Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club is affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain and holds the call signs MM0CPS and GM2T which are used for our special event and contest entries. The Club was formed by Bob Glasgow BEM GM4UYZ in 1984, to help the local
amateurs get to know each other. Far from being just a local club we have members regularly attending from the Borders, Dumfries, Strathclyde, Fife and Newcastle. The Club meets on the first Friday of every month in the lounge of the Thorntree Inn on the old Cockenzie High Street from 7pm till
Onto another month and another editorial, already this is the third of the year, my, oh my how time is rapidly flying by!! One thing that is noticeable is that the evenings are now beginning to “stretch out” and heading away from what I call the winter doldrums. Thank goodness for that say I. In some respects, I like the dark nights where one can get nice and cosy sitting watching the television but if I am perfectly honest, I do prefer the light nights as it allows one to get out and about instead of vegetating in front of the “box”. First the bit I hate doing is announcing bad news. Our deepest sympathies go out to Cecilia (Cambell’s sister) and Alex GM3GKJ who lost their son back in January and Bob MM0LBF who sadly lost his brother mid-February. I never know what to say in these circumstances other than that our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to them at this time. Ok then what have we been up to this month; first, the Morse classes are still going strong and we are gradually getting through all the characters, numbers, and abbreviations. We are using NuMorse Professional (free now) for the training. I know there are other morse training programs out there but for me this suits or basic needs. We are sending characters at 20WPM with a gap which sets the overall speed to just over
5WPM. The important aspect is that they learn the sound of the characters at speed. Once we have completed all the First Step Lessons the aim is to change the “gap” between characters so for example we will be sending at an overall speed of say 8WPM. The aim for me is to get people comfortable at about 12 to 14WPM as that I feel is a great starting point for on-air CW. We will have had our second Activity Day.... nice to see quite a few taking part but it would be great to see more. The aim is to encourage on at least one day a month you will go on the air and do some operating and hopefully make some QSO’s but even if you do not at least you have tried. I must admit it really does force me to do some operating from home, something I have been promising myself to do for a long time. Due to the Covid Virus our normal second event would be our Radio Check night run by John MM0JXI which is always a great success but this year I have moved it provisionally to October so fingers crossed we will be back to normal and can run the event. On the training front I completed my first Intermediate via ZOOM for 5 candidates, as I write this and by club night 3 candidates will have sat their on-line exam. (Note: 3 have already passed) and I (Continued on page 2)
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am still awaiting to hear from the remaining two when their exam dates are. This has now been confirmed with both sitting their exams in March. I am doing a Foundation Course starting the 20th February over two weeks with 1 candidate who is 14 years old, nice to see a young person interested. He has already booked his exam for the 8th March, so I wish him all the luck with that. I am then starting to teach a Full Licence course via ZOOM with a probable 7 candidates on the 10th April. Now I know this one will be a real test not just for the candidates but also for myself trying to get the major points across. Anyway at least we have managed to do some training this year. Normally at this time of year I take a well-earned sabbatical after delivering training for over 23 Saturdays, but it has been so up and down this year that I plan to continue for the moment till after I have completed the Full Licence which will end in May. Then I will take a sabbatical till September 2021. There is no point presently making a full list of courses and dates due to the virus situation so I will run training on an adhoc basis until everything returns to normal.
The GMDX convention , as far as I know, and the Blackpool Rally are cancelled.
Regarding future events, Museums Weekend in June we have a “tentative” date booked in at the National Mining Museum again virus permitting…. GB2LBN in August so far, we are unable to book the lighthouse buildings as it is already booked out for that weekend. This year everything is a real struggle and very frustrating as well to organise stuff, fingers crossed it will get better. Lastly, if I have anything to say this month it is the old hobby horse of looking for newsletter input. Thanks to those who have been contributing but we need more. Lots of people intimate that they will but never do. I do struggle from month to month to write articles and this month has been particularly hard for me with other commitments getting in the way so I genuinely could do with some help, so this is a plea from the heart for articles. It would be fantastic to have a good pool of articles that John can select from. Right, I think that is about it so enjoy club night and the newsletter. Bob GM4UYZ
Remember there is our Activity Day event and there are a few contests during that week so a good choice to help you along the way. I hope whatever day you pick you will make lots of QSO’s and then send your log in. To the future, our April event this year I have confirmed up a talk over ZOOM on "Large Scale Software Defined Radar - A Practical View" by Simon, one of my Intermediate pupils who now lives in the extreme north of Sweden so hence a good reason for using ZOOM.
If you wish to add your call sign to the logo then please
The club has a design for Club T-shirts, Polo-shirts,
ask at the time of the order.
Sweat-Shirts, Fleeces and Jackets and all of these can be
obtained from Patricia Bewsey Designs When making an order please quote ‘Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club’ to ensure that the Club Logo will be placed on the required garments. Cost will depend on garment and should cover the garment and logo, call sign addition will be extra.
