Cornwall Wins Independence (For Radio Amateurs)

Radio amateurs in Cornwall have been given permission to change their call sign to show they are in the Duchy.

At the moment just two letters - G and M - are used to denote England as a general location. But these letters do not indicate which county the amateurs come from.

Now, thanks to a campaign led by the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club, regulator Ofcom has given permission for radio enthusiasts to add 'K' for Kernow to their call signs during 2016.

This means that the extra letter will now form part of the prefix to the call sign - distinctly identifying those in the duchy from their counterparts across England .

The campaign led by the club, which is based at Poldhu's Marconi Centre, was launched last year following the announcement that the Cornish people had been granted minority status......

'K' for Kernow 

Ofcom Poised to Cancel Unrenewed Amateur Licenses

UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has announced that it’s set to start cancelling Amateur Radio licenses, possibly numbering into the thousands, that have not been “revalidated” by the holder. The effort appears to be, in part, an effort to clear dead wood from the agency’s databases.

Amateur Radio licenses in the UK must be revalidated every 5 years, but until Ofcom goes through the process of revoking the license, such a license remains valid. The first batch to be revoked will comprise Amateur Radio licenses that had been due for revalidation between September 2012 and January 2013. Ofcom posted a notice on its website in order to reach licensees it has not been successful in contacting.

“We require licensees to revalidate, to ensure that our records are accurate,” Ofcom said. “Inaccurate records make the administration of Amateur Radio more difficult and costly. We must also know where stations are located, to enable us to manage the radio spectrum.”

Validate Ham Licences


The Beginning Of Radio And The Wireless Era

Not everyone can travel to Bellingham, Washington to visit The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention but a visit to their web site may be almost as much fun.

The web site is full of awesome photos and the site design lends itself to easy navigation. Of course if you are fortunate enough to make an in-person visit, you may see the Telsa coil in operation which can emit 10 foot sparks. Reminds me of the props Hollywood used in the old monster movies!
Why not take a quick spin over to The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention’s Photo Collection ....


IARU Region 3 Conference

The IARU Region 3 (Asia/Pacific) Directors have submitted a band plan paper concerning amateur satellite allocations for consideration at the IARU Region 3 Conference which takes place October 12-16 in Bali, Indonesia 

This is the 16th Conference and it will be hosted by the Amateur Radio Organisation of Indonesia (ORARI). 60 Premier and 12 Suite hotel rooms have been booked at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel which is described as being situated in Sanur, the secretly sophisticated side of Bali.

ORARI plans to run a special event station YB16IARU from October 11-16 from the conference and the delegates will be taken on a tour of Bali.

The President of ORARI, Sutiyoso YB0ST, says: “It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to grow and thrive, remaining always adaptable, motivated and responsive. The world of amateur radio is an exciting area in which to work and play, and we’ll continue to meet and bring inspired people together in forums like this, to ensure IARU Region 3 remains at the cutting edge.”


K6QQQ - On The Air Again After Decades

Is North Korea really going on the air? The most wanted ham radio entity.

Persistent optimism continues to prop up the hopes of several individual radio amateurs and groups to mount a DXpedition to the most-wanted and elusive DXCC entity on the globe — the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (P5). To date, no recent efforts have succeeded. The latest to announce that plans for a P5 operation are on the verge of success are Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, and Manuel German, EA7AJR, both DXpedition veterans. On their fourth trip to North Korea since 2013, Gonzalez and German met on August 17 with what they described as “high-level officials” in North Korea’s telecommunications ministry. In an August 17 news release, Gonzalez and German said that the officials in Pyongyang — North Korea’s capital — “were very kind, receptive, and cooperative. They knew everything about ham radio, so it was really easy to talk with them about our ham radio operation project.” The pair began efforts to secure permission for a North Korea operation more than 2 years ago.
“If everything goes as it is going up [until] today, I can tell that we are very close to get[ting] permission,” the news release concluded.
Gonzalez and German are not alone in attempting to be the next to activate North Korea since Ed Giorgadze of the Republic of Georgia operated as P5/4L4FN in 2001 and 2002, making more than 16,000 contacts before being asked abruptly to cease transmitting and pack up his gear. The ARRL subsequently accredited his SSB and RTTY operation for DXCC. Giorgadze, who was working for the UN World Food Program in Pyongyang at the time, had tried for more than 2 years before obtaining oral permission from North Korean authorities to operate......

STARS Report Decline In Requests

Support to the Amateur Radio Service (STARS) have reported to IARU Region 3 (Asia/Pacific) that only Nepal has requested assistance in the past 3 years 

The objective of STARS is to defend, protect, extend, develop and promote the amateur radio service. The work of STARS is specifically directed to those areas of the Region where amateur radio activity is low or non existent. 

The STARS paper submitted for the 2015 IARU Region 3 Conference, October 12-16, says that only the Nepal Amateur Radio League (NARL) responded to a 2013 STARS Questionnaire sent to Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iran, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal. They had a requirement for handheld radios, but it was not realized due to the high import custom duty of 43%

However, later in 2014, another request for assistance was received from the Nepal Amateur Radio Operator Society (NAROS) who said they could negotiate for a reduced import custom duty for handheld radios. They had a requirement for several tens of 144/430 MHz dual-band handheld radios........

Read More Here....

IRTS Counties Contest

The 2 metres Counties Contest takes place on Sunday next, 30th August from 2pm to 4pm local time. There are separate sections in this contest for portable and fixed stations, low power and high power, as well as an
FM Only section for single ops and an SWL section.

To ensure everyone gets a fair chance of calling CQ, there is a special 'QSY Rule' to the effect that after any QSO that is initiated by you making a CQ call, you must QSY to another channel (FM), or by at least 3 kHz (SSB), before calling "CQ" again, while the station answering the CQ call has the frequency for one more contact.

