The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

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      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

TODAY's Local and World NEWS

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Jimmy and Tom 'Slay the Dragon'

Sunday 9th May 2021

Jimmy Read M0HGY (28) and his dad Tom Read M1EYP (50) can now claim to have summited every hill and mountain in Wales, following a trip in early May. 

Between them, they set up amateur radio equipment at the summit and 95 QSOs, some 27 of which were "summit-to-summit" with other mountain-top radio operators.

Jimmy, who is the English (G) Association Manager for SOTA, and Tom who serves on the SOTA Management Team, did their first radio expedition in Wales way back in 2003 with a walk up Cyrn-y-Brain from the A542 Horseshoe Pass road. 
The last of the 158 summits* was Disgwlyfa Fawr, 506m, near Aberystwyth.  Jimmy and Tom were forced to wait for this final summit; they'd planned to visit it several times in recent months, but were repeatedly thwarted by fast-changing lockdown restrictions.  They got there in the end though!

They operated mainly on 40m, 2m, and 15m, using CW, SSB, FM and FT8 modes.  Both Jimmy and Tom worked Brazilian stations with their 5 watt QRP set-up towards the end of the activation.

Wales is not the first country to have been "completed" - ie had a successful radio activation on every summit - by Tom and Jimmy.  They have already done likewise in England and Northern Ireland - and, for what it is worth - Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and the Netherlands!  They had believed they had conquered Luxembourg too in 2019 - but recent resurveying has revealed a fifth summit in the small nation - so a future trip will be necessary to recomplete!

Jimmy now has his sights set on activating summits in Ireland EI and Scotland during holiday trips, but states his number one priority as activating the rest of the hills in Belgium (he has done 5 out of the 18 so far) and bagging that new summit in Luxembourg.  Tom shares these aspirations, but will also be continuing to activate his local summits on an almost daily basis, claiming that it keeps him fitter than the gym ever did, while being vastly cheaper! 

The hill definition used by SOTA, is the "Marilyn" - or the 150m prominences

For further information about Summits on the Air, please visit

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URE satellite telecommand station automated

Sunday 9th May 2021

Spain's national amateur radio society URE has announced their satellite ground station has been automated and is ready for the launch of GENESIS, EASAT-2 and Hades satellites

A translation of the URE post says:

The URE satellite monitoring and telecommand station, located at the Madrid headquarters, on Monte Igueldo street, has recently been completely automated, thanks to the efforts made in recent weeks.These works, which began to be carried out before the confinements due to the pandemic, have consisted of the change of the lifting rotor, which due to its long time without maintenance had been unusable, the alignment of the antennas, both VHF and UHF, of circular polarization, the installation of a Linux computer, the configuration of the reception software with SDR and the emission software using Pluto hardware, acquired by URE, as well as the automation of the rotor control with the hardware provided by EA4TX (ARS).

This station will automatically record and analyze the telemetry of the twin GÉNESIS satellites, as well as EASAT-2 and Hades, all of them designed and built by AMSAT EA, as well as remote control in the event that actions are necessary on your computer from a on board, which, once in space, will be able to receive instructions from Earth to modify its operation, although the satellites themselves implement the intelligence necessary to adapt to adverse circumstances that may occur in space.

The GENESIS satellites should be launched soon, once Firefly, the American company that built the launch vehicle, completes the static tests of its Alpha rocket, which is already prepared at the Vanderberg space base in California. As for Hades and EASAT-2, both are currently at the Momentus space integrator facilities in Santa Clara, also in California, and it is expected that they can be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket in late June from Cape Canaveral, once, overcome the problems of the Momentus company, which prevented its scheduled launch in January of this year.

Source URE

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Amateur radio operators are still in high demand

Sunday 9th May 2021

TV broadcaster WTHI reports communication during emergencies often gets disrupted. But a technology that’s been around since the late 1800s still shines bright even in the darkest of times

Amateur Radio operators play a key role when severe weather comes rolling into the Wabash Valley. And the need for more radio operators continues to grow. HAM radio still proves to be a reliable source of communication, especially during emergencies.

The Clay County Amateur Radio Emergency Service is up in running in the Cory Volunteer Fire Department.
Storm Team 10's David Siple spoke with Kevin Berlen K9HX who is an amateur radio operator in Clay County and Siple asked him why Amateur Radio is still an important resource.

“Widespread power outages, widespread communications failures, and that’s where the HAM’s can shine because we don’t rely on that infrastructure.”

You can expect many amateur operators out in the field spotting for storms. Many are trained on weather spotting through the National Weather Service. And their information plays an important role when severe weather strikes.

“The problem is, the radar beam is so high above the ground when you get to this area of the state, they really don’t know what’s happening on the ground. That’s where the spotters come in. They can help them with damage assessment, they can tell them what’s actually taking place right on the ground and that’s invaluable to those folks [NWS].”

Watch the video and read the full story at

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Congress seeks to designate National Amateur Radio Operators Day

Sunday 9th May 2021

The U.S. Congress is reportedly taking steps to officially recognize the important contributions made by amateur radio operators.

According to an article on the website of the ARRL, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ) has introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate April 18, 2022 as National Amateur Radio Operators Day. April 18th is the anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) which was established in 1925.

The resolution cites the Amateur Radio Emergency Service for providing “invaluable emergency communications services following recent natural disasters, including, but not limited to, helping coordinate disaster relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Maria and other extreme weather disasters.”

Lesko had introduced a similar bill last year at the request of Raymond Anderson, a 12-year-old radio amateur from Peoria, AZ.

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MIT Radio Society to rebuild radome thanks to ARDC grant

Sunday 9th May 2021

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has provided a grant to help rebuild the MIT Radio Society radome

Starting in the early 1980s, the MIT Radio Society took up residence alongside the radome on the roof of the Green Building, leveraging the highest point on campus accessible to students that provided a manageable, unobstructed laboratory to house equipment like antenna arrays and an FM repeater.

In recent years, the Radio Society adapted and upgraded the radome for their microwave experiments, most notably enabling its use for Earth-moon-Earth or "moonbounce" communication, where signals are bounced off the moon to reach Earth-bound receivers at greater distances than radio communications sent on the ground.

"Before the pandemic, we participated in a contest where we used moonbounce to make contact with as many people in as many places as possible to earn points," says Milo Hooper AI1XR, a senior in mechanical engineering and president of the MIT Radio Society. "We had to get up at 2 a.m. to make sure the moon was in the right position at the right time, and we were able to talk to people in Europe and on the West Coast. As a student, it's amazing to have the opportunity to use a world-class instrument on a college campus. It's unrivaled."

To secure the large dish’s future and replace the deteriorating radome, the MIT Radio Society spearheaded a fundraising effort and immediately got to work. Building on the momentum of a previous successful fundraising campaign among Radio Society alumni that helped refurbish their equipment on the roof, they further mobilized the MIT community of alumni and friends by organizing a second campaign. The students also pulled together a successful grant application in record time to Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), a non-profit private foundation supporting amateur radio and digital communications science, resulting in ARDC’s largest-ever philanthropic contribution, made in memory of the organization’s founder Brian Kantor. This lead gift brought the MIT Radio Society across the finish line to successfully meet their fundraising goal.

"We were overwhelmed at first by the amount we needed to raise, and the short time we had before the renovation project needed to begin. We just had to hope that someone would see the same promise and potential in the dish that we did,” says Gregory Allan KD2HUL, a PhD student in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics who led ARDC grant submission efforts. “When we contacted ARDC, they were so supportive and willing to do whatever it took to make this happen. We're really grateful to them for this incredible gift."

Read the full story at

MIT Radio Society

Amateur Radio Digital Communications

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Bangalore Amateur Radio Club - Virtual Monthly Meeting - May 2021

Sunday 9th May 2021

Sunday, May 09, 2021 - 9.30 am (India Time)

Jitsi is an OpenSource Collaboration tool. You can join the meeting just by clicking the above link from your Desktop/Laptop. You can install the Jitsi App on your Android / iPhone and join the meeting with the above link.

Please feel free to share the above link with your other Amateur Radio Friends across the world

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Receiving unintentionally radiated signals from the computer system bus with an RTL SDR

Sunday 9th May 2021

Back in 2018 we first posted about 'System Bus Radio' which is code and a web based app that allows you to transmit RF directly from your computer without any transmitting hardware. It works on the principle of manipulating the unintentional RF radiation produced by a computers system bus by sending instructions that can produce different AM tones. The idea is to demonstrate how unintentional radiation from computers could be a security risk.

Recently the creator of System Bus Radio has uploaded a guide on receiving the generated signals with an RTL-SDR. He recommends using an RTL-SDR with upconverter, balun and an AM loop antenna. He then shows how he was able to receive the signals from his MacBook Pro M1, noting that he was able to receive audible signals from several inches away at frequencies between 63 kHz to 5.5 MHz.

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 8th May 2021

Getting started on WSPR with a PlutoSDR

As you might recall, I took delivery of a device called a PlutoSDR some time ago. If you're not familiar, it's a single-board computer that has the ability to transmit and receive between 70 MHz and 6 GHz. The system is intended as a learning platform, it's open source, you get access to the firmware, compilers and a whole load of other interesting tools. I used it to play with aviation receive using a tool called dump1090 which I updated to use Open Street Map. If you're interested, it's on my VK6FLAB github page.

Over the past few months I've been steadily acquiring little bits and pieces which today added up to a new project.

Can I use my PlutoSDR to transmit WSPR?

This all started because of an experiment and a conversation.

The experiment was: "Using my FT-857d on 70cm can I transmit a weak signal mode like WSPR and have my friend on the other side of the city decode the transmission?" The answer to that was a qualified "Yes". I say qualified, since we weren't able to transmit a WSPR message, but using FT8 we were happily getting decodes across the city. We're not yet sure what the cause of this difference is, other than the possibility that the combined frequency instability at both ends was large enough to cause an issue for a WSPR message, which lasts about two minutes. On the other hand, I learned that my radio can in fact go down to 2 Watts on 70cm. I've owned that radio for over a decade, never knew.

Now that I have a band pass filter, some SMA leads and the ability to talk to my Pluto across the Wi-Fi network, I can resurrect my Pluto adventures and start experimenting.

I mentioned that this was the result of an experiment and a conversation.

