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 and 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 longer 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 David Lockwood G4CLY.

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 their 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

UK Weather

This page will shine the spotlight on recent and maybe unusual weather events that occur in the UK. Several of them will have been covered in the Blog but it may show some interesting aspects that the good old UK weather has to throw at us. Cartainly from my QTH we have noticed a remarkable turn around in Winter weather from how it was in the late 60’s and early 70’s for example. Please call back as i work on this page of the site.

Thanks, Charles

Waiheke Island, NZ – first new IOTA of 2010!


It is also the most accessible offshore island in the Gulf, due to regular passenger and car ferry services and some air links. This island is famous for its world-class wineries and thriving art scene. WAIHEKE_ISLANDYou’ll find sandy swimming beaches, dramatic coastal walks and scenery, and a great selection of accommodation, restaurants, cafés and wineries. Waiheke has also become renowned for its international award-winning wines and its Easter Jazz Festival, which attracts musicians and followers from all over the world.

During World War II, three gun emplacements were built on the eastern edge of Waiheke to protect Allied shipping in Waitemata Harbour, in the fear that Japanese ships might reach all the way to New Zealand. This mirrored developments at North Head and Rangitoto Island. The guns were never fired in anger. The empty emplacements and the extensive tunnels below them which now give a very interesting tourist attraction for the Island.

Waiheke Island was the first community in New Zealand to vote for a nuclear free zone and this action is said to have contributed to the national decision to become nuclear-free under David Lange‘s government. This assertion was made by a prior community board member, and requires further confirmation.

In 1999 Waiheke’s community board voted Waiheke as a genetic engineering free zone’ but this is a matter of principle rather than fact, as only national government controls exist over genetically engineered foods and grains.

Thanks again Warren, hope to hear you again in the near future!

73 de Charles…

(tnx Wilkpedia &
tourismwaiheke for info)

‘Frozen Britain’ ..comparing with 1963…


The National Grid has issued its second gas alert in three days, with demand expected to hit a new record of 454 million cubic metres yesterday. A spokeswoman said technical problems had led to a supply shortfall of 52 million cubic metres RESCUE_17_669011afrom the Langeled pipeline, which takes gas from Norway. National Grid said other suppliers were putting more gas into the network and major customers were cutting back on usage in response to the alert.

About 4,000 homes across southern England are without electricity because of trees falling on power lines and safety mechanisms being triggered by ice weighing down cables and Air Sea rescue services have also been very busy. Up to 40,000 homes across Britain have been similarly affected since Wednesday.  Budget airline Easyjet has cancelled nearly 90 flights on Thursday, mostly at Gatwick where a total of 147 inbound and outbound flights were scrapped. British Airways has also cancelled some flights. On the railways, 20 operators’ services are disrupted. East Coast has advised passengers not to travel between Perth and Inverness. Virgin Trains has cancelled several services between London and both Manchester and Birmingham. A teenage boy died and his mother was seriously injured when they were hit by a lorry after leaving a car that had crashed on the A1 in North Yorkshire near Scotch Corner on Wednesday night. A 42-year-old man died further along the road when his car crashed with a lorry south of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire. In Aberdeenshire, a man was treated in hospital after being injured when the weight of snow caused a cattle shed to collapse on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, a search has begun in Glen Affric in the Highlands for a 40-year-old man and a boy, 15, who have not been heard from for two days.

Flora Fauna :-

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is organising emergency feeding of several threatened species, including bitterns and cirl buntings. The RSPB is also asking people to feed garden birds, swanswhich are struggling to find food in the freezing weather.  The harsh winter could hit bird numbers “for many years to come”, they warn. “The extremely hard winter spanning 1962 and 1963 was arguably the single event that had the greatest impact on wildlife within living memory,” said Mark Avery, the RSPB’s conservation director. “With the icy weather predicted to last at least another week, this winter could be the single greatest wildlife killer of the new millennium.”

The birds are finding it difficult to catch fish in ice-locked wetland areas. The society says that it is being inundated with calls from the public, who are reporting unusual visitors to bird feeders in gardens – including woodcock, snipe and grey wagtails. The freezing weather means that gardens have become havens for wildlife, it adds, as birds and animals are forced to venture further afield in the search of food. The RSPB has joined forces with other conservation groups – including Natural England, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust – to urge people not to disturb flocks of wetlands birds. They say ducks, swans, geese and other wading birds cannot afford to waste energy that they cannot readily replace.