Over the weekend of 5th and 6th September, we have the SSB Field Day, which runs from 13:00 UTC Saturday to 13:00 UTC Sunday.

This year, for the first time, there are a 6 hour section in this contest in addition to the 24 hour Open and Restricted sections.
Note that pre-registration is required for the 24 hour sections,
but not for the new 6 hour section.......

Solar Activity Is Declining

Please click link to read the full article.

Source:  Accessed on 24 August 2015, 20:40 hrs, UTC.

Despite a rather active sun this year, including the current sunspot AR2304, some scientists now believe that solar activity will decline in the decades ahead, producing lower worldwide temperatures over the next 30 years.  Whether this predicted change will herald another “Maunder Minimum” which left much of Europe shivering in 1645, is unknown.  Scientists at Moscow State University are designing climate models to interpret the expected drop in sunspot numbers and its effect on world climate.  If the models are accurate, the 10 meter amateur radio band may become a local or regional band again......

Drop In Sunspot Numbers


Two Australian Pico Balloons Head East

Pico balloon PS-48 launched from VK3 on Saturday August 8 has been heard over South America, albeit with a suspected fault, and another,
PS-49 put up last Saturday is tracking behind it.

Both carry Amateur Radio payloads transmitting HF data that includes
altitude, position and temperature, with solar powered 25 mW transmitters.
Launched by Andy VK3YT, one recently floated 110,800km going around the southern hemisphere twice. Its third circumnavigation bid ended in inclement weather over the Indian Ocean.

Meantime, PS-48 left Melbourne headed to Queensland leaving the mainland at the Gold Coast, then it turned southerly over New Zealand’s north island to drift over the Pacific.
After days of silence William Schauff PY2GN reported it from his Brazilian
farm famous for Atemoya, or custard apple fruit.

Andy VK3YT thinks that balloon's payload may have a damaged antenna, although there is a small chance of it making the flight to Australia, where the balloon may be heard again........

50th Anniversary of Otley Amateur Radio Society

Weekend beginning 29th August, Otley Amateur Radio Society celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The home of the Society – “The Shack” at Clifton Village Hall on Newall Carr Road, Otley will be open to the public from 10.00 – 17.00 on both days.
The venue will be hosting a special event station, using the callsign GB5ORS, which will be operating over the whole weekend making contacts worldwide (band conditions permitting). There will be displays depicting the history of the society together with a wealth of information about what the society does and amateur radio in general. There will also be, at times, the opportunity for visitors to go “on air” and use a radio for themselves.
Here's the link for more information..........

Celebration Of First Great Britain-New Zealand Contact

If you've heard "2SZ" on the HF bands, it's not a pirate. The call sign is part of a special event to mark the 90th anniversary of the first Amateur Radio contact between Great Britain and New Zealand in 1924. The radio operator in England was 18-year-old Cecil Goyder, operating the Mill Hill School station 2SZ.

The Radio Society of Great Britain, in partnership with groups of amateurs in the UK and New Zealand, invited participation in the celebration by recreating that original contact between the UK and New Zealand on 80 meters, and a lot of the activity has concentrated on that band when propagation has been favorable. The 2SZ call sign joined special event station GB2NZ, operated by various groups, in the celebration, which wraps up in the UK on October 18, the actual anniversary date.

On the New Zealand end of the circuit, ZM90DX and ZL4AA are on the air, with many individual ZL stations also participating. ZM90DX will be active until October 31. Kiwi sheep farmer Frank Bell, Z4AA, a World War I veteran, was the other operator for the historic October 18, 1924 contact. Amateur Radio had only been authorized a year earlier in New Zealand, and Bell already had set some distance records. These included a September 21, 1924, contact with U6BCP in California, and an October 13, 1924, contact with U1SF in Connecticut.

In later years, Goyder emigrated to the US, where he served as the first communications officer for the United Nations. As for Bell, after being elected in absentia to the executive committee of the new International Amateur Radio Union in 1925, he apparently lost interest in radio. His sister Brenda took over Z4AA to become New Zealand's first female Amateur Radio operator and was the first New Zealand ham to contact South Africa in 1927. She later became a radio broadcaster.

1st G > ZL Contact

K For Kernow

K for Kernow

Thursday's edition of the Cornishman newspaper reported Ofcom had agreed to the K Regional Secondary Locator (RSL) proposal for Cornwall (Kernow)

The article says:

John Farrar G3UCQ, along with fellow amateurs Chris Lewis G3NHL and Keith Matthew G0WYS, campaigned for the letter K to be added to the traditional radio call sign – distinctly identifying those in the duchy from their counterparts across England.

Following the announcement earlier this year that Cornwall was to be granted minority status, the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club members decided Cornish radio amateurs should be put on the map.

"We put a dossier together and enlisted the support of all the MPs in Cornwall. Most of the radio amateurs in Cornwall supported it." Cornwall Council unanimously supported the plans at a meeting in September.

Communications regulator Ofcom has now approved the proposal meaning Cornwall is set to become the first county in the UK with a unique sign......

Regional Secondary for Cornwall


EI1A - EI8GQB 20th Radio Activity From Ireland

Olivier ON4EI, is back to Ireland from 18th to 30th October 2014 to celebrate its 20th radio operation from Ireland where he will operate EI8GQB and EI1A during the CQ WW DX SSB contest.

In 2013 and 2014 Olivier scored with EI1A, tops Europe score in CQ WW WPX, IARU HF and IOTA contests in Low Power Single Op SSB category using its temporary field day style antenna park / SO2R station using with green energy.

18m high top loaded vertical monopole for 160-80m-40m bands + 32 more

EI DX in October

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