It affects FT8, FT4 and maybe other data modes.

The following happens after a normal start up and transmitting/receiving session of any length. You leave your computer still switched on with FT8 running and go away to make a tea/coffee/sandwich whatever.

When you return the computer screen is blank. Ah, you think, the screen saver has come on. When you move the mouse or touch a key, the picture returns and FT8/4 is receiving as normal. Till you try to transmit! The radio will key up but no data goes out. This is reproducible.

In Control Panel I tried setting all the USB ports so that they could not be powered down but without success.

There are several work rounds. One for WSJT-X is to go to Configurations and “switch to” a copy Configuration you made earlier. You did make one didn’t you? Or you could close down and restart WSJT-X.

But the best thing to do is to go to Control Panel, Power Options, Chose or customise a power plan, Change plan settings, Turn off the display. Set Turn off display to Never.
Make sure that it is Never for each plan you might use. Now the screen will stay on all the time.

So you may want to set a screen saver. Go to Windows button, Settings (gear near bottom left), Personalisation, Lock Screen, Screen saver settings. Now if you are like me and you don’t like swirly coloured patterns across your screen you set Screen saver to blank after a suitable time.
Might be a good idea to restart the computer at this point.

Of course, the real easy way to save power is to press the off button on the monitor. This works whatever OS you have. Just for information mine is Windows 10 Home, version 1909, x64 based system with all Quality Updates to 22/04/2020

Tony G4CJC

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Ham radio operators reach out to people with critical illness

Tuesday 5th May 2020

This Week reports amateurs radio operators have been scanning Kolkata round the clock during the ongoing lockdown to get medicines required by critically ill patients of West Bengal and outside

With the help of police, these Good Samaritans have supplied medicines for cancer, hepatitis-B, HIV positive patients in several districts of West Bengal and a couple of Northeastern states, the apex body of Ham Radio operators said.

Two patients living in distant Aranghata in Nadia district and Gangasagar in South 24 Parganas district received homeopathic medicines from a reputed physician's chamber in Kolkata after these amateur radio operators came forward, said Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA, secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC).

"With the help of a top disaster management official of Kolkata Police, we could procure the medicine and passed it on to these families. The two are among more than 100 people whom we managed to help during the lockdown," he told PTI.

Read the full story at

West Bengal Radio Club

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Coronavirus: How amateur radio is connecting people during lockdown

Tuesday 5th May 2020

The BBC News website reports: Amateur radio use in the UK has seen a "significant" rise during the coronavirus lockdown as people seek new ways of staying connected.

The national body that represents users - the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) - has said many people who formerly enjoyed the hobby are also returning to it.

You can read this excellent BBC News article with pictures at

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Radio Caroline North - 9th-10th May

Tuesday 5th May 2020

It's nostalgia time again with another monthly Radio Caroline North broadcast this weekend 9th-10th May.

You'll hear all the best music from the 60s – early 90s, plus the chance to win some goodies from our Web Shop, this time kindly sponsored by Lisa Dolley and Mike Attrill from Cornwall.

Sadly due to 'social distancing' restrictions we can't use our radio-ship Ross Revenge, so this broadcast will be land-based.

Listen in on 648 AM in the South and South-East, on 1368 AM in the North and North-West courtesy of our friends at Manx Radio, around the world online via the Radio Caroline app and Radio Player, and on smart speakers.

We'd love to hear from you – email us during the broadcast at and remember, it's the only address that gets you straight through to us directly.

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Ofcom: People experiencing fewer nuisance calls, but more work to do

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Landline and mobile customers are experiencing fewer nuisance calls than they were three years ago, according to latest research from Ofcom.

The findings are included in an update to the joint action plan to tackle nuisance calls and messages, published today by Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Nuisance calls tracking research

In January 2020, two in five (39%) customers reported that they’d received a nuisance call on their landline telephone – down from 61% in May 2017. The proportion of mobile customers experiencing a nuisance call also fell from 47% to 37% during the same period.