PATRICIA BEWSEY DESIGNS, Tel/Fax: 01620 850788 Mobile: 07970 920431 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Note: the shop at Fenton Barns is now closed
Activity Day Report February Activity Day – “YOUR” selected day between 14th to 20th February 2021 00:00 to 23:59 This was our second of 2021 where you can select your day to operate during the one-week selected period...... so reports below on who or who did not manage to take part. Activity Day Rules and updated log sheet for 2021 have now changed: Can be found using the following link:
http://cpsarc.com/downloads/ Look under Activity Days for the Downloadable files then you are all ready for the 2021 Activity Days. The 2021 files are as follows. 2021-ACTIVITY-DAY-LOGSHEET-V1.23 2021 New Monthly Activity Day Rules V5 Apologies first: James MM0LQF Did not have time for any activity at all this month! Rafe MM0RPX I did not log any contacts this week, but I did get my DX commander all band vertical built and tuned. Just a few last bits to do like run the feeder to my office and I should be on the air on a more permanent basis! Reports: Bob GM4UYZ I decided to take part in the last bit of the Dutch PACC contest and managed 10 CW QSO’s on 40M. I then moved up onto 20M and decided to play with Data so the remainder of my QSO’s were on FT4 and a very few on FT8. My best DX and it is the second time I have worked the country from home, the first was on CW back in 2007 and now this one on data with HC1HC in Ecuador at 9192Kms, so really chuffed with that plus the contact has already been confirmed on QRZ.com. Hopefully, a start that band conditions are improving. Anyway, still had some fun and enjoyed my operating today. Andy MM0GYG FT8 again and the bands are starting to pick up. Not quite reaching Australia yet but all the other continents are back in business. I completed the sidetone board and keyer board for my 40m CW transmitter. Nothing exciting, the sidetone is based on a 555 multivibrator and the keyer on NOR
gates and flip-flops. I enjoyed making the sidetone and bread-boarding the keyer, but I made a poor choice when putting the keyer on a pad board — there are just too many connections which made soldering difficult. If I make another keyer I will base it on a micro-controller and brush up my firmware skills. To prove the new boards worked before I add them to the transmitter, I connected them to a morse paddle and my Goertzel morse decoder. This works a treat, and I can see the decode while I swipe the paddle. This seems a good way to get my timing correct as the decoder soon picks up gaps in words, or characters run together. Thanks to whoever it was posted on the CPSARC Facebook page a YouTube video of a guy sending words at 17 WPM. It got me out of the morse learning doldrums! Malcolm MM0YMG Here is a very diminutive log for you, but hopefully all grist to the mill. Have used NGR since we do not use Maidenhead in RAYNET. Could not see an easy converter. Brian M0RNR Worked a few in ARRL CW international DX contest. Jim MM0DXH The CPSARC activity week coincided with one of the larger contests this month, ARRL's International DX CW contest. This contest is for those outside the USA and Canada to work as many states and provinces as possible. It is a great contest to better understand propagation from here to different parts of the USA and Canada. It also gives you an insight into the vastness of these two countries with the rotator pointing anything between 275' and 320'. 48 states and provinces worked, all on 20 metres Thomas M0THL I found most of the week a bit of a struggle to get any momentum in contacts. Some days I only managed a single QSO through what appeared to be a low MUF for the latter half of the week. My log is from Saturday, and the next day was as if someone had just switched 15m & 17m off. The better news was a successful QSO with the Canary Islands, a new DXCC for me. I have also seen several SX200 callsigns appear this week - celebrating 200 years of Greek Independence, so this may be one to try and collect as there is a small awards program running https://sv2rck.gr/200YEARS/. (Continued on page 4)
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Ronan MM0IVR It did not look like I was going to get any radio time on Saturday as I was at my "extended household" over in Newhaven where the only radio is a DAB (unless you count the Wi-Fi). It was necessary, however, to pop back across to mine to feed the cat so I decided to have a bit of a play with the little QRP radio while waiting to see if he would throw up his food or not. It would be silly not to as the ARRL CW contest was in full swing.... I only dipped in and out over an hour and a half or so, but made a few reasonable contacts on 15m and 20m, nonetheless. Best of the bunch was N5XZ in Richmond, Texas, on 15m (almost 7500km). Only 10 in the log by the time I had to head off again, but each one was well earned. It was good fun trying to cut through the angry traffic jam with 5 watts and some very dodgy paddle-work. Pete MM0INE Only 60m this time, all contacts from the Sunday 11:00am 60m national net on 5371.5KHz. Good turnout on the net and conditions were surprisingly good too. Net is run by Selim, M0XTA in Essex. Rather good coverage of the UK from Scotland, Wales and down to south coast of England. Most were 59, just one or two in crappy areas or using poor antennas. As usual, I was using my 160m doublet which works very well on 60m. Interestingly, Net control, M0XTA was 59+10 with me but he has consistent s9+20 noise at his location so is forced to use one of the available Web SDRs to hear anything. Glad I do not have that issue here. Told him he should contact Ofcom/RSGB for help. There was an encouraging letter in Radcom this month on that subject. Craig MM0NBW Only a singleton on 2 metres this time around. I set up APRS on 2 metres, beaconing once an hour on RF. Really not much on-air activity seen, most stations seem to be reporting via internet. Picked up Tom, GM4YWI and a mobile station GM4NTP and GM0MNN Fife Raynet beacon over by Glenrothes a few times but not much else. The one QSO on my log came after spotting another mobile station in Dundee, Martin 2M0KAU. I pinged him an APRS message, more to see if I would get an RF ACK message back than expecting a reply. I got the ACK and a message inviting me to have a voice QSO on 2 metres which we did. Signals 53 both ways, which I thought not too bad considering my antenna is in the loft, propped up against the rafters and about 3 inches from an internal brick wall, and Martin was near to Ninewells, both of us about 100 feet ASL. I have shut down the APRS station now,
