The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

Club Members' News Page

 With all the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
      from Wirral, UK and around the World !

   Click for the RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

 


Interested in Radio & Electronics ? 

Get started right away, by acquiring a Short Wave or VHF receiver and listening to the activity on the amateur bands but if you want to transmit and talk to people then you will need a valid Amateur Radio Licence to achieve the full enjoyment of Amateur Radio.  This includes experimenting with antennas and much more.

WADARC has a team able to provide Foundation and Intermediate Licence tuition so if you are interested please contact our training team by sending an email with your details to the link at the bottom.

We hope to be starting an Intermediate Licence Course very soon, with other exam possibilities to follow.

If you would like to find out more, please send an email to training@wadarc.com explaining your interest.
 

 

 

Looking for an archived News Item from last 12 months to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

 

Earth's shifting magnetic poles are affecting your phone

Friday 18th January 2019

Earth's magnetic field is changing so quickly that researchers have been forced to update to the World Magnetic Model ahead of schedule.

Developed by NOAA and the British Geological Survey, the model is widely used for precision navigation of devices ranging from nuclear submarines to the common smartphone. Your own phone may be affected.

Find out how on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

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Amateur radio tax abolished in France

Friday 18th January 2019

French national society REF has confirmed that the annual amateur radio tax (license fee) has been abolished

A Google translation of a post on the REF site reads:

ANFR press release of 04/01/2019:

The annual fee for the amateur radio license 2019 was issued in early December.

Pursuant to the Finance Act No. 2018-1317 of December 28, 2018 published in the Official Journal of December 30, 2018, we will proceed to its cancellation.

In the case where you have already paid, a refund will be sent to you by the Special Credits Department of the Treasury on presentation of an RIB, a copy of the front of the identity document and invoice number starting with CSPE.

REF in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/FranceREF

ANFR announcement
https://www.anfr.fr/fr/toutes-les-actualites/actualites/envoi-des-titres-relatifs-a-la-licence-radioamateur-2019/

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Long-range RFID with feedback

Friday 18th January 2019

Not long ago, we published an article about researchers adding sensor data to passive RFID tags, and a comment from a reader turned our heads to a consumer/maker version which anyone can start using right away.

If you’re catching up, passive RFID technology is behind the key fobs and stickers which don’t need power, just proximity to the reader’s antenna. This is a much “hackier” version that works with discrete signals instead of analog ones. It will not however require writing a new library and programming new tags from the ground up just for the user to get started, so there is that trade-off. Sparkfun offers a UHF reader which can simultaneously monitor 25 of the UHF tags shown in this paper.

To construct one of these enhanced tags, the antenna trace is broken and then routed through a switching device such as a glass-break sensor, temperature limit switch, doorbell, or light sensor. Whenever continuity is restored the tag will happily send back its pre-programmed data, and the reader will acknowledge that somewhere one of the tags is seeing some activity. Nothing says this could not be applied to inexpensive RFID readers should you just want a temperature warning for your gecko terrarium or light sensor to your greenhouse‘s sealed controller.

Thank you, [Mike Massen], for your tip on RFID Doing More Than ID.
https://hackaday.com/2019/01/17/long-range-rfid-with-feedback/

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YOTA in VK ?

Friday 18th January 2019

Wireless Institute of Australia Director Marcus VK5WTF commented recently on the Youth on the Air or YOTA program that has received attention at IARU level.

There was a report that was submitted at the IARU Region 3 conference late last year about the program in the United Kingdom and the success factors.

The primary success factor for YOTA is that it is actually run by young people – that is under 25 year olds running the program. As soon as young people took over the program, the numbers and activities rose and the program took off.

Too often we old farts think we know better and can heap all these years of experience on the younger generation. Sometimes this helps but in the case of YOTA it was not a success factor.

So, if there are young people (under 25 year olds) out there who would like to get involved in in establishing a YOTA program within Australia for other young people with the support of the WIA then please make yourself known by emailing support@wia.org.au or emailing “young” Director Marcus at vk5wtf@wia.org.au

Wireless Institute of Australia

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The American Radio Relay League's round-up of the forthcoming week's DX activity on the amateur radio bands

Friday 18th January 2019

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by NE8Z, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

MALDIVES, 8Q. Andy, UT4UEP is QRV as 8Q7UA from Ukulhas Island, IOTA AS-013, until January 23. Activity is on 40, 30 and 20 meters using CW and FT8. QSL to home call.

SIERRA LEONE, 9L. A large group of operators are QRV as 9LY1JM from Banana Island, IOTA AF-037, until January 21. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK and FT8 with four stations active. QSL via F5GSJ.

EAST MALAYSIA, 9M6. Saty, JE1JKL will be QRV as 9M6NA from Labuan Island, IOTA OC-133, from January 24 to 28. Activity will be mainly on 160 meters. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL via LoTW.

RWANDA, 9X. Harald, DF2WO is QRV as 9X2AW from Kigali until February 14. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via M0OXO.

BAHAMAS, C6. Heli, DD0VR will be QRV as C6A/DD0VR from Bahama Island, IOTA NA-001, from January 21 to February 2. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, and various digital modes. He plans to activate other islands during this time. QSL to home call.

CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Erich, HB9FIH is QRV as EA8/home call from El Hierro, IOTA AF-004, until the end of March. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, and various digital modes. QSL to home call.

ECUADOR, HC. Rick, NE8Z is QRV as HC1MD until February 7. Activity is on 40 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. He may be active portable from other HC prefixes as well. QSL via K8LJG.

ITALY, I. Operators S50X, S52P, S54W, S56DX, S57DX, and S59A will be QRV as IG9/home calls from Lampedusa Island, IOTA AF-019, from January 21 to 31. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL to home calls.

