5L3BI Press release #3

 

5L3BI logoThe wet season is in full force in Liberia this year. This makes any road travel tricky and potentially dangerous which in-turn has so far prevented Richmond EL2BG and Dickson EL2DT from making a 2nd recce trip to Baiyah island. The images shown depict current road conditions on the only road south to the small village opposite Baiyah island.

Since we believe roads conditions may never fully recover between now and the end of October, we have recently managed to (thankfully) reserve seats on a MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship International) flight which will take most of the team directly to Greenville Sinoe airstrip. From there we will meet Richmond EL2BG who will have made the treacherous road journey south in his 4×4 vehicle. We cross fingers he makes the trip!

We are in constant contact with the local villagers and elders who still remember our project and are eagerly awaiting our arrival. We look forward very much to meeting them, too.

With the new and additional cost of flights to/from Sinoe region from Monrovia we do still seek generous donations from the IOTA and DX community. We are truly indebted to those generous donors and organisations who have supported 5L3BI thus far – it’s much appreciated. Considering a donation? Please visit here: https://af111new.com/support/

In less than 2 months the activation of this brand new IOTA will have taken place. The excitement is rising!

It’s likely a final news release will be issued prior to departure.

Vy 73 from 5L3BI team.

PS: EI5GM, EI9FBB and MM0NDX have been issued with the Liberian callsigns EL2GM, EL2BB and EL2EL. It’s their plan to use these calls after the 5L3BI activity from the LRAA (Liberia Radio Amateur Association) in Monrovia, probably on November 3rd. However, if due to bad weather / sea conditions we cannot land on the island, then we will revert to using these calls during late October / early November from mainland Liberia.

 Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

 

How to work E6AG on FT8

E6Grant VK5GR has written a blog post now on the E6AG website that describes tips for working him from Niue starting in a few days. Hopefully this will help explain what I will be up to. Any questions, comments or feedback most welcome.

''''The new digital mode FT8 created by the WSJT-X development team has taken the amateur world by storm. Officially only released in July, the characteristics of this mode are still being studied by the global amateur radio community. The 15 second cycle time and 90 second QSO time while decoding signals down to -20dB in the 3kHz AWGN channel make it very attractive for DXPeditioning as even under difficult band conditions, contacts can be maintained at roughly 20-30 an hour (a far cry from the 10-15 on JT65). While not as good as RTTY (where 60/hour is possible) in terms of QSO rate, its weak signal performance make it a serious contender...........

....Read more on this link....  http://e6ag.net/?page_id=246

 

X9.3 CME impact Severe G4 storm (Updated)

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September 09, 2017 @ 0030 UTC

 

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

Solar activity was at high levels. Region 2673 (S09W70,
Dkc/beta-gamma-delta) continued to be the primary source of solar
activity. The region produced four M-Class flares (R1-R2 Minor-Moderate)
during the reporting period of which the strongest was an M8/2b observed
at 08/0749 UTC. The magnetic complexity remained significant as the
region rotated towards the solar limb.

Region 2677 (N17W02, Axx/alpha) and Region 2679 (N15W41, Bxo/beta) were
in a decaying trend. Only minor changes were observed in Region 2674
(N13W54, Fko/beta) and Region 2678 (N11E05, Cro/beta). No Earth-directed
CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.

.Forecast...
Solar activity is expected to be at moderate to high levels (R1-R2
Minor-Moderate) over the next two days (09-10 Sep), with a chance for
very high (R2-R3 Moderate-Strong) levels, due to the flare potential and
recent history of Region 2673. Flare potential will begin decreasing
over day three (11 Sep) as the region rotates off of the visible disk.

 

September 8, 2017 @ 13:10 UTC

 

A coronal mass ejection (CME) propelled into space by an X9.3 solar flare on Thursday reached our planet a little earlier than expected and helped to generate a Severe (G4) level geomagnetic storm. The solar wind climbed to above 700 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) pointed sharply south (-32nT) following the shock passage. Visual aurora is being reported across many locations at middle to high latitudes. Attached photo below is courtesy of Kathy Laroche from Williamstown, Ontario, Canada. Excellent photo and thanks for sharing!

