Two new WFF from GM land 'GMFF-046' & 'GMFF-002''

MMØDGR/p will be operating from the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve (GMFF-046) on Saturday, 6th February, 2010.

The gmff-webportable station will be located at the Shore Wood (southeast corner of Loch Lomond). Equipment: Icom IC-706MKIIG with HLA-300 Plus (300W) HF Power Amplifier. Antenna: 9m high Vertical with CG-5000 Automatic Antenna Coupler.

Grid locator IO76RB, WAB NS48, EU Area SC31 (West Dunbartonshire), IOTA EU-005. Bands, modes and frequencies ± QRM: 20 m (BPSK63 14.072 MHz, CW 14.044 MHz, SSB 14.244 MHz); 30 m (BPSK63 10.142 MHz, CW 10.110 MHz); 40 m (BPSK63 7.044 MHz, CW 7.014 MHz, SSB 7.144 MHz). QSL-cards via MMØDFV (preferably RSGB QSL-bureau).

Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve (GMFF-046) lies in the southeast corner of Loch Lomond, in the southern part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park (GMFF-002). This portable expedition gives you two WFF reference numbers GMFF-046 and GMFF-002 simultaneously. The Reserve includes some of the woodlands for which Loch Lomond is renowned, including the wooded shores on the mainland and on the islands of Inchcailloch, Clairinsh, Torrinch, Creinch and Aber Isle and the wetlands at the mouth of the River Endrick.

Detailed information & map are available at

XE2JA/XF1 Alcatraz Island coming soon.....

XE2JA/XF1 intend to be qrv from 11th - 14th February 2010. Bahía Kino (Alcatraz Island IOTA NA-167) lies 28.50N - 31.77N / 11.75W - 114.68W IMG_6916and is a town in the Mexican State of Sonora , on the Gulf of California.

The teams website tells us ''It was named aftee Eusebio Kino. The name also applies to the adjacent bay between Alcatraz Island and Punta San-Nicolas, Sonora. The names Bahía de Kino and Bahía Kino are used interchangeably.'' Founded in the 1920s as a small fishing camp, Bahía de Kino is a thriving community of about 7,000 inhabitants The town is administered as part of the municipality of Hermosillo. I

t is located on land that was part of the traditional territory of the Seri people who now live to the north on their communal property. The team will be using Yaesu and Kenwood transceivers and in the main the antennas are verticals, the exception being a Moseley TA-33 beam for 10, 15 & 20 meter bands. They have two amplifiers at their disposal so the UK should be in a good position to work them, the early morning on the lower bands and of course on the higher bands between lunch time and early evening being the better times to catch them.top_xf1_01

Qsl will be via EA5XC, click callsign for details. Good luck to the team, here's hoping I manage to work the new IOTA.

73 de Charles....

Northern Cross Rally 2010 - Postponed

News received this morning is that the Northern Cross Rally 2010 held in Wakefield has been cancelled, the event no WDRS_Rallylonger taking place on the 14th February as previously circulated. It is suggested it may take place later this Year with the month of June being a possibility.

The event is run by the Wakefield & District Radio Society and in recent Years has moved from the old QTH at the Thornes Sports Stadium Wakefield to a new location ¾ mile south of Ossett town centre, in the grounds of Ossett School, on Storrs Hill Road, Ossett, Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

It is disappointing to hear it is cancelled but should you require further information please contact their Secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

73 de Charles.........


Who said SWL was a dying part of the hobby?

Having grouped them for together for several months now, I have finally managed to get all the SWL cards i have completed and on 137_swltheir way to the bureau.

In the batch - 137 cards for 15 different stations but in the main they related to GBØANT, GB4IPY, GB1HI, MØOXO, MWØJZE & G4RCG.

Designing a SWL label for use in LogPrint has been the challenge. Setting up the user fields to accept and respond to a wide number of commands from the logging software was the difficulty and took about 7 hours before i was happy that the presentation was up to standard.

If you receive a SWL Card from me in the coming months, please feel free to comment on the label design, I may be able to offer more information should it be required. Keep the SWL reports coming, I can now guarantee you a speedy turn around time. I am totally cleaned out as regards Qsl requests and anxiously awaiting another delivery from the RSGB Bureau Cry

73 and Gud DX! - Charles

Waiheke Island, NZ - first new IOTA of 2010!

As you read above, thanks to Warren ZL1AIX for allowing me the unexpected new IOTA reference OC-201 ( IOTA #461) from zl1aixAwaawaroa Bay, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, on the South-East of the Island.