ARUBA, P4. Mathias, DL4MM will be QRV as P4/DL4MM from January 22 to 30. Activity will be on the HF bands with a focus on CW. He may also be active using SSB and FT8. He will be QRV as P40AA in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL to home call.

BONAIRE, PJ4. Operators Norbert, DJ7JC, Heye, DJ9RR and Emil, DL8JJ will be QRV as PJ4P from January 22 to 30. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, various digital modes, and FT8. They plan to be an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL via DJ5BWD.

SEYCHELLES, S7. Mike, OE6MBG is QRV as S79AA from Mahe, IOTA AF- 024, until February 2. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters, and 6 meters as conditions permit, using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

TUVALU, T2. Antoine, 3D2AG is QRV as T2AR from Funafuti until January 31. Activity is on the HF bands, including 160 meters. QSL to home call. In addition, Apinelu, T2AT is QRV on the HF bands using FT8. QSL via N7SMI.

PALAU, T8. Nobu, JA0JHQ will be QRV as T88PB from Koror, IOTA OC-009, from January 25 to 28. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

MYANMAR, XZ. Akio, JE2QIZ is QRV as XZ2B from Nay Pyi Taw. His license is valid for 150 days. He is permitted to operate from 15 to 1.25 meters within 20 kHz of each band edge, and using only CW. QSL via operator's instructions.

CHATHAM ISLANDS, ZL7. Nobu, JA0JHQ is QRV as ZL7/JA0JHQ until January 20. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW and FT8. QSL to home call.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The ARRL January VHF Contest, North American SSB QSO Party, North American Collegiate SSB Championship, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC Sprint CW Ladder, LZ Open CW Contest, Hungarian DX Contest, RSGB AFS SSB Contest, WAB

1.8 MHz Phone/CW and Feld Hell Sprint will certainly keep contesters busy this weekend.

The Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest is scheduled for January 21.

The 40-Meter QRP Fox Hunt, CWops Mini-CWT Test, NAQCC CW Sprint, Phone Fray and SKCC CW Sprint are scheduled for January 23.

The Canadian National Parks on the Air, CNPOTA, operating event runs for the entire year of 2019, with special stations active from Canada's parks and historic sites.

Please see January 2019 QST, page 91, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1200 MHz Base Station Amateur SDR Transceiver, UK launch update!

Thursday 17thth January 2019

Icom UK have been fortunate to have had an engineering sample of the IC-9700 VHF/UHF Base Station Amateur SDR Transceiver from Icom Inc. to evaluate for a short time. So far, the company have been amazed by the fantastic sensitivity and performance of the radio.

The IC-9700 is the first VHF/UHF/1200 MHz transceiver which introduces the RF direct sampling system for the 144 and 430 MHz bands, a real-time spectrum scope and waterfall function. The RF direct sampling system has already provided high performance in Icom's IC-7610 and IC-7300 HF transceivers. In addition, the spectrum scope and waterfall function have been indispensable tools for operators to increase QSO opportunities, without missing weak signals.

The radio has many other impressive features including a built-in 1200 MHz band, 4.3 inch TFT colour touchscreen display, full duplex with Dualwatch on separate bands, Satellite mode, D-STAR DV (Digital Voice) /DD (Digital Data) modes and Terminal/Access point modes. Also, a newly designed power amplifier and cooling system provide stable and high-efficiency operation, even when continuously transmitting for a long time.

The IC-9700 is also the perfect companion to the IC-7300 HF radio. Measuring the same size, both radios provide almost identical operation. Using the IC-9700 and IC-7300 creates the ultimate, compact radio station covering the VHF, UHF, HF and 1200 MHz bands. The IC-9700 is the only VHF/UHF all mode transceiver that enables a variety of VHF/UHF operation including DX, contests, satellite/EME and D-STAR.

Summary of the IC-9700 Main Features
• RF direct sampling system (144 and 430 MHz bands)
• Triband (144, 430 and built in 1200 MHz bands) and all modes, including AM and DV/DD
• High-speed real-time spectrum scope and waterfall function
• Large 4.3-inch TFT colour touch screen display
• Full duplex with Dualwatch on separate bands
• Satellite operation friendly functions
• D-STAR DV (Digital Voice) and DD (Digital Data) modes
• Receives and demodulates two signals simultaneously in the D-STAR DV mode
• Built-in gateway function application for Terminal/Access point modes
• Newly designed power amplifier providing stable and high-efficiency operation

The IC-9700 will have its official launch at the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park to UK Amateur radio dealers and members of the press….details of which you will be on Icom UK’s social media channels.

Icom UK  have also taken a short video giving a basic overview of the IC-9700. You can find this video by visiting their  YouTube Channel .

Icom UK are hopeful to have the IC-9700 available for sale from Authorised Amateur Radio Dealers in March 2019 (subject to change) with a suggested retail price of £1799.99 inc.VAT.

There have been high expectations about this model from different parts of the Amateur radio community and based upon the performance of this engineering sample Icom UK expect a high level of demand for this product.

Stay tuned to the Icom UK website and their social media channel for further updates about this radio.

To download high resolution images of this model,  visit the
Icom UK Image Bank

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SOTABEAMS introduces SOTA Tours

Wednesday 16th January 2019

The Summits on the Air award programme runs in many countries across the world with SOTA activators keen to explore.

SOTABEAMS has introduced the concept of a "SOTA Tour".
This is a guided trip, giving overseas SOTA activators a stress-free way of activating summits in Scotland, England and Wales.

The tours will be led by Richard G3CWI. Richard is one of the founders of SOTA and is a hugely experienced activator.

Centred in Manchester UK, the SOTA Tour has been designed to give a non-SOTA partner, plenty to do while the activating takes place.

