Competition time

An amazing thing happened this week. I reached 250 subscribers on YouTube. Its amazing how quickly my subscriber count has skyrocketed in recent weeks.

I watch many videos on YouTube and I have found some excellent examples of contributors that have a fresh and informative way of delivering content to their audiences. Ive also seen terrible examples too. Adding fresh content that people find informative, fun and want to watch more of is something I have been wanting to achieve for quite some time. but I just couldn’t find the topics or style of videos that I thought people would find interesting.

It turns out that what I thought might interest people and what might bore people to sleep are in fact complete opposites. So it shows what I know !!

While I struggle with thinking of new videos and fresh “relevant” content – I thought it would only be fair to celebrate this milestone with a giveaway.

I’m giving away an Acorn II SDR kit (as seen in this video). It’s a excellent Kit, easy to build and a brilliant introduction to software defined radio. Its able to receive on the 40m band straight away – but can easily be a multiband SDR with the addition of an external VFO. This kit has been kindly supplied by Dennis at Kanga Products and requires no licence to operate.

This prize is open to all subscribers of my channel (if you haven’t already subscribed – now would be a good time to) who answer the question correctly.

Simply fill in the form, answer the question correctly and press submit. Its as easy as that. The winner will be chosen and announced at random on the 10th November and the kit will be posted once I have made contact with the winner.

Good luck.

Enter Competition now

Dan Trudgian, MØTGN, is a regular contributor to and writes from Wiltshire, England. He's a radio nut, IT guru, general good guy and an all round good egg. Contact him him here.

Weekly Propagation Summary – 2015 Oct 05 16:10 UTC

Weekly Propagation Summary (2015 Oct 05 16:10 UTC)

Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2015 Oct 05 1211 UTC.

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 28 September – 04 October 2015

Solar activity reached high levels as the period was dominated by M-class flare activity from active regions located in the southwest quadrant. In total 20 M-class flares were observed with two reaching the R2 (Moderate) radio blackout threshold. Four R1 (Minor) radio blackouts were observed from Region 2423 (S09, L=154, class/area=Dac/180 on 28 Sep) early in the period as the region transited the southwest limb, but once out of view Region 2422 (S18, L=102, class/area=Fkc/950 on 29 Sep) became the source of the remainder of M-class flare activity. Region 2422 was relatively benign until it reached central meridian and began a rapid growth phase where it increased significantly in magnetic complexity. Region 2422 produced a total of 14 R1 (Minor) radio blackouts and two R2 (Moderate) radio blackouts, the largest of which was an M7 flare observed at 28/1458 UTC. Numerous coronal mass ejections (CMEs) associated with the activity eminating from the southwest quadrant were observed throughout the period, but none were Earth-directed.

The greater than 10 MeV proton flux became slightly enhanced late on 30 Sep through midday on 01 Oct due to a pair of M1/1n flares from Region 2422 observed midday on 30 Sep. The greater than 10 MeV proton flux briefly reached a peak of 1.4 pfu at 01/0000 UTC but began a slow return to background levels shortly thereafter.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels on 28 Sep-01 Oct and was at normal levels on 02-04 Oct.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet levels on 28 and 30 Sep and quiet to unsettled levels on 29 Sep under a nominal solar wind regime. Quiet to active levels were observed on 01-03 Oct due to a combination of weak positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream influence, a period of prolonged southward Bz, and substorming. On 04 Oct active conditions were observed early and late in the period with an isolated period of G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms were observed between 0600-0900 UTC. The geomagnetic field activity on 04 Oct was attributed to periods of southward Bz and localized substorms.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 05 October – 31 October 2015

Solar activity is expected to be at low to moderate levels throughout the period with likely C-class flare activity and a chance for M-class (R1-R2 (Minor-Moderate)) flare activity on 06-29 Oct due to the return of multiple active regions which produced event level activity last rotation.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 08-15 Oct with moderate levels expected on 05-07 and 16-24 Oct. Normal levels are expected for the remainder of the period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels on 09 Oct with active levels expected on 05, 08, 10, 17, 20, 29, and 31 Oct due to recurrent coronal hole high speed stream effects. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected throughout the remainder of the period.