It was great to have the chat this morning and the opportunity to try the two SteppIR antennas against each other. Warren initially called on the long path as I was working the opposite direction with a Russian Station. Having tried both routes, long path again came up trumps with a signal from Waiheke of 59+10 as opposed to 59 on the short path, really FB sigs from his 3ele SteppIR

Waiheke Island is an island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, located about 17km  from Auckland. Waiheke Island is an easy-going getaway from the hustle-and-bustle of the city and enjoys a subtropical climate with its 100 km of coastline. The island is the second-largest, after Great Barrier Island, of all the gulf islands. It is also the most populous with just under 8,000 permanent residents plus another estimated 3400 who have second or holiday homes on the island. This makes it New Zealand's most densely populated island, with 83.58 people/km², and the third most populous after the North and South Island. title header to read full story.....

Read more: Waiheke Island, NZ - first new IOTA of 2010!

'Frozen Britain' ..comparing with 1963...

Frozen_Britain_SmallMany of you will have already seen this image but what a scene!

Snow blanketed Great Britain on January 7, 2010, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this image.

Snow covers most of England, from the east to the west coast. (The large image shows snow cover over the entire island of Great Britain.) The cities of Manchester, Birmingham, and London form ghostly gray shapes against the white land surface. Immediately east of London, clouds swirl over the island, casting blue-gray shadows toward the north.

Frigid temperatures followed snowfall, leaving roads and sidewalks treacherously icy, according to news reports. As of January 7, overnight temperatures had plunged to -22 degrees Celsius in isolated spots, with more widespread temperatures (including at my QTH) of -10.2 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). The heavy snowfall downed power lines, leaving several thousand homes in southern England without electricity.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, transportation difficulties kept an estimated 10 percent of the workforce home on January 5th through 8th, and over 40,000 schools were closed. Forecasters warned that frigid temperatures could linger for another 10 days at least. Eurostar was operating at a reduced capacity and airports remained open although passengers could expect delays.

A contributor to the persistent cold and snow across much of the Northern Hemisphere’s mid-latitudes in December 2009 and January 2010 could be the fact that 'the atmosphere was in an extreme negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO)'. The AO is a seesawing strengthening and weakening of semi-permanent areas of low and high atmospheric pressure in the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. One consequence of the oscillation’s negative phase is cold, snowy weather in Eurasia and North America during the winter months. The extreme negative dip of the Arctic Oscillation Index in December 2009 was the lowest monthly value observed for the past six decades. title header to read full story.....

MØOXO operating statistics

This years statistics are now complete and since I have been only chasing 'band-slots' over the last few months I am pleased with the results. Next Year should be interesting and of course I hope to improve significantly on the 'slots' albeit new DXCC's will no doubt prove as difficult as 2009.
You can clearly see over the last few years how my operating has changed inparticular with the addition to modes such as RTTY and CW which are now showing to be my main modes above Phone.
Another interesting statistic is when you look at 2007. The decrease in qso's is massive which tell me this was the fateful year when i lost antennas due to 'The Storm' in January of that Year.
What did suprise me is that despite dropping down from the top to the bottom of the Sunspot Cycle in the tables below, there seems to still be a marked increase in qso's when i maybe i would have expected to see a marked drop in the amount of q's due to lack of Sunspot/DX activity?

I hope you find the information of Read more (below left) or click title header to see full Statistics.





Read more: MØOXO operating statistics

7th Antarctic Activity Week coming soon

7th_AAWThe 7th AAW is set to arrive pretty soon with dates scheduled for the event between 22nd & 28th February 2010.

The event this year is set to be as good if not better than previous years with many more stations advising the team of their intended participation.

WAP (World Antarctic Programme) is the main body that coordinates all activity as well as being the focus of attention as regards the Awards program.

The only UK station to participate is 'GBØANT' operating in reference number 'WAP-Ø72' and this station will be qrv from the 15th February until 7th March inclusive on SSB, CW and Digital Modes.GB0ANT3

More information on the initiative can be found on the WAP website at and you can read more about the UK participation by viewing the information here.

Email me for further information and please, join in the event and apply for the special Qsl Card on line.

73 & Happy New Year.....Charles

Happy Christmas............. my friends and colleagues.

Looks like the big chill is on its way out later this week as we approach the big day itself. Locally yesterday temperatures went down to a low of -10.7C (yes...minus 10.7C) and with snow still on many roads around here driving conditions were poor.