The conversation was about how to create a WSPR signal in the first place. At the moment if you run WSJT-X the software will generate audio that gets transmitted via a radio. All fine, except if you don't have a screen or a mouse. Interestingly a WSPR transmission doesn't contain any time information. It is an encoded signal, containing your callsign, a maidenhead locator - that's a four or six character code representing a grid square on Earth, and a power level. That message doesn't change every time your transmitter starts the cycle, so if you were to create say an audio file with that information in it, you could just play the audio to the nearest transmitter, like a handheld radio, or in my case a Pluto, and as long as you started it at the right time, the decoding station wouldn't know the difference.

As an aside, if you're playing along with your own Pluto, and far be it for me to tell you to go and get one, you can set the Pluto up using either USB, in which case it's tethered to your computer, or you can get yourself a USB to Ethernet adaptor and connect to it via your network. If you have a spare Wi-Fi client lying around, you can get that to connect to your Wi-Fi network, connect the Pluto via Ethernet to the Wi-Fi client and your gadget is connected wirelessly to your network. I can tell you that this works, I'm typing commands on the Pluto as we speak.

As is the case in any experiment in amateur radio, you start with one thing and work your way through. At the moment I want to make this as simple as possible. By that I mean, as few moving parts as I can get away with. I could right now fire up some or other SDR tool like say GNU Radio and get it to do the work and make the transmission, but what I'd really like to do is actually have the Pluto do all the work, so I'm starting small.

Step One is to create an audio file that I can transmit using the Pluto.

It turns out that Step One isn't quite as simple as I'd hoped. I located a tool that actually purports to generate an audio file, but the file that it builds cannot be decoded, so there's still some work to be done.

On the face of it the level of progress is low, but then this whole thing has been going for months. The experiment on 70cm lasted half an hour, the discussion took all of a cup of coffee. So far, I've spent more time on this project making the Wi-Fi client talk to my network than all the rest put together and that includes finding and ordering the Pluto in the first place.

You might well wonder why I'm even bothering to talk about this as yet unfinished project. The reason is simple. Every day is a new one. Experiments are what make this hobby what it is and every little thing you learn adds to the next thing you do. Some days you make lots of progress, other days you learn another way to not make a light bulb.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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EMF videos available

Saturday 8th May 2021

The RSGB YouTube channel now has two videos to help radio amateurs understand the Ofcom EMF licence changes.

In the first video, EMC Chair John Rogers, M0JAV explains how to use the EMF calculator.

The second video is the live webinar he did as part of the RSGB AGM and which is now available separately.

To see both go to

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France: Amateur Radio Regulations

Saturday 8th May 2021

For those interested in the amateur radio regulations in France, the National Frequency Agency has a handy page that provides links to all relevant legal texts

ANFR Amateur Radio regulations in English

The ANFR Amateur Radio page has a link to the license directory that enables you to lookup individual amateurs, radio clubs or repeaters using either their name of callsign.

ANFR Amateur Radio Page in English

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RSGB survey – make your views heard

Saturday 8th May 2021

Last year, through the RSGB and NHS ‘Get on the air to care’ media campaign, it is likely that over 35 million people heard news and stories about amateur radio. You now have a chance to tell the RSGB what you think should happen next.

As part of a wider IARU workshop, the Society is conducting a short survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that apply to amateur radio in the UK.

Whether you are a radio amateur or not licensed yet, do take a few minutes to fill in the survey and be part of the discussions.

You can find it at and the deadline for responses is 23 May

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First-time exam applicants must obtain FCC registration number before taking exam

Saturday 8th May 2021

Beginning May 20, 2021, all amateur examination applicants will be required to provide an FCC Registration Number (FRN) to the Volunteer Examiners (VEs) before taking an amateur exam. This is necessary due to changes the FCC has made to its licensing system.

Amateur candidates who already have an FCC license, whether for amateur radio or in another service, already have an FRN and can use the same number. All prospective new FCC licensees, however, will be required to obtain an FRN before the examination and provide that number to the volunteer examiners on the Form 605 license application. An FCC instructional video provides step-by-step instructions on how to obtain an FRN through the FCC's COmmission REgistration System (CORES).

The video is available at, .

The FRN is required for all new applicants to take an amateur exam and is used afterward by the applicant to download the license document from the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), upgrade the license, apply for a vanity call sign, and to submit administrative updates (such as address and email changes) and renewal applications.

In addition, after June 29, all applications will be required to contain an email address for FCC correspondence. Applicants will receive an email direct from the FCC with a link to the official electronic copy of their license whenever a license is issued or changed. ARRL VEC suggests that those without access to email to use the email address of a family member or friend. Licensees will be able to log in to the ULS using their FRN and password to download the latest version of their license at any time. The FCC no longer provides paper license documents.


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Telecoms firms should go further on customer service

Saturday 8th May 2021

Ofcom has today published a review of progress made by major telecoms providers against our Fairness for Customers commitments.

In 2019, the UK’s biggest broadband, phone and pay-TV providers committed to putting fairness at the heart of their businesses and going beyond their legal obligations for how they treat their customers.

Many companies have taken steps to provide fairer deals, clearer information and better support for their customers. But further action is needed in all areas, particularly customer service.

We have also today published our annual Comparing Customer Service report, which compares how the major providers performed last year and reveals which ones get the best and worst satisfaction scores from their customers.

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New 60 m/5 Mhz WRC-15 sub-licence now available for New Zealand

Saturday 8th May 2021

Following the end of the two channel 60 m NZ trial in 2020,  as previously mentioned in Southgate ARC News, Bob Vernall,, ZL2CA has been successful in obtaining clearance of the new WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 531.5 – 5366.5 kHz, NZART is pleased to announce that negotiations with regulator RSM have been successful in obtaining a licence to allow operation for all New Zealand amateur operators to use in the 60 m (5 MHz) band using the WRC-15 allocation.


Thanks again Bob Vernall ZL2CA for all your work in this area. Maximum allowable power is 15 W EIRP (effective isotropic radiated power).

As with the old 60m trial, all those who wish to operate on the band must complete and sign the new sub-licence
Click here
which sets out the terms of operation before you can operate.

For a full list of FAQ's please visit
Click here

Due to the new licence, NZART cannot grandfather those under the old sub-licence and ALL users of this band must complete the new sub-licence application.

Once completed, please scan and email to NZART HQ Once acknowledged by return email, you can begin operation.

The NZART licence (and your sub-licence) are for a twelve-month period to allow RSM to assess if there are any interference issues. If not, then NZART will negotiate with RSM to having the 60 m (5 MHz) band allocation added to the GURL (General User Radio Licence). If this negotiation is successful, then the need for the sub-licence will not be required in the future.


Paul Gaskell G4MWO
The 5 MHz Newsletter

you can find the latest edition freely available at any time at
Click here

and the Newsletter Archive is at
Click here

plus G4MWO’s Worldwide 5 MHz Amateur Allocations Chart
Click here

Wikipedia 60 Meter Band Page
Click here

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The Sun just hit Earth with a radio burst

Saturday 8th May 2021

New sunspot AR2822 appeared today and promptly exploded, producing one of the strongest flares of young Solar Cycle 25.

The M3.9-class explosion hurled a bright CME into space and hit Earth with a shortwave radio burst.

Listen to the static and find out what comes next @

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Brazil's radio hams campaign for tax exemption

Friday 7th May 2021

Brazil's national amateur radio society LABRE is campaigning for the abolition of taxes on amateur radio equipment

A translation of the LABR post reads:

LABRE continues with the campaign to collect signatures for a petition to be sent to the National Congress so that parliamentarians can complete the Bill of Law (PL) 5320/2009 . This project, which has been stopped, deals with the “exemption from the Import Tax and the Tax on Industrialized Products to own devices for the Amateur Radio Service, when imported or acquired by a qualified amateur radio operator and participant in the National Amateur Radio Emergency Network (Rener), member of the National Civil Defense System (Sindec) ”.

The Bill was presented to the Federal Senate on 6/1/2009 , but its last processing took place on 11/5/2018 , carried out by the FINANCE AND TAXATION COMMITTEE (CFT), as can be seen at the link:

The petition, which works through a form, is on the website. After the signature collection period (Full name, CPF and Indicative, if applicable), the Petition Organizing Committee will send the request, together with the subscribers' information, to the e-mails of the federal deputies that make up the CFT and CCJC.

We ask for the assistance of all colleagues to have as many signatures as possible. For this, we request that you share the link to this page on all your social networks and also via radio. Just share the address


We thank our colleague Rodolfo, PU7OOZ, for his collaboration with this initiative.

Source LABRE

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Webinar 'RF Exposure in the Time of Conspiracies'

Friday 7th May 2021

ARRL reports the IEEE COMAR committee has issued an invitation to its webinar, 'RF Exposure in the Time of Conspiracies'

The 1-hour event is set to get under way at 1800 UTC (7pm BST) on Wednesday, May 12.

COMAR is a group of experts on health and safety issues related to electromagnetic fields, from power line through microwave frequency ranges. Its primary focus is on biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

“The real idea behind the webinar is to highlight some of the…news articles, comments, etc. that purport to declare the hazardous nature of exposure to weak RF fields, such as those posed by new 5G wireless communications base stations, explain how they are not scientifically based and, possibly, some ideas on how to better communicate what we really know about potential health effects,” said COMAR chair Ric Tell, K5UJU.

Full details at

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DX: One group’s post-pandemic travel plan: Get as far away as possible

Friday 7th May 2021

Die-hard ham-radio operators brave storms, sharks, brutal temperatures to set up temporary transmitting stations in the most remote spots around the world.

Of the many post-pandemic travel plans being hatched around the world, few are as extreme as what ham-radio operator Dom Grzyb has in mind.

The semiretired Polish businessman looks to spend tens of thousands of dollars this year to lead a group of eight to Bouvet Island in the southern Atlantic, an uninhabited locale largely covered in glacial ice. The odds aren’t favourable.

High winds and massive waves batter ships entering the region. Among travelers who manage to catch sight of Bouvet Island, which belongs to Norway, some never make shore. Slivers of beach give way to steep rock and ice formations that reach 100 feet and higher.

“It’s the most remote island in the world,” said Mr. Grzyb, 47 years old. “It’s also one of the most dangerous places in the world.”

