Pirate Alert – ZL8AC from central EU

All day today (26/09/2022) there has been a station on 20M FT8 and FT4 claiming to be from a very rare island near New Zealand – ZL8 Kermadec. Turns out it has been a pirate in central Europe pirating the call. Shame as it would have been an all time new country for my DXCC count.

https://dxnews.com/forum/forum/dxing/44683-zl8ac-pirate-alert

CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest

Teletype Corporation Model 19ASR

This weekend is the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest, another one of my favourite contests of the year. And it is also my favourite mode of RTTY, a digital mode that is now transmitted and decoded by computer, but used to be transmitted/decoded by a machine before we all had PC’s. These machines used to sit in a corner of the shack “chattering” away to themselves where the sent message was on a tape typed by the typewriter kind of letters. All good fun but noisy, now the computer sends the tones and is a lot quieter as the received message is on screen.

If you have never had a go and have your kit set up for FT8 or other digi modes then this is easy to have a go. The software used here is N1MM which will log the QSO and create a contest entry for you too.

Funeral of Her Majesty the Queen – Elizabeth II

Today we here in the UK laid to rest our Queen, Elizabeth II. A sad day and a day of mourning for the whole country. I for one have been a supporter of the royal family and will do so for the remainder of my life.

As a radio amateur I have been honoured to be allowed to use the “Q” as a secondary letter to my prefix and call, GQ1VDP, to celebrate her majesties Diamond and Platinum (60 and 70 years) jubilees but could not bring myself to use it on such a sad occasion. I am also proud watching the TV coverage of the funeral and all the pageantry and ceremony that goes with a state funeral, and think we Brits certainly know how to do it with style. I am also proud of all the service men and women who have taken part in the whole event over the past 10 days since her death.

We now need to  look forward and to the reign of our new King, King Charles III. I will be on air using the special prefix, I am sure we will be granted it, upon the occasion of his coronation some time in 2023 with a special QSL card made to celebrate the occasion (watch this space). 

For now RIP ma’am, God Save the King.

(Image taken from SKY TV, with gracious thanks)

RIP Queen Elizabeth II

Today. 8th September 2022, we have received the sad news that our monarch Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. She served with grace, humility, and dignity. Carrying out her duties right through to the last days, meeting and instating our new prime minister just 48 hours earlier. She was our Queen for 70 years, celebrating her platinum jubilee this year. But it was 10 years ago I activated a special call GQ1VDP to celebrate the diamond jubilee and had this special card printed to remember the occasion, again I operated as GQ1VDP this year also to celebrate the platinum jubilee.

We here in the UK are saddened by the news and will miss her, Rest In Peace your majesty.

With this in mind we now have a new king, the Queens eldest son Charles. 

Long live King Charles III

GPDX IOTA Calendar

GPDX Group have just posted their updated IOTA Calendar to their Facebook page. Some interesting stuff coming up over the next few months, lets hope we all get in the log.

CR3SI, SELVAGENS Islands (AF-047)

As you know I am an IOTA chaser, and this one has been announced for later this month.

Taken from the GPDX Facebook page.

CR3SI, SELVAGENS Islands (AF-047)
CT1BOL (Jorge Lopes), CT1DSV (José Araújo), CT1ENV (António Claro), CT3KN (Ricardo Martins) and CT3MD (José Vasconcelos), are pleased to announce that they will be active with the callsign CR3SI, from Selvagem Grande (IOTA AF-047) next September.
The initiative is part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Reserva Natural das Ilhas Selvagens, and the station is expected to be active between the 21st and 25th of September, in CW, FT8 and SSB modes.
This is a very rare opportunity to add the AF-047 reference to your logs, and the first time there will be FT8 from Selvagens Islands.
The expedition’s antennas will be supported by Spiderbeam fiber masts.
May be an image of coast, ocean and nature
 

3Y0J Bouvet Expedition gets real

3Y0J team is currently packing at our staging site at Oslo Airport, Norway. Temperature here is around 0 degrees so we need warm clothing!

We spend the whole weekend packing, and have great progress. Soon container will be shipped.

Still some tickets in the raffle, buy one and support this adventure to Bouvet in just 4 months! (Some nice prizes to be had in here)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kenneth Opskar “Drums are used to protect the electronic equipment so it is waterproof. All drums have been tested individually. It also allows to easily put small items into one place making the transport more efficient”

https://www.3y0j.no/

This expedition is one that is highly expected and will be a nice new one for us all, or most of us. The guys who are carrying it out deserve all our support, I had the pleasure of meeting most of them at Friedrichshafen and just wish them luck (and I hope to make 1 QSO for my first ever contact with Bouvetoya).

The Transatlantic Centenary Tests

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) are hosting an International Amateur Radio Activation, The Transatlantic Centenary Tests, on the HF bands to commemorate the centenary of the achievement of Amateur Transatlantic communication, during the Transatlantic Tests that were held between 1921 and 1923.
The Tests will run from 1 December 2022 to 31 December 2022.
24 December 1922 was when the very first amateur signal from Europe was heard in North America; this was from the RSGB station (G)5WS which was established at Wandsworth in South London, as part of the Third Transatlantic Tests.
Unlike the tests of the 1920s, which mostly consisted of one-way communication, the 2022 tests will encourage world-wide two-way communication with UK & CD based stations.
Special stations will be activated from the UK by RSGB members and Clubs, using original RSGB callsigns from the 1920s.
 
The Club Log team have kindly agreed to provide the supporting infrastructure for the Tests.
In anticipation of this centenary celebration, with the assistance of Ofcom (the UK licensing authority), the RSGB have renewed five call signs which they held in the 1920s:
 
G5WS, used for the 1922 tests – “the first to get across”
G5AT, used for the 1923 tests
G6XX, used for the 1923 tests
G6ZZ, used for the first amateur tests on a moving railway train in 1924
G3DR, Scottish Highlands Call – GM3DR.
 
These historic call signs will be activated by RSGB members and Clubs, using G5WS, G5AT, G6XX, G6ZZ and G3DR (England), GM5WS (Scotland), GW5WS (Wales), GU5WS (Guernsey), GD5WS (Isle of Man), GJ5WS (Jersey) and GI5WS (Northern Ireland).
(Image shows the massive power station chimney at Wandsworth used to support the (G)5WS aerial in December 1922.)
Information and images copyright of the RSGB

International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend

This weekend sees the annual International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend, something that is close to mine and the Strumble Head Amateur Radio Klub’s hearts. This is where SHARK started and is where we get our name from. 

The object of the weekend is to work as many lighthouses or lightships that are on the air, or to have more fun get to a lighthouse and activate it. We were very lucky with Strumble Head Lighthouse in the fact that we were allowed to set up our kit actually in the lighthouse and having our antenna on the helicopter landing pad. It was a hard slog up to the light with all our kit, but well worth it for the fun and camaraderie we have as friends. 

You don’t have to be in the lighthouse to count as activating it, as long as you are at or adjacent to the lighthouse and can see the lighthouse from your position. All details are in the link above (click on the bold ILLW) and go have fun on the radio. I will be chasing them from home this year, but we may be active from a new one next year.