Archive - February 2013

GB0ANT qrt as AAW 2013 ends..


The 10th Antarctic Activity Week ended earlier this week and GB0ANT went silent for the remainder of 2013.

It was a good event. Propagation was noticeably down and DX in the log a lot less than last year although there were good runs into NA West Coast several times but the Pacific DX was definately lacking.

Qso’s for GB0ANT in 2012’s event were 2493 and in 2013 a little less with 2346 qso’s being logged. Thanks to everyone that worked us this year, we look foreward to next year and maybe better propagation, who knows!

Qsl’s available of course via M0OXO OQRS


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Had a nice session on 20M SSB this morning.

Not too much DX about other than ZL2US and half a dozen JA stations really. It was good to hear Paul VK5PAS on the short path, sigs not too strong but nevertheless a good contact.

Thanks to Peter OM7DD for this recording of a qso between Rob MW0RLJ and myself. Both of us were beaming 30 degrees and often have good qso’s on backscatter. This mornings qso evidence of that albeit recorded in OM land.

Thanks Peter! (click the image to hear the Qso.)

Bureau posting this week….

K1024 SNV35146

5 x 1.8KG packages on their way to the RSGB Bureau later today.

I also have 2K of cards that will be going direct to World Bureau’s later this week.


HF10 Butternut

HF10V Butternut Antenna works but as usual, limited with no radial space so results as expected i guess and a waste of time messing with it in the cold weather. Pretty much an unsightly item according to the XYL so won’t be around very long.

I missed 4 days of trials due to being ill but it works. It handles qro well and SWR wasn’t good (2 radials) I have to say but given the choice, a return to the BigIR from SteppIR would be the antenna of choice for the low bands at my QTH. Who knows, i may invest in the BigIR when the real urge for low bands hits me.                                                

Currently, top band not doing it for me I am afraid, just a personal thing ;-( Thanks for the loan Dave but back to you mate!!


International response to Space Weather effects

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We are now fully into solar maximum (according to some) and the United Nations is taking steps to organize an international response to space weather effects. 

Space weather was added to the regular agenda of the COPUOS Science and Technical Subcommittee, which means the UN is recognizing solar activity equal to orbital debris and close-approaching asteroids. Now, space weather will be a matter of regular conversation among UN diplomats, scientists and emergency planners. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

Space weather relates to changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space such as changes in the ambient plasma, magnetic fields, radiation and other matter in space. Much of space weather is driven by energy carried through interplanetary space by the solar wind from regions near the surface of the Sun and the Sun’s atmosphere, some 93 million miles away from Earth.

10th AAW starts today…..


….and several stations qrv.

GBØANT has already logged over 300 qso’s and not even half way through the day yet so lots of activity out there for the chasers of the Antarctic Activity Week reference numbers.

Also QRV will be IR0AAW (WAP-231 operator IZ0VHY) for the first time so have a listen out and support him and the other OM in the event! GB0ANTGB4IPYfront

VK4NM/P IOTA OC-142 today!!

VK4NM 2011

This weekend Andrew and his team will be QRV from Fraser Island (OC-142) as VK4NM/1                          

”Please listen out for us. We have a special QSL card for the activation which can be requested via my Manager M0OXO”.

This station also valid for WFF Awards (area VKFF-216 Great Sandy).

For Qsl requests please click here for OQRS Direct and Bureau.





NASA to broacast Asteroid Flyby Live

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NASA Television will provide commentary  on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named “2012 DA14.”

NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.

The half-hour broadcast from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting.

 At the time of its closest approach to Earth, the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. Measuring approximately 50 meters wide, 2012 DA14 is about half the size of a football field. Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object this big come so close to our planet. The asteroid will actually pass closer to Earth than many manmade satellites.

The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online at and

JARL bureau mailing

K1024 SNV35146

1.8kg of outgoing Qsl Cards were shipped Direct mail to the JARL Bureau last Friday.

I also have 2 x 1.8kg packages to send to the RSGB Bureau this week. I still have approx. 400 cards to process which are the final cards from the latest package of the ”GR” (Royal Wedding) received 10 days ago.

All in all and including the latest drop from the ”via M0OXO” sub-manager (thanks Wayne!), I have processed just under 3,500 cards, a little less than originally estimated.


Mercury in the skies


NASA has recently discovered a very strange planet.  Its days are twice as long as its years.  It has a tail like a comet. It is hot enough to melt lead, yet capped by deposits of ice. And to top it all off … it appears to be pink.

The planet is of course Mercury. Mercury is emerging from the glare of the sun for a beautiful two-week apparition during the month of February 2013.  The show begins about a half hour after sunset. Scan the horizon where the sun’s glow is strongest and, if the sky is clear, Mercury should pop out of the twilight, a bright pink pinprick of light.  Mercury itself is not actually pink, but it is often colored so by the rosy hues of the setting sun.

If you’re looking on the evenings of February 8th and 9th, scan the sky around Mercury with binoculars.  A second planet is there, too.  Glowing faintly red, Mars is barely a degree from Mercury.  In binocular optics, Mercury and Mars form a charming little double-planet. Click the image to see the YouTube clip.