Complaints about nuisance calls

The ICO received around 37,000 fewer complaints about nuisance calls and messages than it did five years ago - 129,354 in 2019 vs. 166,663 in 2015 (-22%). Similarly, Ofcom received half the amount of complaints about silent and abandoned calls in 2019 (27,869) than it did in 2015 (49,648), when complaints were at their peak.

More work to do

Nuisance calls are an unwanted interruption to our daily lives. They can also cause anxiety and distress, or result in customers being scammed by fraudsters. So while it’s encouraging that progress is being made, there is still much more to do to make sure people are protected from harm.

Today’s action plan therefore summarises our ongoing technical work to tackle the problem, including blocking nuisance calls at source, as well as the coordinated effort by the banking and telecoms industry to tackle scams, led by Stop Scams UK. The update sets out the ICO’s and Ofcom’s joint priorities for the coming year.

Covid-19 scams

The ICO and Ofcom are also aware of reports of scams related to Covid-19 and are working to help protect customers against these.

Ofcom has published advice for consumers on how to recognise and deal with Covid-19 scam calls and texts.

Further advice for people on how to protect themselves against unwanted calls and messages more generally, is also available on our website.

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Change to The 5 MHz Newsletter Archive URL

Tuesday 5th May 2020

There’s been a change to The 5 MHz Newsletter Archive URL, as it was not originally in the Dropbox publicly-available section.

This has been corrected and the new Archive URL is

Enjoy editions 1 – 24 !


Paul Gaskell G4MWO

The 5 MHz Newsletter

You can find the latest edition freely available at any time at

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DXCC Most Wanted

Tuesday 5th May 2020

The 'DXCC Most Wanted' entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of April 29th. The list contains 340 entities.

The following are the top 26 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. 3Y/P Peter 1 Island
10. FT5/X Kerguelen Island
11. FT/G Glorioso Island
12. VK0M Macquarie Island
13. YV0 Aves Island
14. KH4 Midway Island
15. ZS8 Prince Edward & Marion Islands
16. PY0S Saint Peter and Paul Rocks
17. PY0T Trindade & Martim Vaz Islands
18. KP5 Desecheo Island
19. SV/A Mount Athos
20. VP8S South Sandwich Islands
21. KH5 Palmyra & Jarvis Islands
22. JD/M Minami Torishima
23. EZ Turkmenistan
24. ZL9 New Zealand Subantarctic Islands
25. YK Syria
26. FK/C Chesterfield Island

This month there has been a shake-up since "VP8O South Orkney Islands" has been dropped from the top 26 from 16th to 44th.
So everything has moved up one (between 16th and 26th) and "FK/C Chesterfield Island" has been added to the list. Some small changes have happened: "KH5 Palmyra & Jarvis Islands" moved from 23rd to 21st, and "KH5 Palmyra & Jarvis Islands" moved from 24th to 20th.
The complete "DXCC Most Wanted" entities list (340) is available at:


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Remotely-invigilated exam numbers released

Monday 4th May 2020

On Friday, May 1, the RSGB released the figures for UK remotely-invigilated amateur radio Foundation exams

The Society said 116 Foundation exams had been run, of these 109 candidates had passed giving a pass rate of 94%.

This pass rate is very encouraging, the minutes of the RSGB Examinations and Syllabus Review Group (ESRG) meeting held on February 1 had recorded a Foundation pass rate of only 79% for the first five months of the new syllabus up to the end of January.

About 380 exams are scheduled to take place in May and so far 187 exams have been planned for June. The high demand for Foundation exams suggests early booking may be advisable.

ESRG minutes can be downloaded from

See the RSGB announcement at

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GB0GIG continues this week

Monday 4th May 2020

GB0GIG run by members of Dragon Amateur Radio Club and North Wales Radio Society is having great fun on air to celebrate the hard work of the NHS in Wales.

Thanking them for their hard work and dedication during the hard time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amateurs are encouraged to contact us as many times as possible from the 1st - 28th May and claim our award certificates. Details can be found on the GB0GIG QRZ.COM page.

This coming week promises SSB, CW, ATV in North Wales and also FT4 on the HF bands on Tuesday afternoon. Please listen out for us and keep an eye on the DX Clusters!

Thank you all for your support!

