HF News

The Sun continued to remain quiet last week with a maximum solar flux index of 75.3 on the twelfth and a maximum sunspot number of 17.

Sunspot region 2814, whose physical width was equivalent to four Earth diameters, spawned a few B-class solar flares, but showed little sign of growth and as you read or hear this report will be rotating out of view on the Sun's limb.

The STEREO Ahead spacecraft is showing some future potential spots with two areas exhibiting magnetic activity, but it is too early to say whether these will amount to actual spots when they rotate onto the visible solar disk.

What is more obvious is a large coronal hole that will be Earth-facing by Friday and promising a high-speed solar wind will hit us by late Saturday or Sunday.

This is predicted to make the Kp index rise to an estimated five, although, rather like the rise in the Kp Index on Thursday the 15th, it will likely be short lived.

As the Kp Index rises expect a decrease in maximum usable frequencies until the ionosphere recovers.

NOAA predicts the SFI will be in the range 72-75 next week with relatively calm geomagnetic conditions once we get past the Kp increase this weekend.

We are now probably just a couple of weeks away from the start of the Sporadic E season and as the weather forecast for this next week is quite good it may be an ideal opportunity to check your 10m antennas.

One upcoming highlight is International Marconi Day on Saturday the 24th April, when SES stations in locations with significance to Marconi's work will operate around the world. For more details just Google GB4IMD.

VHF and up

With another week of high pressure on the charts, it will be a Tropo theme for propagation. Although for some of the time, the surface air, which ideally should be cool and moist, looks likely to be cold and dry, so Tropo may not be as strong as it could be.

Sometimes the presence of misty low cloud or fog in the morning will put things right temporarily, but conditions will fade thereafter as the fog or cloud clears.

Northwestern parts of the British Isles will have some spells of frontal rain and a chance of some rain scatter, but even here the high will become more dominant later.

That leaves us with the approaching Sporadic-E season to consider. It's coming, but these early season opportunities tend to be fleeting and more likely on the lower bands like 10m and 6m using digital modes.

With the Moon at maximum positive declination today and falling path losses, towards perigee a week on Monday, it’s a good week for EME. There will be long Moon windows and high peak elevations.

Thursday 22nd sees the peak of the April Lyrids meteor shower, and on Friday the smaller Pi-Puppids. These showers signal the end of the annual meteor activity minimum and already there are signs of more meteor reflections being reported, so get looking at the usual frequencies for the mainly digimode activity.

Wednesday 14th April

Tonight at 19.30 is a special Mini NARC Live for everyone and runs immediately before the Clubs AGM which is for NARC members only*.

On this NARC Live Mini we will talk to Steve Nichols, organiser of the annual International Marconi day and news of how you could run a Marconi day special event from your home station!

And one of the last 'Who works from a shack like this'...

Plus your news and views with your pictures, news and stories. Please be sure to send them to David & Tammy before 3pm on Wednesday at the latest please to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


73 de

Tammy M0TC & David G7URP


* If you are a NARC member and has not received the special AGM meeting email and joining instructions yet (sent last Friday/Saturday) please email David or another club officer or committee member before 3pm Wednesday and we will forward you the email and link to join it either on Gotomeeting or on BATC. The AGM will start straight after NARC Live Mini - please note that NARC Live Mini will be on Facebook Live as usual, but not the AGM.


NARC Live starts at 19.30 on Facebook:  (note that Facebook also has ALL previous episodes of NARC Live to play back)


and BATC:





GB0CMS Marconi Special Event station - how about running it for an hour from your shack?! Find out more tonight...




Each week we show you the shack of a NARC member and ask you to guess whose shack it is.

Have a look at the photo below - do you know who this weeks shack belongs to?

Maybe that shiny paddle provides a ray of sunshine for this amateur...







If you think you know whose shack it is (or just have a guess!) please email David & Tammy with your guess to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 3pm on Wednesday and be sure to watch NARC Live on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm to find out who's it is!


We really are on final shacks now!

After a different shack on every show since last March we are now running low but will keep showing them until you send no more, so if you would like us to feature your shack on this fun quiz please send it to us NOW as we will be changing to a different competition once we have used the last shacks....   

Are you trying to decide about choosing a Paddle?

