The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

Club Members' News Page

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

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

 

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

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WADARC Success !

Major success for WADARC has been announced this week.  We had been lying in 3rd place in the UKAC 50MHz RSGB Contests for 2019. During the final monthly contest on the 12th December we had a BIG Push .. result being we managed to beat the once unbeatable Drowned Rats RG finishing the year in 2nd place !

The UKAC contest side of our club is flourishing and as the final results for 2019 are being released over the next weeks, we as a radio club are presently in overall 4th position in the General section.  This is a very creditable result, especially as we are the leading UK Radio Club in that section ! (as opposed to a contest group).

Our Congratulations and thanks go to all those club members/country members who regularly take part in the 50MHz contests (and on other bands as well of course)

Andy GD0AMD/P, Paul GW0MDQ, Denis G3UVR (who has had a number of personal top scores this year), Tom G4BKF,
Neil G4OAR/A, Frank G8REQ, George M0HWO, Neil M0WBG, Simon MW0XAD and not least Bob M1MHZ

You have each earned your callsign on the certificate below .. well done !

We have every intention and plans in place to make 2020 even more successful and invite anyone
 who would like to join a successful Contest Radio Club and donate their points .. wherever you might live .. to contact Denis G3UVR

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Four More Success for WADARC !

More success have been announced for WADARC with the final results announced for the 144MHz UKAC, the 1.3GHz UKAC, the 70MH UKAC and the 432MHz UKAC where we came 4th in all four contests over the last 12 months.  Talk about being consistent !!

Once again our Congratulations and thanks go to all those club members/country members who regularly take part in the contests and have certainly put WADARC  "on the map" as a Radio Club to be respected.

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4m (70MHz) returns to Germany for 2020

Thursday 23rd January 2020

Here it is! As of today (22/1/2020) - use of the 70.150-70.200 MHz part of 4m is allowed again in Germany until the end of 2020 (all conditions are the same as last year).

This was announced in the periodic document released today on the BNetzA website at https://www.bnetza-amtsblatt.de/2020/:

Google Translation

Communication No. 8/2020
Amateur radio service; limited access in the frequency range 70.150 - 70.200 MHz
In coordination with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg), the temporary use of the frequency range 70.150 - 70.200 MHz for amateur radio will be tolerated from now until December 31, 2020 under the following terms of use.

Terms of use
Use is restricted to fixed amateur radio stations and may only be carried out by holders of an authorization to participate in the class A amateur radio service.
Allowed transmission types: All transmission types
Maximum allowed bandwidth of transmission: 12 kHz
Maximum radiated power: 25 watts ERP
Antenna polarization: horizontal

Other radio services and telecommunications systems must not be impacted. In the event of any interference, the disrupting transmission must be stopped immediately by the radio amateur. Interference from other radio services and telecommunications systems must be accepted by the radio amateur.

Remote controlled transmissions are not permitted. Special call sign assignments according to § 13 AFuV are not possible within the scope of this regulation. A simultaneous multiple use of a call sign in accordance with Section 11 (4) AFuV cannot be approved.

Records (logbook) with the following information is to be kept covering the transmission mode: date, time, frequency, type of modulation, power, antenna direction if not omnidirectional, call sign of the other station contacted, with signature of the call sign holder.

When using the frequency range 70.150 - 70.200 MHz within the framework of the amateur radio service, all other provisions of the Amateur Radio Act (AFuG) and the Amateur Radio Ordinance (AFuV) must be observed and apply in this respect.

This regulation is to be applied carefully, interference is to be avoided and the maximum power is only to be used should it be considered absolutely necessary to make and maintain the radio connection or for experimental purposes.

73  Ed DD5LP

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5 MHz licence renewed

Thursday 23rd January 2020

In New Zealand, several members have inquired about the status of the 5 MHz (60 metre) trial licence that was due to expire on 24 January 2020. 

RSM and NZ Defence have agreed to an extension of the 60 metre trial licence for a further six months until 24 July 2020 to give us all time to work out a more permanent solution.

Conditions of use remain the same as previously – see http://www.nzart.org.nz/info/60m  

If you already hold a sub-licence from NZART (New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters) you do not need to change anything. 

If you don’t hold a sub-licence and wish to take part in the trial, please see the links on web page for the Frequently Asked Questions and the application form for the special trial license.

Don Wallace ZL2TLL
NZART Administration Liaison Officer

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The Space Weather Woman

Thursday 23rd January 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Tutor survey: Entry into Amateur Radio

Thursday 23rd January 2020

Essex Ham conducted an online survey to gather some basic data regarding 'entry-level' into amateur radio  

The survey was aimed at the existing amateur radio training community, and the survey was only promoted within the RSGBTutors and Essex Ham Tutor Groups communities.

See the results of the survey at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/survey-entry-level-2020/

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Falkland Island ham radio licences

Thursday 23rd January 2020

The Falkland Islands communications regulator is requesting that people revalidate their lifetime amateur radio licences

There are two classes of licence, Restricted and Full.

Restricted permits 50 watts output in 144-148 MHz, there has never been any requirement to take any form of exam for this class of licence.

The Full licence permits use of all amateur bands with up to 1,000 watts output. In the Full guidelines document the communications regulator notes:

"Full licences have been issued without evidence of competence for many years."

"The intention over time is for the Falkland Islands to move towards a qualification-based competency for the full amateur licence"

Licence information, call sign database information, and revalidation guidance are at
https://www.regulatorfi.org.fk/spectrum/amateur-radio

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Timor-Leste DXpedition

Thursday 23rd January 2020

Members of the Lagunaria DX Group are planning a DXpedition to Timor-Leste sometime in October-November.

This will be a large opertaion with 18 operators, and possibly 10 stations and entries in both CQWW DX Contests.

Look for details to be forthcoming and watch the following Web sites: http://timor-leste-dx.de
http://lagunaria-dx-group.org

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Amateur radio conference in Munich

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

The program of the large, traditional amateur radio conference in Munich was published.

The DARC district of Upper Bavaria is holding the conference together with the Munich University of Applied Sciences.

The date is Saturday / Sunday, February 29th and March 1st, 2020.

14 lectures cover many topics, from 8 kHz to 10 GHz, digital radio on shortwave and higher, and various construction projects.

There is also a supporting program: on Saturday there are some relevant dealers on site.

Several groups present their activities. Various measuring stations for up to 75 GHz are again available on both days, supervised by employees of the well-known Munich manufacturer.

There will be a US license exam on Sunday morning.

Further details can be found on the website www.amateurfunktagung.de

The conference is free of charge

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6th Anniversary of first Skills Night

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

On Monday, January 20, 2014 the first of the hugely popular monthly amateur radio Skills Nights took place at Danbury in Essex

The concept for the Skills Night was created by Pete M0PSX, with input and support from Jim 2E0RMI, Clive G1EUC and Sarah M6PSK.

The idea started life as “Foundation Plus” in 2012, where newcomers to the hobby would be able to to meet to discuss next-steps, and to fill in the gaps left by the Foundation course.

After one local club passed on the idea of a monthly Foundation Plus event, Pete was encouraged to pitch the concept to the Chelmsford ARS, who’s training team adopted the concept, with some modifications to encompass all licence-levels. Thanks to Clive Ward G1EUC, sadly no longer with us and much-missed, for his support of, and dedication to, the event.

The first event was held on January 20, 2014, hosted by the Chelmsford ARS training team. Originally known as “Skills Workshop”,  the event went on to attract an average of between 50 and 90 people per night from Essex, Kent, Suffolk, London and beyond in its first 3 years.

Read the Essex Skills Night Retrospective at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/news/essex-skills-night-retrospective.html

Essex Ham offers a free Foundation Online Amateur Radio Training Course
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

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Ham Radio HF - The Small Garden Problem

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Peter Waters G3OJV has produced a series of videos taking a look at the small garden problems relating to HF operation.

Watch Ham Radio HF - The Small Garden Problem


Other videos in the series can be seen at
https://www.youtube.com/user/watersstanton/videos

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Ancient Australian crystals unlock history of Earth's first magnetic field

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Tiny crystals in Australia are helping scientists unlock the ancient history of our planet's first magnetic field, which disappeared hundreds of millions of years ago.

And the crystals show that this field was a lot more powerful than anyone believed. That, in turn, could help answer a question about why life emerged on Earth.

Those tiny, old crystals are locked in rocks that date to well over half a billion years ago. At the time, tiny magnetic particles floated in the molten rock. But as that rock cooled, the particles, which aligned to the magnetic field orientation at the time, locked into place. And those particles still sit in a pose suggesting that they were influenced by a much more powerful magnetic field than scientists had assumed, a new study reveals.

Read more at:
https://www.livescience.com/amp/australian-crystals-unlock-earth-magnetic-history.html

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NASA, SpaceX complete final major flight test of crew spacecraft

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

NASA and SpaceX completed a launch escape demonstration of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket Sunday. This was the final major flight test of the spacecraft before it begins carrying astronauts to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.


NASA and SpaceX completed a launch escape demonstration of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket on Jan. 19, 2020.
The test began at 10:30 a.m. EST with liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to show
the spacecraft’s capability to safely separate from the rocket in the unlikely event of an inflight emergency. Credits: NASA Television

The launch escape test began at 10:30 a.m. EST with liftoff from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to show the spacecraft’s capability to safely separate from the rocket in the unlikely event of an inflight emergency.

“This critical flight test puts us on the cusp of returning the capability to launch astronauts in American spacecraft on American rockets from American soil,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We are thrilled with the progress NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is making and look forward to the next milestone for Crew Dragon.”

As part of the test, SpaceX configured Crew Dragon to trigger a launch escape about 1.5 minutes after liftoff. All major functions were executed, including separation, engine firings, parachute deployment and landing. Crew Dragon splashed down at 10:38 a.m. just off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

“As far as we can tell thus far, it’s a picture perfect mission. It went as well as one can possibly expect," said Elon Musk, Chief Engineer at SpaceX. “This is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of the SpaceX and NASA teams to achieve this goal. Obviously, I’m super fired up. This is great.”

Teams of personnel from SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force 45th Operations Group's Detachment-3 out of Patrick Air Force Base will recover the spacecraft for return to SpaceX facilities in Florida and begin the recovery effort of the Falcon 9, which broke apart as planned.

“The past few days have been an incredible experience for us,” said astronaut Doug Hurley. “We started with a full dress rehearsal of what Bob and I will do for our mission. Today, we watched the demonstration of a system that we hope to never use, but can save lives if we ever do. It took a lot of work between NASA and SpaceX to get to this point, and we can’t wait to take a ride to the space station soon.”

Prior to the flight test, teams completed launch day procedures for the first crewed flight test, from suit-up to launch pad operations. The joint teams now will begin the full data reviews that need to be completed prior to NASA astronauts flying the system during SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission. 

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Commercial human space transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbiting laboratory. The program also has the benefit of facilitating and promoting for America a vibrant economy in low-Earth orbit.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Island activities:

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

AS-092; 9M2, Perak State group: Safri/9M2SAF activates Pulau Lalang Perak Island from the 21st to 27th as 9M2SAF/p on 160 to 10m (CW, SSB, digital modes). This will be Safri's first IOTA activation.  QSL via 9M2SAF (d).

AS-099; TA, Canakkale/Balokesir/Izmir Province group: UZ5DX, US2YW, UW8SM, UT5EL, UT5ECZ, UA9CDC, UR0MC, TA3A, TA3AER, TA3EL, and TA3LHH operate the 160m contest together from Bozcaada Island as TC0X. QSL via HG5DX (d/B), ClubLog.

NA-016; ZF, Cayman Islands: Stan/K5GO participates in the 160m contest from Brac Island as ZF5T. QSL via K5GO (d) or LoTW.

NA-080; C6, Little Bahama Bank group: Harmon/WB4OMG is going to take part in the 160m contest as C6AEI from Grand Bahama Island. QSL via WB4OMG.

NA-092; W5, Texas State West (Cameron to Calshoun County) group: Rich/WA5LFD is currently active from North Padre Island (WW Loc. EL17) as WA5LFD/p on CW, SSB, and RTTY. He remains on the island until Feb. 8. QSL via WA5LFD, LoTW.

SA-005; PJ4, Bonaire Island: John/K4BAI operates the 160m contest as PJ4A (remote via PJ4G). QSL via K4BAI.

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Spain: One letter suffix call signs

Tuesday 21st January 2020

On January 16, 2020 Spain's Official State Gazette carried the announcement regarding one letter suffix amateur radio call signs

Spain's national amateur radio society URE report:

After more than five years of work of the URE struggling with the Administration with the presentation of numerous preliminary projects for the development and application of the regulations, we reached the end of the procedure.

The Resolution of the General Directorate of Telecommunications and Information Technologies has just been published on the Radio Amateur website approving the definitive list of admitted and excluded applicants and the corresponding radio amateur call signs with a letter suffix are assigned.
In accordance with the administrative procedure established by resolution of the Secretary of State for Digital Advance, of July 12, 2019.

This resolution has been published in the Official State Gazette , BOE 14, on Thursday, January 16, 2020, provision 673.

Subsequently, the General Directorate of Telecommunications and Information Technology through the different Provincial Headquarters of Telecommunications Inspection will assign, personally, ex officio , according to the workload of each JPIT, the new call signs with suffix of A letter object of the present resolution and until that moment the assignment of the badges is not official, nor effective .

Against said resolution , which exhausts the administrative route, it may be filed , in accordance with article 123 of Law 39/2015, of October 1, of the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations, optional appeal for reinstatement before the same body that has issued it within one month from the day following its publication in the BOE or be challenged directly before the Administrative Court of the National Court within two months from the day following its publication in the BOE , in accordance with article 46 of Law 29/1998, of July 13, regulating the Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction, without both resources being simultaneous.

Download the Resolution and its corresponding annex, from the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement
https://sede.minetur.gob.es/_layouts/15/GestorDescargas.
ashx?s=AP&k=17190


Official Gazette
https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2020/01/16/pdfs/BOE-A-2020-673.pdf

Government of Spain - Amateur Radio page
https://sede.minetur.gob.es/es-es/procedimientoselectronicos/Paginas/detalle-procedimientos.
aspx?IdProcedimiento=147


URE in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

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QSL route information

Tuesday 21st January 2020

I am Harry, SWL PA3249, I want to let all W-stations know that I am QSL Manager for several stations, some of these stations, XP3A - OX3XR - V51MA, just want the QSL directly through me, see my page: http://qrzcq.com/call/PA3249

Many American stations send their QSL to the DQB (Dutch QSL Bureau) but all these cards are returned.

It is possible to request a maximum of 4 QSL cards for the same price as stated on my page.

Thank you in advance

Harry de Jong - PA3249 (SWL and QSL Manager)
Broekdijk 59
7695 TC Bruchterveld
The Netherlands

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Greenland and Denmark Special Event

Tuesday 21st January 2020

Many Greenland and Denmark radio amateur stations will be celebrating the 80th birthday of H.M. The Queen of Denmark in these two DXCC entities.

Look for special event stations OX80HM and OZ80HM to be active on all bands until April 16th. QSL via OZ1ACB OQRS. A special royal award will be available.

Watch for details on QRZ.com or contact (oz2i@edr.dk) for more information.

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ICQPodcast - Questions Answered and Tips

Tuesday 21st January 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Frank Howell K4FMH, Ed Durrant DD5LP and Bill Barnes N3JIX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - Questions Answered and Tips.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank Constantine Papas (KL0S), Leslie Boddington (G4JDC) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• G4KUX extends 432 MHz tropo record to 4,644kms
• DARC 70 Years
• Going Ham at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School
• Tunisia Issues Personal Licenses to Operate
• YOTA Month a Success in the Americas
• Leadership Elections Highlight ARRL Annual Board Meeting
• ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres
• Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally
• Special Certificate to Celebrate 30 Years of LUSAT
• Swiss Special Event Station

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

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Barry Shelley N1VXY is interim ARRL CEO

Monday 20th January 2020

ARRL reports at its meeting this weekend, the ARRL Board of Directors did not elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer

Beginning Monday, January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, will become interim CEO.