Simon Taylor MW0NWM
Secretary, Dragon Amateur Radio Club

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Online Satellite Workshop talks available

Monday 4th May 2020

Videos of the talks given to the Online Satellite Workshop that took place May 2-3 are available on YouTube

The event was hosted by AMSAT Nepal whose first satellite SanoSat-1 is expected to be launched towards the end of this year

You can watch the videos at

Online Satellite Workshop

Follow AMSAT Nepal on Twitter at

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New SSTV software YONIQ

Monday 4th May 2020

Eugenio Fernįndez EA1ADA reports that YONIQ, a modern version of the popular Slow Scan TV software MMSSTV, is now available

We are excited to finally be able to offer the entire radio community the revamped MMSSTV with the nickname YONIQ also in English.

Due to demand, we have prepared the YONIQ version in two languages, English and Spanish. It has been a laborious job but with surprising results.

Some of the improvements that YONIQ offers include:

• Both English and Spanish languages supported
• Equipment control through the Omni-Rig system
• Independent memory system
• Download data directly from
• Logbook compatibility with support for JTDX, WSJTX, etc
• Indication of the percentage of image sent and received
• Improved image reception settings
• Modern visual interface

Info: to change the language go to OPTIONS-> CONFIGURE MMSSTV-> MISC
We hope you enjoy YONIQ very much and can offer the SSTV one more attraction.

You can download YONIQ from the link on the following page, look for "Descarga de MMSSTV 1.13 YONIQ"

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IOTA Contest 2020

Monday 4th May 2020

The RSGB have announced that the annual Islands on the Air Contest, which takes place over the last full weekend of July (25th / 26th July), will go ahead this year.

However, in line with 'Stay at Home' guidance to minimise the impact of Covid-19, the 2020 contest will be exclusively for Single Operators using their home stations. Also, RSGB will not be awarding trophies this year, but downloadable certificates will be available to winners.

Another rules amendment for 2020 is that the sending of a signal report in every QSO is mandatory, a change from the 2019 rules which indicated that a signal report was optional.


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World Amateur Radio Day Award Certificates: delayed until Friday, May 8

Monday 4th May 2020

Thank you for participating in the first RAC "Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day" (WARD) Special Event! 

Our volunteers are now working on processing the special event certificates but have been delayed due to circumstances related to the global pandemic.

We hope to have them available for download from the WARD webpage at the following link by  Friday, May 8.

We will also be including an article about the special event in the July-August 2020 issue of  The Canadian Amateur and I would appreciate it if you would please send any comments to me at

Please stay tuned for additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director | TCA Editor

Radio Amateurs of Canada

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Vintage Amateur Radio Magazines

Monday 4th May 2020

Swedish amateur radio publications dating back to the early 1930's have been scanned and are now available to download

Among the magazines are:
• Radioamator
• Radio and the Radio Amateur
• QRX for shortwave amateurs, radio telegraphists and technicians

You can download the magazines from

Source SSA

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 4th May 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 26th April, through Sunday, 3rd May there were 215 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4W, 4X, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C9, CE, CE0Y, 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, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, 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, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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".


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 4th May 2020

Island activities:

Since no or few new IOTA announcements have been made during the past several weeks (probably because of many COVIN-19 travel restrictions), OPDX decided to list the following IOTA operations that were active this past week between April 27th-May 2nd (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA  Callsign  Island/GROUP  Bands/Modes
------  ---------   ----------------  ---------------