There are lots of paddles to choose from and it is a risky business buying one without trying it first. However, this seems to be the only way that is available under the present Covid restrictions. I recently wrote a piece in PW about the paddles made by Valery RA1AOM. They are popular with lots of CW Ops and are very attractive, being manufactured with various stone bases. He uses the latest neodymium magnet technology and can be seen demonstrating one of his paddles here:

Practical Wireless

Great CW practice too! I sent a few PWs to Valery as you see in the picture! There are a whole range of keys that Valery makes, including a very nice straight key too. Take a look on the Internet and you will find lots of pundits that use his keys and also demonstrate them on Utube as well.  He sells all over the world but there is a delay because he does not rush construction!

The NARC CW 80m Net   ( There will not be one this coming Monday due to the RSGB CC CW contest )
Norfolk Amateur Radio Club CW Net.
This is an informal net, to enable people to become familiar with operating in a net, netting properly and being short and to the point overs.
NARC Net: 3545kHz plus or minus QRM.
There will be a rotation of Net Controller togive every attendee a chance of becoming Net Controller. Malcolm will be circualting a rota. This week Roger G3LDI was Net Control and immediately I started I was called by Klaus DL5DKG. His CW was not the best, but I tried to explain we had an NARC Net going on. He eventually signed and we then had a very good Net, all with good signals. Those attending this week were: G3LDI, G3PDH, G4LPP, G4CCX, G0DFC, G3YLA and G3WRJ.
The Net Controller will call CQ at 8.30 p.m. local time on Monday evenings. Call with just your call sign once until he acknowledges you.
1 Keep a note of the order. This will be sent.
2 Net on to the Net Controller to the nearest Hz if you can.
3 Keep overs short with brief comments, no waffling, and pass transmission to the next on the list.
4 There is a 2m discussion after the Net on 145.250MHz.

  There will be a rotation of Net Controller each week to give everybody experience of being Net Controller. This week it was the turn of Roger G3LDI. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I had called for the Net I was called by a DL station who then proceeded to have a full QSO with me, despite me telling him it was a net. However, he finally did get the message and we had a successful net.

The Big P Word.
These are weekly comments from the local tutors regarding learning CW and why the Big P word is so important to becoming a proficient CW operator. Malcolm G3PDH started the ball rolling last week with some worthy comments regarding sending.
This week it is the turn of Jim G3YLA who is conentrating on the actual learning process.
Seeking the ZEN state of CW


I am sure there are many among us and on the bands who are better qualified to speak of such things, but I have been asked to say a few words about how I see the process of learning CW.

Firstly, I want to encourage anyone considering taking up CW, or improving their existing skills, to commit the right level of time to the quest. This is not a half-hearted challenge; those who appear to you as finding it easy because they are lucky, are not lucky! They are cursed with the desire to reach a goal by doing enough practice… it’s as simple as that. You can do this too, but you must allow for the fact that we all learn at different speeds, so don’t compare yourself to others, and do make sure that whatever speed development is right for you only depends upon you and NOT what others are doing.

Secondly, I would like to say a few words about what I think could be 10 productive steps towards reaching that ZEN state…

1) Learn the code and if you get a chance, try doing so at a high character speed, say 25wpm and set big gaps between characters for thinking time. It is the thinking time that improves; you will already be fast enough at 25wpm character speed.

2) Make a commitment to doing regular practice. Remember where you want to be and that whatever you do is moving you towards it.

3) If you start lessons, keep going, it encourages others and is more productive than you think at the beginning.

4) Vary the practice in between lesson to keep it fresh, build in some time on the bands trying to grasp the odd letter or abbreviation. It’s difficult at first, but but it will come if you stick at it.

5) Nobody becomes good at CW by doing just the 1 hour lesson per week.

6) Learn abbreviations since about 70% of a QSO is in some form of CW shorthand.

7) Don’t forget to learn how to send CW and why not use a reader to see if you are forming the characters correctly.

8) If you discover a weak spot, either in your classes or in-between practice, then put extra time into that problem before it becomes an excuse… e.g. “always get 7 and 8 muddled up’

9) Set a target, such as collect DXCC callsigns from CW QSOs, see if you can reach SWL DXCC on CW, then for each band!

10) Try the test files on the NARC website, both MP3 and text versions are there. Use the comprehensive test pieces on the ARRL website if you want to try different speeds.


In my view the place to aim for is the ability to copy CW in your head and be able to have a conversation without worrying about writing it down, unless there is a point to note like name or QTH etc. I would suggest it is easier at higher speeds like 25wpm, since you can retain a whole word at a time, whereas slower speeds often mean that you’ve forgotten the beginning of the text or word before getting to the end.

