'Green Day' 2010 announced


WFF GreenDay 2010 – A «Green» Day of activity in Biological Diversity Year.

greenday_2Within the framework of the annual worldwide nature protection action, the Day of Activity, 'WFF GreenDay 2010' is being organized.

Radio amateurs of the whole world are invited to join us by having QSOs with radio-stations working from territories within National Parks and Nature Reserves of the World for a 24hour period on the 12th June 2010. 'Especially Protected Nature Territories' (EPNT) – are now included into the WFF Directory (see WFF Directory: http://www.wff44.com/en/list/).

Keep an eye out on my blog for details of the GFF Area (new!) that I will activate on 'Green Day 2010'.

SteppIR 30/40M Kit fitted


Well, I finally got around to fitting the new SteppIR 30/40M Kit to my original 2 element SteppIR.K1024_30-40_bst

The 30/40M Dipole is simply a driven element which functions as a Dipole from 6.8Mhz to 13.8Mhz and it also acts as the driven element for the main Yagi between 13.8Mhz tand 54.0Mhz.

A normal Dipole for 40M would be approx. 64 feet long whereas this element is 39 feet long, created by looping the element tip back towards the boom. On 30M since the copper tape barely turns the corner back towards the boom, essentially it performs like a full size dipole would.

More information on the SteppIR range of antennas can be found on the website of Vine Antennas. Further reading and images on how I constructed  this & other SteppIR products can be found in the Gallery and also under the Radio Projects page on this website (in the coming days.) Thanks to Ron Stone GW3YDX (Vine Antennas) and John Muzyka G4RCG for their help and advice with the 30/40 Kit.

150,000 Brits still stranded due to Aircraft restrictions


The UK's emergency committee Cobra has met to discuss the ash cloud chaos and HMS Ark Royal & HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy are on their way to help ferry stranded Britons back home from EU. Travel agents' association Abta says its "rough estimate" is that 150,000 Britons are currently stranded abroad due to the chaos caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. UK flight restrictions have been extended until at least 1900 utc today.

Previous eruptions in the area have caused flooding due to the melting of glacial ice but the current eruption is in an area covered by winter snow, not permanent ice. Although some past eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull were followed by larger, explosive eruptions at nearby Katla Volcano, there is currently no sign of activity at Katla.

This image made available by NEODASS/University of Dundee shows the volcanic ash plume from Iceland, top left, to the north of Britain at received by NASA's Terra Satellite (11.39 GMT Thursday April 15, 2010).

K800_Volcano_-_UK

DX Summit - Changes welcomed


After months and in some cases years of waiting, SYOPS of DX Clusters now seem to be tightening up their Security. One of the first to take this step is the most popular site ''DX Summit''.
To cut down on the unwanted traffic such as foul language, DX Summit has taken the stance of now becoming password protected.


To post any 'spot' on the cluster via DX Summit, you first have to register and obtain a password which you must enter for each and every spot you send. It is hoped this will tighten up the appalling behaviour by allowing the offenders IP address and email addresses to be more easily found and where necessary, to be reported to authorities
- well done!
DX_Summit

Volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupts - UK Airspace closed


Hundreds of flights have been cancelled around the UK and Europe and all UK airports have now closed as a result of a volcano eruption in Iceland. Volcano_picAirports that were open  earlier this morning have now closed having suffered major disruption.

The developments came after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland yesterday erupted for the second time in a month, spewing massive clouds of ash thousands of feet into the sky. Scientists said the eruption, under a glacier, was 10 to 20 times more powerful than the one last month.  The volcano erupted on March 20 after almost 200 years of silence.

The ash in the atmosphere closed Scottish airspace this morning and forced Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports to close. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at other airports.

Liverpool, Manchester, Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands, Bristol, Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow are all affected.. It cannot be seen from the ground as it is blowing across Britain around three miles in the sky. Ash can disrupt the engines of an aircraft and reduce visibility as well as affecting landing and navigation gear.

This morning a Heathrow Airport spokesman said 150 flights, both arrivals and departures, had been cancelled - at the busiest time of the day - and more flights were expected to be affected as the cloud of ash moved south. volcanoAt Gatwick, 108 flights have been cancelled, while at least 17 flights are grounded at Stansted.

Birmingham airport has seen 70 flights cancelled, while Bristol has halted around 20 flights. Rivers rose by up to ten feet (three metres) as the ferocious temperatures melted the glacier, turning it to water, which gushed down the mountainside.

Iceland's main coastal ring road was closed near the volcano, and workers smashed three holes in the highway in a bid to to give the rushing water a clear route to the coast and prevent bridges from being swept away.

Scientists said the eruption under the ice cap was 10 to 20 times more powerful than the one last month, and carried a much greater risk of widespread flooding.