Bouvet Island also ranks as the second most-wanted place in the world to contact among ham-radio enthusiasts. These destinations lure the most adventurous of the estimated three million operators world-wide to set up temporary transmitting stations.

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China's new space station is visible from Earth

Friday 7th May 2021

Sky watchers are reporting two new objects in the night sky: China's new space station and an out-of-control booster rocket that helped launch it.

The tumbling booster is flashing brighter than some of the brightest stars in the sky.

Observing tips and photos are featured on today's edition of

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Sky is NOT the limit: Radio club partners with Grovetown students for weather balloon launch

Friday 7th May 2021

Augusta Chronicle reports: Tons of kids let go of balloons just to watch them float through the air, but those at Savannah River Academy did it Wednesday for science.

The Amateur Radio Club of Columbia County helped students at the school prepare and launch two high-tech weather balloons. The skies were cloudy but the weather was safe enough for a successful launch around 2 p.m.

The first balloon is intended to travel up 70,000 feet into the atmosphere before bursting and being retrieved, according to the school's press release. The balloon carries a scientific payload that includes a camera and a Spot Trace GPS to assist with retrieval. The goal is to capture a picture of the curvature of the Earth.

The second balloon is smaller with a smaller payload. Instead of bursting, it's intended to maintain neutral buoyancy in the atmosphere and attempt to cross the planet. This balloon carries a Light Automatic Packet Reporting System – Light APRS tracker – which reports the balloons’ location, surrounding temperature and pressure. Students will be able to track the balloon's pathway online.

Radio club president Dan Marshall said, as of Wednesday at 5 p.m., the first balloon was still ascending and had not reached 70,000 while they had lost contact with the second balloon around Columbia, S.C.

A loftier goal
These balloons have been part of an ongoing project to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to Savannah River Academy's students over the last year. Every week they practice a different lesson/activity and have been trained in things like how to talk using Morse code and how to operate a ham radio. This is all leading up to an opportunity this fall for the students to talk in real-time to astronauts on the International Space Station.

Radio club partners with Grovetown students to launch weather balloons (

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AO#EU: Europe Day 'on the air' 2021

Friday 7th May 2021

This year, 9 May is on Sunday, but we will be active from Friday 7 until Sunday 9, the whole weekend, with the special callsigns: AO1EU, AO2EU, AO3EU, AO4EU, AO5EU, AO6EU, AO7EU, AO8EU and AO9EU, to commemorate the creation of the EU in 1950.

As usual, special QSL and Award will be available. Contact also valid for the Radio Clubs of the World Award, EANET.

Follow the event through the hashtag: #eudota.

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The Wight stuff: Marconi and the island, when working remotely on wireless comms meant something very different

Friday 7th May 2021

Planning a post-lockdown trip to the isle off England's south coast? Don't miss the interesting bits

GEEK'S GUIDE TO BRITAIN Guglielmo Marconi is famous for sending the first transatlantic wireless signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland, with his two radio stations on the Lizard peninsula covered by a previous Geek's Guide. But he worked up to this achievement on the Isle of Wight, the England-in-miniature that lies just off the south coast of Hampshire.

Marconi's Needles wireless telegraph station existed for just two and a half years, but its location on Alum Bay at the west end of the Isle of Wight is marked by a built-for-the-ages stone monument. Plaques on each of its four sides tell the story of how between December 1897 and May 1900 the Italian tech entrepreneur and his staff carried out pioneering experiments in wireless communication.

They exchanged radio messages with Bournemouth and Poole, 14 miles (22.5km) and 18 miles (29km) away respectively, then ships 40 miles (64km) away. On 3 June 1898, Lord Kelvin helped monetise the technology by sending the first paid-for radio telegram. On 15 November 1899, the contents of the Transatlantic Times, the first newspaper produced at sea, were sent from here to the American liner St Paul.

The station was actually a sitting room at the Royal Needles Hotel with a hole drilled through its window connecting the kit to a 168-foot mast outside. The hotel, window and mast have gone, replaced by the Needles Landmark Attraction, a collection of rides, sideshows and shops next to an enormous car park. Marconi's monument is tucked into a corner of the site, surrounded by a semi-circular stone bench and a platform looking across the Solent towards Bournemouth and Poole.....

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Bletchley Park: WW2 secret agent's messages remembered

Friday 7th May 2021

The BBC reports the first message sent back to Britain by a 'trailblazing' special agent in World War Two has been commemorated, 80 years on, by radio amateurs using GB1SOE

Georges Begue, of the Special Operations Executive, was parachuted into occupied France in 1941 to set up wireless communications with the UK.

Amateur radio enthusiasts have marked his achievement by sending and receiving messages at Bletchley Park.

On Thursday and Friday May 6-7, Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society is using replica equipment to transmit Morse code messages from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley to fellow radio enthusiasts in central France, stationed less than a mile from where Begue landed.

Read the full BBC story at

Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society GB1SOE

The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park

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Ofcom fines Abu Dhabi Channel for breaking fairness and privacy rules

Friday 7th May 2021

Ofcom has today fined Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC (ADMC), a total of £250,000 for serious breaches of our fairness and privacy rules on its Abu Dhabi Channel service.

Today’s sanctions follow Ofcom’s decisions to uphold complaints made on behalf of Dr Mahmoud Abdual Rahman Al-Jaidah and Mr Hamad Mohammed Ali Al-Hammadi. Our investigations found that in two respective programmes - A documentary about Mahmoud Al-Jaidah and the secret organisation in the UAE and Confessions of a Qatari intelligence agent to damage the reputation of the UAE – the individuals concerned were unfairly treated and their privacy was unwarrantably infringed.

Among other things, we found that the Abu Dhabi Channel failed to obtain Dr Al-Jaidah’s and Mr Al-Hammadi’s informed consent to be interviewed. In addition, material facts which cast serious doubt on the reliability of their alleged confessions to crimes against the United Arab Emirates were left out of the programmes.

Given the seriousness of these breaches, we have imposed two financial penalties totalling £250,000, which will be passed on to HM Paymaster General.

On 20 December 2020, ADMC informed us that it would no longer be making the Abu Dhabi Channel available in the UK, and surrendered its licence to broadcast with effect from 1 January 2021.

Further information on our sanction decisions are available

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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 7th May 2021

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by OA4DPM, 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.

NIGER, 5U. Adrien, F4IHM will be QRV as 5UAIHM from Niamey from May 10 to June 15. Activity will be on 40 and 20 meters using CW. QSL to home call.

MOROCCO, CN. Stations in Morocco can use the special prefix CN18 until May 10 to celebrate the 18th birthday of Morocco's Crown Prince Moulay Hassan.

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, DA. Special call sign DL65ESSEN is QRV until December 31 to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the DARC's Ortsverband Essen. QSL via bureau.

SPAIN, EA. Members of the URE club Cullera and of Les Basores DX group will be QRV as AN5ITU from May 8 to 23 to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the ITU. Activity is on the HF and V/UHF bands, and Satellite QO-100, using CW, SSB, RTTY and other digital modes. QSL direct to EB5R.

FRANCE, F. Michel, F8GGZ and Serge, F6HFI are QRV with special event call sign TM200NB until May 15 to commemorate the death 200 years ago of Napoleon Bonaparte. QSL via F5KOB.

GUERNSEY, GU. Members of the Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be QRV as GB5LIB from May 8 to 14 to celebrate the liberation of Guernsey. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters and Satellite QO-100. QSL via LoTW.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA, HL. Special call signs HL41GDM and D73M are QRV until May 31 to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising, also known as the Gwangju Democratization Movement. QSL via HL4CCM.

JAPAN, JA. Special event stations 8N1OLP, 8N2OLP, 8N3OLP, 8N4OLP, 8N5OLP, 8N6OLP, 8N7OLP, 8N8OLP, 8N9OLP and 8N0OLP are QRV until September 5 for the World Olympic and Paralympic Games. QSL via bureau.

LITHUANIA, LY. Members of the Lithuanian Radio Sports Federation are QRV with special call sign LY57BC during May to promote and participate in the 57th edition of the Baltic Contest. QSL via LoTW.

PERU, OA. Special event call sign OC200P is QRV during May to celebrate the Bicentennial of the independence of the Republic of Peru. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW.

BELGIUM, ON. Members of the radio club Noord Oost Limburg are QRV with special call sign OR40NOL until the end of 2021 to celebrate the club's 40th anniversary. QSL via ON6NL.

NETHERLANDS, PA. Special event station PD21EUROSONG will be QRV from May 8 to 22 to bring attention to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Rotterdam. QSL via bureau.

SWEDEN, SM. Members of the Hisingens Radio Club are QRV with special call sign SE400G until July 31 during the celebration of Gothenburg City's 400th anniversary. Activity is on various HF bands and modes. QSL via LoTW.

TURKEY, TA. Special event station TC568FA is QRV until June 28 to commemorate the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Activity is on 160 to 2 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via operators' instructions.

LATVIA, YL. Operators Viesturs, YL2SM, Alex, YL2KO and Gunars, YL2GD are QRV as YL44WFF from the Beja Nature Reserve, YLFF-0072, until May 8. Activity is on 40 to 17 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via YL2SM.

SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. Sigfrido, IW9FMD is QRV as Z81S while working with the United Nations Mission. Activity is in his spare time. He has been active on 15 meters SSB so far. QSL direct to IT9YVO.

The CQ-M International DX Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest, VOLTA World Wide RTTY Contest, SKCC Weekend CW Sprintathon, Arkansas QSO Party, 50 MHz Spring Sprint and WAB 7 MHz Phone Contest are all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The OK1WC Memorial, RSGB 80-Meter Club SSB Championship, 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint and K1USN Slow Speed Test are scheduled for May 10.

The RTTYOPS Weeksprint and Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest are scheduled for May 11.

The VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Phone Fray and CWops Mini-CWT Test are scheduled for May 12.

Please see May QST, page 71, and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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RSGB launches new video: 2020 – a year like no other

Thursday 6th May 2021

2020 was a 'year like no other' for everyone around the world.  In the UK the Radio Society of Great Britain and radio amateurs rose to the challenge.

The Society has launched a new video that looks back at the many fantastic activities and resources that helped to support radio amateurs through these difficult times.

It also shows how existing radio amateurs 'got on the air to care' across the UK and thousands of people of all ages got involved in amateur radio for the first time.

