CW Net Timetable

Hope QSO Party – Starting 6 April

We have recently conducted a survey among UK radio amateurs, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to see who would like to participate in a series of short QSO party style weekday contests. The response has been that we have a mandate to proceed on a temporary basis to help and support radio amateurs who are isolated at home and would appreciate contact with other people.

We have put the rules and infrastructure in place so that we can start an initial six week series on Monday 6 April. This contest series is open to all entrants and not restricted to RSGB members. We are also encouraging international participation with the scoring being on an “Anyone works Anyone” basis.



There has already been significant interest shown in this from DARC (Germany) and other EU national societies.  See the DARC Main Page.

and also the main Ukrainian Contest Portal 3rd info from above.

The likelihood is that it will be easiest to make UK QSO on 80m and on 40m and above there frequency allocations will busy with EU stations.

73 Nick G4FAL

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Monday night net 6th April - Going mobile

Andrew 2E0LTA has volunteered to run tonights net with a suggested topic of 'Working mobile'.

Join him from 19.30 on repeater GB3NB and if lots of poeple are on please remember to try and keep overs under a minute so that it can be more of a conversation.

Thanks for offering to run tonights net Andrew - we would like to have a different voice every week so please drop me a note.


Wednesday 8th April NARC Live! - Data radio FT4 & FT8

This Wednesday I am very pleased to tell you that Peter M0HBL is going to demonstrate various digital modes including FT4 and FT8 live on our video stream. Peter rallied to the call when he heard I was asking for someone to give a demo of how to set some of these new modes up and see them working, so please join Tammy and I for this and other news from 19.30 on Facebook live video and the BATC events stream. You will be able to watch live and ask questions too - Thank you Peter!

You will be able to watch and ask questions or comment live at these two online places:



I really do need others to come and do a demo, chat or talk on NARC Live on Wednesdays, it really is informal and I can help you as necessary so please give us something or even a photo of another hobby or something interesting. I am trying to make NARC Live! our weekly catch up of all things radio around our area, but to do so I need input from lots of you, so please send pics, ideas in fact anything radio or electronic you think others will enjoy in these difficult times......


Your shack...

I am looking for a picture of lots of peoples shacks or radio areas for a new fun feature. Please could you email me one of yours? 


Take care, stay safe 

73, David G7URP  

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Jim G3YLA's class is still going strong! I am seriously worried now about my hat!!

25wpm Beginners CW Week13 report


The onward march continues and there was a magnificent 9 participants on this week’s GB2CW morse on GB3NB at 8pm Tuesday evening. We are well into the final stages of learning the commonly used abbreviations and phrases used in CW QSOs. So I hope that you are all trying your hand at listening down at the CW end of the bands to try out your new skills. It will be difficult in the early stages, but the more you can make time for this, the easier the whole process will become.

The other element of self-help is to go over the characters that you know are still weak or confused; unfortunately we all have those in the early stages, inverted letters etc. You can practice these problems away and that is your other piece of homework. Sadly we all have a lot of spare time during the lockdown, so lets put it to good use shall we?

I am now very close to having a full set of MP3 files of each exercise in the series. When these are ready they will be made available for practice along with the text equivalent version. By next January you will be very glad you decided to put learn morse code on last year’s list , because you should be close to having QSOs at reasonable speed and not totally phased by some bits at 25wpm!

Excellent progress gang, same time next week…

73 de Jim

 Morse sweat

Well, for those of you who would like to try a novel way of sending CW, assuming you are quite happy with your sending at present,try this. You have plenty of time to perfect this, and it could provide you with hours of fun !
This will provide you with some interesting reading, plus you can try and work the Point Reyes station.
I would like to start a feature here called "My Favourite Morse Key". It can be any sort, i.e. straight key, paddle, side-swiper or Cootie, or semi-automatic bug. Let me have a picture of the key, on its own, on your desk, or with you using it, and a brief history and reason why.
You have plenty of time to get this done and I won't start this until I receive at least four inputs. If I don't hear from anybody, then I shall simply discard the idea. It's up to YOU!


BOOTCAMP has had to be cancelled due to the situation. Hopefully we will be able to run one in November. I will keep the distribution list and send another round robin nearer the date.
In the meantime, with self isolation, what a great opportunity to get some practice in. Lots of choice:
All of the above, plus many more, can give a varied amount of practice.
Try a few CQ calls on the FISTS frequencies, nothing quite like a REAL QSO, plus the sending practice too!


Headcopy Class is going well.
EISH5 These groups are just a bit of fun really. It concentrates the mind on patterns.If you have problems with this mix, don't worry too much because it is highly unlikely that they will ever be sent in general covesation. So don't despair, even the most skilled have problems with groups like this.
However, it is all good Practice, that Big P word again!
So, join us at 1000 on Monday mornings and have some fun.

73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.



contest clipart

Contest News from a village somewhere East of Norwich.
80m Club Championship:

All going well with 6 out of the 18 80mCC events completed.