Details at
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/three-assoc=ations-tour/

Regards
Richard Newstead
G3CWI

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A collision in the asteroid belt

Wednesday 16th January 2019

Something violent just happened in the asteroid belt.

Not far beyond the orbit of Mars, asteroid 6478 Gault appears to have been struck by another asteroid.

The resulting stream of debris stretches more than 400,000 km, which is greater than the distance between Earth and the Moon.

Astronomers around the world are now monitoring the formerly unremarkable asteroid to see what happens next.

Get the full story on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 16th January 2019

Island activities:

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-019; IG9, Pelagie Islands: A Slovenian team (Silvo/S50X, Krajcar/S52P, Peter/S54W, Pavla/S56DX, Slavko/S57DX, and Drago/S59A) plans to activate Lampedusa Island (IIA G001, WLOTA 2312, MIA MI-126) holiday-style between the 21st and 31st signing IG9/homecalls. QSL via h/c

NA-001; C6, Great Bahama Bank group: Heli/DD0VR and his wife Bigi will be paying Bahama Island a visit from Jan. 21 until Feb. 2. QRV as C6A/DD0VR on 80-10m on CW, SSB, and digital modes. They also plan to acitvate other islands during that time. QSL via DD0VR (d/B).

NA-122; HI, Dominican Republic's Coastal Islands: Members of the Loma del Tor DX Club (HI3AA, HI8GP, HI3CC, HI3MPC, HI8EFS, HI8K, HI3SD, HI8CAF, XE1AY, HI3K, HI8MAX, HI8JQE, HI6JHV, LU9EFO) will be active from Beata Island between the 20th and 28th as HI1LT on 80-10m on CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8.
QSL via W2CCW (d/B).

SA-023; PY6, Bahia State North group: A team of Brazilian operators (PP2OK, PY6DQ, PY6TV, and PY6ZK) plans to work from Itaparica Island with the call ZY6C from Jan. 18 to 20 on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10m (CW, SSB). QSL via PY6TV (d).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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UWE-4 CubeSat frequency change request approved

Tuesday 15th January 2019

After two weeks in orbit, UWE-4 is in very good shape. The batteries are fully charged, the temperatures of the batteries, the outside panels and the MCU are all lying in the expected range.

It has been observed that the battery temperatures are slightly rising around 8:45 am, when the downlink of this measurement took place.

After the early orbit phase, we are looking forward to some interesting experiments with the attitude determination sensors and the propulsion system.

Unfortunately, our uplink success rate is very poor, which currently prevents these experiments. In the precursor mission UWE-3, it was found that the reason for this is very likely a substantial noise floor at the used frequency range. For this reason, we filed a request for the change of our radio frequency to 435.600 MHz with IARU, which has already been approved.

January 10, we will started the procedure to change the frequency of UWE-4. So if you want to track UWE-4, please adjust your center frequency accordingly. We already started the procedure to change the frequency on UWE-4, so during the next days it may happen that you can also still receive a signal on our old frequency. Additionally, we have been assigned NORAD ID 43880 in the meantime.

A tool in order to upload the received UWE-4 telemetry directly into our groundstation database is a work in progress and will be shared with you as soon as we have tested it thoroughly. Until then, we would be very grateful, if you'd forward your UWE-4 telemetry files to uwe4@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de.

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December YOTA Month 2018 Final Report

Tuesday 15th January 2019

Gergana LZ1ZYL has published the December YOTA Month 2018 Final Report on the IARU Region 1 site

Another December came and went, and with it another edition of December YOTA Month did as well. We are happy to host an event which brings young people – licensed HAM radio operators and youngster who are new to the hobby and are making their first QSOs alike, and inspires them to be more active on the bands and shows them there are many people listening on the other side.

For a better overlook on the past month we make sure to keep statistics; this is not to say that the joy isn’t in the experience, but rather to confirm it. This year as many as 44 participating stations made 82,938 QSOs in December, proving once again that neither the weather nor the holidays can keep a radio amateur away from the station.

Read her report at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/general/1833-december-yota-month-2018-final-report

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How different groups use communications services

Tuesday 15th January 2019

Differences in how certain groups use communications services are explained in Ofcom’s latest Access and Inclusion research report, published today.

The report looks at how affordability, take-up and engagement with telecoms, TV and postal services compares across different groups.
It focuses on people whose use of different services and devices could be affected by factors such as their age, disability or income.

Our findings include:

Ofcom has taken a range of actions to help protect vulnerable consumers recently, including securing a £7 per month line rental cut for BT’s landline-only customers; capping call charges for directory enquiry services; and introducing rules requiring companies to identify and protect vulnerable customers. 

We also recently launched the Boost Your Broadband campaign to offer consumers advice on how to get the best broadband deal for their needs. We have also launched a review of broadband pricing, which is examining why some customers pay more than others for their services.

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VI25AJ astronaut contact a success

Monday 14th January 2019

The special event Amateur Radio station VI25AJ was active on the amateur satellites during the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree and on January 12 they had a contact with a former ISS astronaut

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI reports on the very successful contact with Astronaut
Mike Fossum KF5AQG from the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree on the WIA website, see
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2019/20190113-2/index.php

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5 GHz HAMNET meeting in Amsterdam

Monday 14th January 2019

Netherland's Ham News site reports almost all the lectures at the next MikroTik Meeting for HAMNET users will be in the English language

A Google translation reads:

HAMNET amateurs pay attention. Another MikroTik User Meetings takes place on Monday, April 29. The meeting will take place in Amsterdam. Admission is free, for 30 euro extra you get a packed lunch, goodie bag and a Mikrotik license. Almost all lectures will be in English.