Take a look :

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German radio amateurs face 34 Euro charge for 2017/18

Thursday 6th May 2021

DARC reports in the next few weeks, the Federal Network Agency BNetzA will begin sending notifications of contributions to licensees in accordance with the Frequency Protection Contribution Ordinance  

A translation of the DARC post reads:

This also includes around 62,000 radio amateurs who receive a contribution notification for the call sign assigned to them.

Tasks and services performed by the Federal Network Agency on the basis of statutory regulations are financed via the annual frequency protection contributions. The annual contributions are determined retrospectively for each year according to the costs incurred by the Federal Network Agency for each radio service. The contributions to be paid according to the Frequency Protection Fee Ordinance are currently shown up to 2018.

Frequency protection contributions 2017/2018:
- The contribution notices refer to the contribution years 2017/2018.
- The contribution amount for radio amateurs is a total of 34.52 €.
- Authorization to participate in the amateur radio service and the associated allocation of a personal call sign 2017/2018 is decisive for the collection of fees.
- An amount is collected regardless of whether an amateur radio station was actually available, built or operated.
- An amount is also collected for radio amateurs who live abroad but still have a German call sign allocation.
- In the event of termination in the 2017/2018 contribution years, contributions will be charged proportionally.
- Contributions are to be paid even if the call sign was waived during or after the notification period.
- Contributions are raised until a waiver of call sign allocation becomes effective.
- No fees are charged for special callsigns.
- The contributions for the contribution years 2017/2018 are not statute-barred. The fixing period is four years. It begins on January 1 of the year following the contribution year, and ends on December 31, 2021 for the 2017/2018 contribution years.
- The frequency protection contribution is not debited - even if a direct debit authorization is available. The Federal Network Agency does not use the SEPA direct debit procedure.
- The amount is to be transferred by the contributor in favor of the federal treasury when it is due.
- The bank details of the Federal Network Agency have changed. Payments are to be transferred to the account of the Bundeskasse Weiden at the Deutsche Bundesbank - Regensburg branch, IBAN DE08 7500 0000 0075 001007, BIC MARKDEF 1750.

Further information on frequency protection contributions is published on the Federal Network Agency's website at

(Source: press release from the Federal Network Agency)

So much for the press release from the Federal Network Agency. You can also read the DARC board information from April 7 at

Source DARC

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Full licence mock exam papers updated

Thursday 6th May 2021

The RSGB’s Examinations and Syllabus Review Group (ESRG) has just updated the two Full licence mock exam papers.

In addition, there are now worked-answer pdfs for these papers so you can see the correct answer for each question and the reasoning behind it.

These mock papers are provided by the ESRG as a training aid and aren’t the exact questions included in a Full licence exam.

Foundation and Intermediate mock exam papers will have worked answers added in due course.

You can find all the mock exam papers on the Society’s website:

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Gothenburg celebrates 400 years with special callsign SE400G

Thursday 6th May 2021

Sweden's SSA reports SE400G is on the air to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city of Gothenburg

The City of Gothenburg who want to celebrate by developing the city into an even better place to visit, live and work in.

Hisingens Radio Club SK6AW is participating in the celebration of the 400th anniversary by activating the special callsign SE400G during the period May 1 to July 21, 2021.

The members of SK6AW will activate SE400G on different modes and possibly use the signal in different contests during this period. All QSOs will be uploaded to LoTW continuously, but no traditional QSL cards will be issued.

The special callsign is published on with associated information about Gothenburg's 400th anniversary.

Source SSA

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IARU-R1 addresses discriminatory wording in Constitution

Thursday 6th May 2021

IARU Region 1 has voted overwhelmingly to remove discriminatory language from its constitution and make it gender-neutral

IARU Region 1 says:

Following approval by delegates at the Virtual General Conference in October 2020, proposals to amend the Region 1 Constitution were put to a vote of all Member Societies in December 2020. The changes principally covered two areas:

• Introduction of the facility to hold virtual general conferences, subject to prior agreement of Member Societies
• Changes to the wording of the Constitution to make it gender-neutral

The voting has now closed. Under Article 7.1 of the Constitution, two-thirds of those Member Societies entitled to vote need to vote in favour for changes to be made to the Constitution. The number entitled to vote is 85 and therefore 57 votes in favour are needed.

The results of the vote, which have been checked and validated by the Chairman of Committee C2 at the VGC, are:

• For the resolution: 67 votes
• Against the resolution: 3 votes
• Abstentions: 1 vote
• Invalid votes: 1

A total of 72 member societies voted of the 85 possible.

The proposed changes are therefore approved. The revised Constitution has been placed on the Region 1 website at

Source IARU-Region 1

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Ofcom announces latest small-scale DAB multiplex awards

Thursday 6th May 2021

Ofcom has today awarded small-scale DAB radio multiplex licences for five more areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

Small-scale DAB is an innovative technology which provides a low-cost way for local commercial, community and specialist music services to take to the digital airwaves.

Following a competitive process, where each applicant was judged against specific criteria, multiplex licences have been awarded for the following areas:

Cardiff: licence awarded to Cardiff DAB Limited
Edinburgh: licence awarded to Edinburgh DAB Limited
King’s Lynn: licence awarded to North Norfolk Digital Limited
Leeds: licence awarded to Leeds Digital Media Limited
Norwich: licence awarded to Future Digital Norfolk Limited

Further licence awards for the remaining 11 areas that were advertised in Round One will be announced over the coming weeks. Round Two licence areas, for the North West of England and North East Wales, will be advertised on 1 June 2021

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Australia and Antarctica on QRP CW and building the trap dipole antenna that made it all possible

Thursday 6th May 2021

An enjoyable and highly informative presentation by John K3LO, chock full of technical details and home brew examples for those interested in operating at low power over long distances.

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'Stockport Radio Society, Celebrating 100 Years of Amateur Radio' The Book

Wednesday 5th May 2021

The year just gone for many was a year to forget, but for us 2020 was a momentous one with the society clocking up 100 years of existence.

On the 4th June 1920 a group of local enthusiasts came together and held the inaugural meeting of the then Stockport Wireless Society at the Forresters Hall close to the town's famous market place. With a century on the clock and only a short period of inactivity during World War 2, Stockport Radio Society as it is now known is still going strong and in good shape entering its second century.

An organisation of such age will have a rich vein of history running through it, so much so that back in the 1990's the then Chairman, Laurie Newman G4ZDO was minded to research and document it. His book, released for the 75th Anniversary told our story from formation up to the 90's and referenced some of the many personalities who had joined our ranks over the years.

So, here we are some twenty six years on and there's plenty more history under the belt waiting to be told.
Rising to the challenge has been our Secretary and Media Manager, Heather Stanley M6HNS who volunteered to take on the daunting task of continuing Laurie's work. Many hours of research followed which has finally resulted in a book which Laurie would be proud of.

The fully illustrated edition and featuring input from recent Radio Society of Great Britain President, David Wilson M0OBW includes Laurie's original publication and individual sections continuing our story.
The book titled "Stockport Radio Society, Celebrating 100 Years of Amateur Radio" is available now to order and is a must for any past, present, or future member of one of the oldest radio societies in the country. It will bring some colour to many a bookshelf across the land and beyond.

For more information and to order a copy please contact Heather Stanley M6HNS by email or by telephone ....... Details Can be found on the link above. With the special event call sign G8SRS/100. Which was used by many club members to celebrate the clubs 100 year centenary. Many Contacts were made on all bands and modes including cw.

100 years of operating is a great achievement for Stockport Radio Society and all the members who attend this fabulous society. Here's to another 100 years of operating. A big thank you to all involved in the making of the book. As this will be a piece of Stockport Radio Society's History. And for the Town of Stockport in the UK

Many Thanks.
Stockport Radio Society

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BBC looks at Chelmsford's early radio history

Wednesday 5th May 2021

In Series 12 episode 7 of BBC TV's Great British Railway Journeys Michael Portillo visits Chelmsford, home of Marconi's first wireless factory, and interviews Tim Wander G6GUX 

He talks to Tim about the pioneering radio broadcasts made from 2MT Writtle in 1922 and visits the original 2MT hut now located at the Science and Education Centre at Sandford Mill.

The show Colchester to Chadwell Heath is available online, Chelmsford segment starts at 14:35

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Veteran radio amateur Ted Trowell G2HKU SK

Wednesday 5th May 2021

Kent Online reports Ted Trowell G2HKU, one of the UK's oldest and longest-serving radio amateurs, has died only weeks after celebrating his 98th birthday

Edward Harry 'Ted' Trowell from Minster, Sheppey, was in contact with thousands of amateur radio operators across the world from the age of 15 in 1938 when gained his first radio licence.

Many of his overseas contacts remained lifelong friends and visited Ted and his late wife Stella at their first home in Clyde Street, Sheerness and then to their final home in Saxon Avenue, Minster.

Despite a lifetime of deafness following a childhood illness, Ted remained an active operator. His lifelong love of amateur radio had a major boost in the 1970s when he underwent pioneering surgery to enhance his hearing.

He initially worked in Sheerness Dockyard and although his deafness precluded military service he became a member of Sheppey's Home Guard during the Second World War. In the late 1940s he was recruited as a member of a hush-hush group of Cold War wireless listeners reporting on international radio traffic.

Read the full story at

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Quakes led radio hams to form disaster relief network

Wednesday 5th May 2021

The Ashi Shimbun reports Japan's 2016 quakes lead to disaster relief network of amateur radio operators

The stranger’s voice sliced through the static on Hiroaki Nishiyama’s radio set here on April 17, 2016, a day after a powerful earthquake jolted Kumamoto Prefecture.

“This is JI2SSP. Anyone from Kumamoto, are you OK? I’ll be on standby all night. Let me know if you need anything.”

Nishiyama responded right away.

“This is JA6TJY. We’re short of water because no tap water is available here. We’re also running short of food.”

Mamoru Hiraoka, the voice behind call sign JI2SSP, was calling from Kawabe, Gifu Prefecture, some 650 kilometers away from Kumamoto.

“I felt reassured, thinking that someone was always out there to keep watch over us,” recalled Nishiyama, 67.

The exchange on that day led to post-quake relief efforts, friendship between the two men and a network of volunteer ham radio operators to support disaster-hit areas.

