Also in GB2RS this week…

| February 21, 2020

This weekend members of Girlguiding will have been participating in Thinking Day on the Air. This event is an opportunity for the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen on the station list on the event website at

Some advance news now. The Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) are pleased to announce that due to popular demand for the Blue Ham Radio Communications Exercises they have been able to programme in three exercises for 2020. The first exercise will be during the weekend of 7 and 8 March 2020. The organisers hope that many radio amateurs will join in. Details of the exchange of information to count as a QSO will be published on the Exercise Blue Ham website at Participants can claim a Blue Ham certificate if they contact 10 or more special MRE call signs during the exercise—details on the website.

Venues and dates for the 2020 series of RSGB Train the Trainers courses can be found on the RSGB website at In order for the organisers to ensure that courses are run as cost-effectively as possible they require between 20 and 25 candidates to attend each venue. To reserve a place on any of the courses please email with your name and telephone number. The first course to run will be held in Telford on 21 March 2020; it currently has only two places left. Following Telford will be Cardiff on 18 April 2020. This course currently only has five candidates registered, so if you want to attend this event please book as soon as possible—details of other courses available are on the website.

The MV Braveheart is at sea again, this time transporting the VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition team to Signy Island. You can follow the vessel’s progress on the VP8PJ website Team members have been operating as ZL1NA/MM during their voyage, generating heavy pileups. VP8PJ is expected to commence operation on 21 February 2020 and continue until 5 March 2020. Operation will be on CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8 fox/hound mode except on 60m.

The 5MHz beacon, GB3WES, in Westmorland, IO84QN, on 5.290MHz will close down on 11 March 2020 when its NoV expires. The beacon began service on 30 October 2004. At the time, it was one of a chain of three UK 5MHz propagation research beacons; the others were GB3RAL in Oxfordshire, already shut down, and GB3ORK in Orkney, which will be the sole remaining beacon after GB3WES shuts down.

AMSAT reports that the pioneering AMSAT-OSCAR 85 CubeSat, also known as Fox-1A, has gone silent. Having not been heard throughout the most recent period of full illumination, it is reasonable to believe the batteries have deteriorated to the point of no longer being able to power the transmitter. AO-85 was conceived as the first AMSAT CubeSat and was launched on 8 October 2015.

Provisional results of the IARU R1 UHF/microwave Contest and the Marconi Memorial VHF CW Contest are available on the IARU Region 1 website. Congratulations to G3CKR/P in IO93AD, M2A in JO02ST, G4RGK in IO91ON, G5RS/A in IO91RH, G3XDY in JO02OB, G3TCU in IO91QE and GM4DIJ/P in IO74MU who were the highest placed UK stations in these contests.

Category: GB2RS Headlines