Advance Course Notes

Tonight two activities in two places!

For those of you who are into Direction Finding (aka Foxhunting), tonight is the most important night of the year as its time to try and find the 'fox' in the shortest distance. As with the friendly practice last month, the foxhunt starts from the Thorpe Recreation Ground in Laundry Lane Thorpe, post code NR7 0XQ. All teams meet there from 7pm with the first transmission starting at 7.30pm. Usual rules apply, namely minimum of 2 people per team, at least one charged mobile phone per team and a healthy tank of fuel plus of course DF equipment, Map (Landranger 134 ideal) and your very best intuition and of course some luck!  We will probably use a slightly different 2m frequency to avoid the nets we had interference with on the friendly.

 

And a social Informal evening for everyone else....

On the last foxhunt we had several people ask us to have a regular club evening too, so tonight for everyone not foxhunting there will be a social informal with morse practice for beginners with Paul M1AFQ at CNS school as usual from 7pm - please come as we are hiring the usual rooms as normal and will do this in the future as long as there is good support.

 

73, David G7URP

Stuart G7KBF sent us this picture which would surely be the perfect radio amateurs coach company for our trips..... if only they were closer!

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We always welcome input from members, so if you have an interesting story or photograph please do send it to either Mark G0LGJ or David G7URP. Thanks!

HF News

Summer Sporadic E brought some unusual short-skip propagation to 20 metres this week, with contacts being enabled between parts of the UK.

Signals between Southern England and Scotland were very loud mid-morning after an Es cloud settled over the British Isles on Monday.

These UK openings are hard to predict, but can bring short-skip on paths between the extreme ends of the United Kingdom on frequencies up to and including 10 metres.

Otherwise, F-layer propagation was a little lacklustre with zero sunspots and slightly unsettled geomagnetic conditions bringing maximum useable frequencies down to 20m and lower at times.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-to-low 70s. We may expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend and Monday the 16th due to a coronal hole that became Earth-facing on Thursday the 12th.

Another potentially-active region will begin to turn into Earth view this weekend. This is a plage, a brighter region of the Sun’s chromosphere typically found in regions near sunspots.

At the moment there are no visible sunspots to report in the region and solar activity may continue at lower levels.

Twenty metres remains the most reliable DX band during the day, although “most reliable” is a relative term! Forty and thirty metres are worth checking after dark.

For more accurate predictions it is worth checking out voacap.com and predtest.uk, both of which can handle SSB, CW and FT8 predictions.

Don’t forget the FIFA World Cup special event stations will no doubt finish on Sunday, so get in quick!

VHF and up

The weather charts are starting to show subtle changes this week as the high pressure of recent weeks is not quite so dominant. But it is still there in parts and should continue to provide some occasional Tropo.

The weakness of the high will allow some showers or weak fronts to become involved, but as this is not a widespread affair any rain scatter for the GigaHertz bands will be fairly limited.

The unsettled part of the story will mean fronts and their associated jet streams might put in an appearance. There may be one jet stream over northwestern Britain for a brief time this weekend, and another one through the Mediterranean, but this is also a fairly weak pattern.

The end result is that Sporadic E may not have all the weather ingredients in the right place and you’ll need to check the beacons and clusters for activity levels. Remember the season can last into late August on 6m, so there’s still time for further openings, even if this week underperforms.

There are no meteor showers this week so stick to the early morning random peak when the earth is rotating towards the orbital plane meteor flux for the best chances of meteor shower contacts.

We are now past Moon perigee and maximum declination for this lunar month. Declination is positive until Wednesday and losses will increase as the week progresses. This means EME conditions will be best in the first half of the week.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week.

The last SSB session was well attended despite the wrestling match on TV. There were a few notable absentees, but in the event we had 14 logs. We also had some good scores, so - fingers crossed - we should do well. No PBs this time however, at least not to my knowledge. Don't forget I can only report what I have been told.
The final contest is on Thursday, 26th July and it is Data. Hopefully by then all the wrestling will be over and we will have a huge attendance to really seal our success. Please try to make it such, because we would like to make it a clean seep, winning every CC contest! That will be a record that is difficult for any club to emulate.