Mr. Shelley was ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018 before his retirement. The board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More details on this and other matters which took place at the board meeting will be released shortly.

Source ARRL
https://www.arrl.org/news/barry-shelley-n1vxy-to-become-arrl-interim-ceo

You can read the recent QST editorials by former CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, at  

January 2020 - Dare to Imagine

February 2020 -
Open Technology for Opening Minds

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AmateurLogic 139: Now With 2020 Vision

Monday 20th January 2020

Just how much faster is the Raspberry Pi 4? Tommy finds out. George has a free remote desktop solution with some unique features. Emile tries Vara Winlink. And Mike ventures into the “Box of Incomplete Dreams” for a QRP Labs WSPR kit.

1:21:07 to start 2020 out logically.

Download

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Contest Results

Monday 20th January 2020

Results of the IRTS 80 metres New Year's Day counties contest have been published.

Band conditions on 80 metres were good for the first hour of this short contest, but went downhill fairly rapidly after that.

Stations in 28 EI and GI counties were active: Cavan, Longford, Louth and Monaghan were the only counties with no recorded QSOs.

47 contest logs were received, which included 34 logs from EI and GI stations along with 13 logs from overseas stations.

See www.irts.ie/results for the full results

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Irish Amateur Station Licence Exam

Monday 20th January 2020

The next Amateur Station Licence Exam will be held on Thursday 7th May 2020 in the ComReg Offices in Dublin and at other centres if warranted by the numbers.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Thursday, 23rd April 2020. See www.irts.ie/exam for full details on how to enter for this exam. This page also includes links to the exam syllabus, the Course Guide and other study material.

Exam candidates who feel they could benefit from assistance with any aspect of the syllabus are invited to contact Robert Brandon EI5KH, Secretary of IRTS, who will try to put them in touch with a radio club in their area that may be able to help. Robert's contact details are on the IRTS web site.

Irish Radio Transmitters Society

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WICEN radio hams feature on BBC World Service

Monday 20th January 2020

Gareth Mitchell M7GJM presents the popular BBC World Service show Digital Planet. The Jan 14 edition features an item on the radio amateurs providing emergency communications during Australia's bush fires

The BBC description says "An app is helping Australian’s stay safe during the Bush fires. Fires Near Me was created by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and we hear how it works from journalist Corinne Podger.
Also the WICEN HAM Radio operators who are providing emergency communications when mobile masts and internet connections are disrupted and measuring air quality using low power networks."


Download the MP3 podcast of the show at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csy67g

WICEN https://wicen.org.au/

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Mexican special event

Monday 20th January 2020

The members of the the DXXE Group, through-out the 2020 year, will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the activation of the special callsign 4A15DXXE, from January 20th, until December 31st, 2020.

Activity will be on all bands and modes especially in contests, special events, via satellite and EME from different Grid Locators in Mexico.
QSL via LoTW only.

ADDED NOTES: Over the coming months, look for other special events stations to celebrate this anniversary from Cuba, Spain, the Canary Islands, France and South America:

- Raúl/CO8ZZ and the DX Group of Cuba will operate as T40DXXE between January 20-31st. See "T40, CUBA (Special Event)" click here.

- From Spain, Salva/EA5BB will be on the air between April 1-15th, as AO15DXXE and on the same days, from the Canary Islands (AF-004), Juan/EA8RM will sign AO15DXXE/8.

- From France, Thierry/F4GVO will operate as TM15DXXE, between April 1-15th, and will be on SSB, FT4, FT8, from 80-6 meters.

OPDX

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Cuban special event

Monday 20th January 2020

Members of the DX Group of Cuba will celebrating the 15th anniversary of a Mexican homologous organization and the founding of the DXXE Group.

The DX Group of Cuba will activate the special event station T40DXXE between January 20-31st.

Activity will be on CW, SSB and FT8 on various HF bands with the best propagation when the operators have free time as it allows.

Whoever manages to contact the station on at least three bands, regardless of mode, will receive a special certificate in digital format.
The DXXE Group encourages radio activity during inter-national competitions, expeditions, island activations, as well as experimentation with new technologies applied to radio communications. On the other hand, it grants the "DXXE Diploma" to those who demonstrate having contacted at least three members of the group.

The DXXE brings together renowned Mexican operators and others from the countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. There will be other celebrations for this anniversary as well as other special event stations from South America, Mexico, Spain, Canary Islands and France being added throughout the year. For more details and QSL route, see QRZ.com.

Please see also:
Mexican special event

OPDX

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 20th January 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 12th January, through Sunday, 19th January there were 214 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP5, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XW, XZ, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 20th January 2020

Island activities:

AF-019. (Reminder) Operators Silvo/S50X, S51V, Krajcar/S52P, Peter/S54W, Pavla/S56DX, Berto/S56N, Slavko/S57DX and Drago/S59A will be active as IG9/homecall from Lampedusa Island between January 21-27th. Activity will be on 160-10 meters, using CW, SSB, the Digital modes, and this will include the CQWW DX 160m CW Contest (January 24-26th) as a Multi-Op entry signing as IG9/S59A. QSL via their home callsigns.

AS-072. Safri, 9M2SAF, will be active as 9M2SAF/P from Pulau Lalang Island (AS-072), Perak, West Malaysia, between January 21-27th. Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes.  QSL via 9M2SAF direct.

AS-099. Operators Igor/UA9CDC, Roman/UR0MC, Slava/US2YW, Eduard/UT5ECZ, Yuri/UT5EL, Andrej/UW8SM, Dmytro/UZ5DX, Ömür/TA3A, Kadir/TA3AER, Ali/TA3EL and Husamettin/TA3LHH will be active as TC0X from Bozcaada Island, Turkey, during the CQ WW 160m CW Contest (January 24-26th) as a Multi-Op entry. QSL via HG5DX.

EU-012. Fraser, G4BJM, will be active as GM4BJM from Yell Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th).

EU-111. Members of the Cray Valley Radio Society (G3RCV) will be active as GM3RC from Ceann Ear in the Monach Islands between July 20- 26th. Their plan is to be in the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25- 26th) as a Multi-2/Low-Power entry signing MM8C. QSL via LoTW. The group plans to be active on the HF and VHF bands using CW and SSB. Operators mentioned are Nobby/G0VJG, Justin/G4TSH, Tony/G2NF, Ed/GM0WED, Nick/G4FAL and Chris/G0FDZ.

NA-040. Henry, NL0H, is planning to be active from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, sometime between February and March. Activity will be limited due to his other activities on the island. Operations will be on 40/20 meters with 100 watts using SSB and possibly FT8/FT4 and 30m. He is looking for support. QSL via NL0H direct only.

OC-139. Grant, VK5GR, announced on QRZ.com that there will be an activation of Kangaroo Island as VK5KI sometime in 2020. He suggests to watch QRZ.com for upcoming details.

SA-101. (New IOTA) Operators Nando/IT9YRE and Mike/K9AJ will be active as CB0Z from Alejandro Selkirk Island between February 3-5th. For DXCC purposes this will count for Juan Fernandez. Activity will be on 40/30/20/17/15 meters using CW, SSB and possibly FT8. They will have two stations using vertical antennas. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS or via IT9YRE. For more details and updates, see: http://www.it9yre.it/cb0z

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

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Full-fibre broadband in the UK

Sunday 19th January 2020

The briefing paper Full-fibre broadband in the UK is now available for download from the House of Commons library

BT Openreach's high-speed broadband Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC) service uses VDSL+ technology on the existing copper network to connect the cabinet to the home.
A major drawback of VDSL+ is the severe pollution of the HF radio spectrum it can cause which ruins peoples' enjoyment of short-wave radio.
Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH), also known as Full-fibre, would eliminate this pollution so the sooner the old copper network can be switched off the better.

The paper 'Full-fibre broadband in the UK' notes:

"In its National Infrastructure Assessment, the National Infrastructure Commission recommended that the Government develop a plan to allow for copper “switch-off" by 2025. The NIC noted however that the decision to “switch off” the copper network is ultimately a commercial decision for Openreach."

"Openreach has announced plans for a trial in Salisbury where it would aim to move customers to full-fibre services and then withdraw copper services at the end of 2022. Ofcom has published consultations regarding proposed changes to regulation in the area to facilitate the early stages of this trial."

"Openreach is already working on plans to move towards VoIP services, stating an intention to withdraw the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by 2025."

Full-fibre broadband in the UK paper
https://researchbriefings.
parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8392


Direct link to PDF
http://researchbriefings.files.
parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8392/CBP-8392.pdf


UKQRM
is a group formed of Radio Amateurs, Shortwave radio listeners, Citizens' Band radio users, EMC professionals, and like-minded people, who discuss issues of non-EMC-compliance of electronic equipment and the danger posed to the radio spectrum, see  
https://groups.io/g/UKQRM

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BNetzA takes action against non-compliant devices

Sunday 19th January 2020

In 2019, BNetA, the German Federal Network Agency, blocked 4.5 million unsafe products that can cause radio interference or electromagnetic incompatibilities

A translation of a DARC post reads:

The Federal Network Agency has banned the sale of around 3.5 million products in online market surveillance. These devices can cause radio interference or electromagnetic incompatibilities and must not be sold in the EU.

In 2019, the authority issued a further around 600,000 products with sales bans or corrective measures for economic operators in Germany. In addition, the import of almost 400,000 non-compliant products to Germany was prohibited.

In 2019, the Bundesnetzagentur's investigations were once again aimed at individual online retailers who offered large numbers on the Internet.
This enabled providers of so-called mini spy detectors - also known as bug finders - to be identified. The devices offered in millions of pieces were particularly noticeable due to formal defects, such as a lack of CE marking or a missing German operating manual. Devices that do not bear the CE mark are not intended for the European market and can pose a risk to consumers.

Among the total of 3.5 million non-compliant devices were, among other things, more than 600,000 Bluetooth speakers and almost 500,000 jamming transmitters, the sale and distribution of which is not permitted in Europe because communication services (e.g. mobile radio or GPS Navigation services) and emergency calls can be prevented. Such devices are often used illegally to carry out crimes.

Consumers are ordering more and more products online directly from third countries. Therefore, the Federal Network Agency works closely with customs. Customs reported a total of 13,000 suspicious shipments to the Federal Network Agency in 2019. In more than 90% of the cases, the products were not released for the German market. A total of around 400,000 products were affected.

The number of device types in German retail verified by the Federal Network Agency was over 5,400 in 2019. The authority has issued a total of 59 sales bans and 721 formal letters to remedy formal defects for non-compliant products. Around 600,000 products were affected.

Source DARC
https://darc.de/

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Sweden: New rules for ham radio permit applications

Sunday 19th January 2020

The SSA reports applications for amateur radio permits will now take 2-3 weeks longer due to National Security considerations

A translation of the SSA post reads:

PTS [communications regulator] will prepare permit cases with the Security Police and the Swedish Armed Forces from the turn of the year due to a change in the law aimed at strengthening Sweden's security. The authority invites all actors who need a radio permit to apply in good time.

From January 1, 2020, testing of permit applications to use radio transmitters will take at least 2-3 weeks longer than before. PTS then has an obligation to consider Sweden's security in connection with the authority examining applications for permits to use radio transmitters. The reason for this is amendments to the Electronic Communications Act that come into force at the turn of the year.

In order to be able to assess whether certain radio use can affect Sweden's security, PTS will prepare permit cases with the Security Police and the Swedish Armed Forces.

PTS encourages all players who wish to apply for a radio permit to apply in good time.


More information
Karoline Boström, Head of Unit, 073-644 56 20
PTS press service, 08-678 55 55

Background to the new rules
The security policy situation in our world has changed, which places increased demands on security considerations in a number of social sectors. Electronic communication is an area that is central to society's function and overall defense capability. From the turn of the year, amendments to the Electronic Communications Act will take place to protect Sweden's safety in the use of radio.

DL7 (SM7HZK)

Original text
https://www.ssa.se/info-fran-pts/

SSA in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/SwedenSSA

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DK3ZL visiting southern Africa from 17 January to 18 March

Sunday 19th January 2020

Dr Charly Eichhorn, DK3ZL is visiting southern Africa from 17 January to 18 March.

In Namibia, he will operate as V51QO with activity on the QO-100 satellite and as V5/DK3ZL at other times using SSB and CW.

Charly, ZS1/DL3ZL will spend 5 days in Cape Town around the end of 29 February.

In March, Charly will pay a visit to Gary Immelman, ZS6YI and spend a night or two with Gary and his family. Charly will give a talk about QO-100 to the amateurs in the region. Listen out for ZS6/DL3ZL.

Charly has also applied for a call sign for Botswana for his visit from 7 to 11 February and for 4 days in the middle of March.

The QO-100 portable equipment used by Charly is an ADALM Pluto (with modifications by Sigi, DG9BFC) using a SDR-Radio.com console v3 by Simon Brown with a 20 W PA (by Sigi, DG9BFC) into a dual feed POTY (by Joerg, DJ4ZZ) into a 90 cm off-set dish fixed on a tripod.

More and updated information is available on the DL3ZL QRZ.COM page.

QSLs for V55QO is via LoTW, direct (SASE or SAE plus 2 US $) or via the bureau to DL3ZL.

At the end of the DXpedition, Charly will leave the two stations he brought with him, in Namibia and will be regularly active on QO-100.
In addition to the already active Derek, V51DM, Werner, V51JP, President of the NARL and Robert, V51RS will continue with the call V55QO, which DL3ZL initiated.

For all the QSOs made by these call signs via QO-100, DL3ZL is the QSL Manager.

SARL

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Variation to talkSPORT’s national analogue licence

Sunday 19th January 2020

Ofcom has approved talkSPORT’s request to change its national analogue radio licence, following a consultation.

The change means that talkSPORT’s medium wave (AM) coverage across the UK, will be marginally reduced from 95% to 93.4%.

In reaching our decision, we took account of the 18% decline in talkSPORT’s AM listeners in recent years, and corresponding increase in digital listening, among other things.

Listeners in the affected areas - Aberdeen, Cornwall, Devon, Inverness and Londonderry – can continue to tune in to talkSPORT via DAB radio, the internet and digital TV, including Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media." (Ofcom)

The 7 transmitters to close are:

Rosemarkie (Inverness) - 1053 kHz
Redruth (Cornwall) - 1089 kHz
Redmoss (Aberdeen) - 1089 kHz
Londonderry - 1053 kHz
Occombe (Devon) - 1107 kHz
Plummers (Plymouth) - Plumer Barracks - 1053 kHz
Pearce’s Hill (Devon) - Exeter - 1053 kHz

Ofcom's main detailed statement is here:

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/189749/talkSPORT-statement.pdf

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Satellite Status and Tracking API's added to AMSAT website

Sunday 19th January 2020

Thanks to an initiative by Heimir, W1ANT, AMSAT added Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to the AMSAT web site to make it easy for developers to write apps for mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

For example, the satellite status page www.amsat.org/status does not work well on small screens. By accessing the status data directly developers can easily present the data in a way appropriate for their screens.

These APIs also make it easy for IoT homebrewers to do things like build next pass reminder gizmos so they can beep out notices in CW.

The developers have set a goal of February 15, 2020 to finalize the APIs, and consider them operational on March 1, 2020.
Developers are encouraged to send suggestions or questions to
www.amsat.org/webmaster-contact/

For details of API use visit
www.amsat.org/status/api/
and www.amsat.org/track/api/

Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P

ANS

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American ISPs fined $75,000 for fuzzing airport's weather radar by stealing spectrum

Sunday 19th January 2020

The Register reports: Three ISPs will be fined $25,000 apiece by America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, for interfering with weather signals in Puerto Rico.

Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless, and WinPR were all found to be using devices for their point-to-point broadband that were “misconfigured,” according to the regulator this week. This caused interference with a doppler weather radar station at San Juan international airport.

The weather station is used to detect potentially dangerous weather patterns, such as wind shear, and so any interference is “potentially life threatening,” the FCC noted.

It’s good to see the FCC finally come to Puerto Rico’s defense after its extraordinary failure to help the island after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. That failure saw the agency heavily criticized by the General Accountability Office (GAO) and its own commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel.