MikroTik equipment is very often used for building HAMNET in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and is therefore very interesting for radio amateurs who want to combine RF technology with network technology. Novice amateurs can also participate, because the ISM band and regulations are used. Distances of 30 kilometers with 5 GHz are the rule rather than the exception provided there is a visual connection.

Rob (PE1CHL) said that the previous day was a successful meeting for him. "So maybe we can combine it again with a 'Day for the HAMNET amateur'. The last time that this was held we have been there with a number of amateurs and it was very interesting. I wonder who wants to go there again ... "

Event information https://mum.mikrotik.com/2019/NL/info/EN

Source https://www.hamnieuws.nl/mikrotik-user-meeting-in-amsterdam/

HAMNET is a high speed amateur radio multimedia network based on commercial wireless devices. It covers many regions in Europe and is even now growing fast beyond its european border.
https://hamnet.eu/

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Radio eBooks for download

Monday 14th January 2019

There are a number of vintage radio and amateur radio related eBooks available for free download on the Gutenberg site

Among them is the 1922 edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook by A. Frederick Collins.

Jarno de Haan @PA3DMI tweeted this link that will display the books available:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=radio

A. Frederick Collins
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_Frederick_Collins

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Postage going up for U.S. and Canada

Monday 14th January 2019

The U.S. Postal Service announced new prices for 2019 and they come into effect Jan. 27, 2019.

The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:
Product   Current   Proposed
--------    --------    ----------
Letters (1 oz.) 50 cents 55 cents
Letters additional ounces 21 cents 15 cents
Letters (metered 1 oz.) 47 cents 50 cents
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.) $1.15 $1.15
Domestic Postcards 35 cents 35 cents
For more info, see:
https://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2018/pr18_086.htm

The Canadian Postal will also go up on January 14th. The postage rate for domestic Letter mail items weighing 30 grams or less when purchased in a booklet, coil or pane would increase to $0.90 from the current rate of $0.85.
The price of a single domestic stamp would increase to $1.05 (Canadian) from the current rate of $1.00.
Letters to the U.S. will go up $0.07 or more and to other countries $0.15 or more.

OPDX

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4th annual RST special event

Monday 14th January 2019

Look for members of the North Country DX Association (NCDXA) to once again be active from different locations in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Greenland between January 15th and February 28th (some ops may be on earier or later).

The NCDXA RST callsigns to be used are KL7RST, VY1RST, VE8RST, VY0RST and OX7RST. Also look for N1RAC/KL7 which will be active from Fairbanks,
Alaska.

QSL all callsigns direct via K7ICE. For more details and a free RST certificate, see: https://www.qrz.com/lookup/K7ICE

The NCDXA "RST" stations are on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/North-Country-DX-Assoc-K7ICE-1717462798496577

OPDX

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 14th January 2019

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 6th January, through Sunday, 13th January there were 210 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5R, 5W, 5Z, 6Y, 7P, 7X, 8P, 8R, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D4, DL, DU, E5/n, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TU, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V8, VE, VK, VK0M, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XZ, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 14th January 2019

Island activities:

AF-037. (Reminder) Members of the F6KOP Team are now active as 9LY1JM from Banana Islands, Sierra Leone, until January 21st.
Operators mentioned are Frank/F4AJQ (Team Leader), Jean-Luc/F1ULQ/ AK8DX (Co­leader), Patrick/F2DX, Andreas/DL3GA/AB8AY, Jimi/F4DLM/AF7JJ, Jean-Baptiste/F4ERY, Frank/F5TVG, Julien/F8AVK, Herman/ON4QX/ KM6CPP and Eric/ON7RN.
Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK and FT8.  There will be 4 stations on the air: 4X Kenwood TRX-590s into VDA antenna 10 to 20m & Spiderbeam mast for low band 30 to 160m.  QSL via F5GSJ, direct or by the Bureau. Also, QSL via ClubLog or LoTW.
For more details and updates (w/pictures), see: https://9l2019dx.wordpress.com

AS-153. (Reminder) Members of the West Bengal Radio Club (VU2WB) are now active as AU2HAM from Ganga Sagar Mela Island until January 17th. Activity will be on various HF bands. QSL via VU2NRO.

EU-112. Members of the Invoker Team are planning to activate the Shiant Isles group, Scotland, sometime in the Spring. Stay tuned for details.

NA-122. Operators Ez/HI3AA, Tino/HI3CC, Edwin/HI3K, Mike/HI3MPC, Jose/HI3SD, HI6JHV, Cafefe/HI8CAF, Elio/HI8EFS, Gerardo/HI8GP, HI8JQE, Alfredo/HI8K, Max/HI8MAX, Martin/LU9EFO and Ismael/ XE1AY will be active as HI1LT from Beata Island between January 20-28th. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via W2CCW.

SA-005. RRC operators Vasily/R7AL, Vasil/RA1ZZ, Vladimir/RK8A, Aleksei/RL5F, Leonid/RW9JZ and Marco/CE1TBN will be active as XR0ZRC from Robinson Crusoe Island (WW Loc. FF06oi), in the Juan Fernandez Islands (CE0Z) group, between March 11-27th. The DXpedition Pilot will be Victor, UA3AKO. Activity will be on 160/80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via R7AL, direct, ClubLog's OQRS or LoTW.
For more details and update, see: https://dxpedition.wixsite.com/xr0zrc

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Tropospheric ducting event hits NBN fixed wireless services

Sunday 13th January 2019

Australia's WIA News report the NBN fixed Wireless Services in Northern Tasmania, South and East coast of Victoria suffered from a tropospheric ducting event in recent days and it is being handled as a major incident.

The interference ranges from the north coast of Tasmania to the south and south east of Victoria and if you take a look at the Hepburn Charts for the recent period you will see some interesting activity.

These NBN services run on 2.3 and 3.4 GHz and can deliver up to a 50 Mbps service.