a wee bit disappointed that there is not more activity on VHF/UHF generally. Keith MM0KTC My first attempt at the Activity Day Bob MM0LBF Sorry for poor response this week Bob; but as you say it is good to be on the air. Martyn MM0XXW Well I did try SSB quite a few times, but my meagre set -up was not cutting the mustard so off to data I went and gave my new, well new to me, Microham Microkeyer II a bit of a workout to make sure I had all the settings correct! As you can see a bunch of EU stations, 41 contacts in 18 DXCC + 3 IOTA's, with the only DX of note being EA8TL on Tenerife and the unusual call of ZA/IK2RLM in Albania for a country which is not exactly common in my log. March might throw up a few different calls, I'm taking the R5 down to give it a bit of an MOT and it'll be replaced by a Bantenna Sleeve (I've got the cammo one!!) so I can take my time with the Cushcraft. Tom GM8MJV Quiet, was on HF for the FT4 contest. Colwyn MM0YCJ Activity day this month was Wednesday 17th February 2021. The day before had been windy, destroying my slight enthusiasm for a mobile radio activation. The weather forecast for the Thursday was rain and that continued for the remainder of the week. Pressure was on but I was sitting at breakfast watching the trees swaying in the strong wind. It was not looking good. My better half was going out for an essential exercise walk so I could cadge a lift with her to Swanston, but it was too windy. I waved goodbye as she drove off and went back to the newspaper. The coffee was tasting good when the phone rang. It was the wife; she had made a timing error and was 30 minutes early. Did I want her to come and collect me for a walk? I wanted to answer no, but she had taken the time to try to encourage me to get my lazy carcase out for a walk, so I could not refuse. Thirty minutes later we were safely parked up at Swanston. The boss went off for a walk with her pal, and I contemplated my wretched and pitiful condition! The wind was blowing, the paths were all muddy, the wife had the car key. I headed west, into the wind, but sheltered by the trees and hillside. The plan was to walk up and get the westerly wind behind me, thereby helping me up the hill. It was quiet, not many people out , except all the dog walkers. The path contoured for about 2Km then I set off up into the Pentland Hills. I was above the Howden Burn (Continued on page 5)
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but the deep cleft of the valley afforded some shelter from the wind, but it is all relative. Soon I was in the full teeth of the gale as I struggled up the North-west face of Allermuir. There were a few snow patches in the deeper features on the hill, but I was soon approaching the summit. There is a waist high fence to follow to the Allermuir summit (NT 227 661), Maidenhead locator; IO85jv , Triangulation station, viewpoint indicator, kissing gate, stile, but no crowds today. I had my short-wave kit but there was no way I could string up a 20-metre invertedV dipole on the summit. There is a small pile of rocks just below the summit and surprisingly, it gave considerable shelter from the wind. I quickly assembled a 2 element YAGI and attached it to a telescopic walking pole on the fence. About 6 feet high. Ducking down behind the rocks again I got the Yaesu VX 7 out of the waterproof box, wired everything and started calling CQ just before midday. Immediately 2M0SXT/M responded, Stan on East Falkland, but the difference is that he was wisely sitting in the warmth and comfort of his car. We found a free frequency and had a good chinwag. Soon after wards Peter in Kirkintilloch (GM0VEK) replied at 12:10. He was humorous about my situation but clearly thought I was insane! Good to speak with him. Back at the calling channel MM7MXZ, Alan in Ladybank responded and as he had just gained his foundation licence, I tried to get him to join CPSARC, but do not think I succeeded. The wind was still strong and after few more shouts there was no response, so I packed up and headed back to the car park, see map for my route! So, another successful activity day but I think I will be going for the shortest QSO distance. Summary First of all a warm welcome to the Activity Days to Malcolm MM0YMG and Keith MM0KTC and hope this is the first of many logs. CW is the winning mode this month with 229 QSO’s all thanks to the ARRL DX CW Contest. Next best was DATA with 127 QSO’s. Out of the 389 QSO’s being made: CW = 229, SSB = 20, Data = 127, FM = 13, AM = 0. Best HF DX on DATA was by Andy MM0GYG working PY2IQ on 18Mhz at 9747kms into Brazil best CW QSO’s this month was by Jim MM0DXH working K3WO at 11593kms into Saipan (part of the Mariana Islands USA held in the Pacific) and on SSB the best DX was by Keith MM0KTC working JT1CO on 7MHz at 6764Kms into
Mongolia Nice to see a mixture FT4 and FT8 being used on DATA with FT4 the leading mode this month with 70 QSO’s, next FT8 with 56 QSO’s and 1 PSK31 QSO. QSO’s to report on VHF and UHF and upwards were on FM by Colwyn MM0YCJ/P out in the Pentlands on 144MHz, Malcolm MM0YMG with 144MHz QSO’s and one 432MHz QSO and Craig MM0NBW with his solitary 144MHZ QSO .Best DX was by Craig MM0NBW working 2M0KAU at 49kms up in Dundee. A nice turnout out this month with a total of 14 people taking part. With this Coronavirus still about it gives you a great opportunity to play at radio. Keep it up folks…… Thanks to everyone for your log they are so much appreciated. The next Activity Day is any day starting on the week beginning the 14th and ending on the 20th March 2021 the second for 2021. Remember to use the new recording spreadsheet for your logs 2021-ACTIVITYDAY-LOGSHEET-V1.23.xlsx (updated on 16/6/2020) which can be downloaded from the website. Summary of who did what: Total QSO’s = 389 where: CW = 229, SSB = 20, Data = 127, FM = 13, AM = 0 Bob GM4UYZ Andy MM0GYG
Malcolm MM0YMG Brian M0RNR Jim MM0DXH Thomas MM0THL Colwyn MM0YCJ Ronan MM0IVR Pete MM0INE Craig MM0NBW Keith MM0KTC Bob MM0LBF Martyn MM0XXW
DATA: 35 x 20M CW: 10 x 40M DATA: 3 x 160M, 2 x 80M, 4 x 30M, 9 x 20M, 4 x 17M FM: 8 x 2m, 1 x 70cms CW: 38 x 20M CW: 171 x 20M DATA: 8 x 20M, 2 x 17M, 1 x 15M FM: 3 x 2M CW: 6 x 20m, 4 x 15M SSB: 15 x 60M FM: 1 x 2M SSB: 2 80M, 1 x 40M, 1 x 20M, 1 x 10M DATA: 3 x 20M, 6 x 17M DATA: 26 x 40M, 10 x 20M, 4 x 17M DATA: 24 x 40M
Thanks for taking part in the activity day week and I hope you will continue to do so in 2021. The dates for the 2021 are now set, see the above table so would love to see many more on as well so why not make it your 2021 target., there is nothing else to do with the Coronavirus restrictions in place.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A QSL MANAGER A QSL Manager for any callsign can either be a “breeze” or an absolute “nightmare”, so what category do I fit into, that is a good question? As most of you are aware, I am the club’s QSL Manager, so I look after all the QSL cards for MM0CPS, GM2T and all the Special Event Callsigns that we have used i.e. GB2LBN, GB2MOF, etc. So how do I do it you may ask? Well, it falls into different areas and these are as follows: QSL MANAGERS for each callsign: I deal with three separate QSL Managers as each are responsible for a certain series or range of Callsigns and I must ensure that each have adequate Envelopes with them so that when any cards arrive, they can be posted on. To give you an idea the sort of volume of envelope returns since 1st January 2019 it goes something like this: Special Event Callsigns – 21, MM0CPS – 4 and GM2T – 28 so this equates to over 1000 QSL cards, otherwise a lot of work. QSLING: The method that I use is that for all Special Event Callsigns, Demonstration Stations and any pre-contest QSO’s I QSL 100%. This can range from writing just a few to over 1000 cards at one go so the work involved is therefore small or very heavy indeed. No matter what I always aim to have all the QSL cards away to the bureau within 1 month at the very latest after the event.