Read The Register's full story:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/24/fcc_spectrum_fines/

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ARISS educational radio contact with school in Toronto, Canada

Saturday 18th January 2020

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada.

The event is scheduled on Wednesday 22 January 2020 at approximately 17:21 UTC, which is 18.21 CEWT.

The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

The contact will be a telebridge between astronaut Luca Parmitano KF5KPD and IK1SLD, located in northern Italy. The contact should be audible over Italy and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz narrowband FM downlink.
Moreover, operations at IK1SLD ground station will be web cast on https://www.ariotti.com/

Story:

Jean Moffet has volunteered at the Ontario Science Centre's amateur radio station VE3OSC for more than 30 years, sharing her knowledge of and passion for ham radio with countless visitors.
Having recently celebrated her 96th birthday, Jean indicated one of her bucket list items is to speak to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS). To honour her invaluable contribution, the Science Centre is working with the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Canada to help Jean check this item off her list.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. Did you have an opinion about extra-terrestrial life before being on the ISS; has being on the ISS changed your views?
2. Being a mature woman, I have done a lot of cleaning. Has seeing Earth from near-space given you any thoughts on modifying existing technology, say attachments to airplanes, to help with excess greenhouse gas clean-up?
3. Have you seen space junk? How bad is the problem?
4. Did you always want to be an astronaut? What did your parents think?
5. What personal item did you bring with you and why?

6. What do you miss most about your usual life?
7. What is the most stressful situation in space you have experienced and how did it turn out?
8. What life lesson have you brought back that you can share with us from your most stressful situation in space?
9. How do you relieve boredom on ISS? Do you play with fidget toys, Silly Putty, games, music?
10. Does food taste different on the space station? How do you deal with food cravings?

11. What effects of microgravity have been the hardest to adjust to?
12. What are your thoughts on the portrayal of space in movies?
13. What does space look like from the International Space Station?
14. What is your favourite view of Earth from the space station?
15. What are your three favourite things about being on the space station?
16. Do you miss being able to go out for a walk whenever you want?

PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ARISS UPDATES:

Visit ARISS on Facebook. We can be found at Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).

To receive our Twitter updates, follow @ARISS_status

About ARISS

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

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

73,

Gaston Bertels ON4WF
ARISS past chairman

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Ham radio Winter Field Day

Saturday 18th January 2020

The Roenoke Star reports members of the Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the National Amateur Radio Winter Field Day Exercise, January 25 and 26, 2020

The Field Day site will be at Virginia Western Community College in the upper parking lot.

For the last few years Amateur Radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Winter Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations will participate in Winter Field Day in 2020.

“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Sean Kutzko KX9X of the American Radio Relay League, the National Association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate around the world,” Kutzko added.

Read the full story at
https://theroanokestar.com/2020/01/02/amateur-radio-winter-field-day-to-demonstrate-science-skill-and-communication-services/

Winter Field Day
https://www.winterfieldday.com/

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Ofcom Consultation: Improving spectrum access for Wi-Fi

Saturday 18th January 2020

Ofcom wishes to boost the use of Wi-Fi in Amateur Radio spectrum at 5725-5850 MHz

The ITU assigned Amateur Satellite Service weak-signal downlink band 5830-5850 MHz, is used by amateur payloads on Deep-Space and Interplanetary spacecraft as well as by satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Increased use of Wi-Fi across these frequencies would obliterate the weak amateur satellite signals.

Ofcom propose to remove the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements from Wi-Fi channels in 5725-5850 MHz. They also propose to make 5925-6425 MHz available for Wi-Fi.

The consultation closes on March 20, 2020.

Consultation info
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/improving-spectrum-access-for-wi-fi

Direct link to PDF document
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/189848/consultation-spectrum-access-wifi.pdf

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Special certificate to celebrate 30 years of LUSAT

Saturday 18th January 2020

AMSAT-LU will be issuing a special certificate to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of LUSAT (LO-19) during LUSAT week which takes place January 18-26, 2020

AMSAT Argentina LU7AA says:

On Jan-22-1990 LUSAT/LO-19 was launched along with AO-16, DO-17, WO-18, UO-14 & UO-15.

It's our first Argentina Satellite, and one of first to use PACSAT protocol.

LUSAT is still calling home with her carrier at +/-437.125 saying Hey! I am here, http://amsat.org.ar/pass?satx=lusat

AMSAT-LU invites to share and celebrate this 30th anniversary, due Jan-22 2020.

From Jan 18 thru 26 several Club Stations and amateurs will be active by radio.

Granting thru one contact on any band or mode or Sat a QSL and/or a Certificate.

Details: http://amsat.org.ar/?f=30e

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ITU highlights role of amateur radio in emergency comms

Friday 17th January 2020

Amateur radio features in the ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans, published by the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)

The ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plan's pages 80-81 note:  

Radio amateurs have supported communications in emergency situations on a voluntary basis since the beginning of radio communications. They are experts in radio communications and have the equipment, skills and necessary frequencies allocated by ITU (2017d) to deploy networks in emergency events quickly and efficiently.

The support provided by radio amateurs in cases of emergency has the following advantages:
• There is great coverage, due to the large number of amateur radio stations available and operating in all regions and in almost every country in the world.
• The coverage of amateur radio stations becomes a network independent of others.
• There are training programmes and simulation exercises for emergencies developed by national radio amateurs for situations of telecommunications in emergencies.
• They are qualified temporary volunteers who provide skills and experience essential for emergency telecommunications, with the sole purpose of supporting humanitarian aid services.
• They have skill in solving problems related to the use of telecommunications during emergencies with often very limited resources.
• Many amateur radio stations trained to handle emergency telecommunications have alternative power sources, such as battery power, solar power or generator power and can operate during power disruptions.

Read the PDF document ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans at
https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Emergency-Telecommunications/Pages/Publications/Guidelines-for-NETPs.aspx

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USKA preparing response to Article 37a on ham radio antennas

Friday 17th January 2020

Switzerland's national amateur radio society USKA is preparing its response to OFCOM's consultation regarding the new Article 37a on ham radio antennas in the FMG Telecommunications Act

The revised FMG Telecommunications Act, which was passed by the Swiss Parliament on March 22, 2019, now contains Article 37a "Amateur Radio". It regulates two main area:

• Paragraph 1 lays the foundation for the cantons and municipalities to be able to introduce simplified authorization procedures for simple antennas such as wire and rod antennas and light masts similar to flagpoles.
The word "can" can be interpreted as an invitation. It is now up to us to persuade politicians in the cantons to take appropriate measures.

• Paragraph 2 unequivocally states that the maintenance of an amateur radio antenna and the replacement by an equivalent antenna do not require a license.

On January 14, 2020 the USKA put out a call for Swiss amateurs with political connections to get in touch with them. A translation of their post reads:

The “Task Force Legal Framework for Amateur Radio” meets sporadically as needed. The next meeting will take place at the end of February or the beginning of March, as we have to submit our response to OFCOM's consultation on the new FMG by March 25th [2020].

We would also like to take this opportunity to discuss how to implement FMG Art. 37a in the cantons and communes. It's about how we can get them to adapt their future legislation on amateur radio antennas due to the new Art. 37a in the FMG.

We ask all politically committed radio amateurs who can influence the Canton or Municipality level to contact me for this conference.

I will send the details of the conference to those concerned by email.

Vy 73 de Bernard Wehrli, HB9ALH
Board member responsible for antennas and OFCOM
hb9alh<at>uska.ch

Source USKA https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

March 2019 - Amateur radio receives its own legal article in the FMG
https://tinyurl.com/Swiss-FMG-37a

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Puerto Rico ham radio operators on maximum alert following Puerto Rico's earthquakes 2020

Friday 17th January 2020

At the end of December 2019 and in early January 2020, the southwestern part of the island of Puerto Rico was struck by a series of strong earthquakes, including six that were of magnitude 5 or greater.

The largest and most damaging of this sequence occurred on January 7 at 04:24 AST (08:24 UTC) and had a magnitude of 6.4 Mw and a maximum felt intensity of VII (Very strong) on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale.
At least one person was killed and several others were injured. A 5.8 Mw earthquake the previous day caused the destruction of a natural arch, a tourist attraction at Punta Ventana in Guayanilla.

A 5.9 Mw aftershock on Saturday, January 11, damaged many structures, including several historical buildings as well as modern high-rises in the city of Ponce.

Power was lost Island-wide immediately after the quake, and was increasingly restored over a period of a week. Damage to homes was extensive and, by 14 January, more than 8,000 people were homeless and camping outdoors in various types of shelters, with 40,000 others camping outside their homes, just in the city of Ponce only. There were refugees in 28 government-sponsored refugee centers in the southern and central Puerto Rico municipalities of Yauco, Guánica, Ponce, Peñuelas, Guayanilla, Utuado, Maricao, Juana Díaz, Adjuntas, Sabana Grande, San Germán, Lajas, Jayuya and Mayagüez.

Damage to government structures was calculated in the hundreds of millions and financial losses were estimated in $3.1 billion. A power plant that supplied over a quarter of Puerto Rico's energy needs was badly damaged was shut down, with repairs estimated to take at least a year.

The day of the main quake, January 7, Puerto Rico governor Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency and activated the Puerto Rico National Guard and the Puerto Rico State Guard. That same day, she also made available $130 million in aid. The White House also approved $5 million in federal emergency relief. On January 12, the day after the January 11 5.9 aftershock, the governor distributed $12 million to six municipalities most affected by the quake.

The Amateur Radio Alliance club collected donations to help the victims of all earthquakes and visit the zero areas to supply those in need.
Black Hawks Radio club support the mission too. The Ham Radio Operators of Puerto Rico are in high alert for any possible disaster to help with communications and anything needed.

If you wish to help you may contact us at PO Box 1248, Sabana Grande PR 00637. We are a non-profit organization. You can also visit our webpage at https://kp4ara.org/

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WICEN hits the airwaves on the BBC World Service

Friday 17th January 2020

Australia's WICEN NSW Forward Commander, Compton Allen, was interviewed on the BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme where he spoke of the role amateur radio operators are playing as part of the emergency response in the Aussie bushfire crisis.

Listen to the podcast on the BBC World Service on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy67g

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Magnetic explosions discovered on 'Earth's Doorstep'

Friday 17th January 2020

A type of explosion in space called "magnetic reconnection" can happen much closer to Earth than previously thought.

That's the conclusion of researchers who published their findings in the Jan. 13th issue of Nature Physics. The paper examines a powerful near-Earth reconnection event in Dec. 2015 that delivered 20 times the energy of a magnitude 7 earthquake to "the doorstep of Earth."

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for the full story

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RSGB looking at One-stop training portal

Friday 17th January 2020

The RSGB Volunteer Leadership Team (VLT) has been looking at a One-stop Training Portal for exam candidates

A brief report on the VLT meeting held on November 16 is available at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/vlt_key_messages/2020/01/14/11-2019-vlt-meeting/

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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 17th January 2020

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by LU4AAO, 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.

SRI LANKA, 4S. Peter, DC0KK is QRV as 4S7KKG until March 30. Activity is on the HF bands using CW and various digital modes. QSL to home call.

WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2. Safri Bin, 9M2SAF will be QRV from Pulau Lalang Perak, IOTA AS-072, from January 21 to 27. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct to home call.

QATAR, A7. Rasto, OM6AA is QRV as A75GR until April 2020. Activity of late has been on 80 meters. QSL via M0OXO.

PAKISTAN, AP. Hasant, AP2HA has been active using FT8 on 30 meters between 1300 and 1400z. In addition, he has also been active on 80 meters using FT8 around 0200z. QSL direct to home call.

NAURU, C2. Nobu, JA0JHQ is QRV as C21NH until January 18. Activity is on 40 and 20 meters using FT8. QSL to home call.

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, DA. Members of the DARC club of Pulheim are QRV with special event call sign DL40PUL during 2020 to celebrate the club's 40th anniversary. QSL via bureau.

GUADELOUPE, FG. Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is QRV as FG/F6ITD from Desirade Island, IOTA NA-102, until March 9. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct to home call.

HONDURAS, HR. Dirk, WA4DT will be QRV as WA4DT/HR9 from Roatan Island, IOTA NA-057, from January 18 to February 2. Activity will be on 40 and 30 meters using CW and FT8. QSL direct to home call.

ITALY, I. Operators S50X, S51V, S52P, S54W, S56DX, S56N, S57DX and S59A will be QRV as IG9/home calls from Lampedusa, IOTA AF-019, from January 21 to 27. Activity will be on the HF bands. They will be active as IG9/S59A in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL to home calls.

ARGENTINA, LU. AMSAT Argentina station LU7AA will be QRV from January 18 to 26 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Satellite LO-19, or LUSAT. Activity will be on the HF bands using QRS CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct to LU7AA.

WESTERN SAHARA, S0. Station S01WS has been active on 17 meters using CW around 1600z. QSL direct.

SOMALIA, T5. Ali, EP3CQ is QRV as 6O1OO from Mogadishu until February 5. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via operator's instructions.

PALAU, T8. Operators JI3DNN, JH3LSS, JA3HJI, JA3IVU, JA3ARJ and JA3AVO are QRV as T88CZ, T88DK, T88DN, T88ED, T88EF and T88MD, respectively, from Koror, IOTA OC-009, until January 23. QSL to home calls.

COSTA RICA, TI. Rich, W4GKR is QRV as TI5/W4GKR until February 4.
Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using mainly various digital modes and QRS CW. QSL to home call.

CANADA, VE. Operators VE3FU, VE9CB and VO1HP will be QRV as VO2AC, VO2AAA and VO1HP/VO2, respectively, from the Lighthouse Point Amour/Labrador from January 20 to 26. They plan to be active as VO2AC in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL to home calls.

NORFOLK ISLAND, VK9N. Janusz, SP9FIH is QRV as VK9NK until April 12. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL to home call.

CHATHAM ISLANDS, ZL7. Chris, ZL7DX is currently QRV on 20 and 6 meters using mostly digital modes. He plans to be active on other bands soon. QSL direct to home call.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The ARRL January VHF Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint, LZ Open CW Contest, PRO Digi Contest, Hungarian DX Contest, RSGB AFS SSB Contest, North American SSB QSO Party, North American Collegiate SSB Championship, WAB 1.8 MHz Phone/CW Contest and Feld Hell Sprint are all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest is scheduled for January 20.

The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test, QRP 40-Meter CW Fox Hunt, Phone Fray and SKCC CW Sprint are scheduled for January 22.

Please see January 2020 QST, page 81, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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ARRL launches 'On the Air' - a new podcast for beginner-to-intermediate amateur radio operators

Thursday 16th January 2020

For those who are just getting started on their journey in amateur radio, ARRL is launching a new podcast aimed at providing support and encouragement to help you get the most out of this hobby.

The first episode of the 'On the Air' podcast will be available on Thursday, January 16, and new episodes will be posted monthly.

The podcast will be hosted by Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, who is also the editor of the new bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is debuting this week. The goal of both the magazine and the podcast is to offer new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communications.

Each episode of the podcast will take a deeper dive into the articles and issues raised in the magazine, including advice and insight on topics from the variety of amateur radio interests and activities: radio technology, operating, equipment, project building, and emergency communications.

Listeners can find the “On the Air” podcast at Blubrry.com (https://blubrry.com/arrlontheair/),
Apple Podcasts
(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/on-the-air/id1494508201),
Stitcher
(https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=496563&refid=stpr),
or wherever they get their podcasts.

Episodes will also be archived on the ARRL web site at http://www.arrl.org/on-the-air-magazine.

ARRL is introducing a full platform of “On the Air” programs to benefit new licensees. This includes a new Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ARRLOTA) and a blog (http://www.arrl.org/ota-blog), which will be curated by ARRL Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. The intent of each element in this platform is to offer vital resources that will help new and newer radio amateurs become active and involved in radio communications.

For more information, please contact Schoenfeld at w1bxy@arrl.org
or 860-594-0278
.

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New ham radio magazine 'On the Air'

Thursday 16th January 2020

The ARRL has launched the bi-monthly amateur radio magazine On the Air and has made the premier issue freely available to read on the internet

The magazine's Editorial Director Becky Schoenfield W1BXY says "Every other month, On the Air will bring you project builds, operating techniques and know-how, definitions to make you fluent in hamspeak, stories from the community, wisdom from experienced hams, and much more."