Justin VK7TW said the NBN media release labelled the event as “thermal ducting” and has the possibility of affecting approximately 30,000 to 40,000 users. The disruption can be in the form of speed degradation, voice clipping, or potentially a complete loss of service.

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Update: Australian 2 x 1 contest calls

Sunday 13th January 2019

“The item on the recent WIA news re: 2 x 1 contest calls was incorrect”, RASA President Glenn Dunstan VK4DU said.

“The committee to consider 2x1 contest calls for VK is being constituted and will meet in the near future.”

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Saturday 12th January 2019

UKAC Final Results for 2018

The results of the outstanding UKAC contests held during December last year have now all been released together with the final results for the year of 2018. 

There is a summary on our 'UKAC Contests' page  CLICK here to read in full.

Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club came 5th in the UK out of 118 Clubs and Contest Groups  in the General Club Section which was a very creditable position and Congratulations go to all  our members who took part each month.

A Big Welcome also to Stuart M1SMH, a recent new club member having moved to work in the North who has already been elected to our Committee at the AGM held last Wednesday.  We wish him success and lots of fun playing radio on Wirral and joining in our special event activities.

Anyone who would like to join in the UKAC contest activity, please make contact with Denis G3UVR.

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WIA complimentary membership for new ham radio qualifications

Saturday 12th January 2019

The WIA has announced complimentary membership for 1 year to operators who pass any Australian amateur radio exam - Foundation, Standard or Advanced - backdated to January 2018

The WIA News story says:

Happy new year!
This is Aidan, VK4APM for this week's board comment.
2018 was a year dedicated to righting the ship and dealing with sins of the past.
As the dawn rises on 2019 we look forward to an exciting and future focussed year for Amateur Radio in Australia. 

Over the coming months we expect:
A new qualification system to be implemented and regardless of who the ACMA selects this promises to positively change the landscape of Amateur Radio in Australia.

We will begin delivering a number of new services of value to both Amateur Radio and the wider community. The IT Team will be bringing online a range of upgraded information technology systems. Several new teams will be introducing themselves to the amateur community.

But first up for 2019, we are happy to announce a change which, frankly, has been a long time coming.

Many of you belong to clubs and associations which provide discounted or free membership for a period of time after an operator has passed their foundation course to encourage the new operator to be part of the community.

At a recent meeting the WIA board voted to provide a level of complimentary WIA membership to all operators who receive new qualifications.  During discussion on this matter the issue of "fairness" to those who have recently completed qualifications was robustly discussed with a further decision being taken to begin this program from the first of January, 2018.

So what does this all mean I hear you ask.

If you receive an AOCP (Foundation, Standard or Advanced) at any time since the first of January, 2018 and are not a member of the WIA you are eligible for a complimentary 1 year WIA membership.

If you are already a WIA member (now, or when you receive your qualification in the future) you are eligible to receive a 1 year membership extension or a $100 discount off a 5 year membership.

If this is you, or someone you know all that is needed is a completed WIA membership form and a copy of the relevant AOCP qualification showing the date of qualification being later than the 1 January 2018 email it to support<at>wia.org.au

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2019, until next time, that's all from me, VK4APM.

WIA News
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/
display.php?file_id=wianews-2019-01-13


Note: While the UK license structure requires candidates to take exams at every level, Australia is different. You only need to pass the exam at the level you wish to join the hobby. For example a newcomer could if they wanted just sit the Advanced exam without needing to bother with Foundation or Standard.

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Australian 2 by 1 contest callsigns

Saturday 12th January 2019

WIA News reports discussions have taken place between the RASA and the regulator ACMA about issuing 2 by 1 amateur radio contest callsigns such as VK1A

Radio Amateur Society of Australia Inc. (RASA) recently met with the ACMA and discussed several topics. One topic that received positive feedback was the possibility of 2*1 callsigns for use during contests.

Until such time as the ACMA tender outcome has been made public, this
proposal is on hold. It is likely that a committee will be formed to review options at that time.

Further information is on the Radio Amateur Society of Australia Inc. site
http://vkradioamateurs.org/contest-callsigns-vk1a-21-callsigns/

WIA News
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/
display.php?file_id=wianews-2019-01-13

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Phased array antennas move while standing still

Saturday 12th January 2019

Al Williams WD5GNR writes on Hackaday about the talk by Hunter Scott at Supercon 2018 on the subject of electronically scanned phased array antennas

If you watch old science fiction or military movies — or if you were alive back in the 1960s — you probably know the cliche for a radar antenna is a spinning dish. Although the very first radar antennas were made from wire, as radar sets moved higher in frequency, antennas got smaller and rotating them meant you could “look” in different directions.

When most people got their TV with an antenna, rotating those were pretty common, too. But these days you don’t see many moving antennas. Why? Because antennas these days move electrically rather than physically using multiple antennas in a phased array.

Read the article and watch the video of the talk at
https://hackaday.com/2019/01/11/no-moving-parts-phased-array-antennas-move-while-standing-still/

Hunter Scott
https://www.hscott.net/
http://twitter.com/hunterscott

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Spectrum Policy for Radio Technology Experiments

Saturday 12th January 2019

Michael J. Marcus N3JMM has released an article that looks at the approach of different countries to authorizing experimental use of spectrum

Spectrum policy has to deal with both operational use of spectrum-based systems as well as experiments to develop innovative technologies both to improve present uses or for entirely new uses. For example, two decades ago use of > 30 GHz millimeter-wave spectrum for mobile communications would have seemed ludicrous to most practitioners, but today it is a major component of the pending fifth generation (5G) wireless systems.

Different countries have different ways of dealing with authorizing experimental use of spectrum to advance both wireless communications and other spectrum uses. This column reviews the approaches used in several countries.