A geomagnetic storm warning will remain in place for the next 24 hours. Sky watchers should continue to be alert for visual aurora.

UPDATE @ 13:10 UTC: The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has again tipped south. The solar wind also remains above 700 km/s and this is helping to fuel an ongoing geomagnetic storm. A Severe (G4) storm is again in progress.

 

September 7, 2017 @ 17:30 UTC

 

Strong Flaring Continues
The flaring around region 2673 continues on Thursday. The very active region produced an M7.3 flare at 10:15 UTC and this was followed up by an X1.3 event at 14:26 UTC. So far neither flare looks to have produced a large coronal mass ejection. Another strong flare will be very possible during the next 24 hours. With each passing hour, region 2673 rotates closer towards the west limb and the chances for an Earth directed eruption will decrease because of this. More updates whenever necessary.

 

September 6, 2017 @ 23:55 UTC

 

CME Impact / Storm Warning (UPDATED)
Impact! The coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Monday swept past Earth at approximately 23:48 UTC Wednesday evening. Minor (G1) to Strong (G3) geomagnetic storming is in the forecast for middle to high latitudes during the next 24 hours. The timing works well for sky watchers across Scandinavia, northern Europe, Canada, Alaska and the northern tier USA. More updates whenever necessary.

UPDATE @ 06:30 UTC: So far the first CME impact is not nearly as impressive as initially forecast. G3 level storming from this passage is not looking likely, at least not at this point.

The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is now finally starting to point south at times and this could help the chances for a geomagnetic storm A storm warning will remain in effect on Thursday.

A reminder that another CME observed on Wednesday is expected to reach Earth by Friday and will again deliver a chance for Strong (G3) geomagnetic storming.


September 6, 2017 @ 21:00 UTC

 

Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) UPDATE
Coronagraph imagery courtesy of LASCO C2/C3 is now available. A bright, fast moving halo coronal mass ejection (CME) is seen leaving the sun following the X9.3 event earlier today and does indeed have an Earth directed component. Because of the sunspots location now off center in the southwest quadrant, the bulk of the plasma cloud is traveling to the west. The Earth directed flank is still significant enough to almost make a geomagnetic storm a certainty by Friday. Sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora during the next several nights while we await another CME generated by an M5.5 flare on Sept. 4th. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.

 

 

Saturn's Fine Scales

PIA21628 modestThese are the highest-resolution color images of any part of Saturn's rings, to date, showing a portion of the inner-central part of the planet's B Ring. The view is a mosaic of two images that show a region that lies between 61,300 and 65,600 miles (98,600 and 105,500 kilometers) from Saturn's center.

This image is a natural color composite, created using images taken with red, green and blue spectral filters. The pale tan color is generally not perceptible with the naked eye in telescope views, especially given that Saturn has a similar hue.

The material responsible for bestowing this color on the rings—which are mostly water ice and would otherwise appear white—is a matter of intense debate among ring scientists that will hopefully be settled by new in-situ observations before the end of Cassini's mission.

The different ringlets seen here are part of what is called the "irregular structure" of the B ring. Cassini radio occultations of the rings have shown that these features have extremely sharp boundaries on even smaller scales (radially, or along the direction outward from Saturn) than the camera can resolve here. Closer to Saturn, the irregular structures become fuzzier and more rounded, less opaque, and their color contrast diminishes.

The narrow ringlets in the middle of this scene are each about 25 miles (40 kilometers) wide, and the broader bands at right are about 200 to 300 miles (300 to 500 kilometers) across. It remains unclear exactly what causes the variable brightness of these ringlets and bands—the basic brightness of the ring particles themselves, shadowing on their surfaces, their absolute abundance, and how densely the particles are packed, may all play a role.

 

JT & the new FT8 Modes

riaTalking about the JT Modes and the new FT8 mode that is taking the World by storm.

http://www.everythinghamradio.com/2017/09/eth085-jt-modes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this episode, I have the privilege of talking with Rai Jariam, N2RJ, for a third time. This time we are talking about the JT Modes, JT65, JT9 and the newest addition FT8.