Read the full story at

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Ham radio on Austrian TV

Wednesday 5th May 2021

Austria's DORF TV looks at how radio amateur Reinhard Kühn DK5LA from Sörup, Schleswig-Holstein, become a team member of the Chinese Longjiang-2 lunar mission?

After the introductory words on the Chinese lunar mission, Reinhard Kühn will introduce us to his radio station DK5LA. This lecture explains the radio connection from Earth to the moon and returns using sent and re-received voice messages.

In addition to the presentation of the tasks that the satellite "Longjiang-2" had, he introduces us to the commands and satellite telemetry and describes the tasks of the "uplink" or "downlink" stations. The mission was crowned, among other things, by the sensational photos of a solar eclipse from the satellite in lunar orbit.

The first connection via a satellite in lunar orbit opened up a new dimension that has made radio history. The last radio command at the end of "Longjiang-2" came from Sörup. This command was important for determining the impact point on the back of the moon.

Speaker: Reinhard Kühn Lecture Series of the Kepler Observatory Linz in cooperation with VHS Linz

Watch the German language show at

Reinhard Kühn DK5LA

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DRCF response to DCMS on the future digital regulatory landscape

Wednesday 5th May 2021

The Digital Regulatory Cooperation Forum (DRCF) has submitted its response to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the future of the digital regulatory landscape and how to achieve coherence in regulatory approaches across digital services.

The response sits alongside the 2021-22 DRCF workplan, published in March 2021, which sets out DRCF’s immediate plan for greater cooperation.

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IRTS Amateur Radio Survey

Wednesday 5th May 2021

The IRTS, along with all the other member societies in Region 1 is being asked to carry out a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threat (SWOT) analysis on the position of amateur radio in our modern environment

In addition to the basic questions required to meet the IARU request IRTS is using the opportunity to ask a considerably wider range of questions.

There is no need to be an IRTS member in order to participate in the survey which is available at

Among the other countries taking part in the IARU Region 1 survey is Germany, see the DARC survey at
In English
In German

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 5th May 2021

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-010; GM/MM, Outer Hebrides (aka Western Isles): Graham/MM0GHM remains active as MM0GHM/m and /p from various locations on the Isle of Barra until May 8. QSL via MM0GHV (d/B), eQSL.

EU-178; ES0/8; Parnumaa County/ Saaremaa County South group:
Sergei/ES1LL activates Kihnu Island during May as ES1LL/8 on HF (SSB, FT8). QSL via ClubLog, LoTW, eQSL.

OC-138; VK4, Queensland State (Torres Strait) group: Steve/VK6SJ operates from Thursday Island between the 5th and 7th as VK6SJ/4 on HF (FT8). QSL via EB7DX, OQRS, eQSL, LoTW.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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German online ham radio training so popular the server crashes

Tuesday 4th May 2021

Germany's national amateur radio society DARC started a nationwide online amateur radio training course and were amazed at the response

While online training in various forms has been available in the UK for many years and all training has been exclusively online since April 2020 that's not been the case everywhere. Some other countries are only just starting to use it.

A translation of the DARC post reads:

On Thursday, April 29th, the DARC started a new online nationwide amateur radio course. It aims to prepare candidates for the exams next November for the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) Class A (CEPT Class 1) and Class E (CEPT Novice) licences.

There was no registration process beforehand, the principle was simply “whoever comes, who comes”, so it was previously unknown how many would come. The actual number of people then exceeded all expectations: 213 people gathered in the virtual course room at

Unfortunately, this number also exceeded the capacity of our server: Despite all efforts to save bandwidth, the first course session ended somewhat abruptly about ten minutes before the planned end. However, there is now a plan to prevent repetition at the next session.

Despite this technical problem, the start of the course was a complete success: A small, dedicated group of teachers and a large, no less dedicated group of learners have come together, and based on feedback so far, both sides are very satisfied with each other. Those who trust themselves to rework the material already treated can still get started now.

More information can be found on the course's website

Report by Andreas Krüger, DJ3EI.

Source DARC

The UK has held remotely invigilated online exams that can be taken at home for over a year now but they are still not available in Germany.  When the candidates complete their training they will have to try and find an in-person exam and arrange transport to one of a very limited number of BNetzA exam centres.

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EIØHQ in the 2021 IARU HF Championship

Tuesday 4th May 2021

The IARU HF Championship is a 24-hour worldwide contest under the auspices of the International Amateur Radio Union, held on the second full weekend of July every year. The ARRL manages this contest on behalf of IARU.

Multipliers include ITU Zones and IARU member society HQ stations, so the HQ stations are very much in demand. The 2021 contest will be on 10/11 July, from 1200 UTC Saturday to 1159 UTC Sunday. It is a CW & Phone contest, on the six contest bands from 160m to 10m.

The IRTS HQ station call sign is EIØHQ and has generally been allocated by agreement to an IRTS affiliated club or contest/DX group. With the likelihood of social distancing restrictions still being in place in July, we are inviting individual IRTS members to operate one or more bands from an in place station (i.e. not a remote station) for the full 24 hours, using the call sign EIØHQ.

Operators in this contest must be in a position to forward a Cabrillo-formatted log to the contest manager immediately after the contest, as logs from all HQ Station ops will need to be merged prior to uploading to ARRL within the 5-day load upload deadline.

IRTS licensed members based in EI are invited to apply to operate one or more band/modes of the IRTS HQ station for the 2021 contest. Please specify the band and mode you wish to operate. Send your expressions of interest to Contest Manager Joe Ryan EI7GY at IRTS.contests /at/


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IRTS Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 4th May 2021

One of the features of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society Annual General Meeting is the presentation of awards for service to the society or the hobby.

At last Sunday’s AGM, Eddie Kavanagh EI3FBB was awarded the Pat Conway EI3Z Cup for his longstanding service in reading the weekly radio news bulletin on 80 metres.

The Arup Cup went to 11 year old Ryan Morrison EI8KW, Ireland’s youngest amateur for his great achievement in getting licensed at such a young age and for being so active on the air..

The Michael Collins Cup went to Dave EI4BZ.

The Presidents Cup was awarded to Sean Byrne EI2HZB and the Sheila Piper Cup went to Steve Wright EI5DD.

The John Ashman Shield was awarded to the East Leinster Radio Club while the Paddy Maher EI3AV Cup was awarded to the Shannon Basin Radio Club.


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Danny Weil Memorial DXpedition recognised

Tuesday 4th May 2021

The 2020 VP2VB Danny Weil Memorial DXpedition was organized to bring the Danny Weil story to today's amateur radio community.

The group focused on low bands to Japan and Europe, and skillfully utilized CW, FT4, and FT8, achieving more than 5000 QSOs on the 160 & 80 meter bands, including 335 QSOs with Japan.

We are pleased to acknowledge receipt of the JIDXM (Japan International DX Meeting) 2020 DXpedition of the Year Award, presented to teams and individuals making an outstanding contribution to the DX community.

Congratulations to the VP2VB Yasme Memorial Expedition Team; Adrian/KO8SCA, Martti/OH2BH, Niko/OH2GEK, and Sandro/VE7NY.

Additional information on the history of Danny Weil can be found at:

Ward Silver, N0AX, President

The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors:
Ward Silver, N0AX, President and Director
Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, Vice-President, Secretary and Director
Rusty Epps, W6OAT, Treasurer and Director
Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Director
Martti Laine, OH2BH, Director
Fred Laun, K3ZO, Director
Robert Vallio, W6RGG, Director
Marty Woll, N6VI, Director
James Brooks, 9V1YC, Director

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ARRL and the American Red Cross have renewed their long-standing Memorandum of Understanding for another 5 years

Tuesday 4th May 2021

The MOU spells out how ARRL and the American Red Cross will work cooperatively during a disaster response.
It calls on both parties to maintain open lines of communication and to share information, situation, and operation reports, as allowed to maintain confidentiality.

ARRL and the American Red Cross also will encourage their respective units to discuss local disaster response and relief plans.

The Red Cross will encourage regions or chapters to participate in ARRL Field Day, the Simulated Emergency and other emergency exercises.


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Elderly couple uses military Morse Code training to escape Tennessee assisted living facility

Tuesday 4th May 2021

Brett Kelman
Nashville Tennessean

They listened and listened until the beeps and boops finally made sense.

And then it was time to go.

A husband and wife briefly escaped from a secure memory unit at an assisted living facility in Lebanon last month by using military experience with Morse code to decipher and memorize the code to an electronic door lock, according to Tennessee Department of Health documents obtained through a public records request.

The couple, who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, are not identified in the state records. They went missing from Elmcroft of Lebanon for about 30 minutes on March 2 before a stranger found them walking down a road two blocks from the facility, according to the documents.

Once back at the Elmcroft, staff were curious about how the couple had escaped from the facility’s memory unit, which is secured by a locked door with an electronic keypad, documents state.

The man said he “previously worked with Morse code in the military” and was able to use this experience to learn the door code by listening as staff punched numbers into the keypad, documents state.

As a result of the escape, Elmcroft of Lebanon was fined $2,000 by state officials. The assisted living facility told state regulators it will prevent similar incidents by checking on residents more frequently and scheduling the man who escaped for “walking time outside the facility with a staff member present," according to state records.

Elmcroft of Lebanon also changed all its exit codes, according to a statement provided by the company.

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US investigating possible mysterious directed energy attack near White House

Tuesday 4th May 2021

Federal agencies are investigating at least two possible incidents on US soil, including one near the White House in November of last year, that appear similar to mysterious, invisible attacks that have led to debilitating symptoms for dozens of US personnel abroad.

Multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN that while the Pentagon and other agencies probing the matter have reached no clear conclusions on what happened, the fact that such an attack might have taken place so close to the White House is particularly alarming.

Defense officials briefed lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the matter earlier this month, including on the incident near the White House. That incident, which occurred near the Ellipse, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, sickened one National Security Council official, according to multiple current and former US officials and sources familiar with the matter. In a separate 2019 episode, a White House official reported a similar attack while walking her dog in a Virginia suburb just outside Washington, GQ reported last year.