For all contest calls I only QSL if I receive a QSL card and I sometimes wonder if this is the correct decision when it comes to multiple envelopes dropping through the letterbox. DEALING WITH THE QSL CARDS: The first big task no matter what the Callsign being used is to ensure that adequate QSL cards have been designed and are available for every callsign. These days I order them from UX5UO via M0OXO and I must admit I am extremely impressed with the service. The first task that I undertake when a batch of envelopes arrive through the door is to date sort them as this makes the next stages a lot easier to deal with.
For verification I use two methods: Method 1: I keep a paper copy of the actual contest or event and these I have filed away in folders. Method 2: The same paper copies have been entered electronically into my computer made amazingly easy these days as we normally use electronic logging and the facilities that it offers makes this extremely easy to
do. I use the program Winlog32 where I keep 2 logs, one for CONTESTS only and two for all other club events. My first task after the date sort is to “mark” of the QSL card in the paper copy version. Once this is done, I then write all the QSL cards if this is required, basically if it is a non-special event QSL card I write a card. After this I “mark” them off within Winlog32 adding into the log any special information i.e. American States/ Counties, Locator Squares, WAB information, etc. If I come across a QSL card that I cannot find in the paper log I use Winlog32 to check that we have a QSO and see where it is. Quite often the times on the QSL do no marry up with the information in our log basically due to the Sender using his or her local time so by using this method I can normally sort it out. The next stage is to file the received cards away. I have boxes that hold Special Event and other QSL cards and boxes that contain only Contest QSL Card. Cards are then filed in t. Lastly once all the cards are written it is a case of sorting them for their specific country and then posting them to the QSL bureau. There you go then that is how I deal with our QSL cards so you can decide for your self then whether it is a “breeze” or an absolute “nightmare”. Bob GM4UYZ
CONTEST CALENDAR For anyone interested in contesting there is something for everyone. Contesting is not just about winning although that is the aim; it is about taking part, having some fun, honing your operating skills, helping you understand propagation and It is also a good opportunity to test out your station at home to see how it is performing. Happy Contesting....... ** PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS SOME CONTESTS MAY NOT HAPPEN OR COULD BE RESTRICTED IN NATURE i.e. NO MULTI-MULTI STATIONS ** Extracts are from the RSGB Radio Sport VHF & HF contest and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar (http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/perpetualcal.php)
March 2021 RSGB 80M CC DATA ARS Spartan Sprint AGCW YL-CW Party VHF-UHF FT8 ACTIVITY 144MHz UKEI 80M SSB ARRL Inter. DX Contest, SSB Wake-Up! QRP Sprint RSGB March 144 432MHz Open Ukraine RTTY Championship SARL Hamnet 40m Simulated Emerg Contest VHF-UHF FT8 ACTIVITY 432MHz RSGB 80M CC CW YB DX RTTY Contest RSGB Commonwealth (BERU) Contest SKCC Weekend Sprintathon Oklahoma QSO Party AGCW QRP Contest Stew Perry Topband Challenge EA PSK63 Contest QCWA QSO Party Idaho QSO Party QRP ARCI Spring Thaw SSB Shootout North American Sprint, RTTY RSGB 70MHz Cumulatives #2 Wisconsin QSO Party 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint RSGB FT4 Contest BARTG HF RTTY Contest Russian DX Contest AGCW VHF/UHF Contest Run for the Bacon QRP Contest SKCC Sprint RSGB 80M CC SSB CQ WW WPX Contest, SSB FOC QSO Party UKEI 80M CW
2000Z-2100Z, Mar 1 0200Z-0400Z, Mar 2 1900Z-2100Z, Mar 2 1700Z-2100Z, Mar 3 2000Z-2100Z, Mar 3 0000Z, Mar 6 to 2359Z, Mar 7 0600Z-0800Z, Mar 6 1400Z, Mar 6 to 1400Z, Mar 7 1800Z, Mar 6 to 1359Z, Mar 7 1200Z-1400Z, Mar 7 1700Z-2100Z, Mar 10 2000Z-2100Z, Mar 10 0000Z-2359Z, Mar 13 1000Z, Mar 13 to 1000Z, Mar 14 1200Z, Mar 13 to 2359Z, Mar 14 1400Z, Mar 13 to 2100Z, Mar 14 1400Z-2000Z, Mar 13 1500Z, Mar 13 to 1500Z, Mar 14 1600Z, Mar 13 to 1600Z, Mar 14 1800Z, Mar 13 to 1800Z, Mar 14 1900Z, Mar 13 to 1900Z, Mar 14 2200Z-2300Z, Mar 13 2300Z, Mar 13 to 0300Z, Mar 14 1000Z-1200Z, Mar 14 1800Z, Mar 14 to 0100Z, Mar 15 0000Z-0200Z, Mar 15 2000Z-2100Z, Mar 15 0200Z, Mar 20 to 0159Z, Mar 22 1200Z, Mar 20 to 1200Z, Mar 21 1400Z-1800Z, Mar 20 2300Z, Mar 21 to 0100Z, Mar 22 0000Z-0200Z, Mar 24 2000Z-2100Z, Mar 25 0000Z, Mar 27 to 2359Z, Mar 28 0000Z-2359Z, Mar 27 2000Z-2100Z, Mar 31
HF Propagation Prediction HF Propagation Prediction March 2021
Frequencies above 15 MHz (17 metres amateur band and shorter) will open sporadically. 40m is more likely to stay open all night, and should produce good dx.