Here is a typical conversation over JT65:
“CQ K5CLM EM12”     CQ call from K5CLM with his locator
“K5CLM N2RJ FN21”     N2RJ replies to K5CLM with her locator
“N2RJ K5CLM -12”     K5CLM sends his signal report
“K5CLM N2RJ R-08”     N2RJ replies with her signal report
“N2RJ K5CLM RRR”     K5CLM says Reception Report Received (all OK)
“K5CLM N2RJ 73”     N2RJ says Best regards
“N2RJ K5CLM 73”     K5CLM says Best regards

Each message of up to 13 characters is sent over the course of 50 seconds, starting at the top of each minute, so the above conversation would take seven minutes. One person sends on the odd minute, and the second person sends on the even minute.

The JT modes are not for rag chewing or typical conversations, they are for chasing contacts and that’s about it. They are not designs to make contacts to talk to, but just to exchange the above information. Call sign, Grid Square and Signal Report.

 (Listen from 7mins 45 seconds into the Podcast)

 

IOTA News

IOTAIOTA News - Temporary stop to processing applications.
 
In preparation to moving IOTA to its new website we have with immediate effect instituted a stop on the submission of all applications to checkpoints from users.
 
We expect to launch the new website in the next two weeks. We regret the inconvenience but that is the earliest that service can resume.
 
G3KMA, 04 Sep 2017
 
 
 

 

Survey into VDSL Broadband Interference.

rsgb-banner-large

 

 

 

 

The RSGB’s EMC Committee has for three years been investigating the problems of interference (RFI) from VDSL broadband on the HF amateur bands and lobbying for action to reduce the problem. We have a lot of historic data, but both Ofcom and Openreach contend that 150 reports from 50,000 amateurs is not indicative of a major problem when there are 9.5 million VDSL installations deployed. The RSGB EMCC has set up a survey to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions (these indicate the presence and strength of interference). It is very simple to do you just tune your receiver (set to AM or SSB 3kHz bandwidth) to each frequency requested note the S meter reading on the survey form. Full instructions are included in the survey.

Please fill in this survey with your current readings even if you have reported them before. As more and more people subscribe to VDSL so the level of interference continues to increase and we need the current picture.

The RSGB has been lobbying Openreach and Ofcom to act to reduce the RFI from overhead lines carrying these broadband signals. We have set up a mechanism with Openreach to investigate lines near amateurs, once we have confirmed problems with VDSL RFI. If a poor line balance is found then Openreach will improve the problem line (normally the neighbour’s line). This has reduced the problems in some cases but many amateurs still suffer from unacceptable levels of RFI from the overhead telephone wires.

A comprehensive report with recommendations for further action has been submitted. However, we need more evidence to get this problem taken seriously. Now is your chance to help by completing the VDSL Survey during September. We plan to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October and then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action.

Please complete the survey and encourage your friends to do so. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this RFI. If we cannot provide results from a  sufficient number of responses then there is nothing further we can do on your behalf. You could make the difference.

The survey will be available for completion until 30 September 2017.

John Rogers, M0JAV
Chairman RSGB EMC Committee

 

5L3BI Sponsors

5L3BI logoThe 5L3BI all time new IOTA AF-111P will soon be arriving.

Activating this brand new IOTA is tricky and expensive. We kindly ask your help to offset part of our ever growing costs. Any amount is most welcome and we will make sure you’re mentioned along with generous organisations and clubs.

https://af111new.com/support/

Thank you Team 5L3BI

 

 Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

 

5T5OK

5T5OKDavid, OK6DJ inform dxnews.com that members of CDXP Amateur Radio Group will be active from Mauritania 18 – 26 September 2017 as 5T5OK.
Team – OK1BOA, OK1CRM, OK6DJ, OK1FCJ, OK1GK, OK2ZA, OK2ZI plus local operator 5T2AI.


They will operate on 160 – 6m CW, SSB, RTTY.