AF-004 AM6WARD Canary 17m; Digi
AF-004 AM8WARD Canary 10m; CW/Digi
AF-014 CT3MD Madeira 15m; CW
AF-016 FR4NT Reunion 80m; FT8
AF-022 ZD7FT St. Helena 10m; SSB
AF-022 ZD7JC St. Helena 10m; FT8
AF-024 S79KW Seychelles 17m; FT8
AF-057 5R8UI Madagascar (W) 10m; CW
AF-086 D4Z Cape Verde (Windward)20m; CW
AS-004 5B4ALG Cyprus 17m; SSB
AS-007 JH1GEX Honshu 20m; CW
AS-007 JH3NGD Honshu 17m; Digi
AS-053 HS0ZNV Malay Peninsula (W)15m; CW
AS-077 JA6GCE Kyushu 20m; CW
AS-101 HS0ZGV Malay Peninsula (E)30m; FT8
AS-105 HL1/F4IDF/P Kyonggi-do 40m
EU-004 EA6ACA Balearic 20m; SSB
EU-004 EA6AM Balearic 40m; SSB
EU-004 EA6QY Balearic 20m; SSB
EU-005 GB1945PJ England 40/20m; CW
EU-005 M0TDW England 30m; CW
EU-009 GM8OFQ Orkney 20m; SSB
EU-015 SV9ANK Crete 17m; SSB
EU-018 OY1CT Faroe 12m
EU-024 II0ICH Sardinia 20m; SSB
EU-024 IS0AGY Sardinia 20m; SSB
EU-025 IQ9SY Sicily 20m; SSB
EU-029 OV1CDX Sjaelland 17/10m; CW/SSB
EU-030 OZ1NKS/P Bornholm 40/20m; SSB
EU-115 EI2HI Ireland 12m; SSB
EU-115 GI4EBS Ireland 17m; CW
EU-115 MI0CLP Ireland 30m
EU-115 MI0HZD Ireland 20m; Digi
EU-131 IK3PQH Venice 40m; PSK31
EU-132 SP1QXK Szczeciin/Koszalin 10m; FT8
EU-175 CU3HN Azores 20m; FT4
NA-015 CO8LY Cuba 17m; SSB
NA-021 8P6QA Barbados 20m; SSB
NA-099 KP4JRS Puerto Rico 20m; Digi
NA-099 NP4AW Puerto Rico 20m; CW
OC-006 VK7XX Tasmania 20m; Digi
OC-013 E51BQ Rarotonga 17m; FT8
OC-021 8C2WFH Java 40m; CW
OC-036 ZL2OK NZ North 160m; FT8
OC-049 A35JP Tongatapu 20m; CW
OC-150 YC9KXX Tenggara Barat 40m; FT8
SA-001 CE0YHO Easter 10m; FT8
SA-002 VP8LP Falkland 60m; FT8
SA-006 PJ4DX Bonaire 17m; SSB
SA-018 CE7VPQ Chiloe 20m; SSB

EU-089. Antonio, CU8AS, is now active as CQ82AS from Flores Island
until May 7th. Activity is to celebrate his 82nd birthday.
Operations will be on various HF bands using CW and FT8.
QSL via LoTW.

SA-046. Ricardo (goes by Lyra), PY7RL, has been active as PY7RL/7 from
Itamaracį Island, and is there almost every weekend as well as sometimes during the week. He signs PY7RL when he is at home on the mainland, but PY7RL/7 when he is on SA-046.
Activity is on 40-10 meters using SSB (on IOTA frequencies), FT8/FT4 and
upon requests also on CW.
All QSOs are uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog. ClubLog's OQRS is open for direct requests. NO Bureau.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <> 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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FCC Chair comments on amateur radio remote testing

Sunday 3rd May 2020

Ajit Pai Chair of the FCC (USA's communications regulator) has publicly thanked radio amateur Sam Hulick KD9PGO for highlighting the issue of remote testing

Ajit Pai tweeted:
Good news for aspiring amateur radio operators: the @FCC has clarified that its rules allow remote testing and that remote testing doesn't require prior FCC approval. Thanks to @SamHulick [KD9PGO] for bringing this to my attention; hope this helps hams out there!

Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VEC's) in the USA started conducting online remotely-invigilated exams in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. It appears a number of amateurs have been bombarding the FCC with queries about the validity of such exams. This forced the FCC to put out the statement on April 30 in the PDF cited by Ajit Pai.

The FCC changed the regulations to permit Remote Exams way back in 2014 but it seems many radio amateurs were unaware of this, see

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QSO Today Amateur Radio Podcast Episode 300 - The Panel Discussion

Sunday 3rd May 2020

I just posted episode 300, another milestone in the history of the QSO Today podcast.  I decided to celebrate this milestone with a panel discussion as something new and completely different. 