Don’t forget to visit our live space weather and radio propagation web site, at:

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Get the space weather and radio propagation self-study course, today. Visit for the latest sale and for more information!

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Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to and writes from Nebraska, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Plans At VY1JA

In the midst of this weekend's California QSO Party, I heard VY1JA calling CQ, looking for the Californians. It had been several years since I last heard VY1JA and the last time that we worked was on 137kHz on the 2200m band.

The CQs continued without much luck as the Californians just didn't appear to be hearing (or looking) to the north ... missing one of the rarest multipliers in North American contests.

Now, I had recently read that the VY1 station had been experimenting with remote operation, so that hard core, experienced contesters, could have the opportunity to hand out the rare 'NT' (Northern Territories) multiplier in future contests ... especially in the popular November ARRL Sweepstakes. I assumed that the station was likely being remotely operated.

After listening to a lot of CQ's going unanswered, I swung the beam towards Whitehorse and sent, "ur 599 down in VE7 land" and sent my call. Much to my surprise, it was my dear old friend 'J' himself, operating the station. What followed was a 10-minute catch-up on what he had been doing over the past few years and his plans for the future.

J in Nunavut as VYØJA
Since we had last worked on 2200m (we both had 'experimental licences at the time since 2200m was not yet an allocated ham band), J had retired ... un-retired for several years of contract work in the Arctic ... and once more, this time for good. With the help of some dedicated contesters, along with a 'gofundme' project on Facebook, J has been re-building his fine station from the ground up. Maybe you would also like to help.

Future plans, now well underway, call for multiband V-beams (520' legs) at 70' aligned to the SE and NW  and some high metal on a pair of 100' towers for the HF bands. As well, a new K-3 will drive an Alpha 9500 amplifier on all bands.

A few of the 20 poles, ranging from 70' to 30', that will be used to support V-beam legs and elevated groundplanes for the low bands.

I've saved the best news for last. J told me that he really wants to get going on 630m as well! His signal will be a wonderful addition to the band as he should be workable by most of the western provinces on nights of normal propagation. I am very much looking forward to working J again on the LF bands, recalling how strong his 100W signal could get during several of our early-morning 2200m CW ragchews.

Welcome back J!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Series Eight Episode Twenty-One – The Humble Capacitor (4 October 2015)

In this episode, Martin M1MRB / W9ICQ is joined by Ed Durrant DD5LP ,Martin Rothwell M0SGL and Matthew Nassau M0NJX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief, and this episodes feature is The Humble Capacitor

  • RSGB Takes Over Radio Exam Management
  • LilacSat-2 – Linux Live CD for Telemetry Decoding
  • Amateur Radio Society and CB
  • UK Shipping Forecast on LW to End?
  • Proposed German SDR Network
  • QRO Club - Free DXpedition Travel Amps
  • Fox Telemetry Decoder Software Version 1.0
  • FreeDV Fortnightly Europe-wide Net / Test Session
  • Lundy DX Group 2015

Colin Butler, M6BOY, is the host of the ICQ Podcast, a weekly radio show about Amateur Radio. Contact him at [email protected].

A shameless plug that worked

About a week ago, I received this e-mail in my G-mail account from Scott N0HOT. I don't check my G-mail account on a daily basis, so I didn't discover this until yesterday:

As a Morse Code fan, I thought this was pretty nifty! I don't plug may people's products on this blog, but I thought this was neat enough to warrant an exception.  I guess I'm like Dan KB6NU, in that I consider myself a CW Geek. And for 99 cents, it's not like it's going to break the bank or anything - right?

So I think I'm going to pop on in to the iTunes store (if I can ever remember what the heck my Apple password is) and will purchase this little app.

Well played, Scott. Well played, indeed.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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