Nice Aurora

Aystein-Lunde-Ingvaldsen1_stripLast night, as predicted, a gust of solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking bright Valentine's auroras around the Arctic Circle. Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen sends this picture of the sweet lights over Bø in Vesterålen, Norway:

"It was a short but beautiful blast of Northern Lights," says Ingvaldsen. "Perhaps this is a preview of things to come later this week." Indeed, a series of CMEs en route to Earth from exploding sunspot 1158 are expected to arrive on Feb. 15th-17th, prompting bright displays at even lower latitudes .....(not this far South and with cloudy skies ;-(

Amazing Sunspot Movie

Less than a week ago, sunspot 1158 didn't exist. Now it is wider than the planet Jupiter and unleashing the strongest solar flares since Dec. 2006.

Click on the arrow to witness the amazing 5-day development of this active region, courtesy of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

The Sun - 'Strongest Flare in four years

Pete-Lawrence1_stripThe Sun has unleashed its strongest flare in four years, observers say. The eruption is a so-called X-flare, the strongest type; such flares can affect communications on Earth. Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation emanating from a sunspot.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) has issued a geomagnetic storm warning, and says observers might be able to see aurorae from the northern UK. The monster flare was recorded at 0156 GMT on 15 February and directed atthe Earth.
Preliminary data from the Stereo-B and Soho spacecraft suggest that the explosion produced a fast but not particularly bright coronal mass ejection (CME) - a burst of charged particles released into space.
The unpredictable eruptions on the Sun can interfere with modern technology on Earth, such as electrical power grids, communications systems and satellites.

On Wednesday, the BGS released a rarely seen archive of geomagnetic recordsthat provide an insight into "space weather" stretching back to the Victorian era. BGS scientists say that studies of solar storms in the past could inform the prediction of future space weather and help mitigate threats to national infrastructure. Displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) have already been seen further south than usual in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK. And further solar activity is expected over the next few days. Researchers say the Sun has been awakening after a period of several years of low activity.

New DXCC to be announced & activated...

cid_image001_jpg01CBCA1AThe Intrepid-DX Group and the DX Friends have combined efforts to announce our next DXpedition, to the newly created country of Southern Sudan, to take place after July 9th 2011.

The Intrepid-DX Group is the group which brought you the 2010 YI9PSE, IRAQ DXpedition. The DX Friends have brought you the 2006 S01R DXpedition to Western Sahara, the 2008 DXpedition to Rwanda as 9X0R, the 2009 DXpedition to Western Sahara as S04R, the 2010 DXpedition to Palestine as E4X and the 2010 DXpedition to San Marino as T70A.

It is hoped that the callsign ST0DX will be issued this next week following our meeting with the Government of Southern Sudan Mission in America. The primary objective is to activate Southern Sudan with a view to giving as many DXers as possible a first contact with this new DXCC entity and, as a secondary objective, to give as many band-slots as possible.

As with previous DXpeditions, this will be a major effort, with a target of more than 150,000 QSOs.

8th Antarctic Activity Week - GBØANT Qrv...

GB0antGBØANT (Special Event Station) will be QRV from 18 – 28th February 2011 as part of the 8th Antarctic Activity Week celebrations.

The callsign will be on all HF Bands using CW, SSB and Data Modes.

QSL for the event is via MØOXO. Further information available here.

You can find a full list of participating stations here

Qsl Cards out this week......


Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for G4RCG
625 Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for GBØANT.
220 Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for MØOXO.
120 Cards Direct for MW0RLJ.

T32C - Christmas Island 2011 Update.....

BannerThis Press Release just received from the T32C team;

Quite a lot has happened since we first announced our DXpedition last October. This bulletin covers some of those developments, so that everyone can continue to follow our preparations for Christmas Island 2011.

T32C - Firstly, we can confirm that the callsign T32C has been issued, in line with our previous callsigns (9M0C, D68C, 3B9C, 3B7C), the “C” recalling our origins in the UK’s CDXC (The Chiltern DX Club). The call took a little time to arrange, as single letter suffixes are not normally issued by the Kiribati Government.


Secondly, our website goes from strength to strength, with all the latest news. For example, you can look at predicted propagation, make a donation via PayPal and other means, read about the island, and much more. At this time, though, we would particularly urge everyone to complete the survey of wanted bands and modes, which will help us in planning our operating schedule. T32C_logo


Our team is now almost complete, and we are especially delighted to welcome young amateur Michael Zürch DG1CMZ, whose participation is possible thanks to an anonymous sponsor. Michael is a 25-year old from Thuringia, Germany. He was first licensed at the age of 14 and is a keen contester and DXer. He has operated from GJ but T32C will be his first major DXpedition. Michael is currently working on his PhD thesis in strong-field laser physics at the University of Jena in the Quantum Electronics group and enjoys academic teaching. He operates all bands and modes, so will be a valuable addition to the T32C team. We now need just two multi-mode operators to complete our team.

Click 'read more' below for further information about T32C and details of this press release............

Read more: T32C - Christmas Island 2011 Update.....