Whatever you choose to do, its a great journey and you should make it enjoyable by setting a great target and then a pace to get there that suits you. Don’t be the person who always has to come up with a reason for not doing it, ‘ I’ve started, so I’ll finish’ seems to work… its all in your hands.

73 de Jim


The RUFZxP table  week 2   -  April 10th

 Have you tried this yet?  It's only for fun, and should not be seen as being anything other than that.  However, it is not as easy to get to the upper echelons of the leaders, Phil and Chris. I tried to better my score this week and failed miserably!  In fact I had 4 practic runs ALL of which were 43wpm, not as good as last week.  So, keep trying and please let Jim G3YLA have your score by Thursday teatime at the latest.  Here is the table for this week:

Screenshot 2021 04 09 at 14.54.16

congratulationsTo Phil for a fantastic 62 wpm.


Morse Classes for winter 2020 are going well.
Report from G3LDI, the Bad Cop, on the Monday Headcopy session. 145.250MHz 1000 local time.

bad cop
This week, Phil G4LPP, Chris G4CCX, Les G0DFC an Tony G0OOR were on. This week we practised with cut numbers, the new dotty selection using E I and S a lot more and QSO format. There were several different QSO formats this time and it provided a good selection. Getting used to using a mixture of cut numbers and normal numbers is not too easy, but it is surprising how quickly you can adapt.

Join in and see how well you can do. We have a lot of fun and laughs on there, especially with the EISH5 groups!
You will be most welcome. It's rapid fire stuff to keep you mentally alert!
73 de Roger, G3LDI

Report from Jim, the Good Cop, on his 25wpm session. GB3NB repeater 2000 local time Tuesdays

good cop

25wpm Beginners CW Tuesday 6th April 2021


The latest session of 25wpm CW got underway on GB3NB at 8pm on Tuesday 6th April with a brace of Davids in attendance; David, M7BLX and Dave G0ELJ. We covered several sets of abbreviations and followed this with two lengthy chunks of typical QSO segments.

Both have made good progress and the copy was excellent for large portions of the exercises. This shows the value of extra practice, and puts both of them in a place where they can listen on the bands and make sense of they hear.

CW is not easy, but it is achievable! Same time next week for another session on the repeater.

73 de Jim

Morse with Anubis - Tuesdays 1000 on 145.250MHz. Thursdays on GB3NB 1000 local time.



GB2CW Report 08-04-21

There was a good attendance for the two GB2CW classes this week.
On Tuesday we had G4LPP, G0DFC, 2E0FHF, G0OOR, and G4PNF.
On Thursday we had G4LPP, G4TUK, and G4PNF.

This week we sent some examples from the popular CWOPS CWT activity periods. These consist of callsign, name, and membership number. Non members send their country identifier instead.
These activity periods are increasing in popularity and have a fairly lengthy exchange.

Some plain language material was transmitted, but we concentrated on CQ calls, QSO format, and callsign pairs this week.

Depending on the material being sent, speeds varied between 21 to 28 wpm this week.

Also mentioned were various software programs to help with practice during the week. These were CW Player, Morserunner, and RUFZXP. An RUFZXP table can be seen on the NARC website, its a fun program to use, and really good for improving the reading of callsigns.

Great results from everyone on the sessions, why not give it a try?


Speeds and accuracy are increasing all the time, but remember that speeds will be adjusted to suit those present, so please join in if you can.


Class times for Morse with Anubis are

Tuesday 10am - 11am 145.250 mhz FM simplex
Thursday 10am - 11am GB3NB repeater

73 de Chris G4CCX


Morse with Doctor Phil.

Report from GB2CW beginners class, Friday evenings at 8pm on 145.250MHz.

This Friday saw Week 23 of the Friday evening beginners CW class.

The 3 Daves reported in once more although 2e0dbs was mobile and only able to listen.

Exercises included various Yaesu rigs with year of introduction. (courtesy Chris G4CCX), Abbreviations, Old computers and consoles (also from Chris!), short qso format pieces and numbers with punctuation.

Results were very promising showing good practice continues to be done.

As this class is meant for raw beginners I will happily slow speeds and use suitable formats to accommodate them if they call in so don’t be put off by the speeds the others have currently reached!