Summary Best chance of DX –Australia, Asia and Americas using CW/Data on 40, 30 and 20 metres during most periods. Best SSB phone DX – 40 meters during darkness and 20
Best DX is likely to be on 20 metres at all times. As solar activity picks up, this will lead to more D layer absorption, weakening 160, 80 and to some extent 40 through daylight hours.
metres during daylight Asia, Africa and Americas. Best inter G SSB phone QSO’s are, as expected on 80 metres throughout the 24 hours. Some possible on 20 and 40 metres.
12 and 10 metres are predicted to be poor, but possible SSB late morning to mid-afternoon, with CW/Data a couple of hours either side of these times.
Usual caveats apply; This information is a broad summary from a number of sources using models based on historical and predicted data using ideal antennas with
some allowances made for location, QRM and QRN. Band conditions fluctuate constantly and may improve or deteriorate at any time. Predictions are short-path propagation.
Long Term Solar Summary – February 2020 Solar Cycle 25 has officially started. Cycle 24 reached minimum in December 2019 and peaked in April 2014 with a peak average of 82 sunspots. Solar Cycle 25 is predicted to have a slow start and anticipated to reach maximum between 2023 and 2026. Consensus is that it will peak in July 2025 (plus/minus 8 months).
Cycle 25 is predicted to be similar to Cycle 24 with a weak peak activity – 95 to 130 sunspots, which is below
SSB predictions are based on combined path reliability (REL) and S/N ratio predictions above 65%. CW/Data combined REL and S/N ratio above 35%. Modelled on 100W SSB – Dipole at 15 ft. Your equipment may be more or less efficient than the model which will negatively or positively impact real results. Unpredicted QSO’s are always possible, so use this information as a guide only, in conjunction with DX Cluster spots and your own ears!
average of 140 to 220 sunspots. Modelled on 100W SSB – Dipole at 15 ft. All times UTC. Sunspots and Propagation 80 Metres - 3.5 MHz
00:00 – 07:00
SSB QSO’s Inter G, Ireland and Northern/Central Europe and Baltics. Possible SSB to Western Russia and Eastern Canada. CW/Data modes may be possible to North Africa and eastern Canada
07:00 – 17:00
SSB QSO’s limited to a couple of hundred miles. CW/Data modes may reach Northern Europe, picking up around 15:00.
17:00 – 23:00
SSB conditions build with good inter G and Northern Europe. Baltics and eastern Canada may be possible later.
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40 metres - 7 MHz 00:00 – 07:00
SSB QSO’s in Northern Europe, North Africa, Baltics and European Russia. Eastern Canada, eastern USA and Central America possible. CW/Data modes may be possible to, South and Central America and USA.
07:00 – 17:00
SSB possible to Central America in the early to mid morning, but reducing to Europe and inter G as the day progresses. CW/Data modes possible into north Africa, south America, and Eastern USA, but diminished by mid morning.
17:00 – 23:00
Early evening sees SSB in Europe, north Africa, Eastern Canada, European Russia and inter G, building westwards as the evening progresses. CW/Data modes to North and South America and north Africa
30 Metres - 10 MHz – CW & Data only 00:00 – 07:00
CW/Data modes good to southern Europe, Central and South Africa, central and south America.
07:00 – 17:00
CW and Data modes good throughout Europe, North Africa and Central America and east Asia later in the day.
17:00 – 23:00
CW/Data modes good through Europe and Africa. Possibility of western Australia around 20:00.
20 Metres - 14 MHz 00:00 – 07:00
Band closed to poor until around 06:00, with CW/Data possible into eastern Europe, Arabian Peninsula and Africa. SSB restricted to Europe and north/central Africa around the same time.
07:00 – 17:00
SSB good into central and southern Europe, Greenland and Baltic states, North/ Central Africa and South America mid morning. SSB may be possible into east Asia and USA late afternoon. CW/Data modes into Africa and south and central America, Australia, Asia, Japan, China, India, Western Australia and USA.
17:00 – 23:00
Early evening sees SSB in Europe, Africa, Arabian peninsula Asia, moving westwards to South America until around 20:00. Early evening also sees CW/Data possible to east Asia, Africa and south America. Diminishes around 22:00
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17 Metres - 18 MHz 00:00 – 07:00
Band closed until around 06:00 with SSB possible across Africa. CW/Data possible to India, western Asia and Australia.
07:00 – 17:00
SSB possible to southern Europe, South America Africa. Australia from early afternoon. CW Data modes possible to Australia, Indonesia, India and Antarctica.
17:00 – 23:00
SSB possible to southern Europe, South America and South Africa, diminishing around 20:00
15 Metres - 21 MHz
00:00 – 07:00
Poor conditions - Band effectively closed.
07:00 – 17:00
SSB to Greenland, Europe, Africa and South Atlantic/South America and western Australia diminishing as the day goes on.
17:00 – 23:00
SSB to Greenland, Europe, Africa and South Atlantic/South America until around 20:00 when band closes.
12 Metres - 24 MHz 00:00 – 07:00
Poor conditions - Band closed.
07:00 – 17:00
Possible SSB, CW/data to South Africa, and Europe from around 10:00 and South America from around 15:00. Possible SSB, CW/data to South Africa, and South America – Band closes around 20:00
17:00 – 23:00
10 Metres - 28 MHz
00:00 – 07:00
Poor conditions - Band closed.
07:00 – 17:00
http://www.voacap.com/hf/ Possible SSB to South Africa around mid-day until around 17:00 ITURHFProp
17:00 – 23:00
Poor conditions - Band closed.