Download the article from
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gjvspff4t4r0dg8/WCM_SPECTRUM_POLICY-December_Rev.pdf

A number of SDR articles by Mike Marcus N3JMM/7JIAKO can be found on the ARRL website. His article Software Radio and the Radio Amateur appeared in the October 2002 edition of ARRL's QST magazine and it won the prestigious QST Cover Plaque Award.

In the article he described how a well-conceived strategy for using software radio technology in the Amateur Radio Service might have a positive impact on reversing the apparent decline of experimentation and might even bring a new, younger, and experimentally motivated group into Amateur Radio. You can download a PDF of the article from
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/0210033.pdf

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Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

Friday 11th January 2019

BBC News report astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada.

The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.

Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.

Such an event has only been reported once before, by a different telescope.

"Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there," said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

"And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles - where they're from and what causes them."

The CHIME observatory, located in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, consists of four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas, which scan the entire northern sky each day.

The telescope only got up and running last year, detecting 13 of the radio bursts almost immediately, including the repeater.

Read the full BBC News article
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46811618

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Venus and Jupiter in conjunction

Friday 11th January 2019

Venus and Jupiter are converging for a beautiful conjunction in Ophiuchus, the unofficial '13th constellation of the zodiac.'

The two bright planets are easy to see even from light-polluted urban areas and are being photographed by many observers surrounded by the morning-glow of sunrise.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for sky maps and observing tips

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Smartphone app uses AR to visualize the RF spectrum

Friday 11th January 2019

Have you ever wished you could see in the RF part of the radio spectrum?

While such a skill would probably make it hard to get a good night’s rest, it would at least allow you to instantly see dead spots in your WiFi coverage. Not a bad tradeoff.

Unwilling to go full [Geordi La Forge] to be able to visualize RF, [Ken Kawamoto] built the next best thing – an augmented-reality RF signal strength app for his smartphone. Built to aid in the repositioning of his router in the post-holiday cleanup, the app uses the Android ARCore framework to figure out where in the house the phone is and overlays a color-coded sphere representing sensor data onto the current camera image.

The spheres persist in 3D space, leaving a trail of virtual breadcrumbs that map out the sensor data as you warwalk the house. The app also lets you map Bluetooth and LTE coverage, but RF isn’t its only input: if your phone is properly equipped, magnetic fields and barometric pressure can also be AR mapped. We found the Bluetooth demo in the video below particularly interesting; it’s amazing how much the signal is attenuated by a double layer of aluminum foil. [Ken] even came up with an Arduino with a gas sensor that talks to the phone and maps the atmosphere around the kitchen stove.

The app is called AR Sensor and is available on the Play Store, but you’ll need at least Android 8.0 to play. If your phone is behind the times like ours, you might have to settle for mapping your RF world the hard way.

https://hackaday.com/2019/01/09/smartphone-app-uses-ar-to-visualize-the-rf-spectrum/

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IARUMS reports on OTH Radar on 21 MHz

Thursday 10th January 2019

IARU-R1 Monitoring System reports an Over The Horizon (OTH) radar located on the island of Cyprus has been active on 21.170 MHz

The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus.

On December 11 a radar on the island was reported as using FMCW, 50 sweeps/sec, 20 kHz wide on 21170 kHz inside the amateur band.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 December 2018 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2018/news1812.pdf

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at
http://www.websdr.org/

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)
https://www.iarums-r1.org/

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Measuring a geomagnetic storm with a Raspberry Pi magnetometer

Thursday 10th January 2019

Ciarán Beggan of the British Geological Survey describes how a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK to measure geomagnetic storms

As computers such as the Raspberry Pi and geophysical sensors have become smaller and cheaper it is now possible to build a reasonably sensitive system which can detect and record the changes of the magnetic field caused by the Northern Lights (aurora).

Though not as accurate as a scientific level instrument, the Raspberry Pi magnetometer costs around 1/100th the price (about £180 at 2019 prices) for around 1/100th the accuracy (~1.5 nanoTesla). However, this is sufficient to make interesting scientific measurements.

During 2017, a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK from Benbecula to Norwich. On September 8, 2017 a large geomagnetic storm was captured by the school magnetometers. Using these data and the array of other magnetometers around the North Sea, we were able to recreate the spatial and temporal changes of the magnetic field during the storm in great detail. The two phases of the storm show the westward (night time) and eastward (daytime) flow of the auroral electrojet currents in the ionosphere.

Source http://www.mist.ac.uk/nuggets

Download the paper Building a Raspberry Pi school magnetometer network in the UK
https://www.geosci-commun.net/1/25/2018/gc-1-25-2018.pdf

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2018 DX Sound Bites!

Thursday 10th January 2019

Tom, K8CX, has done it again. He has provided DXers with 118 memorable rare DX sound clips (now in MP3 format) from Ohio during 2018.

Visit Tom's famous "HAM GALLERY" Web site at:
http://hamgallery.com/dx2018

While there, also check out some of the other features on his Web page,
such as: 21 years of "Rare DX Sound Clips" of the past (as well as some
clips from the 1960's and 1970's which includes all the major DXpeditions
and rare DX heard on the bands), QSL Card Museum, Dayton Photo Galleries and Tribute to Silent Key Ham Operators.

Tom states, "If anyone has any old HF recordings, I would be interested in hearing from them." (especially sound clips pre-1998 to add to the site)

His E-mail address is: k8cx@hamgallery.com

OPDX

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Morse code keyboard 1939 style!

Thursday 10th January 2019

If you want to learn Morse code and you don’t have a teacher, you’d probably just head over to a website or download a phone app.