QSL via OK6DJ, ClubLog OQRS, LOTW, MDXC QSL SERVICE

 

 

 

Mail to Venezuela suspended

YV VenzuelaStart date: 4 July 2017  End date: Ongoing

The local situation in YV has disrupted mail flows into Venezuela and our supplier has had to stop delivering mail in to Venezuela. As a result, we can no longer accept any mail for Venezuela, any mail on hand will be returned to sender.

We don't know when the situation will change, but we will look for alternative ways of getting mail in to Venezuela.
Our mail to the YV QSL Bureau will also be suspended until we can get the mail to Venezuela.

 

 

FT8 Mode

FT8It’s still in beta testing, but FT8 — the latest digital bauble to capture the imagination of the Amateur Radio community — has been luring away many of those already using the popular JT65 “weak-signal” mode. FT8 is included in a beta release of WSJT-X, version 1.8.0-rc1. Among its biggest advantages is a shorter transmit-receive cycle, meaning quicker contacts. The notes for the “candidate” release say that FT8 offers “sensitivity down to –20 dB on the AWGN channel,” as opposed to –30 dB for JT65. Contacts are four times faster than with JT65 or JT9, however. An entire FT8 contact can take place in about 1 minute.

The new mode is named after its developers, Steven Franke, K9AN, and Joe Taylor, K1JT. The numeral designates the mode’s 8-frequency shift keying format. Tones are spaced at 6.25 Hz, and an FT8 signal occupies just 50 Hz. Unlike JT65 or JT9, transmit and receive cycles in FT8 each last about 15 seconds. Like JT65, FT8 requires accurate time synchronization. An auto-sequencing feature offers the option to respond automatically to the first decoded reply to your CQ.

“FT8 is an excellent mode for HF DXing and for situations like multi-hop Es on 6 meters, where deep QSB may make fast and reliable completion of QSOs desirable,” Taylor’s release notes assert.

The beta release came out just days before the July CQ VHF Contest and proved to be a boon to many operators who took advantage of FT8 on 6 meters. In a limited outing for the CQ VHF, Frank Donovan, W3LPL, made 22 FT8 contacts on 6 meters, “during which the FT8 software reported SNRs from my receiver below –10 dB (measured in a 2,500-Hz bandwidth). Some of the 22 QSOs may have been difficult to complete on 

Operational documentation for FT8 has not yet been finalized. “We know that the advent of new mode FT8 means that new material is needed for the User Guide,” Taylor told the Yahoo Meteor Scatter and Weak Signal Group this week. “We will be working on that in the near future.”

A new Facebook group has been established for FT8 experimenters. Source QRZ.Com.

 

Why is Saturn partly blue?

saturnbluegoldWhy is Saturn partly blue? The picture of Saturn approximates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The image was taken in 2006 March by the robot Cassini spacecraft.

Here Saturn's majestic rings appear directly only as a thin vertical line. The rings show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create on the image left. Saturn's fountain moon Enceladus, only about 500 kilometers across, is seen as the bump in the plane of the rings.

The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth's skies can appear blue -- molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet's atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn's clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn's clouds becomes dominant.

 

 

 

E6AG - 15 days to go!

E6AGSo, the final packing is now underway. One final case to obtain this week and we will be set. There were some niggling questions remaining about how much coax to take etc that still needed answers. So while Googling the net I happened to stumble across Lance W7GJ’s website detailing his EME exploits on 2012 from Kaliki Lodge! Fantastic I thought, I can finally see photos of the back yard and confirm how everything could fit together. Now I am truly excited. The house looks to give me 100ft elevation overlooking the Pacific to the west north west so paths to EU and Japan should be excellent.

Saturday 26th August saw us test fire the 40m folded monopole antenna with the SGC-230 ATU on 80m. Local contacts out to 300km were made about an hour before sunset so it appears to radiate at least. Modelling in 4NEC2 shows that the pattern will be fairly low angle as well, although the efficiency will be down. At least it gives me something to try (considering 80m wasnt a band I was going to rely upon as this is only a one man show). So, 80m will be something to watch for from E6AG – at least on JT65

I am still planning some tests at night (possibly this coming weekend) to see how reports come in domestically across Australia to see if it has any hope of something more from Niue.