Data from Prop Charts http://infotechcomms.net/propcharts
Solar Cycle https://www.weather.gov/news/190504-sun-activity-in-
QSL CARD INFORMATION QSL CARD INFORMATION - Creating, Purchasing, Sending and Receiving Cards from the Bureau
Your CALLSIGN Boxes to fill out for the contact: Station Contacted Date of QSO The following came on the back of a question that Ronan Time of QSO (UTC) MM0IVR posed with me regarding how to go about creFrequency of QSO ating a QSL Card, getting them printed and finally using Mode of QSO (CW/SSB/Data/etc the QSL Bureau. I am the QSL manager for CPSARC and RST – 59, 599, etc therefore deal with all the QSL card procedures from creWWL Locator e.g., IO85MX ating the card, getting them printed and posting into the ITU Region e.g., 27 bureau. On QSL cards that I receive from the bureau I CQ Zone e.g., 14 record them and then file them into my QSL boxes that I IOTA Reference e.g., EU005 use for storage. So below is who I use, and the steps asWAB Reference e.g., NT47 sociated with obtaining cards and the RSGB Bureau. Pse QSL TNX Extra Information you may want to add A story about yourself Your Contact Address Your Email Address Website of your club e.g., www.cpsarc.com Clubs Facebook page e.g., CPSARC Any additional information that you personally feel needs adding. Getting the Card Printed I use the print services of UX5UO see his details below, extract from QRZ.com. On his website there are loads of good design examples to be seen. The QSL design is what as an example Gennady UX5UO works with when he does the cards so normally there are one or two emails that go back and forth until we are both happy with the design.
Creating the Card Below is the design for our last QSL card for the Scottish National Mining Museum (GB2NMM).
What information should a QSL Card hold. Obviously, every card is different, and it depends on what you see is important. The things that I see that should be on all QSL cards are as follows and where they are on the card (Front/Back) will depend on the card design:
UX5UO Ukraine Gennady V. Treus PO Box UX5UO Kiev-113, UA 03113 Ukraine QSL: BUREAU, DIRECT, LOTW Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org (This is the last email that I contacted Gennady on. I would email both addresses) The next thing is work out how many QSL cards you require printing – 500, 1000, 1500, etc and get the costs. Below is the last email I received when I was looking for the cost of getting some GB2LBN Cards
A nice picture or cartoon or drawing or design that you like.
We can print 1000 or 2000 cards easy.
For 1500 pcs we print 2000 cards, send required amount, and trash the remainder.
Need the address label that comes on your monthly RADCOM
So, price is £79/1500, delivery including.
First line will read something like this – GM4UYZ 149308 Exp:30/09/2021
Payment to Charles is OK. Gennady, UX5UO Charles M0OXO works here in the UK as an agent for Gennady and accepts payments for the QSL Card order. See below for Charles details again extracted from QRZ.com M0OXO England Charles R. Wilmott 60 Church Hill, Royston,
This proves that you are a member of the RSGB and when your yearly renewal ends QSL Cards need to be put into order – A then B’s then C’s etc The A’s, B’s, C’s are the countries Prefix i.e., CT = Portugal, DL – Germany, etc Then Post them to: RSGB QSL BUREAU PO BOX 5 HALIFAX
Barnsley, South Yorkshire. S71 4NG England
Receiving QSL Cards to the Bureau
Here is the link to find your QSL Manager
So here is what I would do:
List of QSL sub-managers - Radio Society of Great Britain - Main Site : Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site (rsgb.org)
Contact Gennady to discuss your QSL requirements As you can see, I created my own in WORD so you if you want design something and send that out with your email He will work with you and eventually you will agree on the final design. Ask for the costs for how many you want - 500,1000, etc Could also say recommended by GM4UYZ as this helps him know where you heard about him Once agreed then get in touch with Charles M0OXO Could also say recommended by GM4UYZ as this helps him know where you heard about him Find out how he wants paid – I normally use a cheque but that is because it is usually club cards I am purchasing. Pay the money At this time, I would also get in touch with Gennady and tell him you have paid the money. Gennady will then print the cards and send them to you once he has confirmed with Charles. To be honest when emailing I usually copy both in as it keeps them both in the loop Sending QSL Cards to the Bureau On Sending QSL Cards to the Bureau (need to a RSGB Member) Sending the cards to the bureau
Click on the “Select Callsign Group” this opens out a dropdown list so select your callsign range (For GM4UYZ I select the “GM4-8 Series” This then displays your QSL Managers details. Ensure you have addressed SAE’s with your QSL Manager to receive your cards.
Each SAE envelope has the following Your Home Address On the top Left-Hand Corner of the envelope – see label example below Place your Callsign (Put in large Letters) I also add the where the envelope is in the series of the number posted to the QSL Manager Example: 27 Envelopes sent then 1 of 27, 2 of 27 and LAST of 27 (indicates that all your envelopes are used up and the need to send more to the QSL Manager) Date of when the envelopes are submitted
GM4UYZ RSGB Member: GM4UYZ 149308 Envelope 1 of 13 - Dated 1/06/2020
The Pentland Hills The Pentland Hills. (Original text W. Wallace) updated
caught at the Lothianburn Snowsports Centre bus stop
on the southbound carriageway just before the ESSO
The editor lives in Edinburgh and one evening in 2010,
petrol station. Don’t worry when the bus diverts to pass
a group enjoyed superb powder skiing in their back-
through Penicuik, as it re-joins the A702 before Nine
yard, on Caerketton Hill in The Pentlands, some 5 kilo-
metres from their back door. However, after the infa-
From Nine Mile Burn follow the signposted footpath
mous Pentlands wet slab avalanche, they found that by
(Balerno by Monks Rig and Braids Law) along field
the evening the powder snow had transformed into icy
boundaries. There are two options at one of the Scot-
unbreakable crust (brick hard boiler plate).
tish Rights of Way society signs (NT 176 580) where the
Many of The Pentland Hills may be skied singly or in
Braids Law option branches off the Balerno route. With
groups from the A702 trunk road which is a busy com-
sufficient snow either route can be followed as both
muter route and unlikely to be snowbound, although
meet at the col (NT 174 603) before the final ascent of
the numerous roadside laybys may or may not be
West Kip and combining them gives a short, pleasant
ploughed and are likely to be busy.
