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GB2RS News

GB2RS is the weekly news service of the RSGB, broadcast by radio amateurs.

News items from this week's script may be reproduced freely, provided the source - the Radio Society of Great Britain - is clearly identified.
News for GB2RS must be sent in by 0900UTC on the Tuesday before the broadcast. You can use post, phone, fax or e-mail.



Good morning / evening. It's Sunday the 14th of March [1999] and here is the GB2RS news broadcast, prepared by the RSGB and intended for all radio amateurs and short-wave listeners.

John Allaway, G3FKM, an eminent and widely respected figure within amateur radio, has died after a protracted illness. Over the years Dr Allaway held a number of high profile posts within amateur radio, including IARU Region 1 Secretary, from 1984 until his death. He was also RSGB President in 1976, and again in 1982.
His remarkable commitment to the hobby was highlighted by his many years on RSGB Council - he served four periods as an Ordinary Member over almost 30 years.
A dedicated HF operator, he featured high on the DXCC Honor Roll for many years, and wrote the HF column in RadCom from 1966 until 1998.

The London Amateur Radio and Computer Show at Lee Valley Leisure Centre, Picketts Lock Lane, Edmonton, North London continues today, the 14th of March. The event features free parking, a large trade show, special interest groups, the stands of national and local clubs and societies, a bring and buy sale, lectures, an exhibition station, and family attractions such as a cinema and swimming. Doors open at 10am, with priority admission for the disabled. Please remember to take two passport sized photos and the test fee if you want to use the on-demand Morse testing facility. For further details telephone RadioSport on 01 923 893 929, or take a look at their web site:

A new one-year experimental licence has been granted in the USA which will allow tests to be carried out on LF. The Federal Communications Commission has granted the licence to the Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation to conduct tests on the frequency 136.75kHz, using the callsign WA2XTF, from 12 sites in Northern Virginia. AMRAD requests that amateurs join the project by listening and reporting results. Reception reports should be made by e-mail to
These experiments could be the first stage in the FCC’s plans to allocate the LF band - 135.7 to 137.8kHz - to the Amateur Radio Service in the United States. This band already exists in the UK, several other European countries and New Zealand.
Emissions permitted are Data mode F10, with 173Hz and 450Hz frequency shift keying, and Morse code mode A1A, with a maximum of 100Hz bandwidth. The maximum output allowed is 1 watt erp. DSP signal techniques will be employed by the stations concerned. More information can be obtained from the ARRL web site

A number of clubs are joining forces to stage a series of events to celebrate the centenary of Guglielmo {{pronounced Goo-li-el-mo}} Marconi’s first cross-Channel radio transmission. Special event station GB100SFL will be on air on Saturday the 27th of March from South Foreland Lighthouse in Dover. The event has been organised by Dover Radio Club in conjunction with East Kent Radio Society, Hilderstone Radio Club, East Kent Amateur Television Group, Barry Amateur Radio Society and Radioclub F5KBM in Wimereux, {{pronounced wee-ma-rah}} France.
The French club is staging an event in April to celebrate the centenary of the Wimereux to South Foreland radio transmission in March 1899, and the Dover to Wimereux transmission in September 1899. The event will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of April, and activity will include amateur television links between Wimereux and various locations in Kent. For further information contact Hugh Burton on e-mail address

GB2RS still requires some more volunteer news readers. In particular, we need more readers all over the UK on 70.425MHz and 51.530MHz FM, and on any of the VHF and UHF news frequencies in the Midlands. On HF we are still seeking volunteers to read the news on Sunday morning, or maybe the early evening, on 80 metres in the Southampton area.
If you are interested, contact the GB2RS News Manager Gordon Adams, G3LEQ, on 01 565 652 652.

In our short wave broadcast news this week, we take another look at the difficult East-West DX path from the UK. The lower frequency bands are generally harder because of ionospheric absorption and higher naturally created noise levels. Two weeks ago, we mentioned Dave Coggin’s success in receiving the Chinese Fuzhou station on 120 metres, but we omitted the frequency - which is 2340 kilohertz. Other Chinese stations which might be heard faintly are on 2415, 2445, 2460, 2475 and 2560 kilohertz. They tend to sign-on around 2100UTC and hearing them represents the ultimate short wave DX achievement. Dave’s bag last week included the three Australian Northern Territory stations in both the 120 metre and 60 metre bands.
Radio Norway International was again heard with auroral signals at 1300 hours from the 1st to the 3rd of March on 18950 kilohertz; whilst the WWVH Hawaiian time signal station was heard at 1820 hours on 15000 kilohertz with female voice announcements. This is a distinguishing feature, because WWV in Colorado employs a male voice. Dave uses a one metre magnetic loop antenna at ground level to receive all this exotica - including the Indian, Nagpur medium wave station on 1566 kilohertz, which sometimes peaks for a few minutes quite strongly just after 2200UTC. If anyone has heard distant standard frequency and time stations on 2500 kilohertz recently, please advise Gordon Adams, G3LEQ, on voice mail or fax number 01 565 634 560.