3W6C - News just in....temporarily QRT!

3W6C is temporarily QRT
3w6c-logo-240x179Due to security political reasons on the island, the 3W6C team is temporarily QRT from Con Co Island, Vietnam. The team hopes for a soon and good solution.

Team leader HB9BXE hopes being QRV again on April 14, 1200 UTC, probably with reduced equipment and thanks for your understanding.

See News Boards on our web site and Twitter later on for the news.


A380 'Super-Jumbo' - Manchester dates released


Emirates have announced that they plan to fly the Double Decker Super Jumbo, the Emirates A380 to Manchester from 1 Emirates-A380-Aircraft-In-FlightSeptember 2010, the A380 replacing the existing Boeing 777 that operates flight numbers EK017 & EK018, and will be a daily service.


The Emirates A380 that will operate this Dubai to Manchester Route is expected to be a 517 seat long three class configured aircraft with Emirates Award winning First Class, Business Class and economy class cabin and seats.



Flight Number

Route

Depart

Arrive

EK017

Dubai Manchester

0755hrs

1225hrs

EK018

Manchester Dubai

1410hrs

0015hrs +1 day

Flying directly over my QTH, the daily carriers from the Far East are an awesome sight as they drop down very low for the runway approach at Manchester and the A380 will just be an amzing addition to the viewing (for all the sad people like me!).

Busy Qsl'in...


..Yes been a busy few weeks getting Qsl cards sorted. I received two rather large deliveries from the 'Special Events' K800_SNV33705Sub-Manager and also from the 'Short Contest Calls' Sub-Manager.

I have to say I have enjoyed getting up to date with cards for Michael G7VJR and his trips too. Quite a lot of intrest especially for VP8DMN and requests for all managed stations via the on-line system get more popular each day.

Anyway for any interested parties, here is a brief run down on the cards sent out last 14 days (only the larger, more active callsigns shown) :-
VP8DMN 95 (D) 32 (B), GBØANT 810 (B), GB4IPY 557 (B) MW0JZE 220 (D) 450 (B), MW0RLJ 373 (B), G4RCG 12 (D) 220 (B), MØOXO (plus variations) 17 (D) 275 (B).

It is however worth pointing out that the normally accepted Bureau times is about 2 Years, thats from the time you send to the time you receive back. Therefore, if 2 years hasn't elapsed since the time you requested a bureau card, please be patient and don't request another until at least 2 years have passed.

Sadly most of the GB1HI cards I mention above were only received in the last 15 - 20days and most are from 2007/2008 which means a turn around time of 4 years - not good is it? For the system to work well both parties have to be on the ball in processing their cards which I guess can be the major cause?


WFF - GFF / GWFF Directory update


GFF_LogoFinally and with the grateful assistance of Steve GW4BKG, I can report that the area in the WFF Directory relating to 'GFF' and 'GWFF' have been updated.

When WFF first launched, 'GFF' was all one entity. However, when the decision was made to split into 'G', 'GM' & 'GW', 'GFF-015' in particular had already been activated several times and therefore couldn't be moved into the 'GW' list (as thousands of Qsl Cards had 'GFF-015' on them and several logs had also appeared on the ew4dx logsearch system). As well as those, several others appeared in the original list that were now covered by the GMFF team and therefore again, they were not eligible to appear in the 'GFF' lists.

The updated entries have been forewarded to WFF HQ and I hope in the near future they will appear on the WFF website for download. Meanwhile you can access the new listings by clicking on the links here - 

SOS message - VYØV East Pen Island, Nunavut


You may remember that a few days ago I reported on this blog (see 3 blog entries earlier) about the trip my Cezar VE3LYC to an all time new IOTA, East Pen Island, Nunavut, Canada. IOTA NA-231 was issued for this trip and the entries below East_Pen_island1show how people put their lives on the line undertaking these trips when circumstances don't necessarily go as planned.

Questions will no doubt be asked at a later days but not for us to speculate. Read the below information which is in 3 parts and see how events unfolded. Following those 3 entries, the real version of events are explained direct from the man himself Cezar, VE3LYC :-