The first issue of On the Air January/February 2020, includes:

• A guide to buying your first handheld radio
• Step-by-step instructions for building simple antennas for VHF and HF
• A full-page infographic that explains how the ionosphere makes long-distance radio communication possible
• An “Up Close” Q & A with Jeremy Hong, KD8TUO, who reveals his favorite resources for new hams.
• …and much more!

Read On the Air at
Short URL https://tinyurl.com/On-the-Air

In addition the On the Air Podcast hosted by Beck W1BXY will be available January 16
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-on-the-air-podcast-premieres-on-january-16

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YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2020

Thursday 16th January 2020

Chair of the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group, Lisa Leenders PA2LS, reports the 10th edition of Youngsters On The Air will be held in Croatia, in the city of Karlovac not far from the capital Zagreb.

HRS (Croatian Amature Radio Association) will be hosting the event, which will take place in the summer of 2020.

In this YOTA Camp we will be continuing with our train-the-trainer (TTT) program, which will be the main theme of the week. Participants will be working on the future of amateur radio and will be involved in workshops where they gain skills to start similar amateur radio youth events when they are back home. With this we are aiming to create a snowball effect, there will be more and more YOTA events all over the world. This also allows other youngsters and newcomers to enjoy amateur radio.

TTT will not be the only topic of the event, there will be time to enjoy amateur radio as well, kit-building or visiting the capital and Croatian coast line. We will be enjoying Croatia and get the opportunity to see a part of the beautiful country. Since there are many nationalities visiting the event, there will also be cultural elements within the program of the event. One of them will be the intercultural evening, where all participants bring foods and drinks from their home country.

Previous events have shown that all participants are having an unforgettable week, where many new friendships are started. To obtain a better understanding of such an event you are encouraged to have a look at the gallery and video clips from previous YOTA camps at
www.ham-yota.com


Participants
Each IARU R1 member society is invited to take part with a team, of maximum 4 persons. The final team size will be dependent on the number of total applications. A team consist of a team leader and team members. We request member societies to select motivated youngsters with an organisational and hands-on mindset. This request requires a commitment from member societies to support these youngsters when they return home after the event.

Team leader
– Age 18-30 years, since we are highly focussing on a train-the-trainer program, it is preferred to select a youth coordinator or person who is eager to organize amateur radio youth events.
A person that already attended to a previous YOTA Camp is preferable.

Team member
– Age 15-25 years
– Have not been on previous YOTA summer camps
If a member society has a valid reason to select a participant who has been to a previous YOTA event, the IARU R1 Youth WG needs to be aware of this and will make the final decision.
All participants, including team leaders, are required to take part in the entire program.

When: 8 to 15 August 2020

Location: city of Karlovac, 56km from the capital Zagreb

Fees: €25 per participant
All other costs (accommodation, food, activities) are covered.

Teams will be picked up at the airport/railway station and transported to the venue, or shall come to the venue with their own transportation.


After the event
It is expected from all participants to take after the event actively part in the TTT program of IARU R1 and that they submit their youth programs and plans. This will be shared as well on the TTT website. All participating teams are committing to write an article about the event for the magazine and/or website of their member society.

Should your member society be interested to participate, please respond by filling in the form (https://forms.gle/2KLBmT8xqF3V24Cd6) before 16th of February 2020. Remember, there is a limit of 80 participants. Make sure that you apply in time. We will announce the participating countries, including number of team members, shortly after the deadline date.

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

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History of Portishead Radio talk at South Bristol Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 16th January 2020

We have a guest speaker coming to South Bristol Amateur Radio Club on Thursday 23 January 2020.

We are very pleased to welcome Larry G4HLN who will be telling the story of the history of Portishead Radio.

Some of you will know Larry who now runs a website dedicated to Portishead Radio and often gives talks about its history and operation which can be seen here: www.portisheadradio.co.uk
I will be placing a link to the site on the Club Website in the next few days.

This talk is very interesting and I encourage everyone, members and non-members, to turn up for it. It would be really nice if we can present a decent sized audience after Larry has made the effort to prepare a talk and visit us.

So please let everyone who might be interested in this event know that it is taking place and we look forward to welcoming you all to Larry's very interesting talk on 23 January.

Details of where to find us can be found on our club website at:
https://www.sbarc.co.uk/home-page/find-us/

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Final report from SAQ / Grimeton Christmas Eve transmission 2019

Thursday 16th January 2020

The conditions was very good with clear dry weather in Grimeton, Sweden. The transmission hall was filled up with record-many visitors who had come to enjoy coffee, cake and Swedish ginger snaps, and to watch the activities with starting and running the old radio transmitter SAQ.

The operators from the Alexander Association was a little bit concerned about the start-up, due to the difficulties on the UN-Day on October 24th, however the "old lady" showed her most positive side and we had a flawless startup and transmission. 

Lars Kålland was at the morse key, delivering the Christmas message.
This transmission was the grand finale for Lars, who has decided to retire from this duty.
Thank You Lars for all your great work at the Grimeton Radiostation!

Here is the FINAL SUMMARY REPORT ON TRANSMISSION FROM GRIMETON RADIO/SAQ ON 17,2 KHZ ON CHRISTMAS EVE DECEMBER 24, 2019.

We have receved so many fantastic listener reports, most of them via our on-line form, but some by E-mail and by regular mail. Your feedback is very important and we are very grateful for the efforts and energy you are putting in to these reports.

We are also stunned by the high amount. A total of 426 reports have been received, whereof 14 unheard, from 32 countries. We can only say one thing - Thank You!

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Grow lights cause interference to ham radio

Thursday 16th January 2020

The Lansing State Journal reports amateur radio operators have been complaining of interference from marijuana grow lights

The newspaper says:


The rumbling and buzzing would start like clockwork.

Gregg Mulder WB8LZG noticed the static each evening when he finished dinner and turned on his ham radio. The noise made it impossible for Mulder to communicate with other amateur radio enthusiasts.

So Mulder, who lives in Dimondale, built an antenna device called a sniffer and tracked the interference to a house a few doors down. The problem, Mulder determined, was a high-powered light used by his neighbor to grow cannabis.

It's legal for Michiganders to grow marijuana in their homes under certain circumstances. But some amateur radio operators complain that grow lights are interfering with their signals.

Problems can arise from products that exceed emission limits from the Federal Communications Commission. The uncertified products, typically the ballasts that send power to light bulbs, are often manufactured overseas.

Read the full story at
https://eu.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2020/01/14/amateur-ham-radio-marijuana-cannabis-grow-lights-interfering-signals/4448968002/

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Radio hams rescue teenage girl from kidnappers

Thursday 16th January 2020

The Millennium Post reports that a 14-year-old girl was rescued from the clutches of kidnappers, after her grandparents alerted Gangasagar Mela authorities on Tuesday.

Suparna Mondal, a resident of Ghola, Khana in South 24-Parganas, was on her way to Gangasagar Mela along with her grandparents. When they reached Kachuberia Ghat at around 9 am, the crowd increased and she went missing. The grandparents then contacted the additional district magistrate (LR) and narrated the incident. A frantic search for the teenager started and she was traced within five hours.

"We have reunited the girl with her family members after a few hours of search," said state minister for Fire and Emergency Services Sujit Bose.

"The additional district magistrate (LR) and Dr P Ulaganathan, district magistrate of South 24-Parganas, gave us a special task of tracing the girl. Our ham radio in-charge at Kachuberia Ghat – Abhrajit Das and S Sourabh – immediately informed all the team members at different locations across Sagar Island. The girl, along with three youths, was traced at road number five leading to Kapil Muni Temple. When our team members intercepted the youths, they ran away leaving the girl," said Ambarish Nag Biswas, custodian and secretary of West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC), an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts.

http://www.millenniumpost.in/kolkata/teenager-rescued-from-kidnappers-at-gangasagar-395731

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Pacific Tour

Thursday 16th January 2020

Operators Will AA4NC and Ron AA4VK will be active from 8 different islands during this year.

Their schedule is as follows:

French Polynesia -- As TX4N and TX4VK between February 11-17th. Look
for Will to be active during the ARRL DX CW Contest (February 15-16th) as a Single-Op-Low-Power entry.
New Zealand ---- As ZL/AA4NC and ZL/AA4VK between February 18-20th
Norfolk Island --- As VK9NR and VK9NN between February 21-24th.
Australia --------- As VK/AA4NC and VK/AA4VK between February 24-27th
Papua New Guinea -- As P29NC and P29VK; February 28th
Solomon Islands --- As H44NC and H44VK between March 1-2nd
Vanuatu ----------- As YJ0NC and YJ0VK between March 3-6th.
Fiji -------------- As 3D2AA during the ARRL DX SSB Contest (March 7-8th) as a Single-Op-Low-Power entry. Operator will be Will.

Activity on most islands will be holiday style on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4.

QSL TX4N, ZL/AA4NC, VK/AA4NC, P29NC, H44NC and YJ0NC via EA5GL.
QSL TX4VK, ZL/AA4VK, VK9NN, VK/AA4VK, P29VK, H44VK and YJ0VK via AA4VK direct.

OPDX

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ARRL On the Air podcast premieres on January 16

Wednesday 15th January 2020

ARRL’s new On the Air podcast for those just getting started on their amateur radio journey, will debut this Thursday, January 16, with a new podcast posted each month.

The podcast is a companion to the new bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is already on its way to member subscribers. On the Air magazine editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will be the host of the new podcast.

Both the podcast and the magazine are aimed at offering new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communication.

Read more about the podcast here:
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-on-the-air-podcast-premieres-on-january-16

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Peter Glasmacher, DK5DC - SK

Wednesday 15th January 2020

With deep sadness DXNL has to report the passing of Peter, DK5DC during the night of Jan. 11/12.

He was known as editor of the DX column "CQDL DXtra" in DARC's magazine.

Furthermore, he was active as a DXCC Field Checker in Germany and he was the sitting chair of the DARC district Westfalen-Sued (district O).

DXNL

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LUSAT 30th anniversary

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Members of AMSAT Argentina (LU7AA) celebrate the 30th anniversary of the LUSAT (LO-19) satellite between Jan. 18 and 26 on HF on SSB, FT8, CW. An award is available as well.

QSL via LU7AA (d), eQSL.

See:
http://lu4aao.org/lu7aa/cert_30_aniv_lusat_2020.htm
http://amsat.org.ar/certlusat30.htm

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Ofcom fines Post Office £175,000 for overcharging for relay telephone calls

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Ofcom has fined Post Office £175,000 after an investigation found the company overcharged people with hearing or speech impairments who made telephone calls using a relay service.

Relay services help people with hearing and speech difficulties communicate with anyone over the phone by offering text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation. Our rules require phone providers to offer a ‘special tariff scheme’ for these types of calls when they are made by disabled people. The scheme is designed to compensate those callers for the additional time it takes for them to make phone calls using a relay service.

We found that Post Office failed to apply the special tariff to relay calls for at least five years, resulting in up to 126 people each year being overcharged.  It also took over two years between Post Office becoming aware of the problem and it being fixed.  

We consider this to be a serious breach of our rules to protect potentially vulnerable customers. Taking this, and the lengthy period of Post Office’s non-compliance into account, Ofcom has imposed a penalty of £175,000 on the company. We are also requiring Post Office to refund affected customers.

The penalty includes a 30% discount in recognition that Post Office has admitted its failings and agreed to settle the case. The money raised from this fine, which must be paid to Ofcom within 20 working days, will be passed on to HM Treasury.

More information on our ruling is available.

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Point Amour contest operation

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Chris VE3FU, Dave VE9CB, and Frank VO1HP will be active as VO2AC, VO2AAA, and VO1HP/VO2 from the lighthouse Point Amour/Labrador in Canada (CQ zone 2).

QRV from the 20th to 26th, including the CQ WW 160m Contest (as VO2AC).

QSL for VO2AC via VE3FU (d/B), VO2AAA via VE9CB, VO1HP/VO2 via VO1HP; all logs will be put onto LoTW.

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Virgin Orbit plans flight test of LauncherOne rocket in February

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Virgin Orbit, AMSAT's launch for RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E, has announced they expect to have their first test launch of LauncherOne, their airborne-launched rocket, sometime in the second half of February.
The LauncherOne rocket is carried on the VO 747 Cosmic Girl aircraft.

If this first test flight is successful RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E is planned for launch on the second flight of LauncherOne during 1Q 2020 on the ELaNa XX mission.

RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E

Uplink: 145.860 MHz - 145.890 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink: 435.790 MHz - 435.760 MHz USB/CW (inverting)
Telemetry: 435.750 MHz 1K2 bps BPSK

Investigate the excitement at: https://virginorbit.com/ - and -
https://twitter.com/Virgin_Orbit/status/1214605925228482560

Amsat website

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Island activities:

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

AF-019; IG9, Pelagie Islands: S50X, S51V, S52P, S54W, S56DX, S56N, S57DX, and S59A will be signing IG9/homecalls from Lampedusa between Jan. 21 and 27. During the CQ WW 160m CW Contest they will operate as IG9/S59A. QSL via homecall.

NA-057; HR, Bahia Islands: Dirk/WA4DT activates Roatan Island from Jan. 18 until Feb. 2 as WA4DT/HR9 on 40 and 30m (CW, FT8). QSL via WA4DT (d).

OC-009; T8, Palau Islands: Shimatake/JI3DNN, Kunio/JH3LSS, Shozo/JA3HJI, Jusei/JA3IVU, Tatsuo/JA3ARJ, and Masum/JA3AVO will be signing T88CZ, T88DK, T88DN, T88ED, T88EF, and T88MD respectively from Palau between Jan. 15 and 23. QSL via homecalls (d/B).

SA-080; PY6, Bahia State Centre group: Rafael/PP2OK, Edilson/PU6JEL, Bob/PY6TV, and Esdras/PY6ZK activate Tinhare Island from the 16th to 19th as ZW6C on 40, 20, and 10m on SSB and CW. QSL via PY6TV (d), ClubLog.

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

RSGB IOTA website

aCheck-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Summer Field Day Summer 2020

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Australia's Summerland Amateur Radio Club report that due to current Nation Park & Forest Closures, Pat VK2FAAD, Dave VK2CDG and myself VK2QJ will be activating VK2SRC this weekend, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January, from a location near The Pinnacles Grafton QG60LL 170m ASL for the Summer VHF / UHF Field Day.

This event will be dedicated to the memory of Rob VK2BBR who was a long term member of SARC & keen supporter of Field Days out in the field in the past and from home in recent years with many first and second place awards.

So please jump on air to help remember Rob.

Proposed Frequencies 
6m SSB 50.150 +/- Graeme VK2QJ
2m SSB 144.150 +/- Pat VK2FAAD
2m FM 146.500 Pat VK2FAAD
70cm SSB 432.150 +/- Dave VK2CDG
70cm FM 439.00 Dave VK2CDG
23cm SSB 1296.150 +/- Graeme VK2QJ

Contacts can be repeated every 2 hours per band.

Cheers Graeme VK2QJ

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The SARL Wednesday 80m Club Sprint

Tuesday 14th January 2020

The first leg of the Wednesday 80m Club Sprint will be held from 17:00 to 18:00 UTC on 15 January.

The exchange is an RS or RST report and your 4-character grid square.
You score 2 points for every QSO made and 2 points for the first QSO with each grid square worked.

Log sheets in MS Excel format ONLY, must be submitted by 23:59 CAT on Sunday 19 January by e-mail to zs4bfn@mweb.co.za.
When submitting log sheets, it should be renamed by the participant to include his/her call sign. The name of the operators Club must be shown on the log sheet.

Please note that the Magalies ARC relays their bulletin on 3 640 kHz at 17:30 UTC on Wednesday evenings, so please avoid 3 640 kHz.