My guests in this episode are  George Zafiropoulos, KJ6VU, of the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast; Bill Meara, N2CQR, Pete Juliano, N6QW, of the Solder-Smoke Podcast; Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE, creator of the BitX HF transceiver; and Hans Summers, G0UPL, founder of QRP-Labs and the creator of the QCX HF Transceiver kit.  

All of these guys are busy in the thick of ham radio.  I love to solve problems, especially on my workbench.   So getting this group together was a real treat for me.  Like sitting at the feet of the masters hoping that some of it rubs off on me.  It was great fun and I hope that you enjoy it.  

I believe that this pandemic is some kind of wake up call.  I know that before Corona, the pace for me and the XYL was frenetic, like hamsters in a wheel.  This last six weeks has caused us both to think about our future, perhaps differently, then we did before. My neighbors have been great, and it seems like everyone is more accommodating and generous.  I hope that we all retain these attributes when this virus is history. 

Thanks for listening and you should know that I already have episodes beyond 300 "in the can".  

73, Eric 4Z1UG

Listen to the podcast

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Amateur radio explained to young coders

Sunday 3rd May 2020

Simon Dorrer OE3SDO gave an online talk 'Amateur radio as a hobby' to young people in Linz, Austria, at a CoderDojo Junior Bootcamp event on April 24

The Coding Club Linz said:
As an amateur radio operator you have many options such as worldwide communication, emergency radio, Hamnet, Morse code, satellite radio, amateur radio television, handicrafts ... and it is a perfect hobby for those interested in technology

You can watch Simon's presentation by clicking on the CC icon to enable subtitles and then selecting Auto-Translate->English in settings

Source ÖVSV

The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so.

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Ham College 64: Remote Exams

Sunday 3rd May 2020

In this episode of Ham College we get the up to date information on the state of Amateur radio exam remote testing.

It’s come much further than we thought. Richard Bateman, KD7BBC from and is on the forefront of implementing the tools necessary to proctor exams over the Internet.



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Electronic voting for the 2020 South African Radio League AGM

Sunday 3rd May 2020

The electronic voting for the four Financial motions opened at 00:01 CAT on Monday 27 April 2020 and there was an initial rush to cast votes, but this has decreased during the week.

The four motions deal with the approval of the un-audited interim accounts of income and expenditure and balance sheet as at 31st December; the approval of the proposed budget for the 2020/21; the approval of the proposed subscriptions for 2020/21 so that the invoices can be sent out and the approval of the proposed auditor for 2020/21.

The SARL Electronic Voting will close at 23:59 CAT on Wednesday 6 May and you can cast your vote at or make use of the link on the front page of the League web site.

Cast your vote now!

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Radio Emma Toc World Service

Jim Salmon has posted the transmission schedule for Radio Emma Toc

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IARU report May RadCom freely available to read online

Saturday 2nd May 2020

The IARU Secretary Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, reports that in response to the Coronavirus outbreak the RSGB is making the May edition of RadCom freely available to view on the web

Dave posted on the ARRL IARU Forum an email he'd received from the RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB:

As another part of the RSGB "Get on the air to care" campaign, the May edition of RadCom is being made available to radio amateurs around the world to read online as a sample edition. A number of IARU national societies have taken a similar step and the RSGB is happy to join those societies in supporting the worldwide amateur radio community during these difficult times:

The Director, Regulatory Affairs at Inmarsat and Secretary of AMSAT, Brennan Price, N4QX, commented:

This news from Dave reminded me to renew my RSGB membership. Beyond the excellent RadCom, RSGB contributes very significantly to IARU's work and advocacy. If these things are important to you--and since you're on this list, they likely are--it's more than worth the £51 per year (worldwide).

The ARRL IARU Forum is open to all at

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 2nd May 2020

So, you want to be an amateur?

The other day I stumbled on a social media post titled "So, you want to be an astronomer..." by /u/Andromeda321 on reddit. Look it up if you're interested how she puts together the prerequisites from her perspective as an astronomer.