Local authorities are battling to keep major routes clear as gritting salt is rationed and the big freeze continues.The Local SaltGovernment Association said major roads would be gritted and people would still be able to “get around”.  Local authorities have agreed to cut salt use by 25% in an attempt to preserve dwindling supplies. The Highways Agency has already stopped treating motorway hard shoulders in England and the government has ordered salt from abroad but this is not due to arrive until 21 January. The AA was surprised councils had agreed to cut the amount of salt they were using, as it was already being mixed with grit to try and extend its reach. “The roads we come to expect to be safe may no longer be safe, and I think people need to know which roads are and which roads aren’t going to be treated any more so that we can at least have an indication where our journey are going to be hazardous and maybe delayed.”

Some are saying is the coldest winter since 1963……is it?

That winter, the snow started on Boxing Day 1962 and the big freeze lasted until March 1963. Deep_Snow_1963Blizzards caused snowdrifts up to six metres deep, telephone lines were brought down and temperatures fell so low the sea froze over. But with thousands of schools remaining shut, travel problems continuing and power cuts affecting thousands of homes, how different is it in 2010?

Schools in ’63 :- On Wednesday about 9,000 schools were shut across England, with 950 in Wales, and at least 250 in Scotland and 16 in Northern Ireland. While some schools were forced to close in 1963, Peter Hennessy, professor of contemporary British history at Queen Mary University of London, said the large number of closures this week indicated the UK had become a “health and safety nation”. But he said people usually lived within walking distance of their schools in 1963 – while more parents and staff drive to school now – so snow on the roads has more impact on closures these days. Wading to school through inches – not centimetres – of snow is something some of us remember very well! We had no choice: “You put wellies on and walked. If you could get on a sledge, you went to school. Sledging was skiving.”

Homes in ’63 :- Thousands of homes across the UK have been affected by power cuts, often because of falling trees on power lines and ice weighing down cables. National Grid issued its second gas alert in three days – and demand was snow1963-2expected to hit a new record of 454 million cubic metres. It was a very different picture in 1963. Gas and electricity was restricted, most people had no central heating and some people had to resort to collecting coal from frozen depots.
A few had Agas or fuel burners but most people relied on gas fires in one room or had no fires at all. Maybe they had a water bottle to warm the bed (I still do!). Remember waking up to find the inside of my window completely iced up or a glass of water frozen solid in the bedroom?.
Everything is warmer, pipes don’t freeze outside the home because of the amount of warmth being lost from houses. In 1963, cold water tanks froze – there was a constant fear of pipes bursting. Frozen pipes affected thousands of people in 1963, with some getting drinking water from corporation carts driven round the streets. By 24 January water was being rationed in Wales, as the water board struggled to get supplies from reservoirs.

Transport in ’63 :- Freezing temperatures and icy roads have created “nightmare” road conditions in 2010 and rail services have been severely disrupted. Air travel has been beset by delays and cancellations. Many councils are limiting gritting to major roads only as salt supplies are stretched. Roads faced similar disruption in 1963, but the biggest problem was not a lack of grit – but a relentless blustering wind. Most of the country roads were impassable – the wind was horrendous. A snow plough would go down a road, but the wind kept blowing snow back on to the road and it would refill within hours – this went on week after week. There were hardly any motorways – the M1 had only opened in 1959.

Coldest Recorded Places

Vostok, Antarctica: -89.2C

Oymyakon, Russia: -71.1C

Verkhoyansk, Russia: -67.7C

Snag, Yukon, Canada: -63C

Prospect Creek, Alaska, US: -62.1C

73 de Charles……



MØOXO operating statistics



Number of DXCCs

Number of QSOs

QSOs as Percent




CW: 11.63%
SSB: 28.77%
Data: 59.61%




CW: 1.05%
SSB: 70.53%
Data: 28.42%




CW: 0.96%
SSB: 99.04%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.00%
SSB: 100.00%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.00%
SSB: 100.00%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.03%
SSB: 99.97%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.00%
SSB: 100.00%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.00%
SSB: 100.00%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 0.00%
SSB: 100.00%
Data: 0.00%




CW: 2.24%
SSB: 82.94%
Data: 14.82%

7th Antarctic Activity Week coming soon


The 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 http://www.waponline.it/ 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




WAP – Ø98


International Polar Year

March 2007 to March 2009

(Currently in-active, Qsl’s still available)

(International Polar Year and this event have now finished. Qsl Cards for
contacts with GB4IPY are still available )

The Official Opening Ceremony to launch International Polar Year 2007-2009 will take place at the Palais de la Découverte, a famous science museum in central Paris. The event will start at 11.00 Central European Time (CET) with a press conference, followed by a buffet lunch. The co-sponsors of IPY, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are hosting the event. A detailed programme will be available in January


IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-3, 1932-3, and 1957-8. In order to have full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY 2007-8 covers two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009 and will involve over 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time


Above – In early January 2005, it appeared that the B-15A iceberg was on a collision course with the Drygalski Ice Tongue, the floating portion of a glacier flowing off the Scott Coast of Antarctica and into the Ross Sea. Scientists and amateur Earth-observers checked satellite images of the region each day to monitor the northward march of the berg and to witness the impacts. Would it be just a fender bender, or would the ice tongue shatter under the impact of the oncoming berg?