The full set of rules are on page 64 of the 2020 Blue Book.
South African Radio League

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The Space Weather Woman

Tuesday 14th January 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Further changes to some BBC local radio medium wave services

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Kieran Clifton
Director, BBC Distribution & Business Development

In my blog posted in the summer of 2017, I explained the BBC’s plans for local radio and the reasons for the closure of some of our medium wave transmitters - which happened in January last year. This was the first stage of putting into action a plan that the BBC originally announced in 2011. Starting in February 2020, and completing in mid-2020, we will be moving on to the next stage of the plan, closing a further 18 medium wave transmitters across England, Scotland and Wales. There is a list of services affected at the end of this blog post.

My earlier blog post explained why we are closing some local medium wave transmitters, but I wanted to recap again here. The majority of radio listening in the UK - including to the BBC - is now digital, and digital listening is continuing to grow. We want to make our services available to you when and how you want them, but it’s also right that the BBC continues to ensure that the ways we distribute our services represent good value for money for you, the licence fee payer.

The BBC is committed to a digital future for radio, and in the past few years we have funded local DAB expansion, made all local radio stations available on digital terrestrial TV (such as Freeview), and we have transformed our online and mobile offering with BBC Sounds.  Together with FM (which has recently been expanded for Radio Wales), these ways of receiving our stations now make up the great majority of listening, and as a result continuing to transmit these services on medium wave would no longer represent good value for money. 

This change was planned as long ago as 2011, but we have taken a measured approach to implementing it to ensure that as many of you as possible have already moved on to other ways of receiving the services before we make this change.  We know that the changes will impact some of you, and that’s why we’re speaking about the plans again now. We want to make sure that people listening to these transmissions will be able to use other methods to hear the same programmes

.All stations which will be affected will continue to be on FM and digital outputs (such as DAB, digital television, or online). For most people, re-tuning their radios or cars to FM or DAB is likely to be the simplest solution.You can use our Problem Assistant tool to get more information on how to access all BBC services in your area.

The stations which will no longer be transmitted on MW are:

In addition, the following stations will have reduced MW coverage:Radio Scotland

Radio Wales

Radio Cumbria

Radio Norfolk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/8bda7cd8-fdf8-41f5-8f3c-212cf5f7c86f

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The sun swallows a comet

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Yesterday, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory discovered the first comet of the new decade. Hours later it was gone, destroyed by the sun.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for the full story and a video of the comet's death plunge

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New Indian moon landing attempt

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Work is going 'smoothly' on the Chandrayaan-3 mission to put a rover
probe on the moon's surface, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K. Sivan told a press conference.

India is seeking to become only the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to put a mission on the moon's surface and boost its credentials as a low-cost space power.

The country's Chandrayaan-2 module crashed on the moon's surface in September 2019.

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AMSAT-DL announces a new QO-100 down converter V3d

Tuesday 14th January 2020

The first version of the AMSAT-DL down converter was built in early 2019, enabling many stations to become active on QO-100 for the first time.
Since then, a lot of operating experience and new insights have been gained, which have flowed into the new board V3d.

The AMSAT-DL DownConverter V3d is a completely new development.
It offers important functions for all QO-100 stations, no matter if you work with VHF/UHF, HF transceiver, or an SDR. This new board can be used as a central frequency converter assembly for your QO-100 station providing stable clocks for all components meaning that additional external GPS modules are not required.

The specification for the AMSAT-DL DownConverter V3d includes:

+ Centralized clock generation with GPS or OCXO Reference clock for the
+ PLL in the LNB Reference clock for a transmit mixer Reference clock
+ for an SDR Short-circuit proof LNB phantom power Connection for a dual
+ LNB (for simultaneous NB and WB reception) Downward mixing of the NB
+ transponder into an amateur band
(UHF/VHF or HF)
+ OLED display for displaying the operating status and the station
coordinates

The full specification and list of features is posted at:
https://amsat-dl.org/der-neue-amsat-dl-qo-100-downconverter-v3d
and you can order your unit at:
https://shop.amsat-dl.org/

AMSAT-DL, ANS

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DL35, Germany special event

Monday 13th January 2020

The DARC honors 35 years of SDR-technology with special callsign and special-DOK. In order to acknowledge the high importance of digital signal processing for communications technology in general and amateur radio in particular, a special event station 'DL35SDR' will be active from the greater Munich area throughout the year 2020. The Special-DOK "35SDR" was issued for this station.

Today, digital signal processing via Software Defined Radio (SDR) is the generally accepted standard for decoding and generating of radio signals.
Commercial services have been using this technology for a long time and nowadays amateur radio is not imaginable without SDR.

Prof. Dr.- Ing. habil. Ulrich L. Rohde, DJ2LR / N1UL, was the first describing the possibilities and perspectives of SDR in a congress lecture at the "Third International Conference on HF Communication Systems and Techniques" in London in February 1985 (classified). The title was: "A Sampling of Techniques".

DJ2LR / N1UL, member of DARC Amateur Radio Club Munich South (C18) is recognized as one of the pioneers of SDR technology 35 years ago.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/darchfref/permalink/2254053784888101

OPDX

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Ham radio email reflector for the South-West

Monday 13th January 2020

The RSGB Region 11 Volunteer Team have set up an email reflector to help facilitate cooperation between local radio amateurs and clubs in South Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall

The RSGB-R11 Team say:

The purpose of this group is to allow the Region 11 Team, local radio amateurs and clubs to post details of their activities and resources so that clubs and those who don't attend a club within the Region can cooperate over the provision of meetings, speakers, training, rallies and special events.
It is also hoped that this will allow the formation of temporary groups around a particular topic or short-term objective.

We don't know how this will be received within the Region or how it will evolve and develop so welcome to the journey.

The Regional Team's ambition is to:
improve your links the the Regional Team and the Society, encourage cross group communication, to make the resources and expertise of the Region more easily accessible and to promote cooperation and inclusion of anyone with and interest in:
• radio
• wireless communication
• electronics
• code
• construction

This is the first step on a long journey that is going to develop against the backdrop of the 4th industrial revolution which is going to be centred around wireless communication and connectivity, please join us!


You can view their messages online and if you wish join the group at
https://region11.groups.io/g/region11

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Amateur Radio Satellite talk in Basingstoke

Monday 13th January 2020

Noel Matthews G8GTZ will give an introduction to the geostationary satellite QO-100 at the Makerspace in Basingstoke at 7pm on Tuesday, Jan 14, this is a free open evening all are welcome

He will give an introduction to the amateur radio transponders on the satellite that enable a small Sky mini dish to be used to receive stations from Malaysia to Brazil and South Africa to Norway. 

The talk will include ways to receive the satellite using equipment bought for less than £25.

Venue: Maritime House, 65 New Rd, Basingstoke RG21 7PW, map at
https://www.basingstokemakerspace.org.uk/

Full meeting details at
https://www.basingstokemakerspace.org.uk/tuesday-talks-amateur-satellites/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 13th January 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 5th/January, through Sunday, 12th/January there were 213 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E3, E4, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FP, 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, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S5, SM, SP, ST, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2M, VP5, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YL, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 13th January 2020

Island activities:

AS-153. (Reminder) By the time you read this, members of the West Bengal Radio Club (VU2WB) will be active as 8T2G from Ganga Sagar Mela until January 17th. Activity will be on various HF bands. QSL via VU2NRO.

EU-105. Operators Didier/F6DXE, Derek/F5VCR, Stephane/F5UOW, Jean-
Pierre/ON7ZM, Christophe/F4ELI and André/F4ELK will be active as TM5IB from Batz Island (DIFM MA018) between May 16-23rd. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via ON7ZM.

NA-057. Dirk, WA4DT, will be active as HR9/WA4DT from Roatan Island
between January 18th and February 2nd. Activity will be on 40/30 meters using CW and FT8. QSL via his home callsign.

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

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

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Water drop antenna lens directs radio wave energy through its curved shape

Sunday 12th January 2020

This novel 'water drop' antenna lens design for directing radio wave signals was developed by a pair of antenna engineers from ESA and Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology, KTH.

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-antenna-lens-radio-energy.html

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PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest

Sunday 12th January 2020

The PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest will be run over two sessions from 17 to 19 January.

The first 22-hour session starts at 16:00 UTC on Friday 17 January and closes at 14:00 UTC on Saturday afternoon 18 January.
The second 22-hour session commences immediately after 14:00 UTC on Saturday and ends at 12:00 UTC on Sunday 19 January.

You can participate as a Base station, a Field station, a Club Multi-Operator station, a Rover station, a Limited station or a 144,400 MHz and 145,500 MHz FM station.

Activity using CW, SSB, FM and digital modes takes place on 6, 4 and 2 m, 70 and 23 cm.

All ZR, ZS and ZU amateurs may participate, as well as amateurs from the six neighbouring countries, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and eSwatini and only contacts with these states will count.

The exchange is call signs, signal reports and the grid locator.

Separate log sheets are required for analogue and digital QSOs.
Your log sheet must indicate the category, your name and surname, call sign, locator en e-mail address. On the log sheet indicate the date, time, frequency, call sign of the station worked, signal reports received and the grid locator of the station worked.

Log sheets must be submitted to contest@peham.co.za by Friday 14 February.

The full set of rules are on page 23 of the 2020 Blue Book

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South Cook Islands

Sunday 12th January 2020

Donald, VE7DS, will be active as E51DDG from the Kiikii Inn on Rarotonga Island (OC-013) between February 2-14th.

Activity will be on 40/30/20/17 meters daily using CW only with an Elecraft K3 and KPA500 running 500 watts into verticals on the beach.

QSL via LoTW or by the Bureau.

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 11th January 2020

What's in a plan?

As radio amateurs we learn which frequencies we're allowed to transmit on, where stuff lives and who has priority when there's a signal on the frequency you're operating on and when you need to contact your regulator if you hear an illegal station on the air.

Some of that information arrives in your brain by way of the education process that eventually becomes your license after a test. Depending on which country your license is valid, determines which region of the International Amateur Radio Union your activities fall.

Here in Australia, I'm part of the IARU Region 3, together with the rest of the Asia - Pacific region. In the Americas you're part of Region 2 and Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia fall into Region 1. As amateur population sizes go, Region 2 and 3 each cover about 40% of all radio amateurs. Region 1 is about 20%.

Each of these IARU regions has a specific band-plan that is updated regularly as member countries adapt and negotiate different frequencies for different users. The band-edges might not change that often, but bands come and go, segments are added and removed as needs change. For example, here in Australia or VK, the 6m band has been changing because analogue TV has been changing.

Information about band-plans is not easy to come by. For example if I look at IARU Region 2, their documentation is pretty sparse. I've never managed to actually load their website and by the looks of it, neither has the Internet Archive. Given that Region 2 is all of the Americas and represents pretty much two fifths of all amateurs on planet Earth, that's a big hole.

There is some availability in Region 1 and 3, but those too leave to be desired. There does not appear to be any formal method of archiving or naming and the transient nature of the Internet all but guarantees that historic information like this is being lost at a high rate.

Even with those limitations in mind, there is plenty of information to be found. Let's look at Australia, for no other reason than that I was able to pull some of the historic information out of the bit-bucket.

You might be surprised to learn that there is much more change under the hood that far exceeds the band edges and segment changes. The Wireless Institute of Australia publishes the Australian Amateur Band Plan. Using the Internet Archive I was able to count that between November 2007 and November 2019 there were at least 25 different versions of that band plan published, for example in 2008 alone there were at least five different versions.

I managed to download 11 of those band plans which show the introduction of the 2200 meter band, the 630 meter band, changes to mode frequencies, DX frequencies, the allocation of emergency frequencies, changes to FM bandwidth from 6 kHz to 8 kHz on bands below 10m, the formalisation of WSPR frequencies, JT65, FT8 and JT9.

Now I must point out that the information I'm presenting here is incomplete. There are many more changes, just in VK alone. I'm relying on the Internet Archive which only sampled the WIA website 162 times between March 2008 and January 2020. Within those pages there were only 11 copies of the actual band plan and I've only compared three of them, August 2009, March 2015 and October 2019, and of those only a few changes that stood out.

And this is for Australia alone. This is on the HF bands. I've not even looked at the veritable feast of changes associated with the VHF and UHF bands, let alone the cm, mm and higher bands.

Even with this massive disclaimer, my point should be pretty clear. A band-plan is a living document. It changes regularly. Likely much more often than you realise.

I'll leave you with one burning question.

When was the last time you got yourself a copy of the band-plan? Seriously, when was it?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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2020 Nordics On The Air Norway

Saturday 11th January 2020

This year, the annual Nordics On The Air ham radio youth camp will be held in Norway during Easter, April 10-13, 2020

The IARU Region 1 site report says:

We invite all the Nordic youngsters to take part in a fun weekend full of radio related activities, meeting new friends and having a great time!
Since this is a sub-regional YOTA camp, we have a few seats reserved also for you outside of the Nordic countries!

What will we do?
The program is mainly centered around amateur radio activities, introducing newcomers to the hobby as well as advanced exercises for seasoned radio amateurs. In addition to get the opportunity to go on air from the LA1YOTA station the program also includes an Intercultural Evening – one of the most beloved activities known from former annual Youngsters On The Air events. Do you want to advance your knowledge about the hobby? What about operating LA1YOTA? If that sounds exciting we encourage you to join us!

Where?
The event will take place in Camp Killingen, Killingsholmen, an islet south-west of Oslo. The campsite is on the south side of the islet where we are mostly to ourselves, surrounded by nature.

We want you to come!
NOTA is a camp for youngsters by youngsters. You all are welcome to join us. If this is your first youngster activity in the hobby we especially encourage you to apply and also if you have never been to a NOTA or YOTA sub-regional camp before! You don’t need to already have an amateur radio license, just be enthusiastic about the hobby! The goal of camps such as these is to activate youngsters in the sub-region. Please note that we prioritize participants under 26 years of age.

Applying through your own IARU member society

The application to participate has to go through your country’s member society (e.g. SRAL, SSA, NRRL, ÍRA, EDR). Applications are accepted from January 9th to February 9th. The amount of attendees is limited, so we recommend contacting your member society quickly if you are wondering whether to participate! If you are not yet a member, now is a good chance to join! Some of you might be contacted about NOTA by your association.

Please contact your national member society for applying.


Fees and further info
There is a symbolic participation fee of 20 euros / 200 NOK including all meals and accommodation. We recommend participating members’ societies to cover their participants’ travel costs.

More detailed info will be sent to the participants soon after the application deadline. With any further questions, please contact us at nota@nrrl.no

Stay tuned!

73, we hope to see you in April!

The Nordic NOTA organizing team

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JARL focus is on Younger Generations and Women

Saturday 11th January 2020

In his New Year statement Japan Amateur Radio League President Yoshinori Takao JG1KTC says JARL continues to focus on acquiring new members of Younger generations and Women

He also said "The succession of amateur radio, which is a useful means of communication, to the next generation and the development of human resources in the radio field are considered to be important social missions of the Japan Amateur Radio League."

He noted that during 2019 the JARL had requested Deregulation of the licensing system and sought permission for to allow hands-on operation of an amateur radio station by unqualified persons.

Read Greetings from Japan Amateur Radio League President in Google English at https://tinyurl.com/JapanJARL

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The Fainting of Betelgeuse

Saturday 11th January 2020

Red giant star Betelgeuse is on the verge of going supernova.

An episode of "fainting" widely reported in December has intensified in January, according to new measurements by astronomers at Villanova University. Is the end near?

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for the full story of what could turn into the biggest astronomical event of our lifetimes

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Marquesas Islands EME operation

Saturday 11th January 2020

Operators Lance W7GJ and Gene KB7Q will be active as TX7MB from Taaoa, Hiva Oa Island (OC-027), between November 3-15th.

Look for W7J to operate 6m EME and KB7Q 2m EME. QSL via W7GJ.

Lance has informed OPDX of the following:
"In order to provide plenty of advance warning, I wanted to update you on the progress regarding planning for the Marquesas EME activation next November. Lodging is secured in Hiva Oa, FO licenses are now in hand and I will be purchasing airline tickets next week. KB7Q will be joining me to simultaneously operate 2m EME while I am operating 6m EME. We will be QRV during the best days of the month for EME. Our team callsign for Marquesas operation is TX7MB.