circular tour from Nine Mile Burn. The circle goes up
The Pentland Hills Traverse, Scald Law (NT 191 611, 579m). OS Sheets 66. Nine Mile Burn (NT 177 577) to Hillend (NT 250 670). Distance 13 km. Height climbed 650m. Time 5-6 hours. Rating; ** but it varies considerably! The traverse is a fine lengthy day out but due to the relatively low hills, snow seldom accumulates in sufficient quantity to make a ski traverse possible. It is a glit-
tering prize to be discerningly sought.
the terrain is largely grass covered, typically on footpaths, which permits skiing on minimal snow cover. Where these popular footpaths are eroded down to rocks, or repaired with stone treads and pavers, the adjacent hillside can often be used, especially in descent. Skis may need to be carried on the lower sections and where paths are followed through gates and over stiles. The route is popular and the tracks of skiers, downhill and cross-country, snowboards, snowshoes, toboggans, boot crampons, hillwalkers, mountain bikes and the waffle soles of fell runners may be found in the snow. To complete the traverse successfully, you need to have transport from Hillend, at the Edinburgh city boundary on the A702, to Nine Mile Burn (limited parking, please park with consideration, NT 177 577). There are infrequent bus services, e.g. Edinburgh to Dumfries Stagecoach 101 service from the city centre, but which can be
just below Braids Law, might include a visit to the summit of West Kip (south and west slopes can provide good descents) then return via the line of the Monks Rig footpath. The second traverse option follows the Balerno route which continues to reach a stile onto open ground (NT 174 584). Ascend N up the easy broad ridge passing the Font Stone (NT 175 591, may be covered by snow) to reach the flat top of Cap Law, overlooking some stunted conifers. From here negotiate a short dip, and gate at the col before the final steep rise to the West Kip (NT 178 605, 551m). Continue NE over the East Kip (NT 183 608), then descend to the col beyond. Make a rising traverse on the best line, perhaps following the obvious footpath, across the NW slope of Scald Law to the summit (NT 191 611, 579m). The highest Pentland top and equipped with a triangulation station. From Scald Law the route continues steeply down quite deep heather next to the stony footpath, then NE up over Carnethy Hill. Again the descent slope has a rocky
path with adjacent deep heather before you reach a gate and the short rise to the summit of Turnhouse Hill. From Turnhouse hill the easiest route is to use the line of the footpath to descend E in between two fenced enclosures of wind-blown and stunted trees (mainly (Continued on page 14)
(Continued from page 13)
probable crowds) then turn E, descend, re-ascend and pass over Caerketton hill (prehistoric cairn on top) with
Larch), via gates and down to a footbridge (NT 228 630)
good views over the city, continuing along the ridge
across the Glencorse Burn. Here the track divides at a T
and fence until E of the dry ski slope chairlift with a
junction. The left branch follows the bank of the Glen-
short, steep descent. To avoid the narrow path through
corse Burn, upstream past old gravel filter beds and up
dense gorse bushes directly below the park bench! (NT
onto the tarmac road leading to Glencorse Reservoir.
246 664) easier slopes are found back a few metres
The right branch goes downstream, joins the tarmac
then sharp left down, to the snowsports centre road
road towards the Flotterstone Inn (large busy carpark,
and reach the large car park next to the A702 road.
buses return to Edinburgh, or phone for a taxi).
From the park bench it is also possible to descend to
Go left up the tarmac road towards the reservoir (or
the right, staying out of the gorse bushes and skiing
right if you took the filter bed path) to a gate (NT 225
down through trees to follow the first fence you meet,
down to the road. The Lothian bus service 4 terminus is
If there is no live firing taking place on the Cas-
tlelaw shooting range (perhaps unlikely with snow cover, unless Arctic warfare training has been instituted),
(northbound carriageway) so, if there is not enough
ascend NE to the shooting range buildings then right to
snow cover to ski, then a number 4 bus can be used to
join the military vehicle track which passes round the E
return to the city.
side of Castlelaw Hill and the souterrain fort. The military track collects drifting snow so is preferred under limited snow conditions. When there is adequate snow, the alternative route to avoid the firing range (and the better continuation from a second bridge – see below) goes around the W side of the hill starting 300 metres before the N corner of the reservoir up the side of a shelterbelt (access gate & signage at NT 218 639) where skis may have to be carried initially. There is a possible feral, direct descent off Turnhouse Hill. At the first (higher) of the two fenced enclosures, follow the fence on either side to the lowest point then
Caerketton Hill; 478m; (OS Sheets 66; NT 236 662).
ski NE down the nose of the slope that guides you to an
Allermuir Hill; 493m; (OS Sheet 66; NT 227 661).
obtuse angled corner in the barbed wire fence (NT 222
A short tour, suitable for a morning, afternoon, evening
633) marshalling the trees lining the Glencorse Burn.
or even a night-time ascent are Allermuir and/or Caer-
Carefully cross at the corner straining post (breathable
ketton hills. They can be reached by reversing the final
fabric is easily damaged) and on foot walk steeply
leg of the traverse, or perhaps more readily from
downhill for 150 metres to reach a second footbridge
Swanston village to access the north faces. Roads to
(NT 223 634). Note that there is no established path. If you choose this second bridge, after crossing, go imme-
diately R over a fence and follow the obvious track to
the car park at the Swanston new golf course are often ploughed and the car park provided by Pentland Hills
Regional Park (parking charge is a voluntary donation)
join the footpath from the filter beds, then follow it up
provides the starting point (175m, NT 240 673). The
steeply through trees to a gate onto the tarmac road.