The 80mCC SSB contest (26/03/20) results were adjudicated very promptly after a quite busy evening on 80m.
The overall pecking order between NARC Nelson and NARC Boudica hasn't changed, with Nelson still commanding 2nd place behind the 1st placed De Montfort University team and Boudica still trailing in 3rd overall.
Propagation conditions for inter-G working were good to fair for the first hour with many more signals than usual, all competing for space, then the skip distance appeared to lengthen and short range inter-G contacts became more difficult although the far South of the country and GM were still very strong here in Norfolk.
The total number of logs submitted increased by a massive 24% to 267 logs!
Quite a number of people remarked upon not hearing or working G*6XX, it seems that the RSGB bonus station was not active in this event.
10 logs were entered for BOUDICA and 9 logs for NELSON, but NELSON were the much stronger team on the night and poor ol' Boudica got pushed down to 5th in this particular event. The 3As CG flexed their muscles and came up with some superb scores and Bristol CG weren't holding back either.
1st De Montfort University ARS.
2nd NARC Nelson.
3rd 3As CG.
4th Bristol CG.
5th NARC Boudica - oh dear!
Time for Boudica to pull her socks up - or whatever they were wearing in the 1st Century AD, apart from animal skins and woad.
But now, for your delight and delectation, your deliberation and determination, using your very own indispensible digital dexterity we introduce this month's star turn, (with apologies to Leonard Sachs) another 90 minute CW extravaganza in the 80m Club Championship calendar on Monday 6th April at 19:00utc - yes! 20:00 Local time, as usual during BST.
Can NARC Boudica close that ever widening gap with CW? Its up to you - or roughly half of you!
The Contest Net still runs every Friday evening at 2000utc on 145.250MHz for anyone needing help and guidance setting up for N1MM+ Logger and getting started in RTTY/PSK or just doing on-air tests to blow the cobwebs out of their data interfaces.
Coming to your shack soon:
80m CC CW - Monday 6th April.
80m CC SSB - Wednesday 15th April.
80m CC DATA - Thursday 23rd April.
80m CC SSB - Monday 4th May (also Spring Bank Holiday but don't go anywhere, stay home for the contest).
Monday 27th April is the 3rd FT4 contest.
Now a word about a recent introduction by RSGB HF Contest Committee.
Since many Radio Amateurs are having to stay at home during normal daytime working hours, a temporary series of 90 minute contests has been introduced on each weekday during April and May in the form of QSO Parties to be known as Hope QP, covering SSB, CW, RTTY, and FT4. These short events are open to all amateurs and not restricted to members or UK only, with the aim to enable isolated amateurs to still communicate with each other in contest style. You don't have to necessarily enter every event.
This link will take you to the HF Contest Calendar where you can click on the RSGB events and read the relevant rules and times of each event:
Something for the Weekend:
EARTTY Contest 4th & 5th April.
Rules at:
RSGB 80m RoLo SSB 5th April 1900 to 2030utc
Rules at:
SP DX Contest CW/SSB 4th April to 5th April
Rules at:
A useful calendar of other contests can be found here in Bruce's (WA7BNM) weekly listings:
Always download and study the rules.
VHF UK Activity Contests.
Tuesday 7th April is the 144MHz UKAC.
Tuesday 14th April is the 432MHz UKAC.
Thursday 9th April is the 50MHz UKAC.
Stay safe and enjoy single operator contesting for now.
73 John G8VPE

HF News

The high-speed stream of solar particles from a coronal hole on the Sun last week wasn’t moving as fast as we initially thought. As a result its impact on Earth, and the subsequent rise in the Kp index to four, happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning and not the weekend as we predicted.

The impact though was relatively short-lived and by late Tuesday the Kp index was back down to two.

The bands were affected though, with the critical frequency as measured at Chilton struggling to reach 5MHz until midday Tuesday. The predicted MUFs over a 3,000km path, according to, looked like a roller coaster ride, often exceeding 18MHz, but then crashing down to below 14MHz.

A smaller coronal hole is now facing Earth, which could mean a higher Kp index over the weekend, although NOAA is not indicating this.

There is some good news though. A small sunspot group, numbered 2759, appeared on the Sun’s surface, pushing the sunspot number to 12. This represents two sunspots (2) in one group (10). The spot’s high latitude suggests it is from the upcoming Solar Cycle 25.

But on Thursday morning the SFI was still at a modest 69.

NOAA predicts that next week the solar flux index will remain at about 68-70 and geomagnetically the Kp index will remain at about two.

The good news is there are signs that the higher HF bands are remaining open longer. As the season progresses this should improve, with 30m and even 20m eventually remaining open until very late.

We are also heading towards the 2020 Sporadic E season, which should bring strong short-skip signals on 10m, but more about that in the VHF section.

VHF and up

The weather produced some half-hearted attempts at Tropo in the past week and even some weak sporadic E opportunities appeared on 10m and 6m.

This week looks to be rather mixed in a weather sense. The high will weaken and drift east allowing low pressure to move towards northwest Britain from the Atlantic with a series of fronts crossing the country next week.

This will offer the chance of April shower rain scatter at times and then, by next weekend, there may be a rebuilding of high pressure to the east with a hint of Tropo and warmth to end the week.

The month of April is traditionally the start of early Es on 10m and 6m via traditional modes like CW and SSB. For example, a weak jet stream over the Pyrenees mid-week could favour paths to IS0, EA6, EA5 etc.

Remember that springtime is also a good chance to get some auroral activity, so check those Kp values, anything above four or five is interesting.

Moon declination is positive until Tuesday as is perigee, so losses will be at their lowest and Moon windows will shorten as the week goes on. 144 MHz sky noise is low so in all, a good week for EME.

We are still in the annual low activity period for shower meteors until the Lyrids that should start on the 16th of this month. Keep checking around dawn for the best random meteor contacts.