All the details of the 6m EME operation from TX7MB, including the planned 6m EME operating schedule, are here:
http://www.bigskyspaces.com/w7gj/Marquesas%202020.htm
For details on the 2m operation, please see KB7Q's site here:
https://tx7mb.blogspot.com

I am still investigating the possibility of a solo activation of the Austral Islands on 6m EME at the end of October before flying up to Hiva Oa. My callsign for any Austral Island operation will be FO/W7GJ. I would not be in the Austral Islands during the best days of the month for 6m EME, but the Degradation during the last 12 days of October is still quite reasonable. Given the fact that cndx then are very similar to the days when most of my contacts were made from S79GJ a few months ago, I am optimistic that I could be quite successful with a number of stations still needing FO/A.
If I can put something together for an operation in the Austral Islands, I will send out another update and create another website for that.
GL and VY 73, Lance"

via OPDX

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South Orkney Islands DXpedition VP8PJ

Saturday 11th January 2020

We are pleased to announce that the call sign for the Perseverance DX Group's expedition South Orkney 2020 will be changed to VP8PJ.

In past years it was relatively easy to get a preferred VP8 call sign for the British Antarctic Territory. After a licensing administrative change, we were unable to obtain a VP8 call sign for operation from South Orkney and were advised to use /VP8.

Alan, VK6CQ, a recent addition to the team, holds the call sign VP8PJ that was issued to him for operation from the British Antarctic Territory.
After submission of a copy of Alan's license, ARRL has issued us a new LoTW certificate for the use of this call from South Orkney for the duration of our expedition.

73,
Team VP8PJ
Website: https://sorkney.com/
Please direct your questions to: info@sorkney.com

OPDX

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LED lamp interference forces IARUMS coordinator to leave role

Friday 10th January 2020

The latest IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports LED lamp interference forced Wolf DK2OM to relinquish the role of IARUMS Region 1 Coordinator

The newsletter says his daily monitoring work has, since April 2016, been intentional hampered by interference from a neighbouring LED lamp. It seems the Federal Network Agency, BNetzA Eschborn, refused to take action against the interference.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 December 2019 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2019/news1912.pdf

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

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

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

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

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AMC Callsign Lookup Facility now live

Friday 10th January 2020

On January 6, the Australian Maritime College (AMC) released news that they have “gone live” to the public with their new Lookup facility for Available Amateur Radio Callsigns  

The WIA news story says:

The service is available by clicking the following Link
https://csdb.utas.edu.au/Callsign/SearchUnallocated

This is a very welcomed addition to the examinations and other services now provided by AMC after the transition from the WIA in February earlier this year.

To comply with the ACMA deed, WIA were obligated to remove their successful long running Callsign database facility from the public domain. This unfortunately has left quite a void in the ability to easily search and locate available callsigns for use by new and upgrading amateur radio operators.

Previously the only easy way to search for potentially available callsigns for Amateur Radio is to utilize VKSpectra.com which is still a stop gap solution, a search engine developed by Megan Woods VK3TIN after a request from Volunteer Examiners Australia (VEA) who were finding many of their successful Amateur Radio Examination candidates were having extreme difficulty in locating valid callsigns to submit as recommendations to AMC for issue.

VKSpectra.com will still be operating for a short while, for around 1 month after Jan 6th, to enable the many current users of VKSpectra to transition across to the new AMC Callsign Database platform.

Now released, the new AMC public online search facility will enable visitors to find all available callsigns listed for issue, Foundation, Standard, Advanced , Repeaters, Special calls etc. (some callsigns may be excluded and reserved for a variety of reasons. ie: Silent Key, inappropriate, etc)

We expect the AMC assessors will welcome and appreciate the new search facility also for their successful candidates. Please give it try, search for your own or a friends callsign, maybe even search for that new callsign you will need after your upgrade or just to see what the new AMC Callsign database can offer.


Source WIA
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2020/20200106-1/index.php

In the UK the regulator Ofcom has so far failed to provide any facility to enable newcomers or amateurs upgrading to easily check to see which callsigns are available.

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Belgium's QARMAN CubeSat to deploy Feb 12

Friday 10th January 2020

QARMAN, a nano-satellite designed and built at VKI, was launched to the International Space Station on December 5, 2019. Deployment is expected to take place in the week of February 12, 2020

QARMAN (Qubesat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on AblatioN) is the world’s first CubeSat designed to survive atmospheric re-entry. Work on it started in 2013 at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI).

The aim of the QARMAN mission is to demonstrate the usability of a CubeSat platform as an atmospheric entry vehicle. Spacecraft descending towards a planet with an atmosphere experience very harsh environment including extreme temperatures (several thousand degrees).

Information about Qarman’s 437.350 MHz 9600 bps GMSK AX.25 beacon has now been released by the team.

Download the Qarman Beacon Definition
https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/qarman_bcndef_v1.1.pdf

Download the Beacon Decoder spreadsheet
https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/qarman_bcndecoder.xlsx

Reports can be sent to
operations@qarman.eu

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Swiss special event station

Friday 10th January 2020

Members of the Association des Radio- amateurs de la Cote (HB9HI) will activate the special event station HE2JOJ until January 31st.

Activity is to mark the 3rd edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (Jeux Olympiques de la Jeunesse) to be hosted in Lausanne. QSL via HB9HI, direct or by the Bureau. A special certificate will be available.
For complete information, see the following Web page at:
http://www.hb9hi.ch/he2joj.

The Youth Olympic Games, an international multi-sport event organized by the International Olympic Committee, aim at bringing together talented young athletes aged 15-18 from around the world

OPDX

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Beijing's proposed ham radio regs raise concerns

Thursday 9th January 2020

ARRL reports on proposed changes to Beijing's Measures for the Administration of Amateur Radio Stations which appear to threaten 136 kHz and most amateur bands above 146 MHz

ARRL say:

Lide Zhang, BI8CKU, told ARRL that the proposal would prohibit amateur operation on the 2200-meter band as well as on 146 – 148 MHz, 1260 – 1300 MHz, 3400 – 3500 MHz, 5650 – 5725 MHz, and all bands above 10 GHz.

Radio communications engineer and Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, told ARRL that government efforts to eliminate some amateur bands are nothing new, but proposals that have been aired for a while now are on the regulatory agency’s schedule. Kung said he does not anticipate that all of the bands proposed will be taken away, but he conceded that the climate will “undoubtedly” become increasingly more dangerous for China’s amateur radio community.

Read the full story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/china-telecoms-regulator-proposing-to-delete-some-current-amateur-allocations

A translation of Note 1 in the draft proposal says:
"Note 1: Unless otherwise specified, 135.7-137.8kHz, 146-148MHz, 1240-1260MHz, 1260-1300MHz, 3400-3500MHz, 5650-5725MHz, 10-10.4 GHz, 79-81GHz, 122.25-123GHz, 136-141GHz, 241-248GHz frequency The band frequency shall not be used for amateur services in the territory of the People's Republic of China."

The full translated version of the draft proposal is at
https://tinyurl.com/Beijing-Amateur-2019-Draft

Original text https://www.kechuang.org/r/305282

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Grey Line Propagation

Thursday 9th January 2020

Grey line propagation provides surprisingly long distance radio communications at dawn and dusk sometimes when other forms of ionospheric propagation may not be expected to provide signal paths of these distances.

This mode of propagation is widely used in ham radio, often providing signals from the other side of the globe at dawn and dusk.

When listening to signals coming in via grey line propagation, it is particularly interesting to hear how the signals come up in strength and then fall away again. It is also possible to hear how the propagation moves as the dawn or disk line changes and first stations in one area and the next are making contacts via the grey line.

Find out how grey line propagation arises and how it can best be used.
https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/antennas-propagation/ionospheric/greyline-propagation.php

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Ham radio at DEF CON 27

Thursday 9th January 2020

Amateur radio talks featured at the popular DEF CON 27 event in Las Vegas during August 8-11, 2019

Watch Mark KR6ZY - Hunting tape measure yagis and offset attenuators - DEF CON 27 Ham Radio Village

Other DEF CON 27 talks can be found at
https://www.youtube.com/user/DEFCONConference/videos

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NASA TV coverage of three spacewalks in January

Thursday 9th January 2020

Four astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station for three spacewalks in January to complete battery upgrades and finalize repairs to an invaluable cosmic ray detector.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA are scheduled to conduct spacewalks Wednesday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 20, to finish replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss.

Assuming the battery work goes as planned, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan KI5AAA and space station Commander Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP of ESA (European Space Agency) will exit the station Saturday, Jan. 25, to finish installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) new cooling apparatus and lines begun in November and December, and verify they are ready for use.

Live coverage of all three spacewalks will begin at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

These will be the second and third spacewalks for Meir, who will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) for both spacewalks. Koch, who will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2), will perform the fifth and sixth spacewalks of her career.

Morgan, who will be EV1 for the AMS spacewalk, and Parmitano, who will be EV2, performed the three previous spacewalks to repair the spectrometer, which is searching for dark matter and antimatter in the universe using the station’s unique location and capabilities for scientific research.

The spacewalks will be the 225th, 226th and 227th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

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

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Supercharging investment in fibre broadband

Thursday 9th January 2020

Homes and businesses up and down the country are set to benefit from much faster and more reliable fibre broadband, under major proposals set out by Ofcom.

As demand for internet data accelerates, the UK’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded. So today we are proposing new, flexible regulation that will help fuel a full-fibre future for the whole of the UK. Today’s proposals are part of our review of wholesale telecoms used for residential and business services in the UK. This maps out how Ofcom will regulate BT for the period from April 2021 to March 2026.

Our focus on promoting broadband network competition has helped full fibre coverage increase at its fastest ever rate. We have already made it cheaper, quicker and easier for BT’s rivals to lay fibre cables by giving them better and cheaper access to Openreach’s underground pipes and telegraph poles.

We are now proposing to supercharge the strategy with a four-point plan to support competitive investment in fibre networks:

We have also today set out how we intend to regulate Openreach’s ‘leased lines’ – high-speed connections used by large organisations, which also form the data highways of the UK’s mobile and broadband networks.

Today’s consultation closes on 1 April 2020, and we will publish our decisions in early 2021 before the current rules expire in April 2021.

Major proposals set out by Ofcom

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US Ham radio where are you on Hamsphere 4.0

Thursday 9th January 2020

On HamSphere 4.0 we have a WAS award, this working all states is really difficult to win for opérators outside of North America.

I am on HS4 since 2014 and i still need 6 states to get this WAS award.
Its realy stange because they are 800 000 amateur radio in USA. Only few on virtual ham radio via internet even this program is also open for non ham radio operator. The call for these operators are 2HS for USA, 9HS for Canada like on 11 meter.

Virtual ham radio via internet is realy simple, you just need a computer, internet and a microphone for computer like a headset. Its really réalistic with propagation and yagi antenna, QSL cards, awards, contests, etc.

You can have a free trial for one month even you are not in the US !!! http://hs4.hamsphere.com/download I hope to have a QSO soon with you especialy if you are in the rares states of United states of América !

73 de Frank FØDUW
https://hamspheref0duw.blogspot.com/

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The Day of YLs 2020

Thursday 9th January 2020

This Group is in memory of F5ISY - Carine DUBOIS. She developed this YL contest and did not ever see it to the end. WE are now going to make this happen in her memory.

'The Day of YLs ' 24 & 25 May 2020

HF/VHF CONTEST

THE DAY OF YLs 2020 RULES

Aim of this day : To promote YLs activity around the world.
Time : 2020-05-24 00h01 UTC to 2020-05-25 23:59h00 UTC.
Bands : 3,5 - 7 - 14 - 21 - 28 MHz & for the first time VHF also but outside the relays, of course.

To help competitors to find each other we propose to use frequencies +/- 10 kHz from the following activity center frequencies:
CW: 3.533, 7.033, 14.033, 21.033 and 28.033 MHz
RTTY: 3.588, 7.044, 14.088, 21.088 and 28.088 MHz
SSB: 3.733, 7.133, 14.213, 14.240, 14.300, 21.233, 21.400 and 28.433 MHz Modes : CW, SSB, RTTY.
Exchanges : RS(T) + YL/OM (e.g. 59(9)+ YL/OM)
The same station may be worked once on each band and mode Award :
An award will be issued to all participants (SWLs also) who has contacted or heard for the 33 points with YLs (pdf file):

For OM / YL 2 points
For YL/ YL 3 points
For YL / OM 1 point

Results will be published separately for OM and YLs according to the number of YLs logged Logs : Mail log to TBD and date TBD Mail object : call + OM/YL + Number of YL contacted + Total number of QSO Log software :

You can use & many tnx N1MM, qrz, lotw, eqsl.cc

Our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/746304389193363/

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Strong earthquake shakes Puerto Rico, ARES standing by

Wednesday 8th January 2020

The ARRL report a strong magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Puerto Rico early on January 7 on the heels of a smaller magnitude 5.8 tremor a day earlier

ARRL Puerto Rico Public Information Officer Angel Santana, WP3GW, said the earthquakes have damaged homes in communities including Guánica and Guayanilla, with aftershocks felt minutes later from today’s event.
A tsunami advisory for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands was cancelled minutes after being issued. Santana said the PREMA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated.

Santana said VHF and UHF repeater systems having emergency power carried reports of power outages and other information. ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, told ARRL that no Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) activations have been necessary, as commercial telecommunication systems remain functional.

“The situation is scary, with houses, schools, and roads collapsing,” Resto said, with many structures — including a school and homes in Guánica — damaged.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/strong-earthquake-shakes-puerto-rico-ares-standing-by

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Tunisia issues personal licenses to operate

Wednesday 8th January 2020

The first three Authorizations to Operate have been issued to 3 Tunisian radio amateurs. These are the first issued since 1956  

The IARU Region 1 site reports:

3V8HB, 3V8MN and 3V1MB will soon be on the air from their homes rather than being restricted to operating from a club station.

Issuing individual authorisations to operate is a new process in Tunisia and involves a number of stages, including equipment conformity checks.

This is great news for Tunisians that the process now exists so that radio amateurs can practice their hobby from homes in full compliance with the Tunisian Laws.
The IARU Member Society ARAT extends its thanks to the National Agency of Frequencies, the Ministry of Telecommunications and all involved parties for making this happen.

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

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DARC 70 Years

Wednesday 8th January 2020

The German national club DARC celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2020 and offers the award 70 Jahre DARC for contacts with the special event stations DP70DARC and DF70DARC.

For the rules see www.70darc.club.

Later during the year, DK70DARC (special DOK 70DARC for all of them) will also be active. The callsigns rotate through DARC's regional districts on a weekly basis.

NB: There are also other special event calls active with a DARC-suffix that do not count for the award.

In a few weeks, DM30RSV will become active as well, commemorating the formation of the first independent national radio club RSV in the German Democratic Republic in 1990. This activity will be limited to the time frame of March 24 until October 2, mirroring the lifespan of the RSV 30 years ago. QSOs will count towards yet another award, rules are currently being finalised. (73 Ric, DL2VFR)

DXNL

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A 'Ground Current Event' in Norway

Wednesday 8th January 2020

On Monday, Jan. 6th, strong electrical currents abruptly surged through the ground in northern Norway, kicking off an hours-long episode of bright auroras and magnetic unrest.

Usually, this kind of event happens in the aftermath of a strong solar flare or a CME impact, but the sun was totally quiet.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to see the data and find out what happened.

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Going Ham at GBEMS

Wednesday 8th January 2020

The Pocahontas Times reports some students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School are learning a new form of communication - amateur radio

The newspaper says:


Members of the Eight Rivers Amateur Club and employees at the Green Bank Observatory have volunteered to help science teacher Stacy Landis teach the students the ins and outs of ham radio etiquette and the many ways they can use radios to communicate.

“We want them to become ham radio operators and get their own license, be able to use it and understand the purpose of it in society,” Landis said.

Eight Rivers member Rudy Marrujo KD8WPG was one of the guiding forces behind forming the club. He said he hopes to spark an interest in the students.