Heartbreak for our Russian friends at RD3A site

RD3A_antennasWell could this happen to any of us? We moan about the odd cable that breaks or maybe as in my case a fiberglass pole but what happened here is a disaster. All this from Freezing Rain this Winter @ RD3A.

From 4L5A:
''Folks, don't take it as a total disaster. Yes the two big antenna, 3 element 80m and a stack of two 4 element 40m, built by RW1AC are completely destroyed. Stack of 3  MAGNUM 620 by "Force 12" is in bad shape too. ALL wire antennas - 80m Delta, ALL beverages, 160m Inv Vee are down.    The main calibre weapons built by UA9BA are in tact though. 

Rotating 160m dipole (70m long), 4 over 4 80m yagis, a stack of 3 5 element 40m yagis on 84m high free standing tower. A stack of 4 7 element 20m yagis (23m long booms) on another 82 m high free standing tower.  RD3A_20m_yagi_antennas15 and 10m 8 element yagi stacks on 45m high free standing tower. Multi bander (40,20,15,10) with 2 full size 40m elements.

All that is still up and running. In the mean time the ice storm was so bad in the RD3A's neighbourhood that a 40000 people town of Troitsk is still freezing without electricity for over two days now.''
These guys are the best at building antenna farms and I am sure they will deal with it head on but boy, to see that when you looked out of your window first thing in the morning.

Lets hope we hear the RD3A Contest station up and on the air again soon, GL guys!

Forecast vs. current Sunspot level: the gap is still wide.

SunspotsJust a look to the last NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) progression chart… really a not encouraging news:

Sunspot count is still lower or forecast levels are still higher?

Thanks to Max IK8LOV for the information

WFF - Herne Island Team injured in crash....

AF-068_HERNE_ISLANDCNFF-007News received from Fred IK7JWX of an car accident the team had on their way to the Dxpedition over the weekend:

''Inform our dear friends, colleagues radio amateurs, sponsors, supporters, individual contributors that 27 february at 15:30 the team heading for 5C2 was traveling in Morocco to reach Dakhla and Herne Island. On the way we broke a wheel of the Jeep and were turned upside down. The impact has been only hurt our good friend Leo I8LWL (5C2L), the rest of the team is good with minor injuries from the impact.

Leo suffered a fractured shoulder and a slight head injury is now recovering in the hospital of Marrakech which has received the first treatment mediche. Non just improve his condition will return to Italy.
Congratulations to Leo lends a healing and a return home soon. The new dxpedition to AF068 will be in september 2011.''

Lets hope Leo and the team have a speedy recovery.....

VP8ORK - All going well, ready to be Qrv in hours!

South-Orkney-Islands_VP8ORKThe 'Microlite Penguins' posted this press release yesterday, giving us hope that some good activity will be heard from Antarctica in the coming days - yippee!! ''VP8ORK'' team promise us some good conditions in the UK (we'll see!).

25 January 2011

The 2001 'South Orkney' DXpedition is anchored at Signy Island and has begun assembling the camp. We estimate two days will be required to secure our safety and set up stations. Our announced data of 27 January for operations remains intact at this point

The Microlite Penguin Team
The 2011 Microlite Penguins' South Orkney DXpedition

The South Orkney Islands are a group of islands in the Southern Ocean, about 604 kilometres (375 mi) north-east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.They have a total area of about 620 square kilometres (240 sq mi).The islands have been part of the British Antarctic Territory since 1962 (previously they were a Falkland Islands Dependency), and the British Antarctic Survey operates a base on Signy Island. The islands are also claimed by Argentina as part of the province of Tierra del Fuego, and the Argentine Navy has maintained a permanent base on Laurie Island since 1904. Apart from base personnel, there are no inhabitants.

WFF - Do we comply with the DX Code of Conduct?

GFF-008DLast week one of our most active activators found it necessary to cut short his activation in the UK due poor operating by some chasers.  Here you will read his account of events and please feel free to add your comments to the discussion at the end of the article:

'' Hi all,

Last weekend I was in England to activate 2 nature reserves.  Stodmarsh was on the programme for Saturday morning.  Very nice nature reserve, well looked after and worth a visit. So far for the good news.

I was very disappointed by the behaviour of the chasers today. It was so bad the I decided to close down after just under  1 hour in which I managed to complete almost 100 contacts. But the patience of some chasers was non existant. Having to work by numbers because of the big pile-up and even then some people did not agree that they had to wait.

When I asked stations with “5” in the callsign and a 9A5 came back someone told him that his call was not valid. Another station worked me from a clubstation with”0” in the call when I called that number. He then asked me for a contact with his home call. Again heavy protest. The protest lasted 30 sec. the QSO 5 sec.  So, the moaner prevented me from making 5 further QSO with other stations. It is this kind of behaviour that puts activators off going to WFF’s.

It went from bad to worse with people wanting their number to be called. Then I decided to stop the activation. I still have not sent in the log from this activation and don’t know if I will. This not fun anymore. Therefore I did not do the Sunday activation either.