U.K. travel was severely disrupted as snow and ice led to gridlocked roads, delayed flights and reduced train services. Eurostar Group Ltd., operator of high-speed trains through the Channel Tunnel, resumed a limited service today after its vehicles stopped working in snowy weather, causing four days of cancellations.

Air passengers were warned of possible flight disruptions. EasyJet and Ryanair Holdings canceled flights from London Luton Airport as well as departures from Italy and Germany, where some airports also shut down. A-snowplough-at-work-at-L-001Gatwick and London City airports opened today after closing last night. Heathrow airport is running a “good service,” it said on its Web site.

Snow and low temperatures swept across continental Europe over the last four days and have been blamed for 80 deaths, including 42 people, mostly homeless, who died in Poland last weekend, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. A coach overturned in Cornwall today killing 2 passengers and injuring over 40 more after the coach slid on ice. title header to read full story.....

Read more: Happy Christmas.............

Snowy morning in the UK

We woke this morning to the sight of the first snowfall this Winter. Locally we had between 1 and 3 cm of Snow on the snow_1812092ground whereas just one mile away from here they saw 6 to 8 cm of snow lying on the ground. Forecasters say it is the heaviest and most widespread snow for six years with more Southern Counties of England seeing considerably more.

Temperature at my QTH dropped to minus 4.6 during the latter part of the night. Snowstorms are expected to hit south-eastern England through Sunday and into Monday morning, bringing the cold temperatures down further.

The authorities warn us that half of the UK's local authorities only have enough road salt for six days of continuous freezing and that roads are likely to become death traps as a result. The motoring organisation AA said it understood councils had 250,000 tonnes less road salt in stock than they would have had a decade ago. Local Government Association said the suggestion councils were not ready was just ‘’scare mongering’’IMG

The Highways Agency, which grits all motorways and some A-roads, said it was doing what it could to assist councils struggling to keep roads gritted. Severe weather warnings were issued for heavy snow in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands.

Around 12cm of snow fell in parts of East Anglia, making driving treacherous. In past of Cambridgeshire, high winds caused snowdrifts to form. Teachers said they expected many schools to be closed - the last day of term - giving youngsters an extra day of Christmas holiday, fortunately not in Barnsley!

**See more local Photos in 'Gallery' under 'Home QTH'

A Christmas Present from UA4WHX!

Well it’s taken a few years and a lot of help from others behind the scenes but this morning i was pleased to open a A25VBself-addressed envelope which i sent outward bound in 2005. Inside were paper Qsl Card confirmations of 10 DXCC’s and 2 of them being new IOTA. The cards were from World traveller and DXpeditioner Vladimir Bykov UA4WHX, from a trip he did around the Countries of Africa around 2005.

Vlad told us some time ago now :-  ''Hello everyone! You must have been wondering if it is true. And the answer is - it is. It is all history now. For now - no more being on the air from Africa. I leave almost 310,000 QSOs behind me, 21 DXCC entities, almost 26 months of life, two radios gone and one finger missing. But I do have lots of people happy - that is what matters’’.

The Countries visited by Vlad can be seen from this impressive list of Callsigns:-


Thanks to all the team behind the scenes who have managed to get the cards out and thanks once more goes out to Vlad for his excellent DX’

If you would like to see more of the Qsl Cards that have been received from Vladimir then please have a look in the Qsl Card section of the Gallery where most have been uploaded.


73 de Charles...

VE3LYC - Outstanding contribution to IOTA

Cezar_-_VY0OThanks to Cezar VE3LYC for the two new IOTA confirmations, the Qsl Cards arriving this week.

The first was VYØA Fox Island IOTA NA-186 and the second VYØO for Gilmour Island IOTA NA-230. Contacts were 30 & 20m respectively, both CW.

Cezar was born and raised in Romania, and holds a PhD in Physics. He was first licenced back in 1968 and holds the DXCC Honor Roll (335 mix, 334 ssb, 332 cw), 9BDXCC, WAZ (ssb, cw), 5BWAZ, IOTA Plaque of Excellence (969/964), and the Antarctica Award Honour Roll

He is an accomplished and respected IOTA activator and many of which are either all time new activations and/or the very rarest of islands. K800_VY0A_Fox

These include:- Cham Is. (AS-162, 2002), Pamban Is. (AS-173, 2004) and Rennell Is. (SA-094, 2005). Together with Ken (G3OCA), he activated Finger Hill Is. (NA-194 (worked), Aug 2008) and Paul Is. (NA-205, Aug 2008) as VO2A. Of course from the thread of this article we also know that Cezar activated Fox Is. (NA-186, Apr 2009) as VY0A and Gilmour Is. (NA-230 New, Sep 2009). 