March 28th 0100UTC

With one snowmobile pulling a 6m long sled with everything, including myself. Temp was -17C, but no wind, so the weather was excellent. As such, we hoped to make it to East Pen in about 6 hours. The first hour went well, we made 23 km (tracks are much better on the outskirts of the village). Shortly after that though, the engine started to overheat. We stopped, checked, tried again, and so on. Over the next 3.5 hours we made another ... 21 km. Using the SAT phone Tommy tried to get help from his brother back home, but it was pretty clear that the thermostat died on us as it won't start the pump to circulate the coolant. In the meantime we managed to boil the coolant to the point that we had to leave the vapors out, and in the process lost most of the water. We didn't have that much anti-freeze for the trip, so the prospect to make it all the way looked pretty bleak. It was so cold by then that the butane lamp wouldn't start, so it was the time to use the wood stove we took with us! We finally made some water, but by then we were 5.5 hours from the startup and had enough of all this. As such, we decided to return to the village for the night. We left everything in the middle of nowhere, 44 km from the village, about 1/3 of the way to the island. We only took with us the cameras and the chargers, nothing else. It took Tommy only 1 hour and 20 min to drive us back, pushing at times up to 60 km/h. I must confess though that we almost lost it a couple of times, and we are so tired, can hardly wait a good night sleep. We'll work to fix the snowmobile tonight and tomorrow morning. I am a little worried to have left the rig in the cold, it is supposed to be -28C tomorrow morning. Well, if it will run after that, I think that ICOM will be delighted with the ad they will get out of it! We will try again tomorrow, keep fingers crossed! For whatever is worth it, there will be no competition from WPX SSB, hihi!

From Skip, W5JAI (in 3 parts)

click title header to read more...

Read more: SOS message - VYØV East Pen Island, Nunavut

XRØY Qsl arrives - in 3D!


Thanks to Stan SQ8X for the beautiful Qsl cards that arrived today for the recent XRØY DXpedition to Easter Island. Not only were the folded cards beautiful but a seperate card in addition was also enclosed showing 'Rapa Nui' in 3D. This was an all time new DXCC/IOTA for me so well worth the cost of a direct Qsl. The main Qsl Card is shown below but unfortunately the 3D card cannot be replicated to show you!

K800_XR0Y_Catd

First activity from ONFF announced!


ONFF_redI am pleased to announce that the ONFF team will now be Qrv for the first time ever in the next few days. Emails received from the co-ordinator Gino ON3SSB state that the events will commence as soon as the 2nd April 2010. Details :-

02/04/2010 = ON3ALI/p & ON3MVH/p & ON3SSB/p QRV from  Fonteintjes (ONFF-005) **new +/- 10:00 till 14:00 GMT = QSL via homecall

17/04/2010 = ON3ALI/p & ON3MVH/p & ON3NV/p & ON3SSB/p & ON3VRT/p & ON5DDG/p & ON6SG/p & ON7PP/p QRV from Uitkerkse Polder (ONFF-019) **new +/- 12:00 till 16:00 GMT = 20 & 40m = QSL via homecall.

There is also activity planned by Peter M6ONL/ON3WAB from various areas within the UK during the coming months and details will be posted here nearer the time.

Good luck to all operators, we welcome the new activity from Belgium!

East Pen Island NA-231 (Brand new IOTA)


Travel_107sOur old friend Cezar VE3LYC is qrv again today this time as VYØV from East Pen Island, Nunavut, Canada. This is a first time IOTA so demand high for the newly allocated IOTA reference of NA-231.

East Pen Island is one of several uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in Nunavut, Canada located within southwestern Hudson Bay. It is part of the Pen Islands, though West Pen Island is actually a spit, rather than an island. East Pen Island is situated off the shore of Ontario, a few kilometers southeast of Manitoba. The closest community is Fort Severn, Ontario.

Cezar says they will only be active for three days so better get in the pile ups now!

TX4T 2010 - Qsl Card update


The first batch of TX4T QSL arrived from Ukraine yesterday. It’s a small one (1kg), two larger (15kg each) are still on the road to G3TXF.

web-TX4T-QSLer-24-Mar-10












Nigel has been able to answer all direct QSLs from DL, EA, F, G, HA, HB, I, OE, OH, OK, OM and S5. Others will have to wait for the other cards to arrive from UX5UO Qsl Print.

14100 QSOs are already confirmed on LotW, that’s a 40% rate !

Up to now, Nigel received direct cards for 4600 QSOs. Thanks all info Nigel et al.....

MCØSHL now Qrv from GFF-015 Pembrokeshire Coast


Chris (G1VDP) is currently active from our ClubHouse in Pembrokeshire. Situated in the beautuful Pembrokeshire National K800_IMG_5187_129Park (WFF reference GFF-015) and over looking the sea, it's a stunning place to play radio!

The location is in South West Wales and just down the Coast from the StrumbleHead lighthouse.

Chris will be active as MCØSHL until early next week and will also take part in the WPX Contest this weekend using the Callsign MW9W. Both Callsigns are good for GFF-015.

He is using an FT2K into a G3TXQ 5 band Broadband Hexbeam at 25 feet and will work all HF Bands (plus 40 & 80m) SSB with also RTTY & PSK modes being used outside the Contest.

Logs will be uploaded to the EW4DX LogSearch early next week and any Qsl card requests should go via the Manager for this operation Tim M0URX. Please give Chris your support and if you hear him, give him a quick call!