Before that, you probably bought a cassette tape or a phonograph record. But how did you learn Morse if you didn’t have any of that and didn’t know anyone who could send you practice? Sure, you could listen to the radio, but in 1939 that might be difficult, especially to find people sending slow enough for you to copy.

Wireless World for August 3rd, 1939, has the answer in an article by [A. R. Knipe] on page 109. While you probably wouldn’t use it today, it is a great example of how ingenious you can be when you don’t have an Arduino and all the other accouterments we take for granted today.

https://hackaday.com/2019/01/09/morse-code-keyboard-1939-style/

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Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany

Thursday 10th January 2019

Look for special event stations DM70GER and DL70BRD now active until December 31st, 2019.

Activity is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany which was established on May 23rd, 1949.

Operations will be on CW and SSB.

QSL DM70GER via ClubLog's OQRS (direct or Bureau) or direct via M0SDV. Cards received via Bureau will NOT be answered.
QSL DL70BRD via DK1YH, direct, by the Bureau, ClubLog's OQRS and eQSL.

A special Jubilee Award is available for working DL70BRD.
Award information is available at:
https://www.qrz.com/db/DL70BRD

OPDX

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DXCC Most Wanted (ClubLog)

Thursday 10th January 2019

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of December 28th.

The list contain 340 entities and here are the top 10 entities (which has not changed since last month):

1. P5 DPRK (North Korea)
2. 3Y/B Bouvet Island
3. FT5/W Crozet Island
4. BS7H Scarborough Reef
5. CE0X San Felix Islands
6. BV9P Pratas Island
7. KH7K Kure Island
8. KH3 Johnston Island
9. VK0M Macquarie Island
10. FT5/X Kerguelen Island

The complete "DXCC Most Wanted" entities list is available at:
https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

OPDX

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All about ham radio satellites

Wednesday 9th January 2019

Al Williams WD5GNR writes on Hackaday about receiving the Amateur Radio satellites and how to make contacts

How hard is it to build a ground station to communicate with people via a satellite? Probably not as hard as you think. [Modern Ham] has a new video that shows just how easy it can be. It turns out that a low-cost HT is all you need on the radio side. You do, however, benefit from having a bit of an antenna.

Read the Hackaday story and watch the video at
https://hackaday.com/2019/01/07/all-about-ham-satellites/

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Bulgaria to host Youngsters on the Air summer camp

Wednesday 9th January 2019

The ninth Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) summer camp will be held in Bulgaria, with the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA) hosting the event.

Individual IARU Member Societies will select candidates aged 15 to 25 for the summer camp, which will take place from 11 to 17 August near Sofia, the Bulgarian capital city.

"In this YOTA Camp, we will be continuing with our train-the-trainer program, which will be the main theme of the week," IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, said in announcing the annual event.

"Participants will be working on the future of Amateur Radio and will be involved in workshops where they gain skills to start similar Amateur Radio youth events back home. With this, we are aiming to create a snowball effect to inspire more and more YOTA events all over the world. This also allows other youngsters and newcomers to enjoy Amateur Radio."

SARL

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 9th January 2019

Island activities:

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-037; 9L, Northern/ Western Province group: Members of the F6KOP
team (F4AJQ, F1ULQ, F2DX, DL3GA, F4DLM, F5TVG, ON4QX, and ON7RN)
activate Banana Island from the 9th until 21st as 9LY1JM. QRV with 4 rigs on 160-10m on CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK, and FT8. QSL via F5GSJ (d/B), ClubLog OQRS, LoTW. http://www.f6kop.com/

AS-153; VU, West Bengal State group: The West Bengal Radio Club will be active around the religious Ganga Sagar Mela festival with the callsign AU2HAM between Jan. 10 and 17. QSL via VU2NRO.

NA-021; 8P, Barbados: Willy/KB8YRX operates as 8P9CA from Jan. 15 until Feb. 4 with a focus on 20m and FT8. QSL via KB8YRX (d/B), LoTW.

NA-102; FG, Guadeloupe: Jean-Pierre/F6ITD will be signing FG/F6ITD from La Desirade Island (ARLHS GUA-005, WLOTA 1121, DIFO FG-004, FFF-1000, WW Loc. FK96lh) between Jan. 14 and March 13. QRV on 80-6m on CW, SSB, and digital modes. During contests he uses the callsign TO7D. QSL via F6ITD (d) or LoTW.

SA-004; HC8, Galapagos Islands: Gerhard/OE3GEA operates holiday-style as HC8GET from Santa Cruz, Isabela und San Cristobal Island between the 13th and 25th, running 100W, a vertical and a dipole. QSL via OE3GEA (d/B).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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New ham radio General Class question pool released

Tuesday 8th January 2019

The ARRL reports the examination question pool with answers for the USA General class is now available for download

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee has released the 2019 – 2023 FCC Element 3 General Class Question Pool into the public domain.

The 2019 – 2023 General Class (Element 3) Question Pool is available in Word, ASCII text, and PDF versions.

The new Question Pool is effective for Element 3 exams administered on or after July 1, 2019.

The 1,500 watt USA General class license can be considered the equivalent of UK Intermediate.

Download the Question Pool from
http://www.arrl.org/news/new-general-class-question-pool-released-effective-july-1

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WIA highlights lack of young radio hams

Tuesday 8th January 2019

The Wireless Institute of Australia is concerned there are so few radio amateurs aged under 30

WIA Director Marcus VK5WTF writes:

Welcome to the new year! Another year gone, and it was a big year for me, what about you?

It was the year I first played with DMR, went back to a QRP shack and built a fully self-contained balloon tracking computer cluster made up of 4 Raspberry Pi class computers.

And of course, none of us are getting any younger!