In Oct 2009, as a result of his achievements he was awarded the Premier IOTA Plaque for Outstanding Contribution to the IOTA Community.

Congratulations & well done Cezar!! title header to read full story.....

Read more: VE3LYC - Outstanding contribution to IOTA

'G3TXQ Hexbeam' available from MW0JZE

One of the most talked about antennas of the last few years has been the Hexbeam. It has been available for a while but hexbeamnow the broadband version for 6 of the HF Bands is now available in kit form from Anthony MW0JZE.

This version is very easy to erect even for a novice at antenna building and having built two of this particular version for our trip on Ramsey Island earlier in the year, i can personally recommend both their performance and build quality.

Several members of MC0SHL (Strumblehead DX & Contest Group) now use this as their main Station Antenna and they are very impressed with its performance and its ease of construction.

For more information on the Broadband Hexbeam, see the link ''G3TXQ - Hexbeam Kit'' in the Menu to the left where you can be directed to some statistics as well as the contact details for MW0JZE.

73 de Charles.........

G3TXF - 'Pushing the envelope' on Qsl Cards!

I was very pleased this week to hear from Nigel Cawthorne G3TXF. He was placing an order for another batch of qsl cards. This brings Nigels’ total orders from Gennady UX5UO Qsl Printers to 215,000 Qsl cards – an amazing achievement!


Nigel has an extensive list of call signs he has used over the Years from various places and of course he needs to Qsl efficiently. At the home of G3TXF, Nigel has his card collection stored in a purpose-built garden office building (see photo’s). QSL cards are stored in office filing cabinets, his own QSLs being on one side and DX-pedition cards on the other.

How many QSLs? Nigel tells me that he does not know precisely how many QSLs there are in the collection, but there are estimated to be well over 350,000 cards! There will be a more precise indication of the total number of cards stored in the G3TXF QSL Collection once the computerisation of the older logs has been completed and the corresponding QSL card data entered, but by anybody’s standards this is an outstanding and extremely impressive collection.

Nigel has visited over 200 Countries so far and he has operated from many. Here are a sample of the calls he has used:-


Here are some of G3TXF DX-Trip Qsl Statistics:-

Total Qso’s 356,770

Direct qsl’s sent  69,654

Bureau Qsl’s sent 137,514

Email/Buro Qsl’s sent 13,487

Total Qsl’s sent  218,401

Percentage Qsl’s sent against Qso’s made = 62.2%

.click on title header to read full story...

Read more: G3TXF - 'Pushing the envelope' on Qsl Cards!

K9AJ Mike McGirr on SA-062


As mentioned to us at his recent presentation at Silcoates School in Wakefield, Mike McGirr (K9AJ) is now Qrv on the dxpedition to Coroa Vermelha Island in South America as PW6C.coroa_vermelha

The IOTA group SA-062 is composed by two islands: Coroa Vermelha Island and Coroa da Barra Island. These close by islets are situated on the coast of Nova Viçosa, State of Bahia. Coroa Vermelha, the biggest island, is located about 10 nautical miles from the coast.

This island is formed mainly by sand banks which form small beaches in the middle of the atlantic ocean. These sand banks are rounded by coral reefs, and in low tides are formed natural pools with very good places for scuba diving.  The second island is just a small coral reef that only appears above the ocean on certain periods of the year, and is called Coroa da Barra Island or Sebastião Gomes Reefs as known by some natives.

The IOTA SA-062 Group is the actual 6th most wanted IOTA group in South America, and 2nd most wanted in Brazil.

This DXpedition will be qrv until November 17, by a group of 6 operators who will deal with around the clock operations giving the world wide IOTA community the opportunity to confirm this rare IOTA group. 

Good luck to the group and we wish them all well, tnx for the new one Mike (# 461)!

73 de Charles

ONFF soon to be Qrv!!

GFF_LogoIt was good to hear this week that Belgium now have activators ready to go in the World Flora Fauna programme. The ONFF numbers cover around 18 different National Parks and Nature reserves in Belgium and congratulations to Gino ON3SSB for his appointment as ONFF’s Co-ordinator for the programme.

I don’t believe any of these numbers have yet been activated so along with the GFF team, ONFF have plenty of ‘new ones’ to give away. ONFF_redPlease keep an ear to the radio and an eye on the cluster and when you hear the ONFF team please give them their support.