Apart from the fact that a few of my friends are astronomers, one even a radio amateur - and I have to confess, that's a combination that is exciting and intriguing - it got me considering how you become a radio amateur.

In my mind I started putting together lists and links and other prerequisites that help you become an amateur when it occurred to me that being an amateur is in my view a state of mind.

While it's true that there is a licensing process that gives you transmission privileges, that to me is not what makes an amateur.

When I started my amateur radio involvement in 2010 I'd seen amateur radio exactly twice. Once as a sea-scout during a Jamboree on the Air at the end of the 1970's and once when my manager parked his tiny car, I think it was a champagne coloured Daihatsu Charade, with a massive 40m or 80m vertical in the car park at work.

As I started learning about amateur radio and passed my test I'd commenced the journey into what I now consider to be membership of the amateur community. That same journey is undertaken by people across the planet. For some it starts like mine, with a course. For others it starts with a neighbour or a parent, a friend or an aunt. They might start with listening to short-wave radio, or playing with electronics.

People start their journey at all different places and times in their life.

There is a perspective within the amateur radio community that says that you're not a real amateur until you've passed a test.

I don't think that's right. Passing a test is part of the experience and you may or may not start there, or even pursue the test. That doesn't describe your radio amateur status, that's just giving you responsibilities and regulations that permit you to expand your thirst for knowledge.

In my experience, the real test of being an amateur lies in something much simpler than that.

Being a radio amateur isn't a profession, it's a hobby. An amazing one, but a hobby. I know that there are plenty of amateurs that will argue that it's a service. I don't deny that there is a service aspect, but that doesn't take away the rest of the community, it adds to it.

You might wonder why I'm even bringing this up. The reason is that all too often our community erects fences. "You don't have a license", "You don't know Morse", "You only have an introductory license", "You only own a cheap Chinese hand held", followed by: "You're not a real amateur."

I think that you're an amateur when you decide to be one.

So, if you're not yet here, what's stopping you?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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HRN 420: FCC allows remote testing!?!

Saturday 2nd May 2020

Norm Goodkin K6YXH visits with David W0DHG and talks about getting up and running to do remote testing for Amateur Radio Licenses

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Amateur radio E-Book prices to fall

Saturday 2nd May 2020

The BBC reports the price of e-books in online stores is being cut immediately after the UK Government brought forward plans to scrap 20% VAT on online publications

Amazon said it was working "as fast as possible to lower prices" for customers, with many titles already lower.

"We welcome the government's decision to remove VAT on e-books due to the current situation, which will benefit readers, authors and publishers," it told the BBC.

"For titles where Amazon sets the price, we will reduce the prices of books not already on promotion."

One of the publications that may be affected is Foundation Licence Manual: for Radio Amateurs Kindle Edition. At the time of writing the price was still showing as £5:99

Read the BBC story at

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Special event callsign VI20SH

Saturday 2nd May 2020

The Radio Amateur Society of Australia have been issued with the special event callsign VI20SH (stay home).

The callsign is being used on FT8.

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Reflected tsunamis mimic space weather

Saturday 2nd May 2020

New research just published in the journal Space Weather shows that earthquakes and tsunamis can affect our planet's ionosphere as much as powerful X-class solar flares do, causing GPS receivers to completely lose lock. Reflected tsunamis are especially troublesome.

Get the full story on today's edition of

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DOAAF-85 (RS-44) amateur radio transponder activated

Friday 1st May 2020

The amateur radio linear transponder (SSB/CW) payload on the Russian satellite DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) has been activated.

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB reports:

DOSAAF-85 is a small scientific satellite created by specialists of the company Information Satellite Systems (ISS) Reshetnev and students of the Siberian State Aerospace University (SibSAU) Krasnoyarsk.

The satellite is named after the 85th anniversary of the Voluntary Society for the Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy, the organization responsible for the military training of Soviet youth.

The DOSAAF-85 satellite is designed to provide amateur radio communications, as well as to develop promising technologies. This is the third satellite that was created by specialists of ISS-Reshetnev and is based on the Yubileyniy platform, which features a hexagonal prism structure with body mounted solar cells.

