What is Amateur Radio?

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News from our Far East Correspondent: ( Or musings from the man from Middle Earth! )
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2019 AFS Events:
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The very highest scoring stations in CW AFS were all using 400W, as would be expected. All 25 scores from 337 down to 243 were on 400W.
However, 100W and 10W stations still proved that very respectable results could be had without using a bulldozer.
Malcolm's own score of 203 was excellent on 100W.

Looking at raw scores for the DATA AFS it appears that Grimsby will head the Local section, followed by NARC then Camb-Hams.
That said positions can change so easily, dependant upon the deductions of the dreaded UBNs and penalties.

The De Montfort University team scored highest overall but their entry presumably will go into the General Section as will the entry from Three As.
We should expect some very strong competition in the forthcoming 80mCCs as they've obviously got to grips with datamodes.
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Still to compete:
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Saturday 19th January 1300-1700utc 80/40m SSB AFS.
Sunday 3rd February 0900-1300utc 432MHz AFS.
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73 John G8VPE
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Please make an effort in 2019 to send me YOUR contest efforts. Others do like to read about ALL NARC contest news.
I don't have a qualification in telepathy and I feel sure it would make interesting material for the readers of the Newsletter as well as providing some impetus for some newcomers to try their hand at contesting. So, don't hide your light under a bushel! Could use some pictures too!
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NEWS AND COMMENTS ( AND PICTURES! ) PLEASE TO ME: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI

                                                                 Morse Tuition for 2019

 CW practice

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The Beginner's class has a newcomer, Phil G4LPP, who moved to Norfolk last year has decided to renew his CW skill. If you would like to join him, I would be pleased to have you in the class!
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Well, did Brexit get in the way this week? No Phil, no John, no Mark and no James. All should have been present in the beginner's class! No need to be shy about what you DON'T know. This is the idea of the Beginner's class, so remember that we all had to start somewhere.
The main requirement for success is that you must have a desire to learn CW and become a proficient operator. If you view it purely as a chore, then forget it and take up Internet Radio or knitting! The big P word is essential of course and the younger you are the easier it is to learn. So, Practice is proportional to age. However for most 30 minutes a day is enough. Mui amptly demonstrates this fundamental principal. Once you get on the air, you will find a whole new exciting spectrum and clubs to join, contests, events, and so on.
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GB2CW Certificates.
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Please let Malcolm G3PDH know what speed you would like to take in the test.
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PLEASE EMAIL MALCOLM OF YOUR INTEREST AND INTENTIONS. HERE:
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"Malcolm Prestwood, G3PDH President NARC" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.
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The schedule for NARC Morse tuition locally is as follows:
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Tuesdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on 145.250MHz
1900 - 2000 Raw Beginners as first choice with Roger G3LDI on 145.250MHz
However, there seems to be no beginners joining at this time, so IF no beginners check in at the start of the session, I will then "play to the crowd". In other words, whatever speed you wish to practice with, so please call in!
2000 - 2100 Intermediates with Jim G3YLA on 145.625MHz - in other words on GB3NB repeater,
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Thursdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on GB3NB
2000 - 2100 Advanced Class with Malcolm G3PDH on the GB3NB Repeater.
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The Tuesday class is well attended, as is the Thursday class on GB3NB.
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INFORMAL evenings at the Club will still have Morse in the Computer Room with Paul M1AFQ and Chris G4CCX.
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Norfolk Amateur Radio Club CW Net.

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                                                                             NARC Net: 3545kHz plus or minus QRM.
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The Net Controller, normally Malcolm G3PDH, will call CQ at 8.30 p.m. local time on Monday evenings. Call with just your call sign once until he acknowledges you. Once all check-ins have been established, a list will be sent of the order. Make a note of this because you should know your place on the list and each operator will take his turn, passing it to the next call on the list. Short overs are needed with quotes on salient points, and sending your news at the same time. Make notes as the net progresses and comment on just the point(s) that you wish to address.
Speed will not be a problem because that is adjusted to the lowest speed on the net. Two things are practised here. One is conversational Morse, and the other is Net Protocol. It should provide both confidence and impetus for you to make more QSOs on the air. We look forward to hearing you.
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HF News

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the Sun remained spotless this past week with a solar flux index stuck firmly around the 70 mark.

Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled with a maximum planetary K index of four, although on average it was usually much lower than this, around one or two.

Many are bemoaning the poor HF conditions and it is not surprising. Although there are openings up to 21 MHz at times, 20 metres is more likely to bring you reliable DX contacts than the higher bands. We can’t expect to see much action on 12 and 10 metres until the Sporadic E season starts in early May.

The lower bands are still throwing up some surprises though and transatlantic contacts on 160m are still worth chasing if you are equipped for Top Band.

Eighty, 40 and perhaps even 30 metres may also bring you some DX during darkness.

As always, we encourage you to use the online tools at predtest.uk and propquest.co.uk to plan your activity.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with a spotless sun and a solar flux index of around 71. Geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet, until the 24th and 25th when material from a recurrent solar hole may push the Kp index to five, bringing the potential for aurora-like conditions and depressed maximum usable frequencies.

VHF and up

There is unlikely to be much Tropo this week. A key feature of the weather is an area of low pressure which drifts southeast across the country from Greenland on Sunday to Iceland, then Scotland, and arriving over England by Wednesday.

Looking at its origin, it will herald a spell of cold weather with a taste of winter for some areas. This may provide wintry showers in some places to give a chance of rain scatter on the GHz bands, but it’s not a great opportunity.

That leaves the last part of the week to consider, after the cold winter low has moved away into the continent. Models suggest a return of a ridge of high pressure, some models stronger than others. But it will be building in dry cold air, which is not good for creating a strong moisture contrast across the temperature inversion and thus not a great signal for Tropo.

So overall, probably a flat feel to the week regarding VHF/UHF weather propagation, but with the Eshailsat-2 geostationary transponder undergoing engineering tests as we write I’m sure many will be focussed on this.

The Moon reached maximum declination this morning and perigee is tomorrow, so it’s a good week for EME.