Read the full story at
https://pocahontastimes.com/going-ham-at-gbems/

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Radio ham submits obituary in advance

Wednesday 8th January 2020

The Herald-Tribune reports that on the off chance it would be of interest, 91-year-old radio amateur Bill Sexton N1IN submitted his three-page obituary in advance

On receipt of the advance obituary Herald-Tribune reporter Billy Cox wrote a story about Bill Sexton:

His favorite uncle Hale was a ham operator in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Hale had boorish neighbours who would play their radio so loudly through the open windows at night, the noise imposed on everybody. So Hale built a transmitter that generated static, targeted whatever frequency the boors tuned into, and repeatedly drove them crazy with static buzz.

“Just think,” Sexton ruminates. “Perhaps my uncle was the creator of cyber warfare.”

Sexton became a ham operator as soon as he retired from newspapers in 1990, back when learning Morse Code was still a licensing requirement.
He joined MARS [Military Auxiliary Radio System] the following year, before retiring in 2019 “when I felt incapable of handling the encryption. I guess you could say the computer finally got the best of me.”

He keeps his equipment stored in a shack in the back yard. With help from his wife Bonnie, he hoists himself onto his walker and shows it all off: the power supply, the transmitter, the microphone, Morse key — all that stuff still works. He dons the baseball cap bearing his civilian radio handle, N1IN, as well as his MARS identity, AAA9PA.

Hanging framed on a wall back in the house is a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from 2017, in “grateful recognition ... for National and Community Service.”

Read the full Herald-Tribune story at
https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20200106/man-who-saw-future-talks-up-radio

In 2014 the ARRL wrote about the Korean War veteran saying "Sexton has an impressive and extensive journalism background, having served for 13 years with United Press International in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as in Detroit, New York, and London. He also logged 20 years with Newsday, 7 of them as editorial page editor of the Long Island daily and nearly that long as a foreign correspondent covering Asia. He also served 3 years as associate director of the American Press Institute at Columbia University."

Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/army-mars-public-affairs-officer-bill-sexton-n1in-aar1fp-retires

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Ofcom Consultation: Work Plan 2020-21

Wednesday 8th January 2020

Ofcom aim to clear Digital TV Services (Freeview) out of the 700 MHz band by May 2020

They say:

"We will continue to work to clear digital television services from the 700 MHz band in order to release this spectrum for mobile data. We will continue to administer a grant scheme to fund incremental costs broadcasters incur as a result of the infrastructure changes associated with 700 MHz clearance.
Our plan is to make the 700 MHz band available for mobile services by May 2020."

"We will award spectrum bands as they are cleared and released. We will consider responses to our proposals for the award of the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum bands. We will conclude with a decision on how to proceed with the award and set this out in a Statement, with a view to completing the award in early Summer 2020."

The consultation closes February 25.

Download Ofcom's proposed Plan of Work 2020/21 from

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/plan-of-work-2020-21

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French special event station

Wednesday 8th January 2020

From 12 to 26 January 2020, special event call TM70TAAF will be activated by François F8DVD.

The special callsign commemorates the 70th anniversary of the first Amateur Radio contacts with French Southern and Austral Territories (FSAT - TAAF). These took place in January 1950 during the building of scientific research stations on:

- Saint Paul and Amsterdam island (FB8ZZ),
- Kerguelen island (FB8XX),
- Adelie Land in Antarctica (FB8AX).

TM70TAAF will be operated from F8DVD Qth in Mâcon, 60 km north of Lyon (JN26JH).

Reference for WAP programm is WAP-301. For more info : http://www.waponline.it/

TM70TAAF Qsl is OK via buro or direct with SASE (1 IRC or 2 USD).
Only Qsl's received will be answered. All Qso will be uploded to LOTW.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 8th January 2020

Island activities:

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

AS-153; VU, West Bengal State group: Members of the West Bengal Radio Club will be operating as 8T2G from Sagar Island between the 10th and 17th. During this time, pilgrims meet at the Ganges Delta for a ritualistic bath. QSL via VU2NRO.

NA-103; VP2M, Montserrat: Duane/WV2B plans to operate holiday-style as VP2MDT between Jan. 9 and 15 on SSB and CW. QSL via WV2B (d).

OC-005; VK9, Norfolk Island: Janusz/SP9FIH operates as VK9NK from
Norfolk Island between Jan. 12 and April 12. QRV on 160 to 10m on CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL via SP9FIH (d/B). http://vk9nk.dxpeditions.org/

SA-034; HC2/3, Santa Elena/ Guayas/ El Oro Province group:
Jon/EA1VE activates Puna Island (WW Loc. EI97we) as HC2JKT between the 10th and 30th on 40-6m (SSB). QSL via EA1VE.

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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New 2 metre filter stops interference

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Many handie-talky radios suffer from severe interference from nearby transmitters, particularly on hilltop sites.

Blocking is a reduction in sensitivity that can be hard to detect.

When a radio is being blocked all callers (even strong ones) can appear weak or may even be undetectable. 

The SOTABEAMS bandpass filter is a small, rugged and lightweight filter that eleminates virtually all interference problems.

The filter is a helical design that is made specially for SOTABEAMS. It is simply attached between the radio and antenna.

Richard of SOTABEAMS has made a short video about various methods to combat blocking which can be seen on the SOTABEAMS website:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/bandpass-filter-for-2m/ 

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HamRadioNow: FCC proposed reallocation of the 3 (and 5) GHz band(s)

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Andre Hansen K6AH, David Erickson KB5UGF and Jim Aspinwall NO1PC join David W0DHG to discuss the SPECTRUM DEFENSE and proposed changes to the amateur radio 3 GHz and 5 GHz bands  

These changes will affect current ARDEN networks across the nation. 
Below are links referenced in the show.

Please remember before you response, make sure it's professional and to the point. And please reach out to your served agencies and representatives.

Watch HRN 415: FCC Proposed Reallocation of the 3 (and 5) GHz band(s)

Call to Action:
https://www.arednmesh.org/content/call-action-defense-part-97-allocations

Comment Template:
https://www.arednmesh.org/content/templates-submit-comments-3-ghz-fcc-docket-19-348

Article: AREDN - A High-Speed Data Network
https://www.arednmesh.org/content/qst-june-2017

Save 3.3 to 3.5 GHz
https://www.mjars.org/save-3-3-3-5ghz

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High Speed Telegraphy Championships 2020

Tuesday 7th January 2020

The main event this year is the 17th IARU HST World Championship.  It will take place August 20-24

The IARU Region 1 site reports:

The venue will be Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and the event center will be hotel Grand Hill, Ulaanbaatar.

Web page under construction, ETA end of January.

Wishing to spread HST to as much as possible countries, IARU R1 HSTWG decided this year Cup of Europe & Balkan HST to be held in Albania.

The venue will be Elbasan, Abania and the event center will be hotel Imperial, Elbasan.

Although not an IARU recognized event, this international competition is widely accepted by HST community as an opportunity for best competitors to check their form before the world championship, teams to test new candidates for national team, those who are not able to participate at world championship can still enjoy top level competition and for everyone else a nice opportunity to feel the "HST adrenaline" and enjoy friendship.

Source IARU-R1
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/hst/

High Speed Telegraphy
http://www.highspeedtelegraphy.com/HST-news

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Electrical Safety and Syllabus Item 8A2

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Changes to The IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671), now at 18th edition, affect syllabus item 8A2 in the Safety section in all three levels of the amateur radio examination syllabus

Details can be found on the RSGB Syllabus 2019 Updates page at
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/for-trainers/syllabus-2019/syllabus-2019-updates/

The IET Wiring Regulations BS7671:2018
https://electrical.theiet.org/bs-7671/

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Fox-in-a-Box download updated

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Writing on the Amsat-BB, Burns Fisher WB1FJ says:

The download website, http://burnsfisher.com/AMSAT/FoxInABox now contains the SD card image, FIAB-distro8-V1.08w.zip.

This file, when unzipped and written to a 16Gb SD card will give you the latest software for FoxTelem and will run on a Raspberry Pi 4.

This is an image of the same SD card that has been shipping from the AMSAT store for several weeks. (It should work on an 8Gb card as well with less room to spare of course).

1.08w has a few fixes from 1.08r, the previous download version, and will capture data a bit better. Remember that the later 1.08 versions (including r and w) know how to switch bands between listening on VHF and UHF based on which of Fox and Husky satellites are overhead at the time.

We expect HuskySat to be released from the ISS relatively soon, so be prepared!

73,

Burns Fisher WB1FJ

ANS

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The Space Weather Woman

Tuesday 7th January 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Amateur radio at the railway station with no trains

Monday 6th January 2020

An item has just been posted on the BBC Archive twitter feed about a Railway Station with no trains

Halfway through the item, G3SCW who lived there is shown using his amateur radio equipment.

https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/1213852656936071168

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Is it worth building a SMALL Contest/DX station?

Monday 6th January 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Ruth Willet KM4LAO, Edmund Spicer M0MNG, and Leslie Butterfield G0CIB to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - Is it worth building a SMALL contest/DX station?

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• ARRL - Dare to Imagine
• Radio Amateurs Aid in Rescue in Remote NZ park
• RSGB Earthing and the Radio Amateur Leaflet Updated
• Radio Theory Handbook - 2nd Edition
• GB7PY Repeater Stolen
• New Irish Beacon on 60 MHz Now on the Air
• VO2AC - Canadian Lighthouse Operation

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

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TAPR PSR 143 now available

Monday 6th January 2020

TAPR have made issue 143 of their newsletter PSR available for download

TAPR is a community that provides leadership and resources to radio amateurs for the purpose of advancing the radio art.

Interested in:

• general packet radio information?
• high-speed packet operations?
• other types of digital communications?
• experimenting or building kits?
• keeping up-to-date on national digital and packet issues?
Then you might be interested in TAPR!

PSR #143 includes
• Misko and APRS in Reunion    
• Introducing the TAPR TangerinseSDR

Download PSR 143 from
https://tapr.org/psr/psr143.pdf

TAPR https://tapr.org/

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2019 DX Sound Bites!

Monday 6th January 2020

Tom, K8CX, has done it again. He has provided DXers with 130 memorable rare DX sound clips (now in MP3 format) from Ohio during 2019.

This brings the total number of MP3 sound clips on Hamgallery to 2,741.
Visit Tom's famous "HAM GALLERY" Web site at: http://hamgallery.com/dx2019

While there, also check out some of the other features on his Web page, such as: 22 years of "Rare DX Sound Clips" of the past (as well as some clips from the 1960's and 1970's which includes all the major DXpeditions and rare DX heard on the bands), QSL Card Museum, Dayton Photo Galleries and Tribute to Silent Key Ham Operators.

Tom states, "If anyone has any old HF recordings, I would be interested in hearing from them." (especially sound clips pre-1998 to add to the site)
His E-mail address is: k8cx@hamgallery.com

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 6th January 2020

Island activities:

AS-068. Igor, UA9KDF, will lead a team of operators to activate Rastorguyeva Island sometime in mid-March (depending on WX).
No other details are available.

AS-207. (NEW) Victor, UA3AKO, will lead a team of Russian Robinson members to activate Kosa Dvukh Pilotov Island during sometime in the Spring. No other details are available.

NA-102. Jean, FG8NY, will be active with the special callsign TO10CWO from Saint Claude, Basse Terre Island, Guadeloupe, between January 17-31st. Activity is to celebrate 10th anniversary of CW Ops Club. Operations will will be on various HF bands on CW. QSL via FG8NY.

NA-153. Members of Radio Club Puebla DX will be active as 6F3A from Isla Perez (grid EL52dj), Mexico, between February 11-17th. The operators mentioned are Patricia/XE1SPM (Team Leader), Ismael/XE1AY, Rey/XE1SRD and Ricardo/XE1SY. Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters, and include the ARRL DX CW Contest (February 15-16th). QSL via XE1SY.
ADDED NOTE: Ismael, XE1AY, reports that he doing CW and the satellites, and will also TX from EL50 and XE1AY/mm EL51.

SA-080. Operators Rafael/PP2OK, Esdras/PY6ZK, Edilson/PU6JEL, and Bob/PY6TV will be active as ZW6C from Tinhare Island between January 16-19th. Activity will be on 40/20/10 meters using CW and SSB. Suggested frequencies are 7018, 7165, 14025, 14255, 28025 and 28455 kHz. QSL via PY6TV direct (SAE) or via PayPal to: robsoalmeida@gmail.com

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

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

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G4KUX extends 432 MHz tropo record to 4,644kms

Sunday 5th January 2020

On Saturday the 28th of December 2019, Ian GM3SEK in the south-west of Scotland managed to work D41CV on 432 MHz to set a new world record for tropo on the band. The distance for this FT8 contact was an amazing 4,562 kms.

Considering the fact that it was on the 70cms band and that the south-west coast of Scotland was one of the longest sea paths to Cape Verde Islands, it seemed as this might be a long term record.

It wasn't to be however as just a few days later on Wednesday the 1st of January 2020, Nick G4KUX in the county of Durham in the north of England managed to also work D41CV in the Cape Verde Islands. This FT8 contact on 432 MHz pushes the record out a further 80kms or so to 4,644kms.

More info...
https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/2020/01/432-mhz-world-tropo-record-extended.html

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Ofcom don't know if interference eliminated

Sunday 5th January 2020

A Freedom of Information request asked Ofcom how many cases of interference to radio amateurs had been investigated by Ofcom and successfully concluded with elimination of the interference - Ofcom admitted they did not know

It appears if Ofcom simply go through what they deem as the appropriate procedure during the interference investigation they will mark the case as either ‘resolved’ or ‘cleared’ irrespective of whether the interference has been eliminated.

The Ofcom FoI reply says:

"Please be advised that ‘resolved’ or ‘cleared’ for our purposes means that we have completed all actions that we can. This may not remove the interference as the interference source may be unidentifiable, identified but physically inaccessible or identified and in a location that the owner of the site may not permit entry to, and it may be deemed disproportionate to seek a warrant to force entry."

Read the FoI reply which contains the number of cases Ofcom investigated in 2017-18 and 2018-19
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/182284/investigations-into-radio-amateurs-foi.pdf

Ofcom Published responses to FOI requests page
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/foi-dp/foi-responses

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US tests ways to sweep space clean of radiation after nuclear attack

Sunday 5th January 2020

The U.S. military thought it had cleared the decks when, on 9 July 1962, it heaved a 1.4-megaton nuclear bomb some 400 kilometers into space: Orbiting satellites were safely out of range of the blast.

But in the months that followed the test, called Starfish Prime, satellites began to wink out one by one, including the world's first communications satellite, Telstar. There was an unexpected aftereffect: High-energy electrons, shed by radioactive debris and trapped by Earth's magnetic field, were fritzing out the satellites' electronics and solar panels.

Starfish Prime and similar Soviet tests might be dismissed as Cold War misadventures, never to be repeated. After all, what nuclear power would want to pollute space with particles that could take out its own satellites, critical for communication, navigation, and surveillance?
But military planners fear North Korea might be an exception: It has nuclear weapons but not a single functioning satellite among the thousands now in orbit. They quietly refer to a surprise orbital blast as a potential "Pearl Harbor of space." And so, without fanfare, defense scientists are trying to devise a cure.

Three space experiments -- one now in orbit and two being readied for launch in 2021 -- aim to gather data on how to drain high-energy electrons out of the radiation belts. The process, called radiation belt remediation (RBR), already happens naturally, when radio waves from deep space or from Earth -- our own radio chatter, for example, or emissions from lightning -- knock electrons trapped in Earth's Van Allen radiation belts into the upper atmosphere, where they quickly shed energy, often triggering aurorae.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/us-tests-ways-sweep-space-clean-radiation-after-nuclear-attack

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Senegal visit

Sunday 5th January 2020

Willy, ON4AVT, will once again be active as 6W7/ON4AVT some time in February 2020.

His main activity will be on 60 meters using mostly FT8, with some CW and SSB, with a FT-891 with 100 watts into a HyEndFed antenna.

QSL via the Bureau. For more details and updates, watch:
https://www.on4avt.be/trip_to_senegal.htm

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Bushfire Emergency Communications Advice

Saturday 4th January 2020

Hello, this is Greg VK2GPK WIA President

Bushfires continue to rage widely across large areas of Australia with both the loss of life and property.

