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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 21st of March [1999] and here is the GB2RS news broadcast, prepared by the RSGB and intended for all radio amateurs and short-wave listeners.

The search is now on for the Young Amateur of the Year - and the winner’s cash prize, donated by the Radiocommunications Agency, will be double last year’s amount. An added incentive this year is that all nominees will receive a free one year RadCom subscription from the RSGB. The winner and runner-up will also receive prizes from companies which serve the amateur radio market.
Anyone under the age of 18 can be nominated, and the closing date for nominations is the 31st of July. The award is co-ordinated by the RSGB in conjunction with the RA, who will present 600 to the winner. Both the winner and the runner up will receive an invitation to the Agency’s Radio Monitoring Station at Baldock, Hertfordshire. For further details contact Marcia Brimson at RSGB HQ on 01 707 659 015 or see the May issue of RadCom, which is due to be posted to all RSGB members this week.

There’s news of a number of firsts and records on the LF bands this week.
On the 8th of March, G3LDO’s 73 kilohertz transmissions were received by HB9ASB, significantly increasing the 73 kilohertz one-way distance record to over 700 kilometres. The following evening, a successful cross-band contact took place between G3LDO on 73 kilohertz and HB9ASB on 136 kilohertz.
LF activity in Scandinavia is on the increase. The first 136 kilohertz two-way contact between the UK and Denmark took place on the 13th of March when G3KEV worked OZ1KMR. And we have a report from Johan Bodin, SM6LKM, that Swedish radio amateurs are to be allocated the 136 kilohertz band, with effect from the 1st of April. In spite of the date, Johan emphasises that this is official.

Last week we reported that the tests were being organised by American radio amateurs in Northern Virginia on 136.75 kilohertz using the callsign WA2XTF. In addition to using Morse code mode A1A on-off keying, the permitted Data mode is F1D - which is frequency shift keying and not F10 as was stated in last week’s broadcast.

The British Amateur Radio Teledata Group has launched a new award as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. The rules require contact with 40 different countries world-wide using only PSK31 as the mode. The award is open to Short Wave Listeners who have heard at least 40 countries on PSK31.
Other requirements are that: no crossband or crossmode QSOs are allowed, any amateur radio band may be used, and there are no single-band endorsements. In addition, all claims for the award must include a list of verified QSLs (which must state that PSK31 was the mode used) confirmed by two other amateurs. The award costs 6 and applications, with verified QSL list and the fee, should be sent to: Nigel Roberts, G4KZZ, 13 Rosemoor Close, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire YO14 0NB.

International Marconi Day is taking place on the 24th of April to celebrate the birth of Guglielmo {{pronounced Goo-lee-el-mo}} Marconi. The event is again being organised by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club. Participating stations will operate from 0001UTC until 2359UTC on the 24th of April on all HF bands plus 2-metres. The main mode of operation will be SSB, but all modes are permitted and are actively encouraged.
The Cornish Radio Amateurs Club are offering a special award for all those who work IMD stations. For further details contact Robin, G0MYR, on 01 209 820 118.

The Kent wing of the Air Training Corps is in urgent need of adult Instructors, either licensed or Short Wave Listeners, to help in setting up radio links on ATC frequencies. Anyone who can help should contact Peter Poole, G4EVY, on 01634 716463.

The First Bewdley Scout Group, based in the Wyre Forest Area of Worcestershire, is holding an Amateur Radio Night on Tuesday the 23rd of March, and demonstration station GX0SSR will be on the air from 1930 until 2100 hours. Each of the scouts participating will be given the opportunity to pass a greetings message. Operation will be on two metres and 70 centimetres FM, centred around 145.550MHz or 433.550MHz, and the group would like to hear from as many stations as possible during the evening. For more details contact Phil, G4SPZ, on 01 299 403 025.

Now we come to our short-wave broadcast section: The Dutch government has given permission for two 400 metre high antenna towers to be constructed in the sea, 35 kilometres off the coast of the Netherlands. These will carry programmes from Delta Radio directed at the UK - and could be using a power of 1 to 2 Megawatts ERP. European broadcasters are already employing a total of more than 30 megawatts in the narrow 130 kilohertz segment that is the long wave broadcasting band.
Dave Coggins reports that the three Australian Northern Territory broadcasters VL8A, VL8T and VL8K on 2310, 2325 and 2485 kilohertz respectively, were heard with weak signals last week at around 2045UTC. He has also received VL8T on 4910 kilohertz and VL8K on 5025 kilohertz at good strength at 2130UTC. Have any amateurs worked Australia on the 160 metre band this winter?
Finally, Radio Budapest can be heard on 25700 kilohertz at 1100 hours some mornings. They appear to be the only occupants of the 11 metres broadcast band at present. With summer approaching, we shall shortly be turning our attention to the higher frequency short wave bands. Kindly send any unusual reception reports to Gordon Adams, G3LEQ, on voice mail or fax via 01 565 634 560 or call-in after the 2130 hours Sunday evening after the GB2RS news reading on 1990 kilohertz. This bulletin also carries the very latest propagation report.


DX News:

From Vietnam, 3W6US will be active from the 25th to the 29th of March.
From Mozambique, C91RF/P from Benguera Island is active from the 26th to the 29th of March on all bands, using CW and SSB. This counts as AF-072 for the RSGB Islands on the Air Award Programme.
From Belize, V3IGI will be active from Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Islands, from the 21st to the 26th of March, using SSB on 10 to 20 metres, 40 metres and the WARC bands. This counts as NA-123 for IOTA.
And from Turks and Caicos Island, VP5/IK2GSC and VP5/IK2SFZ will be operational from the 24th of March until the 5th of April, mostly on the LF and WARC bands. This counts as NA-002 for IOTA.
These DX news items came from the weekly RSGB DX News Sheet, edited by Chris Page, G4BUE.

Contest News:

On Monday the 29th of March the first session in the RSGB Slow Speed Cumulatives runs from 1900 to 2030UTC, in the 80 metre band, CW only.
Next Sunday, the 28th of March, a Worked All Britain Activity Day takes place.
The First RSGB 70MHz Fixed Contest takes place next Sunday, the 28th of March, from 0900 until 1300UTC.
On Tuesday the 30th of March the first session in the RSGB 144MHz SSB Fixed Station Cumulatives takes place from 1900 until 2100UTC.
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 Hotel -- 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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