DX News:

From Mauritius, 3B8/F6CMH is on the air from the 17th to the 26th of March, using SSB on all bands. This counts as AF-049 for the RSGB Islands On The Air Awards Programme.
From Easter Island, CE0AA is on the air until the 20th of March, on 6 to 160 metres, using both CW and SSB. This counts as SA-001 for IOTA.
From Belau, T88HG, T88RK, T88HY and T88AJ will be operational from the 19th to the 21st of March, on 6 to 160 metres, using CW, SSB and RTTY. This counts as OC-009 for IOTA.
And from Lord Howe Island, VK9NQ and VK9NM will be active until the 16th of March, on 6 to 160 metres, CW, SSB, RTTY and AM. This counts as OC-004 for IOTA.
These DX news items came from the weekly RSGB DX News Sheet, edited by Chris Page, G4BUE.

Contest News:

This weekend, the 13th and 14th of March, one of the RSGB’s major HF contests, the Commonwealth Contest, is taking place. It runs until 1200UTC today, Sunday the 14th.
And on VHF, the fifth and final session in the RSGB 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place today, Sunday the 14th of March, between 1000 and 1230UTC.
The Worked All Britain VHF/UHF CW Contest takes today, Sunday the 14th, from 0900 to 1500UTC
The full rules of all RSGB contests may be found in the October 1998 RadCom.



SSL has informed the Society that as of last Wednesday morning, the latest callsigns allocated were in the M0 Charlie Golf-- and M1 Delta X-ray -- series, and Novice calls in the 2 0 Alfa Tango -- and 2 1 Hotel Delta -- series.



{{Newsreaders: The historical Solar Factual Data to be read only by HF newsreaders. VHF / UHF newsreaders: you may read this section after the Regional News, providing you do not exceed your 30 minute time-slot.}}

And now the solar factual data for the period from the from the 1st to the 7th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS:
With only C class solar flares taking place every day solar activity was low. The largest flare of the week was a C6 on the 2nd. Solar flux levels increased from 120 on the 1st to 144 units by the 4th. Levels then declined to 110 by the 7th. The average was 126. The 90 day solar flux average on the 7th was 142 - that's 2 units down on last week. X-Ray flux levels varied little and averaged B4.3, though on the 7th levels had increased to B8. Geomagnetic activity was 'unsettled' to 'active', and no 'quiet' days took place. On the 1st, levels were up to an Ap index of 33 and the average was Ap 20 units. Solar wind speeds from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 530 and 620 kilometres per second. Particle densities were high on the 1st, with 44 particles per cubic centimetre recorded. Densities returned to low for the rest of the period with below 10 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz was predominately northerly on the 1st, which reduced the effects of the aurora that took place that day. Otherwise Bz fluctuated between minus 4 and plus 8 nanoTeslas.
Now the ionospheric data for Chilton, in Oxfordshire. The F2 daytime critical frequencies increased from 7.1MHz on the 1st, the day of the small geomagnetic storm, to 11MHz by the 7th, with an average of 9.5MHz. The darkness hour lows varied little and averaged 2.3MHz. The daytime highs were between 1100 and 1300UTC every day, except for the 1st and the 6th, which were at 1600 and 1700UTC respectively. The darkness hour lows were between 0200 and 0500UTC.

{{Newsreaders: The Solar Forecast to be read by ALL newsreaders.}}

And now the solar forecast. This week the more active side of the sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity could be up to moderate levels, particularly the next few days. Solar flux levels should start to decline from midweek and by next weekend be around the 150 mark. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be 'quiet' but could increase around midweek to 'storm’ levels. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be about 32MHz for the south and 3MHz lower for the north. Paths this week to India are expected to have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of 34MHz. However the optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 26MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1400UTC. And that’s the end of the solar information.

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