Those sickened reported similar symptoms to CIA and State Department personnel impacted overseas, and officials quickly began to investigate the incident as a possible "Havana syndrome" attack. That name refers to unexplained symptoms that US personnel in Cuba began experiencing in late 2016 -- a varying set of complaints that includes ear popping, vertigo, pounding headaches and nausea, sometimes accompanied by an unidentified "piercing directional noise."

Rumors have long swirled around Washington about similar incidents within the United States. While the recent episodes around Washington appear similar to the previous apparent attacks affecting diplomats, CIA officers and other US personnel serving in Cuba, Russia and China, investigators have not determined whether the puzzling incidents at home are connected to those that have occurred abroad or who may be behind them, sources tell CNN.

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UKEICC 80m CW Contest on Wednesday last April 28th - results

Tuesday 4th May 2021

The final UKEICC monthly 80 metres CW contest was held on Wednesday last the April 28th.

From a total entry of 114 stations the overall winner was Algirdas LY4ZZ in the Low Power section.

Leading High Power entrant was Arvydas LY2F and Sergei YL3FW was overall winner of the QRP section operating unassisted.

Leading the HP unassisted section was Chris GM2V, with Goran SF6W the leading unassisted low power entrant.

The bonus calls worth the maximum of 10 points were EI5G operated by Paul EI5DI and GW4J operated by Stewart GW0ETF.

There were nine EI station active on the night, a 50% improvement on the March contest.

The monthly 80 metre contests will resume in September.

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IARU asks what do YOU think is the future of Amateur Radio?

Monday 3rd May 2021

Radio amateurs everywhere are encouraged to engage with IARU Region 1 national Member Societies on the early stages of the Region 1 Workshop program about the future of Amateur Radio

At the Workshop later this year, Region 1 Member Societies will be asked to formulate their views on the future direction for amateur radio and the programs needed to ensure it develops successfully.  As a first step, work is already under way to develop an understanding of the current state of amateur radio in each country. The input of the amateur community is vital for the success of the Workshop.

Participate in the RSGB Survey at

Watch What do YOU think about the future of Amateur Radio?


Source IARU Region 1

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More ham radio spectrum in 3-12 MHz needed

Monday 3rd May 2021

The WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee has released their response to the ACMA Five Year Spectrum Outlook 2021, they highlight the need for more amateur radio spectrum in 3-12 MHz

The WIA says:

Global demand for HF amateur spectrum has grown, particularly since the start of the COVID pandemic. Congestion (particularly on the 7 MHz band) from both legitimate and unauthorised illegal transmissions is often severe during times of increased ionospheric propagation.

Additionally, heightened tensions across the globe have increased the use of high-power HF radar systems which frequently disrupt HF amateur communications across large segments of spectrum, particularly on the lower frequency bands. Increasing spectrum access within the 3-10 MHz range is seen as vital to enable sufficient frequency agility for the amateur service, so that communications can be maintained when large amounts of spectrum are suffering interference from international radar based intruders 4.

The WIA intends to seek expansions to amateur bands in the 3-12 MHz segment over the next 5 years for Australian amateurs, at least in alignment with international allocations, although the WIA acknowledges that this is a lower priority than other items proposed.

You can download the full WIA response document at

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Online Talk: Setting up the Zumspot digital hotspot

Monday 3rd May 2021

On Wednesday, May 5 at 7:30 pm the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society will be hosting an online talk on Zoom by Mike Richards G4WNC about the ZumSpot and how to use your VHF/UHF radio to connect to the digital networks

All are welcome to join the meeting.

Mike has been involved in radio and electronics since his childhood days. Mike—who was first licensed as G8HHA—turned to computing in the early 70s where he experimented with radio data links between his Compukit UK101 and a friend’s TRS-80.

That spurred him on to get his Full licence, G4WNC, where he has maintained an interest in digital modes. Mike’s writing career began some 25 years ago when he took over the PW RTTY column from Ron Ham and has been writing reviews and regular columns for many radio magazines including RadCom. His latest endeavour has been the well-received book Raspberry Pi Explained for Radio Amateurs, published by the RSGB.

The Zoom meeting ID is 842 5221 3056

For further information see

Previous DDARS talks are available on YouTube at

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HF radios make a comeback and enable global command and control

Monday 3rd May 2021

New advancements in HF radio and digital signal processing technology for terrestrial-based, long-range communications offers a cost-effective alternative to SATCOM

Ron Broden W9TNG is interviewed for this Collins Aerospace article which can be read at

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Recognition for Young Operators in ham radio contests

Monday 3rd May 2021

IARU Region 2 reports on a welcome move in North America to encourage young radio amateurs to participate in contests

The IARU Region 2 site says:

The IARU Region 2 Executive Committee congratulates the National Contest Journal (NCJ) for recognizing young operators’ entries for the North American QSO Party (NAQP) CW and SSB contests in August 2021.
The site will add a YOTA checkbox for their identification.

IARU R2 strongly believes that encouraging young operators to actively participate in various amateur radio activities is key for the future of amateur radio.

IARU R2 sponsors a regular bilingual English/Spanish session for young radio amateurs across the Americas. These sessions are an opportunity to share their experiences in the many possible amateur activities to attract new amateurs and increase the number of active young amateurs. This Group meets virtually twice per month and is open to all that wish to participate. For more information, please contact the IARU R2 Youth Liaison, Sterling Mann N0SSC, at

Source IARU Region 2

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Bouvet Island Dxpedition

Monday 3rd May 2021

Bouvet is like the Mount Everest of DXCC entities. It is among the most challenging entities to activate due to significant transportation costs and personal sacrifices required by the team to make the 42 day round trip.

Fortunately, Bouvet is not our first mountain. We are well prepared for this challenge.
All plans are going well. We are researching polar quality tents and equipment. We are discussing antenna specifications with various manufacturers. We will make careful choices to help us meet the demand for Bouvet contacts.

We are delighted to add a second Physician to our team. Dr. Mike Crownover/AB5EB and Dr. Bill Straw/KO7SS are both seasoned Emergency Physicians and will help the team immensely with their expertise.

Our fund-raising is going very well. We have received a significant donation from our long-time friend Y. Zorro Miyazawa, JH1AJT. Zorro has always been an enthusiastic supporter of our missions and his generosity is greatly appreciated.

We are pleased to announce that we will receive the ARRL's Colvin Grant, as well as large donations from the Far East DX-ploiters Foundation, the German DX Foundation and the Twin Cities DX Association. We would love to add your Club or your Call to our sponsors pages.

This will be an arduous and expensive mission. Our budget is $764,000 USDs and the 3Y0J team will fund much of this mission. We desperately need the global DX Community to support our mission and help us make this important activation of the #2 most wanted DXCC entity. It is only through this kind of support that we can achieve our mission of making 100,000 contacts or more from Bouvet.

In closing, we especially wish to thank our many Foundation, Club and Individual donors. Without this kind of support, operations to the world's rarest entities would not be possible. Please include your call sign, mailing address and email address with your PayPal submissions. We would not want to miss QSLing with you!

You can follow our plans from our website and the 3Y0J Facebook:

Thank you,
Paul Ewing-N6PSE Co-Leader
Kenneth Opskar-LA7GIA Co-Leader


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Russian Special Event

Monday 3rd May 2021

To commemorate 76th anniversary of the Victory in WW II, the Union of Russian Radio Amateurs (SRR), is conducting 'Victory-76' special on-the-air event between May 2nd (starts at 0000 UTC) and May 9th (ends at 1159 UTC).

Many special memorial stations with "RP76" (not RP75 as mentioned in OPDX last week) prefix in their callsigns will be active.

Activity will be on all HF band and modes including the satellites. A special award (diploma) is available.

The complete list of participating stations is available at:

For more details, see:

For QSL routes, check


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 3rd May 2021

Island activities:

The following are IOTA operations that were active this past week between April 26th-May 1st (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- ------------- ------------
AF-019 IG9ITO Lampedusa 40m; SSB
AF-022 ZD7FT ST HELENA 20/17m; SSB
AN-010 DT8A King George 30m; FT8
AS-003 4S7AB SRI LANKA 10m; FT8
AS-020 BV6CC TAIWAN 10m; FT8
AS-031 JD1BMH Chichijima 20m; CW
AS-200 JI3DST/5 SHODO 20/17m; CW/FT8
AS-200 JR8YLY/5 SHODO 17m; SSB
EU-009 GM8OFQ ORKNEY 40/20m; SSB
EU-015 SV9AHZ CRETE 17m; FT8
EU-015 SV9CAF CRETE 60m;
EU-018 OY1CT FAROE 20m; CW
EU-023 9H1TT MALTA 20m; SSB
EU-029 OZ1W Falster 10m; CW/SSB
EU-075 J48J/P AEGINA 20m; SSB
NA-015 CO2YQ CUBA 20m; FT8
OC-021 YB1KI JAVA 20m; SSB
SA-011 9Z4Y TRINIDAD 40m; CW

** Thanks to the individuals who put the island/group and mode on their QSNs on their PacketCluster reports. The format we suggest is "Mode/IOTA#/Island or Group" (ex. FT8/OC-146/Celebes).

EU-010. Graham, MM0GHM, will be active as MM0GHM/P from Isle of Barra, Scotland, between now and May 8th. He normally uses a FT100D with 100w into a Superstick MP1. Mostly on 17m! QSL via MM0GHM, direct by the Bureau or eQSL.

EU-123. Members of the Sheffield DX Club (M0SDC) will activate the Island of Arran in Scotland as G7M during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 24-25th). Operators mentioned are Colin/G3VCQ, Sharon/M3VCQ, Charlie/GI4FUE, Peter/MI5JYK, Rob/M0KPD, Bill/G4ZVB, David/M0YDB and David G3UNA. QSL via G3VCQ.

EU-178. Ed, ES2TT, will be active as ES2TT/8 from Kihnu Island between May 29-30th. Activity will be on 40/30/20 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

NA-067. Operators John/KG4AKV, Steve/W4MGT, Marty/W4MY, Marc/W4MPS, Dwayne/N4MIO and Carl/W8WZ will be active as W4MY from Harkers Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 24-25th) as a Multi-Op/Mixed-Mode/24-HRs/Island entry. QSL via W4MY.