The WIA has been advised that there are major outages of telecommunications in areas impacted by the bushfires either currently or expected to occur in the near term. This disruption advice, at the time this news item was composed, currently applies to areas of NSW and VIC " but this may change.

The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but are predicted to cover all internet and phone ( fixed and mobile ) and other commercial radio services.

The WIA kindly asks Radio Amateurs to monitor the WIA EMCOM HF frequencies ( as per IARU-R3 EMCOM bandplan on the WIA or IARU-R3 website ) whenever feasible during the bushfire emergency.
These frequencies will be detailed later in this item and are also available on the WIA website.

VHF and UHF Repeaters should also be monitored wherever possible.

Amateurs seeking to establish emergency communication should use these EMCOMM frequencies in the first instance, or repeaters if available.

As an IARU member society, the WIA has adopted these recommended frequencies: 3.600 MHz. 7.110 MHz. 14.300 MHz. 18.160 MHz. 21.360 MHz.

These "Centre of Activity" frequencies are not spot frequencies or net frequencies. They are recommended as starting points for emergency traffic which may extend 5 kHz above or below the designated centre frequency.

Radio Amateurs who are volunteers for WICEN, CREST, etc should keep themselves updated from the respective websites of these organisations.

Emergency Communication is one of the three main reasons Radio Amateurs have access to RF Spectrum. Please assist if and when you can

This is Greg VK2GPK

I have been advised that several Amateurs are currently providing a listening watch on these EMCOM HF frequencies whilst the fires are active.

The Board of the WIA wishes everyone a safe 2020.

This has been WIA Director Mike VK8MA

Another WIA Director, John VK4JJW has been busy keeping our friends staffing Amateur Radio Newsline up to date on the worsening situation.

" As property losses mounted and towns were cut off, military aircraft and navy ships were bringing supplies into the region. By New Year's Day, New South Wales confirmed the death toll had risen to 15 - but the toll nationwide reached at least 18, according to news reports.

Amateurs were monitoring IARU Region 3 disaster frequencies because of communication outages. WICEN was sending communications operations and logistics resources to Fire Control Centres across the State and Territory from WICEN NSW and WICEN ACT, which is part of Canberra Region ARC. They were also staffing aviation radio operations and telephone operations at the Bush Fire Information Line in Sydney.

Amateurs remained active supporting the Rural Fire Service as well as other agencies.

WIA Director John Williams, VK4JJW.

Wireless Institute of Australia

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Ofcom release database of Amateur Radio Call Signs

Saturday 4th January 2020

Following a Freedom of Information request by Roger Howell, Ofcom made their database of amateur radio call signs available for download

The database, released as a spreadsheet containing 141,296 rows, shows the status of UK amateur call signs as at August 12, 2019.

It can be useful for people wanting to apply for a specific call sign as it shows all those calls which are not available.

Ofcom clarified the meaning of their call sign status field e.g. 'Reserved' means that the callsign has been used within the past two years, although it is no longer, and is in the process of ‘cooling down’. It is therefore not currently available for assignment to anyone else, but operators will be able to apply for it again after the two-year period has expired.

Ofcom FoI reply
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/166573/amateur-radio-callsigns-20190912.pdf

Ofcom call sign database as at August 12, 2019  
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/file/0027/166572/allocated-reserved-forbidden-call-sign-foi-20190912.csv

In a subsequent letter from Ofcom regarding the release of the database they said:  
"On the periodic publication of the data, this is something that we are actively considering."
https://www.whatdo
theyknow.com/request/issued_and_available
_uk_amateur#incoming-1433381


Ofcom Published responses to FOI requests page
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/foi-dp/foi-responses

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Ofcom release Forbidden Suffixes database

Saturday 4th January 2020

Ofcom have released a database show those amateur radio suffixes that it now treats as being Forbidden and not for use when issuing call signs

Ofcom FoI reply
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/165732/amateur-radio-callsigns-foi.pdf

Download the Spreadsheet of Forbidden Suffixes from
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/file/0026/165734/allocated-reserved-forbidden-call-sign.csv

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BARTG GB60ATG special event

Saturday 4th January 2020

Members of the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG) are active as GB 60 ATG until June 2020.

The BARTG is celebrating their 60th Year Diamond Jubilee anniversary with this callsign and special awards are available for contacts with GB 60 ATG using any Data Mode.

More information can be found on the BARTG Web site on
bartg.org.uk

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Australian bush fires

Friday 3rd January 2020

Hello, I’m Geoff Emery, VK4ZPP, and I’ve been thinking.

Welcome to the new year. Today we must remember that many people including fellow radio amateurs are dealing with the forces of nature.

There are many of our fellows who have lost livelihoods, homes and mementoes. Towns have been changed forever and sadly lives have been lost.

Members of the Defence Forces are out in the field using the skills and training in a humanitarian way. With soaring summer temperatures and a state of emergency in force in New South Wales, those of us who are going about their normal lives must wish these people well as they engage in something abnormal.

One thing that I have been watching is the discussions on social media on the involvement of WICEN in this national disaster. With only the Northern Territory not dealing with wildfire, it is really involving the whole country. Once the amateurs had a voice which was national in the emergency preparedness discussions with WICEN noted as an involved entity but that changed about 20 years ago.

There is confusion as to the nature of WICEN and its role in the whole emcoms issue and part of that is the scattered nature of the beast, these days. It seems neither state based or truly regional and people are trying to understand what it does, how it skills its members and how they assist the first responders when called on.

Publicity is important for organisations. Publicity within the peer group, the other amateurs and publicity externally to maintain recognition and credibility in the wider community. Sadly I have to ask, how often have we heard or read of WICEN activities? I note that in the rollcall of Queensland radio clubs, WICEN gets a call but doesn’t seem to provide stories to the broadcasts or print. Is this simply an oversight or have amateur groups become totally self absorbed?

It seems to take a disaster to bring the questions out and surely we need a response.

We have enthusiastic offers from people wanting to train and organise but no way to go forward. We need to turn this around for our own good and that of the community.

I’m Geoff Emery and that’s what I think....how about you?

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AmateurLogic 2019 New Year's Eve live stream incident

Thursday 2nd January 2020

This is the raw, unedited video from the New Years Eve 2019 live stream. It is over 6 hours long contains plenty of bloopers and mishaps (the kind of stuff you’ve come to expect from us). The first 2 hours are a replay of an earlier episode and the team getting set up to go.
The live show actually began around the 2:13:30 mark.

Appearances by:
George Thomas, W5JDX
Tommy Martin, N5ZNO
Emile Diodene, KE5QKR
Andy Anderson, AA0WX
Laird Nigel P Lawrence, G0MEJ/KG0PL
Dan Vanevenhoven, N9LVS
Ray Novak, N9JA
Peter Berrett, VK3PB
Amanda Alden, K1DDN
Jeff Carrier, K0JDX

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Radio ham receives Memorial Trophy

Thursday 2nd January 2020

The Bury Times reports an inspirational radio amateur was presented with a new award to honour a long-serving treasurer who died one year ago

The newspaper reports:

Sean Redmond M7DOS was the first recipient of Bury Radio Society's memorial trophy, given for his proactive role in promoting the club during 2019.

The committee describe Mr Redmond, who has helped to develop the society's activities and online presence, as "the best example for young people joining the hobby."

The award has been created in memory of Peter Smith, radio callsign G2DPL, who died in early 2019 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Smith became a radio amateur in 1968, working for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and later Norweb as a network engineer looking after high voltage power lines and transformers.


Read the full story at
https://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/18128883.bury-radio-society-member-first-recipient-memorial-trophy/

Bury Radio Society
http://www.buryradiosociety.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/G3BRS

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Region-1 144 MHz tropo record now extended to 4,776 kms

Thursday 2nd January 2020

Over the last week, there has been some remarkable conditions on the VHF bands allowing lots of DX contacts across Europe. While this is in itself nothing new, it has coincided with a sea duct running down as far as the west coast of Africa.

On the 28th of December, a new IARU Region-1 tropo record for 144 MHz was set when Ian, GM3SEK managed to work D41CV, a distance of some 4,565kms.

On the 1st of January 2020, the New Year was hardly a few hours old when Callum, GM0EWX on the Isle of Skye in the west of Scotland managed to work D41CV on FT8. This now extends the IARU Region-1 144 MHz tropo record to an amazing 4,776kms.

More info...
https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/2020/01/remarkable-start-to-new-year-with-new.html

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Update on the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) program

Thursday 2nd January 2020

There have been some recent developments with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) program in Canada.

First, a bit of background. There are four levels of ARES organization: National, Section, District and Local. Sections are geographically-based administrative units organized to deliver RAC services to non-government organizations and governments through the ARES program.

The senior RAC official in each Section is the Section Manager (SM). The SM appoints a Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) for the Section. The SEC, in turn, appoints District Emergency Coordinators (DEC) for each region. DECs, in turn, appoint Emergency Coordinators for each city in their District.

The ARRL and RAC both have Sections and – as in the case of some other administrative structures that RAC inherited from the ARRL as a result of our shared history – the functions of our Sections have changed over the years to meet our particular circumstances.

In 2012, RAC divided the previous Ontario Section into four distinct Sections because the province was too large for one SM to manage. As a result the Ontario North, Ontario East, Ontario GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and Ontario South Sections were born.

Recently, ARES groups in the City of Hamilton and in the Regional Municipality of Niagara indicated that it would be beneficial for them to move from the Ontario South Section into the Ontario GTA Section.

Niagara and Hamilton are located on the west and southwest borders of the GTA Section and both groups have a history of working with the GTA teams on Simulated Emergency Tests (SETs) and many public service events. As a result, the border between the Ontario South and Greater Toronto Area Sections is being moved to better reflect operational needs within ARES and its served agencies.

Effective April 1, Amateurs in the City of Hamilton and in the Regional Municipality of Niagara will from then on be in the Greater Toronto Area Section, not the Ontario South section as before.

In addition, RAC members in Prince Edward Island have been working for some time to create a separate section for RAC ARES activities in their province. I am happy to report that their work has been successful and we are now seeking a Section Manager, a key step in establishing the new PE Section (see page 58 of the January-February 2020 TCA). Once elected, the new SM will start a two-year term on April 1, 2020.

In the future, the Maritimes Section that had earlier coordinated the ARES activities in the three Maritime provinces will continue to be responsible for the activities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the new PE Section will deal with the activities on Prince Edward Island. We look forward to reading about the new PE Section in the Public Service / ARES column and in the Section News in upcoming issues of TCA.

Additional information will be posted at the following link when it is available: https://www.rac.ca/ares-sections/

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair
Radio Amateurs of Canada

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Yahoo Groups shutdown - Radio ham preserves archives

Thursday 2nd January 2020

ARRL reports that on hearing of the Yahoo Groups shutdown Andy Majot K5QO took the initiative to download archives of Yahoo Groups devoted to individual amateur radio gear and upload them to his website

“I hope to have them hosted in perpetuity for future hams to use,” Majot told ARRL. “It should be noted that I backed up groups regardless of whether they are living on in other platforms; I wanted to snapshot the groups as they were on Yahoo prior to their deletion.” Majot noted that several of the groups he has archived have already migrated their content to Groups.io, but many more have not.

Majot said an organization called Archive Team is helping to save as many Yahoo Groups as possible and has been backing these up since the closure announcement in October, but, Majot said, progress has nearly halted since Yahoo cut off access to many group features in mid-December.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/yahoo-groups-shutdown-has-ham-radio-interest-groups-seeking-to-save-content

Ham radio gear - Yahoo Groups archive
https://www.k5qo.com/yahoo_groups/

Archive Team
https://www.archiveteam.org/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 2nd January 2020

Island activities:

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

AN-011; various, Antarctica: Felix/DL5XL operates as DP1POL during January and February from the German Neumayer III Station (WAP DEU-08, DLFF-0022) on HF and QO-100 (CW). QSL via DL1ZBO (d/B),  LoTW. http://www.waponline.it

AS-004; 5B/ZC, Cyprus Island: Members of the Cambridge University Wireless Society (G3ZAY, M0BLF, M0VFC, G7VJR, M0ZXA, G7SOZ, M0WUT, and M0BBB) operate as ZC4UW between the 2nd and 7th of January on HF (CW, SSB). QSL via ClubLog OQRS, LoTW. https://zc4uw.com/

AS-013; 8Q, Maldive Islands: Sergey/RX3AMY operates holiday-style from Mahibadhoo Island (WW Loc. MJ63ls) and Maafushi Island (WW Loc. MJ63rw) between Jan. 3 and 23 as 8Q7BS on 40 and 20m (SSB, some CW). QSL via RX3AMY (d/B).

NA-108; J6, St. Lucia: John/AI6LY will be active from St. Lucia as J6/AI6LY between Jan. 4 and 11 on HF (SSB, digital modes). QSL via homecall (d/B).

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Virginia radio ham re-creates Fessenden broadcast

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Washington Post reports proof that the world’s first radio show was broadcast 113 years ago on Christmas Eve doesn’t exist, but the purported occasion is still marked annually during the holidays

The newspaper says:

Since 2012, radio engineer Brian Justin WI2XLQ has spent part of his holidays commemorating the apparent achievement of a Canadian inventor from his rural southwestern Virginia home. The audience is small, but it ushers in a sense of nostalgia for listeners, alongside mistletoe, hot chocolate and Hallmark movies.

Justin, 55, broadcasts a re-creation of what radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden claimed to have transmitted at 9 p.m. on Dec. 24, 1906, from a studio in Brant Rock, Mass.
Fessenden, who had worked with the U.S. Weather Bureau (renamed the National Weather Service) to improve Morse code transmissions, used a 420-foot tower in the coastal town to transmit and receive Morse code messages across the Atlantic.

Ria Jairam 
[ARRL Hudson Division Director] — call sign N2RJ — tuned in to Justin’s program, live-streaming the signal more than 400 miles away from Wantage, N.J. She captured, amid a host of snaps and pops, a presentation that sounded a lot like what Fessenden described, including the swelling strings of “O, Holy Night.”

Read the full Washington Post story at
https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/12/31/its-ritual-virginia-man-recreates-purported-year-old-christmas-eve-radio-broadcast-each-holiday/

Ria Jairam N2RJ tweet
https://twitter.com/RiaJairam/status/1212054488682500096

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Earthing and the Radio Amateur leaflet updated

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Ian 2E0IJH has updated the RSGB EMC 07 leaflet 'Earthing and the Radio Amateur' to reflect the fact that Gas and Water pipes no longer require bonding if supplied by plastic service pipes as they have no reference to Earth

RSGB EMC 07 Earthing and the Radio Amateur v4 is at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2019/12/EMC07-v4-Earthing-and-the-Radio-Amateur-Basic.pdf

Other RSGB EMC leaflets are at
https://rsgb.org/main/technical/emc/emc-publications-and-leaflets/

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8Q, Maldives

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Sergey, RX3AMY, will be active as 8Q7BS from Mahibadhoo and Maafushi Islands, Maldives (AS-013), January 3-23rd (2020).

Activity will be holiday style and with periodical work, operating mainly on 40 and 20 meters SSB (possibly CW), using a Yaesu FT-897 transceiver with dipoles.

QSL via his home callsign

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The January/February 2020 Communicator

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Happy New Year from all of us here at SARC!

Here is the January/February 2020 SARC Communicator newsletter:
http://bit.ly/SARC19-05

This edition has 75 pages of projects, news, views, and reviews from the SW corner of Canada.

- VY0ERC: What is life like at the farthest north Amateur Radio Club in Canada?
- Building a moounbounce (EME) station on VHF
- Make a 6m receiver with Arduino and a handful of parts
- A 3-pin radio IC
- A soldering primer
- Remote rotator control
- AA-600 Antenna analyzer review
- The BC QSO Party 2020
- Tech tips
- No-ham recipe
and much more!

Past articles and issues are available on our blog at https://ve7sar.blogspot.ca

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Europe 1 closure

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Europe 1 on 183 kHz closed 32 minutes before midnight CET (23:00 UTC) last night after 64 years on air.

The longwave band in Europe is getting increasingly quieter.

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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:-  webmaster@wadarc.com