73 de Charles....

GMFF website launch


Its good to see that the GMFF Website has now been officially launched. Hosted and managed by Jurij MM0DFV it gives a Headerwealth of information and activity reports about the Scottish side of the WFF (World Flora Fauna) Programme. You will also find a full list of the GMFF areas valid for the WFF programme as well as contact information should you require it. For European (English speaking) Amateurs, you may also find the new Yahoo Group reflector (EUFF News) of use. This offers up to date information about WFF activites and is in the form of English language, a service that has been difficult to maintain over recent months. Well done to Jurij for this excellent service and indeed WFF Management as a whole. (Click logo below to be directed to the GMFF site).

New CDXC site - Launch imminent


The latest CDXC 'Digest' informs us about the launch of the new CDXC Website.

Michael G7VJR tells us:-
''In the first few pages of this month's digest there is a short explanation of how to access the new CDXC web site - this cdxcbeing a major part of the CMIS (membership database) project.


The address, http://www2.cdxc.org.uk is accessible now as a preview, and will be replacing our existing web site on 2 April when it goes live. Please feel free to login and try it out - we've got some great new features including an updated news service run by Tim M0URX and Charles M0OXO, and plenty of new features to do with expedition funding, too. If you need to update your email record to get a password (as explained in the digest and on the web site) then Tony G4LDL is on hand to help. His email address is: tony dot bettley at ntlworld.com.


I'll be introducing the site in more detail on Saturday at Wyboston, which will also be a chance to see behind the scenes in CMIS (if you wish!) and get your account details tweaked should there be any discrepancies in the membership database
.''

OK DX RTTY Contest 2009........


A nice suprise in the mail this morning as you can see! 9th place overall and 1st place (Country Winner) for the UK.
K800_IMG
I think it's my second only Contest 'win' for Digital Modes so very happy to receive the Award.

Congratulations to all who took part, hope to meet you again next year on screen.

73 de Charles

VP8DMN Falkland Island Qsl Cards - Update


VP8DMN_Front
Stations who have requested Qsl cards (Direct or Online System) for VP8DMN please be patient for a few days longer. I am awaiting delivery of Cards from Michael (G7VJR) for his trip to the Falkland Islands and expect should be with me in a few days time.

As soon as the cards are received I will have them dispatched within 24 hours, sri for any inconvenience caused by the Qsl Manager change.

73 de Charles

3B9WR Rodrigues Island now Qrv!


John Dunnington G3LZQ, arrived on Rodrigues Island (IOTA AF-017) on the 5th March where he will remain until 3B9WRthe second of April.  No coincidence of course that the trip coincides with the RSGB Commonwealth Contest this weekend.

John has suffered delays with equipment which arrived late but all are now on the Island. He spent most of yesterday building antennas and at sundown still had a little work to do. All things being equal we should expect him to be qrv from today upon completion of the antenna build.

John is a CW only Op. and he will be concentrating on low band activity where possible using the callsign 3B9WR. Qsl Cards (left) will be available on his return via G3LZQ.

Good luck John!

 

'JA-fest' on 15M SSB!


....and over the last few weeks we have been busy running the special event station for Antarctic Activity Week.

Operating times and modes varied but all in all it was a good event and was well attended as regards contacts. This Year we worked 2602 q’s which was one of the better years we have had bringing our total qso’s to 12654 for GB0ANT. For me the highlight was last week on 15M.

It was early for 15M but I started call on SSB at around 0740utc. It started very quiet for a few minutes and then there was a rash of activity from Asia with Ukraine, Asiatic Russia and Kazakhstan stations flying in very strong. I was very surprised to hear a VU calling but he wasn’t too strong and therefore didn’t make the grade to gain a place in my log. Shortly after than I was called by JR1NHD (Foto Right) from Kanagawa prefecture in Japan. We had a brief exchange and then all hell broke loose, what a pile up of JA! Its several Years since i have worked into JA and received such a fearsome response.

One after another then got into the log and they just kept coming. SJR1NHDtrange as it was, there were none of the ‘usual suspects’ in the mix either, many of them new entries in the logbook.

At 0834 I logged the last two stations JR4CEB and JA2LHG from Japan which brought a total of 71 JA stations in the brief window, what a run! (Extract of Logbook shown below for those who may not quite believe it!)

Lets pray that things continue as they are now for a long time whether we are climbing out of the Solar Minimum or whether we are not. Its certainly a big boost to anyone's enthusiasm when DX such as that can be worked on the higher band for a change.

Thanks to all the guys that worked and the team that operated during the week, it was a good event this Year and lets hope that we have many more in the Years to comes as AAW (Antarctic Activity Week) grows stronger, bigger and better.

JAs

Thanks (to Japan!) and 73 to all....de Charles....


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