Barford 2018

HF news

The sun remained spotless this week, other than the hint of a new sunspot coming around its limb as this report was being written.  

The solar flux index reflected this, sitting around the high 60s, although it did reach 71 on Thursday morning. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet at the beginning of the week, but a solar wind stream from a large solar coronal hole was predicted to hit Earth later on Thursday the 19th. This normally means noisy HF bands, and depressed maximum usable frequencies (MUFs) after a possible initial positive phase.

We are now seeing a shift towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions in the northern hemisphere. At this time there is a chemical change towards more diatomic molecules in the F2 layer and fewer monatomic species. The diatomic molecules are more difficult to ionise and as a result MUFs can suffer.

Coupled with the lack of sunspots, we are now seeing daytime MUFs struggling to get above 16-17 Megahertz at times, despite the quiet geomagnetic conditions.

The upside is that night-time MUFs are staying higher, with seven Megahertz possibly staying open to DX over a 3,000km path through the night. A phenomenon that has been spotted is that the MUF is sometimes rising again for a short period after sunset. It might be worth checking 14MHz around 2000hrs UTC as this has showed itself a few times on the ionosonde data.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 69 and geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quieter from Monday onwards after the weekend's high K indices.

These settled conditions could bring better DX from Tuesday or Wednesday, once the ionosphere has settled. As we'll explain in the VHF section, you may still have to wait a week or two before the start of the summer Sporadic E season.

VHF and up

Last week ended with high pressure near southern areas declining during the weekend as low pressure moved in from the Atlantic towards northern areas.

There may be slightly enhanced Tropo conditions around at first but these could weaken as the low takes over. This could introduce showery weather with a prospect for rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

The 2018 Sporadic E season is nearly here! It usually starts with a few fleeting SSB and CW signals across southern Europe, possibly not within range of UK stations, but with new digital modes, we might be lucky this early.

Since the location of Sporadic E geographically can be influenced by the position of the jet stream, there may be some possibility of paths from the UK to the south-east into the Balkans and east to the Baltic states. The other possibility, based on expected jet stream positions, might be from Spain down to the Canaries.

Anyway, before it all kicks off, it is worth making that list of useful beacons on 10m or 6m so that you can quickly find the openings – just Google “G3USF beacons”. Also, use the www.propquest.co.uk website to find the daily jet stream positions.
Now we are in April, meteor activity is picking up again. The first significant shower, the Lyrids, peaks today, April 22nd, sometime between 1000 and 2100 UTC.

Moon declination is still positive, but decreases all week, going negative (that is, South) this coming Friday. Losses will also increase as the Moon heads out to apogee, its furthest point from Earth. It’s another good week for EME then, with long windows and high Moon elevations.   

                                                                                               morsekey2

Spring Bootcamp.
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This has now been arranged for Sunday April 29th. If you would like to attend, please email me and I will make a distribution list with full details which will be circulated well before that date. A rough idea is that it starts at 0900 local time and finishes around 1630 local time. Everybody welcome, whatever level, beginners to advanced.
So far we have seven booked in so get your fingers out if you wish to attend and email me ASAP
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Maloclm G3PDH will be active during the month of April using the call G4FOC. He will be pleased to work as many locals as possible. He will be using all bands so do keep a look-out for him.
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Another mention for CW OPS. It is a great club to join, with regular QSO parties every Wednesday, three events each day at different times.Take a look at their web site and see what you think of it. They also have a CW Academy and teach CW on line. You can join in that too, there are set courses running most of the time. All levels are welcome and this provides yet another place for learning Morse. One of the tutors is Stew, GW0ETF - seen in the picture below:
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https://www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html
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The GB2CW regular evening broadcasts will be taking a summer break at the end of April.
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The schedule for Morse tuition locally is:
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Tuesdays:
1000 - 1100 Coffee Break Morse with Chris G4CCX on 145.250MHz
1900 - 2000 Raw Beginners with Roger G3LDI on 145.250MHz
2000 - 2100 Intermediates with Jim G3YLA on 145.250MHz
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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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 GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.
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Further to my article earlier in the year regarding this new museum where they would like to set up an amateur radio display and active station, after a delay John G3XLL and I have now heard from the chair of the museum trust asking us to meet him at the museum soon, so we have agreed on Sunday 22nd April at 10am to all have a look around and see what we can all do. Therefore I am asking everyone interested to meet at the school on that day at 10am, details as follows:
Brockdish School
Grove Road
Brockdish
Diss
IP21 4JP
 
I will be there and hope to see many of you there too - it sounds a very interesting project
 
73
 
David

                                                                  

 

The NARC Contest Net is still on Friday evenings 145.250MHz at 2000 local time. Any questions, problems, comments or offers of money, just call in! You will be most welcome!
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NARC sported 16 logs for the SSB CC test on Wednesday evening, so thanks to all who took part. If you want to see how to REALLY run on SSB take a look at these two clups. I can't even speak that fast!
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cOfAixTWDI
https://soundcloud.com/vladislav-sitnikov/rc0f-in-arrl-2014-phone
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A week's rest now to get set for the next one!
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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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Lots of contests this weekend. For RTTY buffs, the EA RTTY Contest: 1600Z, Apr 7 to 1600Z, Apr 8
Rules at: http://concursos.ure.es/en/eartty/bases/
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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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VHF/UHF from the East. Comments from our number-cruncher!
Nothing this week.
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That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI

The NARC Contest Net is still on Friday evenings 145.250MHz at 2000 local time. Any questions, problems, comments or offers of money, just call in! You will be most welcome!
.
NARC sported 16 logs for the SSB CC test on Wednesday evening, so thanks to all who took part. If you want to see how to REALLY run on SSB take a look at these two clups. I can't even speak that fast!
.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cOfAixTWDI
https://soundcloud.com/vladislav-sitnikov/rc0f-in-arrl-2014-phone
.
A week's rest now to get set for the next one!
.
NOTICE: The WA7BNM Contest Calendar has permanently moved to: http://www.contestcalendar.com/ Please update any links to the calendar.
.
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
.
Lots of contests this weekend. For RTTY buffs, the EA RTTY Contest: 1600Z, Apr 7 to 1600Z, Apr 8
Rules at: http://concursos.ure.es/en/eartty/bases/
.
See the list on WA7BNM, something for everybody!
.
Other Contests:
https://tinyurl.com/4mdvb
.
VHF/UHF from the East. Comments from our number-cruncher!
Nothing this week.
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That's it for this time. 73 de Roger, G3LDI

The clubs 2018 Intermediate course starts later this month so if you are interested in this and have not already had an email, please email me and I will send you booking forms and costs out as soon as our venue has confirmed all of the rooms.

The 5 Saturdays will all be at CNS and dates are 28th April. 12th May, 19th May, 9th June, 16th June

73, David G7URP

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