 

XT2AW return

xt2aw2Harald DF2WO will operate at XT2AW September 29-October 30.

Returning again to XT2, he plans to be on 60 meters almost every night, and with
conditions what they are may be on JT65 and FT8 more than CW or SSB.

 


Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

 

 

 

PJ4/MW0JZE SA-006

PJ4-Ant, MW0JZE will be QRV from Bonaire, IOTA SA-006 in September.

He will be QRV on HF bands between 15th & 30th September using FT8, SSB & RTTY. Participation in CQWW RTTY contest as PJ4/MW0JZE.

Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qsl Manager service

K1024 M0OXO Logo 2017If you are thinking of a Qsl Manager then please contact me and discuss your options for a fast, efficient, well presented and most important, a 'Bespoke' service.

All my Qsl help is exactly what it means, a non-profit QSL Service for its clients.

The service I offer will help to cut down as what it is seen as the chore of the hobby. This should aid DXpedition Teams, Holiday Stations or IOTA Stations and Rare DXCC.....

 

Please read more here.....

https://www.m0oxo.com/qsl-manager.html

 

V6J OC-226

K1024 img096Qsl Card received from Japan re the recent activity from Mokil Atoll, (Mwoakilloa), IOTA OC - 226

Tosy JA3FGJ, Sanny JJ3SIG and Mami JP3AYQ were qrv 24 - 29 June 2017 as V6J.

Thanks Qsl Card Mami 73/88

 

 

 

 

 

 

KH1 - Baker Island

BakerThe Dateline DX Association is very pleased to announce significant progress in our planning to operate in 2018 from KH1, Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge, the 4th most wanted entity in the DXCC program.

We have executed a charter agreement with a ship, the Nai'a out of Fiji with an anticipated arrival at the refuge during the 3rd week of June, 2018.   We intend to be at the refuge a total of 12 days with 10 days of operations.   This ship and dates were chosen in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife service based on availability of their resource monitor, avoidance of the cyclone season, and Nai'a availability.  

Propagation forecasts look favorable for HF to Western Europe (a large target audience for us) during this time as well.As with any DXpedition to the really rare ones, this will be another financially demanding operation.   The 11 operator team will contribute over 50% of the expected budget of $400,000.  You can help make this DXpedition happen by visiting our new website, http://www.baker2018.net/ and contributing today


We wish to thank the US Fish and Wildlife Service for their trust in our group to safely and responsibly activate this rare location.Don Greenbaum, N1DG, Tom Harrell, N4XP, and Kevin Rowett, K6TD co leaders

 

ZS9V AF-064..delayed..

ZS9V 2****UPDATE - Due to a series of unexpected complications, the 2017 ZS9V Robben Island expedition has been moved to International Lighthouse weekend over 19/20 August. We will be running two SSB stations.*****

The team are ready in South Africa for their second activation of Robben Island, IOTA AF-064.

ZS9V will be qrv from 9 - 13 August 2017 as ZS9V operating on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m SSB, CW & Digital Modes.


''We have a bigger team this year consisting of Jan ZS1VDV, Paul ZS1V, Andre ZS1AN, Johan ZS1A, Pierre ZS6A and Oleg ZS1ANF so the operation will be longer and allows us to use CW for the first time. We hope to see you in our logs!''

Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

VK9XI & VK9CI

VK9CI VK9XIThe website is now live for the upcoming Christmas/Cocos Islands Dxpedition.

http://christmascocos2017.vkdxg.com/index.php/category/news/

Thanks to the AREG guys for their help and support.
Over the next couple of weeks we will fine tune it.

 Qsl via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail

 

 

 

 

Saturn's Moon Iapetus

LapetusThe Cassini mission has revealed the beauty of Saturn, its rings and moons, inspiring our sense of wonder and enriching our sense of place in the cosmos. Saturn's two-toned moon Iapetus is pictured here.

See more: https://go.nasa.gov/2uWXYpi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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