OC-138. (Canceled) Steve, VK6SJ, who was expected to be active as VK6SJ/4 from Iama Island (or Yam), Thursday and Poruma (or Coconut) Islands in the Torres Strait Group this past week, reports: " I was supposed to be on Iama (Yam), Thursday and Poruma (Coconut) Islands in the Torres Strait (OC-138) between 26th April and 4th May, however this now appears unlikely due to a COVID lock-down in Perth preventing my departure to Horn Island. The work I was to be doing there will now most likely be carried out by others, or I may get back there in June."

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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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 3rd May 2021

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 25th April, through Sunday, 2nd May there were 211 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5R, 5V, 5W, 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, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, 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, KH9, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PY, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, 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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 Amateur Radio licensing in the Falkland Islands

Sunday 2nd May 2021

The Open Falklands site provides an update on the licensing situation in the Falkland Islands

The site says:

After several months of protracted discussions, the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator has provided a final opportunity for non-resident lifetime, VP8 licence owners to have their VP8 callsigns revalidated.
The Regulator issued the following direction on the 27th April 2021:

Notice of Direction made by the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator addressed to those who hold or have held Falkland Island Amateur Radio Licences typically identified by call-signs with a VP8 prefix.

Pursuant to Regulation 10 Communications (Radiocommunications Licensing Procedures) Regulations 2019 the Falklands Islands Communications Regulator hereby directs and gives notice to all holders of Falkland Islands radio licences falling in the following categories:

(1) Amateur Radio Licence Full Lifetime

(2) Amateur Radio Licence Restricted Lifetime where:

• The licence has been granted on terms where no termination date has been specified and/or specify that the licence may be terminated on notice;
• Who wish to carry on the activities permitted by their licence; and
• Whose licences were not revalidated in the calendar year 2020

that they must apply to revalidate their licence by 31 Aug 21.

Anyone seeking to revalidate a licence must complete an ‘Application to Revalidate a Radio Licence’ form and submit it by email to the Falklands Islands Communications Regulator on or before 13 Aug 21.

The ‘Amateur Radio Licence Application’ form is available either to download from the Falklands Islands Communications Regulator’s website or in print form from:

• The Post Office, Stanley, Falkland Islands; and
• The General Post Office Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands.

Please take notice that –

• Any licence that is not re-validated in accordance with this direction will be deemed to have been terminated on 1 Sep 21 and in such circumstances
• The former licence holder must not carry on any of the activities that were permitted under the terminated licence; and
• If the former licence holder wishes to carry on any of the activities permitted under the terminated licence they will have to apply for a new licence.
• This is the third and final opportunity to seek revalidation. The Falklands Islands Communications Regulator cannot guarantee that any particular call-sign remains available. In circumstances where revalidation is sought for a licence with a call-sign that is no longer available a new call sign will be issued.
• New long-term licences will only be issued to individuals who meet the appropriate residency requirements. Full details are available on Falklands Islands Communications Regulator’s website.

Source Open Falklands

Licence information, call sign database information, and revalidation guidance are at

In the past the Falkland Islands issued amateur radio licences without requiring any qualifications.  In January 2020 the FICR announcd
"the intention over time is for the Falkland Islands to move towards a qualification-based competency for the full amateur licence"

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Ofcom release database of issued UK amateur radio callsigns

Sunday 2nd May 2021

On April 20, 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information request, Ofcom released a database of 96,776 issued amateur radio callsigns for the UK and Crown Dependencies

The database can be useful for people wanting to apply for a specific call sign as it shows calls which are not available for issue.

Download the Issued Callsigns Database from
Click this link

The accompanying Ofcom FoI response letter is at
Click this link

To determine which callsigns might be available in addition to the database of issued callsigns you should also use the Ofcom database of Forbidden Suffixes at
Click this link

Those who've passed the RSGB Full exam have the option of applying for callsigns from G and M call blocks including G2, G3, G4, G5 and M5. Details of how to apply for specific callsigns are at

For those selecting a Foundation or Intermediate callsign the database can be used to see which calls are available in the M3, M6, M7 or 2*0, 2*1 call blocks.

You can submit a Freedom of Information request to Ofcom online at

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North American QSO parties to recognize young contester entries

Sunday 2nd May 2021

To encourage young radiosport participants, National Contest Journal (NCJ) will recognize their entries in the North American QSO Party (NAQP), starting with the August 2021 NAQP CW and NAQP SSB events.

Following the lead of Youth on the Air (YOTA) in International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU), operators 25 years old and younger will be highlighted in the results.

The NAQP log upload app and will include a “Youth (25 and under)” check box. Initially, the young operator designation will apply only to single-operator entries. This is not a separate category. Participants of any age will compete for awards in the regular single-operator category.

3830 Scores will display the young operator scores as an overlay to the single-operator group. NAQP line scores will note the young operator scores and a separate table of these scores will be included in the results and referenced in the NCJ “NextGen Contesters” column by Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.


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RAC Canadian Portable Operations Challenge Award

Sunday 2nd May 2021

The RAC Challenge Award: An Overview
Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to present a new Canadian Portable Operations Challenge Award for RAC members.

The objective of the new “RAC Challenge Award” is to recognize and encourage portable operations by RAC members from locations throughout Canada.

The new program will begin on Canada Day, July 1, 2021 and we hope it will become an annual event for RAC members.

Note: the following information is tentative as the new Awards program is still being organized so please stay tuned to this webpage for future updates.

Portable Operations
Portable operations are those in which Amateurs take their equipment, antennas and power supply to a location away from their home station to operate. This includes mobile stations, backpackers, DXpeditions and participation in events such as those described below:

Parks On The Air (POTA), a worldwide program of park activations –
Quebec Parks On The Air (QcPOTA) April 1 to December 31
Field Day: June 26-27
There are several other programs that celebrate portable operations including Summits on the Air (SOTA), Islands on the Air (IOTA) and the International Lighthouses and Lightships Weekend.

Features of the “RAC Challenge”
The new “RAC Challenge” will recognize all portable operations in which RAC members participate and will have similar features as a contest. Amateur Radio contests in VHF, UHF and the Microwave bands all have categories for “Rovers” – who move from grid square to grid square and “Backpackers” – who seek out hilltops from which to operate with highly portable equipment and antennas.

For many satellite operators, making contact with as many grid squares as possible is a mark of success. Some of those operators go on satellite DXpeditions to activate rare grids or operate from the intersections of grids to offer multiple grids with a single contact. In addition to being fun, these activities provide an opportunity for Amateurs to experience what is required to set up and operate under challenging conditions – valuable experience for emergency preparedness.

For more on the RAC Challenge Award, please see

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AGCW-DL 50th Anniversary

Sunday 2nd May 2021

The German AGCW-DL telegraphy club celebrates their 50th anniversary during the month of May.

Several special calls with the suffix 50AGCW and GB50AGC will be active for the month.

See for details.

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Chichijima Island, Ogasawara

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Makoto, JI5RPT, will once again be active as JD1BLY from Chichijima Island (AS-031) between June 10-12th.

The schedule may change depending on the status of COVID-19.

Activity will be on 40-6 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes (FT8)(NO 6m EME). He states that he will focus on the 6m band and FT8 on the HF bands.

QSL via his home callsign JI5RPT, direct, by the Bureau and ClubLog's OQRS. His log search will be available on his Web site at:

He will also use Twitter to inform his real-time activities at:

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Bulgarian special callsign/event

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Members of the 'School Radio Club and TV - Young Hams' (LZ1KAK) will use the special callsign LZ1BOTEV to mark the 145th anniversary of the sacrifice of the revolutionary, poet, publicist, journalist, translator, thinker and literary critic - Hristo Botev.

For Bulgarians, Botev's personality is an icon, a national symbol.

A poet and a rebel, a zealous guardian of national ideas, he left a lasting mark in the pre-liberation history of Bulgaria.

Activity will be on 80-2 meters using various modes, as well as the Digital modes, the QO-100 satellite and SSTV.


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Shortwave Collective - Fencetenna

Sunday 2nd May 2021

On Saturday, May 1, sound artist Hannah Kemp-Welch M7HKW and other members of the Shortwave Collective hooked their radios up to fences in a work-in-progress artistic performance - Fencetenna

"We have built no-power, low-budget ‘foxhole’ radios, using wire, razorblades, scrap cardboard and safety pins, and attached these DIY devices to fences - hijacking these as our antennas to scan the radio spectrum. Join us online to watch as we attempt to use our ‘fencetennas’ to listen to the radio spectrum.  The performance is a work in progress, as part of our ongoing experiments with feminist approaches to amateur radio and the radio spectrum as artistic material."

Watch Shortwave Collective - FENCETENNA

Shortwave Collective is an international, feminist artist group established following a workshop at Soundcamp in May 2020. We meet regularly to consider feminist concerns within amateur radio and experiment with the radio spectrum as artistic material. We share resources, consider DIY approaches, and inclusive collaboration formats.

Hannah Kemp-Welch M7HKW

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Sunday 2nd May 2021

ACMA have been busy and sending out updates, not only on their recent close to $650 Million windfall from spectrum sales but also with ICT Day.

Hosted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ICT day aims to encourage more girls and young women to pursue STEM education and work in STEM careers, engage the community and promote collaboration through partnerships.

This year, ACMA celebrated their colleagues who are inspiring the next generation of young women to pursue education and careers in ICT.

In the other media release from ACMA regarding the sales of the 5G or the 5th generation mobile telecommunications 26GHz spectrum.

And Remember 5G will now be on both 3GHz & 26GHz.

3GHz will give you mobile and wider area coverage where the 26GHz will cover Uni campuses, shopping centres etc, small area footprints but will give you mind blowing download speeds.

It reeled in $648 Million!

Doug VK2XLJ who also sent  a copy of the ACMA release notes that licences won at auction will come into force later this year, for a 15-year term ending in 2036.


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Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club of Australia

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Hello everyone, this is Clive VK6CSW reminding you that tomorrow, Monday, is also the first Monday of month and time for the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club of Australias May bulletin to go to air.

As usual, well have all the latest Club news, followed by three interesting items, namely:

* An Australian-built electric utility vehicle
* An article from Ken Morgan VK3CEK on Resonance
* A science history article on Joan Elleanor, the woman who never was.

Everyone, RAOTC members and non-Members alike, is most welcome to listen to the program and join in the call backs afterwards.