Winter is fast approaching and all WFF activators need your support and encouragement to get wrapped up on a freezing cold day to activate these areas on our behalf. If anyone reading this blog has any interest in activating new areas (whichever Country you are in) please contact either myself, Gino or any other WFF representative and we can give you all the information you require.

Have a good weekend and batten down the hatches until the storms pass at the end of next week!

73 de Charles

6 new IOTA's in the log!

Well what a frustrating (albeit productive) few weeks it has been for me chasing DX and in particular two high profile and pretty rare Islands for my IOTA collection. Where did all the good conditions go that we had enjoyed over the past few weeks? All those of you who XV_Flagsaid ''we are on the up again at last'' must be spitting feathers! Yes the DX has been there but nowhere near as much as there had been on 15, 12 & 10M over the several weeks previous.

It was great to hear 'XV4D', the guys on Phu Quoc (AS-128) in Vietnam too. I spent several very frustrating days chasing these about and despite strong signals, where did these pile-ups come from? The amount of qrm now being endured on the calling qrg's of stations working split has xv_logobecome intolerable some times of late. I think the band police must now have to plan their shift patterns in advance when notification of a new Dxpedition appears because they never seem to take a break and appear within seconds of the guys going qrv! Anyway after three days of trying i managed to work them on two slots (15m RTTY & 30m CW) which i was very happy about under the circumstances and it made it all worthwhile.

XRØY (SA-001) made their appearance from the long awaited Dxpedition to Easter Island (see previous blog entry) to give me a second new one but this time on three band slots (30m CW & 17m RTTY/SSB). They don't seem to have appeared on SSB very much at all although yesterday i did hear Victoria quite well but as we approaching our sunset she soon disappeared. Good to hear my good friend Malc MØBZH in there too, well done bud! on title header to read full story......

Read more: 6 new IOTA's in the log!

XR0Y - Easter Island

The XRØY DXpedition to Easter Island will take place between October 31 and November 15, 2009. From the Dxpedition XR0Y_WFF1website :-

‘’It will be a lightweight, small expedition led by 6 operators: SQ8X Stan (inventor of the expedition), SV2KBS Victoria, NI1L Leszek, Marco CE6TBN, PA3C Aart and SP7HOV Zbig. Thanks to fantastic support of Radio Club de Chile we will have an unique opportunity to activate Rapa Nui on 30 meters. Since the island is still the most wanted on this band in Europe, 30m will be our priority.

The unique location in conjunction with the ham radio hobby is going to be our experience of life-time. We are glad to be able to share it with you live from the island”

Our priority will be working Europe on 30 meters CW and also 40 and 80m during first 7 days of the expedition. This means we will pay the most of our attention during the first half of our activity to European takers as there is still incredibly high demand on 30m contacts in that part of the world. This doesn’t mean we will omit the rest of the world, of course! The second part of the expedition will be dedicated to all continents, however we will pay much attention to so frequently omitted Africa and out-of-JA Asia, too. Our time-frame regarding bands/parts of the world mentioned above is a subject to change due to conditions we will find on the air while at the island (for instance starting with all continents for first 7 days or so). More details will be released in prior the DXpedition so check our website frequently!”


“We plan to activate the island with 3 separate stations utilizing 2x ICOM IC-706 MKII G, 1x ICOM IC-7000, 2 power amplifiers and dedicated antennas to low bands, 5-band Spiderbeam + a few multiband verticals. Since we expect moderate to low conditions on all bands, our main mode will be CW – the best mode ever for such situations. RTTY activity is planned, too and we won’t omit SSB of course. We will be running N1MM loggers for CW/SSB and MixW for RTTY.”. on title header to read full story.....

Read more: XR0Y - Easter Island

P29 team good to go!


As you know by now my favoured daily direction for the antenna is the Far East and Pacific so when I heard of some UK participation in a forth coming operation to various Islands around Papua New Guinea, then I needed to know more. The main party will start their trip to P29 on the 22nd October and the group includes as mentioned above Gordon G3USR, Derek G3KHZ, David M0VTG, Hans SM6CVX & Louis CT1AGF, several of them being CDXC Members. The intended Islands for activation are Tanga (OC-102), Green (OC-231) and Woodlark (OC-205) Islands and the DXpedition call signs: P29VCX, P29VLR and P29NI. Most of the operators are seasoned Amateurs with previous experience on trips such as St. Brandon, Montserrat, Ascension, Trobriand, Witu, Tauu, Nukumanu Islands and also The Shiant Isles. WoodlarkbeachIt’s also great to hear that a less experienced amateur is also on the trip in an opportunity to gain valuable experience for future endeavours as well as helping out on air when and where needed.