However, in mid- to late January, the berg’s forward progress appeared to have literally ground to a halt on the floor of the shallow coastal water, having come within just a few kilometers of collision with Drygalski. This image, acquired by the Terra MODIS instrument on February 7, 2005, shows just how close the two icy giants came to each other. The Drygalski Ice Tongue points eastward from the upper left portion of the scene, while the B-15A iceberg lies at a southeastern diagonal at image center. Between these two and the coast is a field of trapped sea ice that under normal circumstances would have broken up and drifted off to melt in the Ross Sea at upper right

The tranquility of this Continent is amazing and having scenes like this surely make us want to preserve it as long as possible. Maybe things will c hange only a little in our lifetimes but for our Children and future generations, its a far more worrying prospect

Above – Falling temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere mean growing ice in Antactica’s Ross Sea, as shown in this true-color Aqua MODIS image from March 21, 2005. Sea ice continues to be blocked in McMurdo Sound by the B-15A iceberg, while the ice is now extending out into the open sea, hiding the deep black waters. Between B-15A is the oblong C-16 iceberg, which is to the left of the round B-15J iceberg. C-16, along with B-15A, is responsible for blocking much of the ice in the Sound

Finnish researchers are currently doing research on a BLUE ICE (see below) AREA about 200KM from Aboa, the Finnish Researh Station. The main goal of the Expedition is to collect approx. 500-1 metre long horizontal ice cores for climate history studies. The ice cores will be analysed for Finnish Ions. Other experiments will look at the dust content and electric conductivity of the ice using different methods such as Lasers

What is Glacial Blue?

Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of a glacier that winds its way toward a body of water (river, lake, ocean, etc.). During its travels, all of the air bubbles that are trapped in the ice are squeezed out, and the size of the ice crystals increases, making it clear.

The blue color is often wrongly attributed to Rayleigh scattering. Actually, the ice is blue for the same reason water is blue. Namely, it is a result of an overtone of a OH molecular stretch in the water which absorbs light at the red end of the visible spectrum


United Kingdom


Royal Society, London, February 26, 2007


The UK will be celebrating the launch of IPY with a special event at the Royal Society. A press conference will be followed by an official opening by Royal Society president, Lord Rees, a guest presentation by HRH the Princess Royal and presentations by leading polar scientists. Messages from the poles and supporters of IPY will be shown

Above – shows the Klyuchevskaya volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula erupting on March 24, 2005. On top of both Klyuchevskaya and Sheveluch, its northern neighbor, the Camera detected a thermal hotspot over the crater, an indicator that molten rock is near or on the crater’s surface.



Above – Elephant’s Foot Glacier. At around 81° N along the east coast of Greenland. The grey zone at low elevation is the ablation zone incised by meltwater channels, clearly separated from the white surface accumulation zone higher up



Above – Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, called the land of glaciers and volcanoes, is home to two erupting volcanoes: Klyuchevskaya and Shiveluch. Both are on the central eastern side of the peninsula, with Shiveluch to the north, and Klyuchevskaya to the south. This MODIS image shows the entire peninsula, and was acquired on March 8, 2005. Klyuchevskaya’s eruptions have been intense – the lava and explosions are rapidly melting large sections of Eherman Glacier, and the volcano is sending “volcanic bombs” hundreds of meters into the air. Volcanic bombs are pieces of lava larger than 64 mm (roughly 2.6 inches) in diameter.



Right – The largest remaining piece of one of the largest icebergs ever observed began to crumble on October 28, 2005, after running aground off Antarctica’s Cape Adare. The B-15A iceberg is the main body of the B-15 iceberg, which broke from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. When it first formed, the massive berg measured 270 kilometers long by 40 kilometers wide (170 by 25 miles), making it about the size of the state of Connecticut. By November 5, 2005, the berg had dwindled to a still respectable 110 by 20 kilometers (70 by 13 miles).