The monthly RAOTC bulletin is transmitted on a wide range of frequencies and modes including UHF and VHF FM, HF ssb, D-STAR, Digital Mobile Radio and EchoLink. Regular listeners will of course have their favourite time and frequency to tune in, but full details of all transmissions times and modes can be found on the RAOTC website< simply Google RAOTC broadcasts.

If none of the transmission times suit you you can download the audio file at any time from today from the RAOTC website If you do listen this way, a brief feedback comment would be appreciated.

Members and Friends of the RAOTC in Perth are reminded that the next lunchtime meeting at the Bayswater Hotel is Tuesday, May 11th, and youll be pleased to know that the Buffet is back on.

Once again, tune in tomorrow for the May RAOTC bulletin, and dont forget to join in the call backs afterwards.

73 from Clive VK6CSW

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70th anniversary of Radio Free Europe

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Radio Free Europe began its Czechoslovak service 70 years ago, offering news throughout the Cold War

Radio Free Europe started full-time broadcasts in the Czech language 70 years ago on May 1, 1951, and it lasted for half a century, even beyond the end of the Cold War.

During the communist era, the Czech version of RFE, called Rádio Svobodna Evropa, was one of the few objective sources of information for the people of then-Czechoslovakia. At that time the U.S.-funded broadcaster was based in Munich in what was West Germany.

Czech president Václav Havel praised the service on its 50th anniversary in 2001.

“All through the long years of communism, it provided the only avenue for the free exchange of information, for free journalism, and also the only, or rather, the main, source for communication between the opposition at home with the public, the general society, and the nation. I believe that our society owes Radio Free Europe immense gratitude for the role it has played in the past," Havel said.

At an event in 2011 to mark the 60th anniversary, then-Czech prime minister Petr Nečas praised the service. “RFE tore down the information barrier erected by the communist regime. The truth and RFE will always stay in our conscience,” he said. The Slovak prime minister at the time, Iveta Radičová, said the broadcasts “brought a small island of freedom to people's homes.”

The first shortwave broadcast in the Czech language actually took place July 4, 1950, from an office in the Empire State Building in New York City, but it didn’t operate on a regular schedule until the station moved to West Germany a few months later.

Broadcasts began with the phrase, “Volá hlas svobodného Československa, rozhlasová stanice Svobodná Evropa” (The voice of Free Czechoslovakia is calling, the radio station Free Europe).

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 1st May 2021

Ergonomics in your shack

In my day job I work in computing. For many years that consisted of going on-site and fixing stuff. Invariably this involved me fixing servers that were installed into a room the size of a broom closet with an optional air conditioner screaming in my ear.

The experience often included sitting on a crate, or the floor, holding a keyboard and if it was a Windows Server, rolling a mouse on my knee in order to click on stuff barely discernible on a tiny screen that likely sat a meter too high above my eye line with Ethernet wires going diagonally from one end of the room to the other.

These days with ubiquitous internet connectivity that kind of experience is mostly a thing of the past.

That said, operating a radio during a contest in many stations I've used over the years is not far from that kind of layout.

Often a traditional shack starts off with a radio on a table with a notepad to record contacts. Over time that gets expanded with technology like a computer. It's common to have to juggle the radio display and keyboard, to find a spot for the mouse that doesn't interfere with the desk microphone, or to have to reach over to change band and to activate a different filter, select another antenna, use the rotator or some other essential tool that's required for making that elusive contact.

Some stations have multiple monitors, sometimes they're even together, but more often than not they're a different size, sitting too high and the radio sits as a road-block between your eye line between the screen and the keyboard.

I'm raising this because over the years I've not actually seen anyone spend any energy on discussing how you might improve this experience.

If this was your workplace, the occupational health and safety police would be all over you and for good reason. You could argue that amateur radio is a hobby and that OH&S is of lesser concern, but to that I'd like to point out that you have the same risk of self injury at work as you do in your shack, especially if you're doing a contest for 24 or 48 hours.

Not only is there a risk of injury, why make the experience harder than it needs to be? Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging a workplace to fit the user. It's a deliberate process. You have to actually stop to consider how you are using a space, in this case your shack.

At the moment I'm experimenting with different aspects of the layout of my shack. For example, I started with a layout of the computer, counter intuitive perhaps, since we're talking about a radio shack, but given that I'm spending much of my time doing contests and digital modes, the computer is used much more than the radio is, even if the radio is what's making all the on-air noise.

After making sure that my keyboard, mouse and screen were in locations that actually helped me, I started trying to figure out where to put the radio and what role it actually plays in making the contact. If during a contest you're using search and pounce, which is when you hunt up and down the bands looking for a contact, you might argue that you'll need access to the radio to change frequency, but if you already have your computer connected to the radio, you can change frequency from the keyboard or by control with your mouse.

Another way I'm looking on reducing the amount of stress to my body whilst operating my station is by sorting out audio. Almost every radio has a speaker on it, but if you've got more than one going at the same time it becomes really difficult to determine which one is actually making noise and even harder if multiple stations are on different frequencies on different radios at the same time.

You could wear headphones and select a radio, one at a time, either by plugging in a particular radio, or by using a selector. If you're using digital modes, the audio might already be going into the computer, which offers you the ability to select from different sound cards, but there are other options. I'm working on plugging the audio from each radio into an audio mixer that will allow me to set the level for each radio independently, mute at will, set the tone, the balance between left and right ear and a few other things.

For a microphone I plan on using the same mixer and I'm working on how to have my digital audio coming from the computer incorporated into the same audio environment, because the digital audio could just as easily be a voice caller using the same system.

For push to talk I settled on a foot switch a couple of years ago. That said, if I'm on my own, I tend to use VOX, or voice operated switching, which turns on the transmitter when microphone audio is detected by the radio. This will need some careful planning if I'm going to connect multiple radios, since I don't want to transmit the same message across each radio at the same time, but with computer control, that too can be addressed.

My point is that we have lots of technology available to us as radio amateurs to achieve what ever we need to. It takes extra effort to decide how you might go about making your environment a place where you can safely sit and operate without making life harder than it needs to be.

What kinds of different techniques and technologies have you used to make your shack a more comfortable environment? Do you spend your days hunting DX, doing contests or making digital contacts, or something else? Have you considered how you might improve the layout of your shack to suit your particular use-case and when was the last time you checked to see if the decisions you originally made are still valid today?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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RSGB’s amateur radio survey

Saturday 1st May 2021

The IARU Region 1 is running a strategic workshop on the future of amateur radio. Each of the national societies in the region has been asked to contribute information about amateur radio in their country.

In preparation, the RSGB is conducting a short survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that apply to amateur radio in the UK. The Society would like to hear the views of all UK radio amateurs as well as those who are unlicensed.

For more information and the link to the survey see the RSGB website:

The deadline for responses is 23 May.

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8J17CALL closed

Saturday 1st May 2021

7-CALL Amateur Radio Club has finished all operations of 8J17CALL, 7-CALL 30th Anniversary Special station on 22nd April, 2021.

The special station has operated for a year from 23rd April, 2020 to 22nd April, 2021.

As the last QSO, 7K1BIB (Compliance Manager) called 7M4VQJ (President) to report successful closing of the special station by Feld-Hell at 23:50.

Feld-Hell is a facsimile-based teleprinter invented by Rudolf Hell that used for military and commercial purpose in past and still habitual use by radio amateur.

At 23:59:00, the last message was emitted to deliver our greatest thanks and to inform closing of the special station to all amateurs.

Then, the special station has terminated its operation at 23:59:59.

The special station achieved 24,226 QSOs during its one-year operation.
Thanks for your love from all over that world.

See you again in some day!

7-CALL is Japanese callsign starting with “7" and it is a symbol of the golden age of Japanese amateur radio history.
There are only 16,701 7-CALL stations (just 6.42% of overall issued 7-CALLs) still exist as of the end of 2020.

More detail:

About us:
(English and Chinese available)

Thank you for your attention to us!

7-CALL Amateur Radio Club

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GB2RS News available on QO-100 satellite from this Sunday

Saturday 1st May 2021

The RSGB has announced that their popular GB2RS news broadcast will now be available on the QO-100 amateur radio transponder on the geostationary satellite Es'hail-2

QO-100 provides continuous coverage from eastern Brazil to as far west as Thailand. There are two amateur transponders, one for Narrowband modes such as SSB and FT8 and the other for digital amateur television (DATV).

The RSGB website says:

"GB2RS can now also be heard via the QO-100 amateur radio satellite. The transmission is provided by Keith, GU6EFB at 0800UTC, using upper sideband on 10489.900 MHz, which is in the mixed-mode section of the narrowband transponder. QO-100 is a geostationary satellite with a footprint that covers Europe, Africa and India, so this news bulletin is a specially-adapted international version. The RSGB would like to thank AMSAT-DL for their kind cooperation in making this broadcast possible."

If you do not have 10 GHz receive capability you can still listen to the broadcast on the AMSAT-UK and BATC WebSDR located at Goonhilly, see


QO-100 info

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ARRL Executive Committee nominates Joel Harrison, W5ZN, to be next IARU Secretary

Saturday 1st May 2021

At its April 5 meeting via Zoom, the ARRL Executive Committee (EC) nominated past ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, to become the next Secretary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
The incumbent Secretary, David Sumner, K1ZZ, has announced his intention to step down on July 1.

ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, explained that ARRL, as IARU Secretariat, has the right and obligation to appoint a successor. Harrison currently serves as IARU Assistant Secretary.
The ARRL Board of Directors ratified his nomination on April 16.

The EC also agreed to hold an in-person Board of Directors meeting in July, in accordance with Connecticut COVID-19 regulations. ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, told the EC that a new procedure was being put into place to recognize centenarian members — those who are 100 years of age or older. The membership team will now identify members who qualify for ARRL’s Centurion Award, and the corresponding Director will determine how to proceed with the award presentation.

The EC agreed to include a $100 ARRL gift certificate to accompany the award. In addition, with the changes pending in the 9-centimeter band, the EC adopted a new calling frequency for that band of 3400.1 MHz.
Minutes of the EC meeting have been posted.


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A Timeline of Great Aurora Storms

Saturday 1st May 2021

New research shows that great aurora storms happen on average every 40 to 60 years--a lot more often than previously thought.

During these events, auroras spread almost all the way to Earth's equator. One such storm in 1770 lasted 9 consecutive days.

Full Story @

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

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:-