NOTICE: The WA7BNM Contest Calendar has permanently moved to: http://www.contestcalendar.com/ Please update any links to the calendar.
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The web versions of this contest calendar can be found at: http://www.contestcalendar.com/ You can also access a text version of the weekly calendar at: http://www.contestcalendar.com/weeklycal.txt
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See the list on WA7BNM, something for everybody!
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Other Contests:
https://tinyurl.com/4mdvb
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That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI

morse key 2

Bootcamps.
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I have had several emails from interested tutors who wish to set up their own Bootcamp. Mostly it is asking just what is involved, how we do it and the general format of the whole day. It's great to see it catching on with other clubs now and this might perhaps be a slow rolling stone gathering some moss so that definitely sounds like good news to me.
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RSGB CC Contests.
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I wish to congratulate Peter M0RYB/PPPPP on winning the QRP section, with four Norfolk stations in the top 20. In the Low power section, G3LDI came second and Malcolm G3PDH came third, with three Norfolk stations in the top 20.
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Whatever happens now, we have won the trophy again this year. However, don't get too complacent as yet, we still need your logs for the last two contests. Hope some of you are planning to attend the Convention so we can collect the trophy en bloc. However, this is really for the Contest Chat. I just couldn't resist as it was CW.
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Most of the tutors locally use TEACH4 to transmit the Morse. This program was written by Gary Bold ZL1AN. Gary did a few modifications to the program at my request to alter the tone and speed range. Unfortunately Gary ZL1AN became a Silent Key yesterday. Gary was a University lecturer and a very well known and popular New Zealand radio amateur. Among his many claims to fame, Gary was the author of The Morseman column in Break-In magazine. He will be sadly missed.
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Ray G4FON is to give a presentation at this year’s RSGB Convention in October provisionally entitled Moving your Morse Code skills from ‘5NN TU’ to effortless casual rag chewing. The draft synopsis reads, “Nobody would claim that becoming proficient at Morse Code is easy but once learnt, the results are very satisfying. In his talk G4FON discusses the pitfalls of learning Morse and the work of the German psychologist Ludwig Koch which G4FON implemented in his freeware training soft-ware. Drawing his own experience and on over ten years of feedback by users of his software, G4FON will offer practical advice on how you can move from simply working stations with a “5NN TU” reply to effortless casual rag chewing with them.
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What a great reason for attending the Convention!
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morsekey2

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The schedule for Morse tuition locally for the summer will be a continuance of the daily classes which Chris G4CCX runs on two metres. They will be as follows:
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Tuesdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on 145.250MHz
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Thursdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on GB3NB
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The Tuesday class is well attended, as is the Thursday class on GB3NB.
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EVENING CLASSES WILL RESUME ONCE AGAIN IN LATE SEPTEMBER SO WATCH THIS SPACE.
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HOMEWORK for the summer before the resumption of classes in the autumn.
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1 Learn as many abbreviations as possible. You can find your study course here:
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http://www.hamuniverse.com/qsignals.html
or here:
https://www.wattpad.com/478101276-codes-ciphers-morse-code-abbreviations
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This site has just about all you will need, BUT you WILL need to learn these. DO NOT ignore them. Part of being able to hold a great conversation in Morse is this knowledge. Relying on code reader programs is NOT the way to go. It's the lazy man's approach to using Morse and it can get you into a lot of awkward situations. You have nearly four months to learn these, easy-peasy, IF you devote some time to it.
Then have a look at this video on how to construct a CW QSO. As you will see it assumes you have done the homework above! However, that is par for the course.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=ZqPQE1D8gfw
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Following the Forum at NARC there will be Morse on Informal evenings at the Club. On contest evenings, Paul M1AFQ will be running a class in the computer room and will be teaching from scratch.
Paul M1AFQ also has a social mini-bootcamp at his QTH on Thursday afternoons. Everyone is welcome ( not sure how large his place is!!! ) and any time after 12.30. QTHR
Jim G3YLA has organised a class of those who have done CW in the past but wish to resume once again. Jim will not be available on contest Informals, but will be available after July when the CC contests finish.
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Besides these schedules, it will also be possible to learn on line using Skype. Classes will be held using that medium in the near future. Let me know if you are interested. Les G0DFC is interested in this so keep an eye on this space and I will let you know when it has been set up.
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73 de Roger, G3LDI RSGB GB2CW Coordinator

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