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This week saw the beginning of a new month and continued Sporadic E openings. Traditionally we see a slow down in the number of Es openings in July, but while we are seeing a few periods on 10m when there are no openings, they inevitably reappear.

An HF opening to Angola occurred on Wednesday, allowing amateurs to bag Gabriel D2EB on both 17 and 12 metres CW. Paul G0KPH also spotted Gabriel on 40 CW metres in the evening.

As we said a couple of weeks ago, the HF bands are staying open later which is a summer phenomenon. Darren G0TSM has found 17m FT8 to be open to Japan, the West Coast of the USA, Alaska and Hawaii until around 0200Z.

Mike G4FHQ said 80m has been good overnight too, after he heard a string of W2s and VE3s working the Canada Day contest at 0330Z at 57/8 SSB.

The Sun, however, remained very quiet with zero sunspots (we are beginning to sound like a stuck record!). The Kp index ranged from zero to three thanks to a high-speed solar wind stream.

Next week NOAA predicts a solar flux index of 68 and a Kp index of two to three. There are no sunspots predicted, just a few bright spots on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft’s extreme ultraviolet view, which may or may not develop into spots.

Mid-latitude coronal hole activity has declined recently and it does look like we are now truly at sunspot minimum.

VHF and up

There is a change in the weather coming along and Sunday should see a ridge of high pressure building across the south of the country, bringing Tropo back into the options.

This could be particularly good for paths to the south across the Channel and Biscay as well as across the southern North Sea. This ridge gets a bit of knock-back after mid-week as a small low tracks across the north of the country. In some models this is also followed by a further weak ridge for the next weekend, so Tropo will continue to feature.

The sporadic E season is less prolific in July, but it’s still a key month for the mode. The weather is always busy generating atmospheric gravity waves which can propagate upwards to affect the E region and trigger Es, so hopefully some parts of the country may find the geometry is right for some VHF DX paths via sporadic E.

These high summer weeks are often good for ultra Es Dx paths (mostly on FT8) to the Far East in the early morning, so it's well worth checking the clusters from 0600-0800Z.

With low Moon declination and no major meteor showers this week, it’s a good week to increase your square count via the satellites. Both QO100 and the LEOs are always there to work the DX if the bands are flat.

Finally, a thought. While we’re definitely not advocating “don’t call CQ,” you’ll increase your chances of making non-contest QSOs hugely, especially on the GHz Bands, if you announce your planned activity in advance.

Use email reflectors, social media and the ON4KST microwave chat to let people know when you’re QRV.

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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.

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 CLUB MEETINGS - NARC Live!

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:
www.facebook.com/norfolkamateurradioclub/

• BATC Streaming service:
www.batc.org.uk/live/NARC

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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