The next class will be on 145.250MHz at 8pm on Friday April 9th followed immediately afterwards by the contest net at 9pm on the same frequency.


73 and hope to hear you there, Phil G4LPP / GB2CW.



73, Phil

Phil's email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Email him if you wish to join in.
By the way, Phil is a GOOD cop, so you will be treated kindly!

Report from the Executive Club, Malcolm G3PDH - Thursdays GB3NB 2000 local time.

The Ultimate aim for all CW OPS

On Thursday night, 8th April, the session was joined by Paul M1AFQ, Les G0DFC and Chris G4CCX. Presumably Phil G4LPP was busy representing NARC in the 6m UKAC contest. Passages of plain language, 5 letter groups, short QSO format, location names and figures were sent at speeds from 25 to 30 wpm. Methods of copy by the above varied between writing it all down, keyboard copy and head copy of the subject with jottings of salient points and numbers.
The use of 5 letter groups has been a long term training method for Morse code over many years. To establish the wpm of a text passage the number of characters was usually divided by 5 on the basis that an average word comprised 5 letters. Receiving 5 letter groups was also deemed slightly more challenging as there was no way to guess the letters as in plain language, therefore it was a true measure of receive capability. The use of such groups also found its way into commercial traffic with groups substituting for a longer set of words such as instructions and notifications according to respective company coding books.. This enabled message lengths to be kept shorter and also to maintain some privacy when such traffic was being sent over open radio circuits. It also kept the message word count lower, and the subsequent cost, when using paid radio circuits such as in civil maritime operations.

Malcolm G3PDH


Malcolm G3PDH


.cw ops logo

The CWOPS CWT activity periods are still as popular as ever.
With the time change for BST, the CWT periods are now 1 hour later than we have been used to over the winter. The 1300 session had poor propagation but there were 10 locals taking part. the 1900 hour saw 11 locals with some of us watching NARC at the same time. The 0300 session was understandably down with just six stations.

If you aspire to join CW OPS, prove your worth with a few >20wpm QSOs, chatty ones, and you can get in! It is a lot of fun operating in the CWTs, and terrific practice too.
The link below is to FAV22. THis is a military station on 3881.00kHz and runs at varying speeds with groups of letters, numbers, punctuation and procedural signals. It is on 24/7 so take a look It is well worth the practice.
Another freq to check is 6.825MHz.
If you look up this link in Google Chrome, it will translate into English for you.
Harking back to the suggestion from Ray G3XLG, another input from Phil G4LPP:




Email me with input, queries, keys, paddles, classes and so on. Hopefully I can help or know a man that can!
73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.




NARC Live from last Wednesday 7th April 2021 
Included in this show was a short talk on Grounding and Bonding by Tim K3LR plus club news and views and 'Who works from a shack like this...'
We have uploaded a recording of this edition of NARC Live to YouTube and you can watch it here:
NARC Live! is a weekly show which is broadcast live on Wednesday nights at 19.30 by Norfolk Amateur Radio Club. Hosted and produced by David Palmer G7URP and Tammy Palmer M0TC for Norfolk Amateur Radio Club: www.norfolkamateurradio.org.
You can watch and join us live on Facebook or BATC - everyone is welcome:
(Note that our Facebook page also has all previous episodes of NARC Live to play back, Youtube only has a selection)


David G7URP & Tammy M0TC - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




NARC Annual General Meeting - April 14th

Norfolk Amateur Radio Club are holding a condensed AGM for members after a mini version of NARC Live on Wednesday April 14th.

Details have already been sent to NARC members who subscribe to the clubs newsletter, but if you are a member and have not yet received information about the AGM please drop an email to me immmediately - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note that we cannot subscribe members to NARC emails automatically because of strict privacy laws which came into force in 2018, but you can subscribe to the website and newsletter at any time yourself just by going to http://www.norfolkamateurradio.org/index.php/about/web-registration  (you can equally easily unsubscibe).


73, David G7URP




Ferrite special

NARC has secured a special deal for the ferrites for the following common mode choke


Fair-Rite part number 2643167851

Price just £2.00 per ferrite 

May be collected from Dereham or Norwich with social distancing in place and payment via bank transfer to NARC.

please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details


GB0CMS QSLCARDOn Saturday 24th April 2021 NARC will once again be running a special event station with the callsign GB0CMS as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations.