This is not the first time that B-15A has shed pieces. Several pieces broke off between 2000 and 2005; but unlike previous events, the iceberg broke in several locations in October 2005. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured the iceberg’s break-up in the above series of images. On October 27, there was no sign, no faint cracks or lines, that indicated that the iceberg was under stress. But a few hours later, MODIS captured the upper-right image, showing that two slivers (the largest of which merited its own name, B-15M) had broken from the berg. By November 1, the lower-left half of B-15A had broken away to form B-15N, and several smaller pieces had been chiseled off both sides of B-15A.


The currents that pulled the iceberg apart tugged B-15A around Cape Adare, leaving its daughter bergs behind. On November 4, the shrinking berg was moving out of the Ross Sea on the East Wind Drift, an ocean surface current that circles Antarctica counterclockwise. The iceberg’s departure was, no doubt, a relief to denizens of the Ross Sea region. From 2000 to 2003, the iceberg lurked off Ross Island, the location of the U.S. Antarctic Program?s McMurdo Research Station. In 2004, the berg began to drift north, trapping sea ice in McMurdo Sound. The excess sea ice stranded penguins, who could not reach open water and return with food for their young. The shifting berg also made planning a shipping route through the ice to McMurdo Station difficult.



Below – Supply drop on Peter 1st Island, Antarctica



Above – ” Can we have one Dad? ”



Below – Shifting Icebergs



Below – Aurora over the Mars Base



”What’s happening?……”





Danish Polar Centre, March 1, 2007


Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland will join forces in celebrating IPY. VIPs from the four countries, including His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, as well as researchers and the public will participate in the event. The program includes popular science talks, entertainment and a polar exhibition at the North Atlantic House in Copenhagen



Above – beautiful shot of the Alaskan Peninsula. In this spectacular image from November 7, 2001, the skies are clear over Alaska, revealing winter’ advance. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the image is in its center; in blue against the rugged white backdrop of the Alaska Range, Denali, or Mt. McKinley, casts its massive shadow in the afternoon sunlight. At 20,322 ft (6,194m), Denali is the highest point in North America.






WorldWide Antarctic Program






Above – Colour photo of South Georgia Island on the 8th of August 2002.


An interesting pattern of clouds swirls around South Georgia Island in this true-color MODIS image acquired August 8, 2002. This tiny, isolated island is located in the South Atlantic Ocean and is covered in winter snows. Closer inspection of the image reveals what may be a phytoplankton colony off in the waters surrounding the island. Many phytoplankton species thrive in cold, relatively low nutrient waters such as these. Sunlight reflecting off of the chlorophyll in the phytoplankton causes them to appear blue-green.


Low-lying clouds surround the tiny island and reveal wind currents and pressure systems that are normally invisible to the human eye. In this image, wind is blowing northeast, creating a higher-pressure bank of clouds along the island?s southwest coast. The island itself acts as a wall, forcing most of the winds to move around it instead of straight over. On the other side of the island the pressure is much less, allowing for the tiny bit of clear sky that shows the phytoplankton and ocean. However, the momentum of the wind?s movement causes it to curl back inwards towards the island center, drawing with it the clouds to make a heavy peninsula.



Below – Sea ice, sediment, and phytoplankton abound in this true-color Terra MODIS image of Foxe Basin acquired August 1, 2002. Foxe Basin separates Baffin Island (right) from Nunavut Canada (left) and is separated from the Hudson Bay by Foxe Channel (bottom). Toward the middle right edge of the Basin is Prince Charles Island. Prominent in the image are large amounts of melting sea ice that create peculiar patterns and textures. Many of the islands and shorelines seem to have glowing turquoise haloes. Most of the haloes are due to sediment and silt in the water reflecting sunlight, but some farther out in the water is likely due to the presence of phytoplankton, which thrive in cold, nutrient-rich waters such as these. The chlorophyll in the phytoplankton reflect the sunlight and appear blue-green in color.



Happy Christmas………….


Frankfurt Airport opened today after closing yesterday evening. The Italian government sent 800 soldiers to help dig out Milan after heavy snows blocked highways and disrupted air and rail travel, Corriere della Sera reported today.

The U.K.’s Automobile Association Ltd. said yesterday was “easily the worst day” it has had in 10 years, with almost K800_IMG_000322,000 jobs for the vehicle-rescue service. Special teams have been deployed to the worst-affected areas to help people stuck in remote places, and members out on the roads are being made a priority, AA head of public affairs, Paul Watters. 

This morning was slightly better with a low of -3C but again, many many roads still covered in black ice and driving treacherous. Daytime temperatures are forecast to increase to above freezing for the first time in over a week but i doubt its the last we’ll see of the Snow. (Photo left taken from High Hoyland Barnsley looking towards Barnsley Town.)

Whatever the weather, have a great Christmas keep warm, keep safe and here’s hoping you have a peaceful 2010.

73 de Charles…