Lothian Bus Number 4 service and Skylink 400 service
From either route around Castlelaw Hill, follow the re-
both pass nearby. Disembark on Oxgangs Road at the
spective paths and then continue N over a cattlegrid up
Swanston Road bus stop and walk (or ski) about 1Km
next to the fence to the Allermuir summit (NT 227 661),
along Swanston Road, crossing above the crawling traf-
Trig pillar, viewpoint indicator, kissing gate, stile and
(Continued on page 15)
(Continued from page 14)
ski slope before descending. Ski left above the fence at
fic on the bypass, to reach the official car park.
the top of the ski lifts back along the footpath to the
starting point in Swanston.
From the east end of the car park follow the footpath through the trees, then the thatched cottages on the
From the summit of Allermuir the main footpath to
east side of Swanston Burn. The footpath continues up
Swanston gives a good grassy line to ski, but at the
through gates, crosses the golf course and finally
350m contour where the path drops down to Swanston
emerges onto the open hillside. The bealach (450m, NT
Burn, stay on the broad ridge, ski down off the end,
232 663) between Allermuir and Caerketton gives a
crossing fences and bypassing small crags, over fields
suitable waypoint. Note there is a lower bealach 250m
then the neatly manicured golf course, past the club
to the west.
house and back to the car park.
Either summit is accessible by following the fence
There are also starting points from car parks at Dreg-
(should be visible) west and east respectively.
horn (NT 227 680) and Bonaly Country Park (NT 211
clear of cloud, the summits typically afford good views
674) with access to the north side of the Pentland Hills.
over the Scottish Capital, the Forth estuary and beyond.
Edinburgh bus service 16 (plus some walking), could be
used as neither of these car parks are council priorities
There are minor crags directly north of the highest
to be ploughed.
Caerketton summit which should be avoided in descent as the face will never have a safe build-up of skiable snow, so either return to the first bealach which gives a fine ski return, or follow the fence east to above the dry
167 13 yrs
102 18 yrs
68 22 yrs
52 41 yrs
105 15 yrs
42 12 yrs
27 4 yrs
19 43 yrs
14 7 yrs
The Clublog Tables have resumed for 2021.
Please take the time to submit your log to Clublog and
Duncan MM0GZZ is in the lead with 97 DXCC and Jim join the CPSARC club to have your activity show up in the tables MM0DXH is second with 62. John MM0JXI
Coaxial Traps One of the most common topics that is discussed dur-
Typically these are constructed from PVC tube and
ing the Licence Training sessions is on Traps.
The following was found on the internet, thanks to Cambell MM0DXC and will be of some use if you want
Only 4 parameters need to be known: the design oper-
to make a set of traps. When things return to normal,
ating frequency, the coil form diameter, the coax diam-
whenever that will be… Would there be any interest to put a night on at the Community Centre as a “Trap
eter and the coax capacitance per foot. Coax characteristics are provided for various Belden cables.
Building Night”? If you think so let me know and I can in the future get a room booked. The information for this document can be found on the following link: http://www.cqham.ru/coaxtrap.htm The Coax trap program computes design parameters for the construction of coaxial traps for HF usage.
Download Coaxtrap.zip (580kb)
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE 1.
Signals from a transmitter working on 3.56MHz are reported as causing interference over the whole of the FM broadcast radio band. This is probably caused by a harmonic of the RF signal getting into the
At a distance from a transmitter the power flux density (p.f.d) is 1W/m² and the field strength (f.s) is approximately 20V/m. At twice that distance the p.f.d. is
0.5 W/m² and f.s. is 10V/m
0.25 W/m² and f.s. is 10V/m
10.7 MHz IF amplifier
0. 5 W/m² and f.s. is 5V/m
0.25 W/m² and f.s. is 5V/m
Masthead pre-amplifiers intended to improve TV broadcast reception are often
Powering a transmitter in a car, via the cigarette lighter socket is
A simple and safe solution for a temporary installations
Narrow Band devices
Wide Band devices
Acceptable if the current required will not exceed about 5A
Pre-tuned to VHF bands
Pre-tuned to UHF bands
Ill advised because the lighter socket is intended for intermittent use
Unwanted RF can cause problems in semiconductor equipment by
Ill advised because of the risk of RF entering the car electronics
Overheating the components
Reducing the gain
Overloading the power supply
When there is an EMC problem due to lack of immunity in the TV receiver, and no fault is attributable to the amateur station, it is the responsibility of the
Rectification at PN junctions
Amateur licence holder
A ferrite ring can minimise breakthrough onto speaker leads of audio equipment by
Reducing the current carrying capacity of the leads
Screening the leads from radio waves
UK TV broadcast stations use the frequency band
Improving the insulation of the leads
455 – 500KHz
Increasing the inductance of the leads
33 – 40MHz
470 – 854MHz
1240 – 1260MHz
Breakthrough on one particular frequency is best cured by which of the following?
Ferrite Bead or beads
10. If an FM transmission causes the picture of a TV receiver to disappear,, this form of breakthrough is called
Club Events 5 March 2021 14-20 March 2021 2 April 2021 11-17 April 2021 23 April 2021 24/25 April 2021 7 May 2021
9-15 May 2021 14 May 2021 4 June 2021
Club Night via Zoom Activity Day (pick any day that week) Club Night (TBC) Activity Day (pick any day that week) Large Scale Software Defined Radar - A Practical View (via Zoom) Blackpool Rally (cancelled() Club Night
Activity Day (pick any day that week) 1st 144MHz DF Hunt Club Night
13-19 June 2021
Activity Day (pick any day that week)
19/20 June 2021
Museums on the Air
2 July 2021 3/4 July 2021
Club Night VHF Field Day
11-17 July 2021
Activity Day (pick any day that week)
24/25 July 2021
RSGB IOTA Contest (TBC)
All Club in-person activities are under review
due to the
restrictions, keep an eye on the website
Answers from March 2021 newsletter “Test Your Knowledge”.
1B, 2B, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6B, 7D, 8C, 9C, 10D
and facebook group for up to date in-
On the training front I completed my first Intermediate via ZOOM for 5 candidates, as I write this and by club night 3 candidates will have...
Published on Mar 4, 2021
On the training front I completed my first Intermediate via ZOOM for 5 candidates, as I write this and by club night 3 candidates will have...