But this year will be a little different due to the Covid restrictions. We have special permission for you to operate GB0CMS from your home QTH this year.

Operation is only available to paid-up Norfolk Amateur Radio Club members with full licences and you can operate IMD on any HF band from 160m -10m (including WARC bands) on Saturday 24th April 2021. Note VHF contacts do not count towards the IMD award so please do not use GB0CMS on 6m, 2m, 70cm or higher. This would be in breach of the GB0CMS licence.

What is International Marconi Day?
On this day, the closest Saturday to Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, stations around the world will be set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work.

Radio amateurs around the world will contact as many of these stations as possible to try and win an award. We therefore have to hand out GB0CMS to as many stations as possible on HF (VHF/UHF contacts do not count).

The station will run for 24 hours and we are looking for operators to work from home.

Both SSB and CW can be used, as can RTTY modes including PSK and FT4/8.

What has Caister got to do with Marconi?
In 1896 the patent for wireless telegraphy was issued to Guglielmo Marconi and the following year the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company came into being.

The first coastal station was built at Alum Bay, Isle of Wight and in 1900 the company name changed to Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd.

By the end of that year a chain of coastal stations had been built at strategic points on the coastline, one of these being at Caister on the east coast of the UK.

The Marconi station was established at Caister in 1900, in a house in the High Street known as Pretoria Villa. Its original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and from 1906 it was also able to communicate with the Cross Sand lightship – all via CW of course.

New technology made the Caister station out of date and it finally closed in 1929. The masts were taken down and a few years later the house became the village Police Station.

How do I get involved?
Due to OfCom regulations, we can only allow full licensees to operate with the callsign. That is, you cannot use the callsign if you are a foundation or intermediate licence holder.  If you want to be an operator you can add your name to the roster (accessible on the internet here). Just pick a one-hour slot. If for any reason you can’t complete the roster just email Steve (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your details and he will add them.

Caution! Please note the roster time is in UTC (GMT). We are currently one hour ahead on BST. So, if you select, say, 14:00-15:00hrs UTC, you will actually be operating from 15:00-16:00hrs BST. Please do not overrun your selected slot and DO NOT operate with the call GB0CMS  unless you are on the roster. 

Is it only HF?
Operation will be HF only as that is what people will need to use to win the IMD award. Note: VHF contacts cannot be used as part of an IMD award entry.

Is it a contest?
No, but hundreds of amateurs want to contact you so that they can claim their award, therefore “contest-style” operating (fast and slick) may be necessary at times to cope with the piles-ups. If things quieten down you can then have more of a rag chew!

How well do we do?
Generally, we manage to contact more than 200 other radio amateurs in more than 30 different countries. Notable contacts have included hams in the Caribbean, Australia, USA, Canada and across Europe. This year, as we can operate for the full 24 hours I expect the QSO count to even higher!

Where can I find out more?
See: http://www.qsl.net/gb0cms/ and http://www.gb4imd.org.uk/
Video from 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z41FLKaT7eY
Video from 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8ZRW0q6SyI
Video from 2014 (G4TUK): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXYp0T4FH8k

Steve G0KYA, 2nd April 2021


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Your login will normally be your callsign.


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NARC are afflitated to the RSGB
Regional and National Winners of Club of the Year 2015

Lottery Funded

Lottery funding enabled NARC to purchase direction finding equipment for training, competitions and as a fun family introduction to amateur radio

Committee Links

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NARC Training 2020

Amateur Radio Training with NARC

Training is very important to NARC because we realise this is how new people come into the hobby and attain their Foundation, Intermediate and Advance Amateur Radio licenses.
We are pleased to offer courses which are based on demand and our programme of other events and activities. To register your interest for a course and exam please email your name and contact details, together with which level of training course you are waiting for,  to the Club Exam Secretary David Palmer G7URP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Club meetings


During the current Covid-19 pandemic when the club cannot physically meet, the club now broadcasts its own magazine show NARC Live! every Wednesday with news, features and guests.
It is streamed online live from 19.30 BST at the following places:

• Facebook Live:

• BATC Streaming service:

The club meets virtually every Wednesday throughout the year in the sixth form centre of the City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, NR4 6PP from 1900-2130.

We welcome anyone of any age, gender or ability and who enjoys experimenting with radio and electronics to come and meet us and see what we do in our hobby.

Please see above ONLINE tab for details of the club programme and below this piece for contacts of club official.

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