Woodlark Island, known to its inhabitants simply as Woodlark or Muyuw, is an island in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. It is called Murua by the inhabitants of some other islands in the province. Muyuw language, one of the Kilivila-Louisiades languages and therefore part of the Austronesian language family, is spoken on the island. The wider Woodlark Islands group also consists of Madau and Nusam to the west, Nubara to the east, and the Marshall Bennett group to the southwest.

The Green Islands are a small group of islands in Papua New Guinea. They are located about 200 km (124 mi) east of Rabal on New Britain and about 200 km (124 mi) northwest of Bougainville. Politically, the Green islands are part of Bougainville Province (also known as North Solomon’s Province).Nissan is the largest island of the group. Other islands include: Pinipel, Sau, Barahun and Sirot.

The Tanga Islands Green_islandsare an island group in Papua New Guinea, located northeast of New Ireland and part of the Bismarck Archipelago. The islands are the remnants of a stratovolcano which collapsed to form a caldera. Lif (283 m), Tefa (155 m), and Malendok (472 m) islands are on the caldera rim, while Bitlik and Bitbok islands are lava domes constructed near the center of the caldera.

The overall aim of this trip is to give as many stations as possible a 'new one' by a contact with P29. However, depending how propagation favours them, geographic priorities will be the UK, Western Europe and Central & East Coast North America. West Coast USA and Japan will be asked to stand-by as and when time, propagation and other circumstances dictate. The overall QSO target is 15,000 QSOs............ on title header to read full story....

Read more: P29 team good to go!

International Reply Coupons - a reminder!


IRC_newThe current International Reply Coupons expire at the end of 2009. This isn’t new news but a reminder is always helpful. Postage can be costly and despite expecting ‘ham spirit’ in the hobby, you can guarantee some of the unscrupulous ‘colleagues’ will try and offload any expired coupons they have, on the unsuspecting Manager to whom they send them. For those of you who have not been involved with using these ‘IRC’s’ in the past, let me try and describe a little more about them.

The IRC is a postal product which is exchangeable for one or more postage stamps. The stamps would be to the value of the minimum postage for an ordinary priority letter for most post-mail items or, for an ordinary air-mail letter sent abroad. IRC’s were first issued in 1907 and 2.2 million coupons are used each year for various aspects.beijing2 The main users seem to be of course us, the  Radio Amateurs who exchange Qsl cards and also Students. Students use them for exchanging correspondence with regards to their academic studies between the Universities and other teaching/learning institutions.

The current issue (called the ‘Beijing 2’ - Photo: Right) can be exchanged up to the 31st December 2009 but will cease to be sold from the 31st August 2009. The new IRC (called the ‘Nairobi’ model - Photo top left) went on sale on the 1st July 2009 and is valid for exchange until 31ST December 2013.

So, to summarise - take steps and try to get rid of all your 'Beijing 2' International Reply Coupons asap and in any event certainly before the end of the year. If you don't, then you could end up seriously out of pocket!

73 de Charles

Good views of International Space Station...


Discovery_take_offIn the air again, the Space Shuttle Discovery took off last week for a mission to re-supply the International Space Station (ISS).

The Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station at 7:54 p.m. 30th august 2009 delivering more than seven tons of cargo and a new crew member to the International Space Station and its Expedition 20 crew.

Both were clearly visible from the UK and almost now in completion, the ISS looked brighter than ever with the Space Shuttle Discovery a little further behind as it approached for docking. The passes on Saturday night were also good although the second not lasting too long here in Northern England.

At 2.26pm Tuesday 8th and after delivering 7.5 tons of scientific equipment, food and other supplies for use by the station crew, the shuttle was returning home with 2.5 tons of specimens, K800_ISS_High_Resused equipment and trash. The Leonardo multi-purpose logistics module contains 2,412 pounds of return cargo, and the used ammonia tank assembly and European Technology Exposure Facility account for another 1,950 pounds in the unpressurized cargo bay. Discovery’s middeck also is carrying 861 pounds of cargo home to Earth. Space shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven astronauts ended a 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles with an 5:53 p.m. PDT landing Friday at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The mission, designated STS-128, delivered two refrigerator-sized science racks to the International Space Station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems. on title header to read full story......

Read more: Good views of International Space Station...

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