Also in GB2RS this week…

| March 2, 2018

A second beta version of WSJT-X version 1.9.0 has been released. This is to allow further field testing of the new FT8 DXpedition mode, designed to enable DXpeditions to make FT8 contacts at very high rates. The team is inviting the amateur radio community to participate in a public test run of FT8 DXpedition mode. Test times and frequencies are Tuesday, 6 March 2018 at 2300UTC on 14.080MHz; on the 7th at 0000UTC on 10.141MHz, at 0100UTC on 7.080MHz, and 0200UTC on 3.585MHz. Frequencies are not the conventional FT8 operating frequencies and are subject to change, subject to conditions. Last-minute changes will be posted on the internet.

The Big Bang at Discovery Park is a free education event organised by the STEM HUB, a part of the Canterbury Christ Church University. It takes place on 9 March 2018. Its aim is to inspire a love of STEM subjects. Students from local schools have access to a range of hands-on experiences such as interactive exhibits, workshops and shows run by local companies and organisations. Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club is setting up a stand at the event with various activities run by girls from the STEMettes Club, with some help from club members. The STEMettes Club is a girls-only after school club at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school in Broadstairs. Amongst many activities the girls will demonstrate the snail Morse key, designed by Trevor, G4WKJ and constructed from a cable tie. Also they will show the 555 timer circuit they built on a breadboard with a variable frequency and Morse key, then show how two of them can be made into a simple telegraph system.

Over 80,000 QSOs were logged by the recent DXpedition by Z60A in the new DXCC entity of Kosovo. Local operator Z61DX is now a regular on the bands. Another station to look for is Z68M, who will be in Pristina until 6 March 2018. The operator of Z68M is Mome, Z32ZM and QSLs should go via Club Log OQRS.

NBC News recently produced a video on Hawaii’s amateur radio operators and the role they could play in a national disaster.

Plans appear to be on track for the 3B7A DXpedition to Saint Brandon Island, expected to start in early to mid-April 2018. The 3B7A team said that 700 kilograms of gear is now on its way to Mauritius, where it will join the generators and stock of fuel on the boat to Saint Brandon Island on 3 April 2018 with two team members. A second vessel departing on the fifth will transport the other operators. 3B7A will not be active on 60m nor on 6m EME. The DXCC entity of Agalega and Saint Brandon Islands is the 28th most wanted.

The ARRL has asked the US regulator to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on the 75, 40, and 15m bands, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on the 80, 40, 15, and 10m bands. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

After issuing the ministerial decree allowing Tunisians to acquire their individual licences in September, and the first amateur radio exam in December, the Tunisian regulator has delivered the first licences.

The web hosting company that provides the RSGB service will shortly cease providing us with that service. In January 2016 the RSGB had already announced the intention to close the facility, which is only now used by a small number of clubs. Recent events beyond our control have forced the issue and will close down for good on 29 March 2018. Full details at

Finally, the recent adverse weather conditions might affect some events planned for the next week or so, including rallies, club events and even special event activations. Before you travel anywhere, please take the time to check that the event will still be occurring as planned.

Category: GB2RS Headlines