Advance Course Notes

Found on the floor near the till when we packed up last Wednesday, a PCB header with multiple pins, probably from a kit someone brought in.

If it is yours please let me know by email and I will bring it to the club or post it to you if it is holding your kit making up.

73, David G7URP

HF News

We had another spotless week as the Sun continued its decline into solar minimum. Geomagnetic conditions were varied with the beginning of week seeing the Kp index hitting one and two. But this didn’t last due to ongoing coronal hole activity, which saw the Kp index climb to three and four by Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th.

To recap, coronal holes are lower energy areas on the Sun with open magnetic field lines. This allows the solar wind to flow out towards Earth. If the plasma’s “frozen in” or embedded magnetic field has a south-facing component it is more likely to couple with the Earth’s, allowing the charged particles to enter the magnetotail. A magnetic recombination event can then see them accelerated back to the Earth’s magnetic poles, resulting in auroral displays and depressed maximum useable frequencies.

Coronal holes appear dark when the Sun is photographed in extreme ultraviolet light. Look for the images marked AIA 211 from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (or SDO) at

Next week NOAA predicts a solar flux index of around 72 with unsettled geomagnetic conditions around the 18th, 20th and 21st, due to yet more coronal hole activity. shows that the unsettled geomagnetic conditions can impact the critical frequency, which was topping out at around 4.5 to 5 MHz during daylight at times. This means that 60 metres or 5 MHz may struggle a little with NVIS, or near-local, signals.

Eighty metres may also struggle with close-in signals after dark as the critical frequency struggles around the 3-3.5 MHz mark. The good news is that this should improve as the month moves on, which will no doubt be welcomed by participants taking part in the RSGB 80m Club Championships. 

VHF and up 

The Es'hailSat 2 transponders have gone live and the 10GHz narrow-band downlink is at least as strong as expected using a satellite LNB and a 60cm dish. The 2.4GHz uplink is really sensitive with easy access via a second feed on the same dish, a small Yagi or patch antenna and a few Watts.

Back on Earth, the large high has done well with enhanced Tropo conditions during last week, and although the theme of high pressure continues into next week there is one subtle difference - it's simply where the air over the country is coming from.

Recent air flow has been from the Atlantic down to the southwest of the British Isles, and as a result, it contains plenty of moisture. This means more cloud than is ideal, but the moist layer of cloud provides a great contrast to the dry air above the temperature inversion at the top of the cloud layer. This is what gives the Tropo conditions, since moisture is a big player in the value of the refractive index of the air and changes of the index are what produces the ducting.

As we move into next week, the flow of air round the high is coming from across the continent, so it will be drier and therefore may not be so useful for maintaining Tropo. At the very least, we should expect Tropo conditions to be more variable, despite the high pressure remaining in control. 

Moon declination peaked yesterday and with perigee tomorrow it's another good week for EME. Peak Moon elevation is around midnight, moving into the early hours as the week progresses.


RSGB CC - Second one this season.
Well, propagation was good this time, just within the limit however! NARC had 18 logs, a great turn-out and by the looks of it, we should do well once again. Good to see Chris G0DWV back in there again, hope that will be a regular thing! Phil G4LPP, who moved to Norfolk last year, took part too and made a PB of 33, which is very good for a first data contest.
The next one is on February 28th and is, of course, CW. Hope we can get as many logs again for that one.
If you want some CW contest practice, have a bash this weekend:
ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW: 0000Z, Feb 16 to 2400Z, Feb 17
Correct macros are available on the N1MM+ web site.

Top Band contest
Congratulations goes to Malcolm G3PDH on gaining 3rd place in the assisted category at the weekend.

Peter M0RYB/P who was out portable at his Dacha came 6th in the un-assisted category.

NEWS AND COMMENTS ( AND PICTURES! ) PLEASE TO ME: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI



I have eight on the list now. They are:
Tony G0OOR, Mui M0MUI
Paul G3SEM, Donard M0KRK
Chris G4CCX, Ted G4OZG
Paul G4ZBA
Phil G4LPP

If you wish to attend, please email me - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - and I will add your name. It will take a slightly different format this spring, in that we will be conducting some tests in the afternoon for those that want it. Please give some thought to the speed at which you will be comfortable and you can end up with a Proficiency Certificate - pictures for Radcom!
Great to see the support that Paul M1AFQ is receiving at the Club with his Morse in the Computer Room practice sessions. Try it! It really is fun!
I had a cancellation on July 3rd so I have now booked the evening as a Morse evening. The format will be slightly different from what you might conceive, but more on that later. It would be good if you could bring along YOUR Morse key or keys for showing and demonstration. Roy G3ZIG is bringing along his sounder as was used on the old USA railroads. You can also try using that and also reading the Morse it sends. That will determine whether you are a LID or not. More on that later too.


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

Its back! Time to dust off those items of your favourite tech from yesteryear and bring them to the club to share and reminisce....

Pretty much anything goes be it radio, electronics, technology or engineering goes; a classic radio, vintage computer, nifty gadget or favourite game. They don't make them like that any more do they (err - except Record Players?), so please bring something special to remind us how it used to be - with a few notes if you have them......    

Now where did I put my Sinclair Black 'smart' watch.....

73, David G7URP

Some pictures from our last Retro Tech evening in 2015.....