The satellite was launched into orbit on December 26, 2019 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and is in an elliptical orbit with a perigee of 1175 km, an apogee of 1511 km and an inclination of 82.5 degrees.

Transmitter power - 5 watts
Beacon: 435.605 MHz - transmits call sign RS44

Inverting transponder:
Earth-to-Space: 145.965 MHz +/- 30 kHz
Space-to-Earth: 435.640 MHz +/- 30 kHz

Source Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB whose page also contains the satellite's TLE, see

Peter 2M0SQL has added RS-44 to the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page at

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First Guatemalan satellite launched from the ISS

Friday 1st May 2020

Guatemala's first satellite, a small cubesat called QUETZAL-1, was launched from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Its primary mission is to test a sensor for remote data acquisition for natural resource management, which could be used to monitor water quality in inland water bodies.

The satellite is part of the Japanese Kibo cubesat program, a product of the cooperation between, among others, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), and more institutions. The operational frequencies were chosen through cooperation from Guatemalan radio amateurs and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

Downlink 4800 bps GMSK on 437.200 MHz.

The Quetzal-1 project team director is Guatemalan engineer José Bagur, TG8JAV, a graduate from mechatronics engineering at Universidad Del Valle.

Source IARU Region 2

IARU Quetzal-1

Quetzal-1 Telemetry info

Quetzal-1 Telemetry decoder

Follow Quetzal-1 on Twitter

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First contact made on 40 MHz between Ireland and Lithuania

Friday 1st May 2020

On Wednesday the 29th of April 2020, EI4GNB in Ireland managed to complete a digital FT8 contact with LY2YR on 40.220 MHz on the new 8-metre band.

Not only was this an EI-LY first but it was also the very first contact made between any two countries on the band.

The distance was approximately 2,039 kms and the mode of propagation was Sporadic-E.

It should be noted that while Lithuania does not have an official allocation at 40 MHz, the licensing authorities in the country have kindly given LY2YR special permission to carry out experiments on the spot frequencies of 40.220 MHz and 40.680 MHz.

This is a model that could perhaps be copied by other interested radio amateurs in other countries. It may be a lot easier to get special permission to use spot frequencies for a limited period of time rather than a general allocation.

It is hoped that there will be activity from Slovenia very soon and hopefully this will generate more interest in this fascinating VHF band.

More information here...

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GB0GIG on air today and until 28th May

Friday 1st May 2020

Today the 1st May is the first Day of operation of GB0GIG (Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol), or in English National Health Service.

The aim of the call is to thank and recognise all our health service workers, who are fighting so hard to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is an award scheme for those who wish to contact us more than once. Please see GB0GIG on for details.

Do keep an eye out on the cluster for our call sign and whilst tuning the bands!

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The May-June 2020 Communicator Magazine

Friday 1st May 2020

In this issue 80 Pages of Projects, News, Views and Reviews...

Amateur Radio News from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere. You will find Amateur Radio related articles, profiles, news, tips and how-to's. You can view or download it as a .PDF file from:

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Beyond Exams resources launched by the RSGB

Friday 1st May 2020

Beyond Exams (BE) is a group of resources brought together by the RSGB Learning Team with the aim of encouraging participation and highlighting the diversity of amateur radio

It includes awards and schemes designed to help amateur radio licence holders and clubs get the most from the hobby.

Read the RSGB announcement at

Beyond Exams – building experience

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A way back to relevance for amateur radio?

Friday 1st May 2020

Dan Romanchik KB6NU discusses the presentation 'The Future and Growth of Amateur Radio' given in October 2019 by then RSGB Board Director Dr. Kamal Singh M0IOV

Relevance, according to Singh, is the biggest issue. Our choice is to continue along the path we’ve been traveling and become even more isolated and detached from the mainstream, or choosing to be more integrated, connected and industry-friendly.
He went on to suggest ways to suggest ways for amateur radio to be more relevant.

Singh notes that we are on the verge of the fourth industrial revolution, and that this revolution will be more connected than ever before—and isn’t making connections what radio is all about?

Read Dan's blog post at

You can watch the talk given by Dr. Kamal Singh M0IOV on YouTube

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

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This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-