The chasers should realise that a lot of preparing and money goes into an activation abroad. In my case: ferry crossing, hotel, fuel expenses, mails in which you have to ask permission to activate a WFF.  Personally I don’t know if I will continue with WFF, I’ll have to sleep on it. I have now done 50 WFF’s and have seen it deteriorate to very bad behaviour. It is still a hobby and meant to be fun.

In the last year I was fortunate to visit some beautiful reserves  and combine this with ham radio; ideal combination,  but at the moment I am not completely convinced anymore.

73, Peter ''

Click here to see the DX Code of Conduct

.......See and add your own comments below......

Qsl cards to Bureau (or Direct).......

GB1HI_2Qsl cards to the Bureau this week include:

GB0ANT - 360
GB4IPY - 330
GB1TAN - 130
GB1HI - 160
MW0JZE - 75
MØOXO/p (Green Day) - 70

260 Cards processing for various calls, will be mailed 18/01/2011

Nobody loves us :-(

Well I have been wondering for the last 10 days or so why no-one wants to come back to my CQ calls? Yes, it may be my poor cw but now i think I have found the real reason!

According to the ARRL out of 338 DXCC entities, England is the 5th from the bottom of the most needed. It just makes me want to cry

(ARRL Least/Most Wanted click Flag to the above to see England basking in 334th place of the most-wanted!)

'GreenDay' Cards issued....

M0OXO_GDQsl Cards for the WFF 'GreenDay' event 2010 have now been issued.

There has been a big delay with printing these cards since the event that Keith 2E0KYI and I operated from back in June 2010

We were active as part of the WFF 'GreenDay' Contest/event that occurs each Year from Spurn Point, East Yorkshire (GFF-111).


Photograph on front shows the Cheetah. Cheetahs can be found primarily on the African Plains. They once roamed throughout Asia and Africa. Today only about 150 remain in Iran, and about 12,000 cheetahs live in sub-Saharan African grasslands. They are endangered because of decline in prey, loss of habitat, poaching, and being shot as a livestock predator.

Thanks - Gennady UX5UO

MØOXO Operating Mode analysis - 2010

The tables below show my activity over the last twelve months (2010). The other two tables show the same information over 2009 and 2008. If there was ever any doubt as to my operating modes there certainly isn't now! SSB is gradually getting less as CW increases (although big surprise to see CW has declined since last Year, didnt expect that).

YearDXCCsQSOs QSOs as Percent

2010 205 6474 CW: 8.56%
SSB: 18.78%
Data: 72.66%

2009 203 5020 CW: 11.67%
SSB: 28.82%
Data: 59.50%

2008 162 4522 CW: 1.04%
SSB: 70.85%
Data: 28.11%

Wollaston (SA-031) & Diego Ramirez (SA-097)

8938529Our friend is at it again! Cezar/VE3LYC and Johan/PA3EXX will attempt a very challenging expedition to Wollaston islands (SA-031) and Diego Ramirez islands (SA-097) between approximately January 7 and 22, 2011.

In demand by 98% of IOTA chasers, SA-031 currently ranks #6 on the Most Wanted IOTA list World Wide and #1 in South America, whereas SA-097 has never been activated. The plan is to operate for 4 days from Herschel Is (SA-031) and Gonzalo Is. (SA-097). However, weather and sea conditions can influence significantly this schedule.


Click 'read more' below for further information.

Read more: Wollaston (SA-031) & Diego Ramirez (SA-097)

PW2D Cards dispatched.....

am pleased to report that the Qsl Cards for the PW2D Contest Station arrived from the printer a few days ago and the first 35 direct Qsl Card requests have been mailed this morning (29th December 2010).

The PW2D team are part of the Araucaria DX Club
that promotes and encourages contest and dxing in Brazil. The Station is located near Mogi das Cruzes, half way between the city of Sao Paulo
and the Port of Santos, Brazil.

Thanks to Gennady UX5UO for a speedy turnaround time for the printing, click here if you are in need of a Qsl service.

Happy Christmas.....


Happy Christmas to all my readers, hope you all have a prosperous New Year and a Peaceful 2011!

Bamboo Island, Cambodia

BAMBOO-ISLAND-cambodia3Peter XU7ACY / NO2R and Wim  XU7TZG will be Qrv from Koh Russei aka Bamboo Island, IOTA AS-133 as XU7KOH from 0600UTC 20th December 2010  until 0600UTC 23rd December 2010.

Bamboo Island is one of a group of small islands in the Gulf of Thailand located about 10 km. from the port city of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia.

Qsl via Patrick ON7PP

ON3 licence upgrades.....

17.04.2010_uitkrkerkse_polders_012Well done and congratulations to my friends Gino ON3SSB and Peter ON3WAB (M6ONL) who have received notification of their Licence upgrade.

From January 2011 their Callsigns will change to Gino ON2SSB and for Peter ON2WAB.

I am sure everyone will still recognize them on air so here is wishing them both well from their friends across here in the UK!
(Photo: Peter ON3WAB left, Gino ON3SSB right)
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