But what about engaging and connecting with those who are younger in this amazing hobby. Many of us saw something magic about radios before we turned 18, but many didn't get their licence until later in life; and this shows in the rough numbers of amateur licences in Australia. There was something else that stuck out, the numbers below the age of 30 are quite low.

What can we do?

The WIA is getting ready to support the younger members of our community, through events like December YOTA month. YOTA is now a well-established community in region 1. The WIA has put its support behind, and voted for seed funding to establish YOTA in region 3.

This is where we need your help!

Are you reading this and under the age of 30?

Do you know someone who isn't reading this and is under the age of 30?

Do you work with those under the age of 30 who have an interest?

Do you know someone interested in electronics and tinkering?

Well, we want to hear from you! You can contact myself or the WIA secretary by email, secretary@wia.org.au a number of social media channels or any other creative means.

This is not a call for volunteers and you don't need to be a member, this is a call to get in contact with that demographic and build something amazing. You can also pass on my details to those not reading this.

My email address is vk5wtf<at>wia.org.au

73, this is VK5WTF, signing off.

Source WIA News
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/
display.php?file_id=wianews-2019-01-06

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AMSATSA dual-band Yagi a big hit

Tuesday 8th January 2019

The AMSATSA 2 m/70 cm dual band Yagi launched last week is a big hit. The first batch of 50 was sold within days of last Sunday's announcement. A new supply is expected to be ready for shipping via POSTNET in about 10 days.

The Yagi has a unique element called an 'Open Sleeve' which is a director very close to the driven element. The driven element is sized for 2 metres. When operating on 70 cm the 'Open Sleeve' acts as part of the driven element on 70 cm (the third harmonic of 2 m).

The AMSAT SA version is based on a design by DK7ZB with modifications by WB5CXC. The first South African version was a collaboration between Guy, ZS6GUY and Gary, ZS6YI. It was developed for YOTA 2018 where young people successfully used the antenna operating satellites using hand-held transceivers. The mechanical structure of the AMSAT SA version was redesigned by Gary, ZS6YI.

The antenna is plug and play. No tools are needed except for soldering on a connector to suit the application. It comes complete in a carry bag with full instructions. This antenna can be assembled and dissembled in minutes.

For more details and how to order visit www.amsatsa.org.za. SARL and AMSAT SA members get a discount.

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Ofcom’s proposed 2019/20 Annual Plan – reminder about public meetings

Tuesday 8th January 2019

Ofcom is holding public meetings in Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh this month to gain feedback on our proposed Annual Plan, which outlines our planned areas of work for the next financial year.

Ofcom wants to make sure that people and businesses in the UK get the best from their communications services. We aim to do this by encouraging competition; securing standards and improving quality; and protecting consumers from harm.

Those with an interest in Ofcom’s work are encouraged to attend one of the meetings, which offer an opportunity to comment on our approach to TV, radio, telecoms, postal and wireless communications services.

Each event will begin with a brief presentation, after which there will be an opportunity to comment and ask questions. All meetings are open and free of charge. Further details are available online.

The views expressed in the meetings, together with responses to Ofcom’s consultation document, will help inform our final Annual Plan statement for 2019/20, which is due to be published in March.

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Google Assistant available via Ham Radio

Monday 7th January 2019

William Franzin VE4VR decided it would be particularly cool to make Google Assistant available over ham radio – and that’s exactly what he did

Writing on Hackaday Lewin Day says:

William got the idea for this project after first playing with the Internet Radio Linking Project, a system which uses VoIP technologies to link radio networks over the internet. Already having an IRLP node, it seemed only natural to make it into a gateway to the wider internet through integration with Google Assistant.

Early work involved activating the assistant via DTMF tones, but William didn’t stop there – through the use of Picovoice, it became possible to use the system with the custom wakeword “Bumblebee”.

Read the article and watch the video at
https://hackaday.com/2019/01/05/google-assistant-now-available-on-ham-radio/

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Special 80M News Bulletin on Sunday 20th January

Monday 7th January 2019

50 years ago on the 19th January, the first IRTS Radio News broadcast was made by Bill McIlwaine EI9F (SK), who read the news bulletin using AM.

The same bulletin was broadcast on SSB later that day on 80M by Jim Bartlett EI2BB. The first broadcast on VHF was made by Shane McNamee EI2A (SK).

To mark this important anniversary, Jim Bartlett EI2BB will read the 80M news on Sunday 20th January, at the usual 80M news time of 12:00 noon on 3.650 MHz.

For this special broadcast Jim will read both the News bulletin from that day 50 years ago and also the current News bulletin.

Jim will then take the call-in after the news to complete this special broadcast.

Source: Irish Radio Transmitters Society

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ICQ Podcast - Workshop Projects

Monday 7th January 2019

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Edmund Spicer M0MNG and Bill Barnes N3JIX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is Workshop Projects.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank Luke Aurich (AD0KI), Bob Terry and David Reid (W6KL) along with our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include:-

• Germany on 70 MHz in 2019
• ARRL Petitions FCC to Incorporate Parity Act Provisions into its Amateur Radio Rules
• Youngsters On The Air Bulgaria 2019 Amateur Radio
• US Radio Amateurs Help to Make YOTA Month Happen in Ethiopia
• G5 plus 3 Letter Amateur Radio Callsigns available
• Swiss 90th Anniversary Special Event Callsign
• 2019 Marks 50th Anniversary of Worked All Britain Award
• EU Directive on Car Radios
• $900,000 Settlement in Unauthorized Satellite Launch Case
• G3TXQ Silent Key

The ICQ PODCAST can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

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EIDX DXpedition to Togo

Monday 7th January 2019

The EIDX Group who brought you 9N7EI and 7Q7EI earlier in 2018, are delighted to formally announce definite plans for their 2019 DXpedition to Togo.

Operating for 12 consecutive days between 14th-26th March 2019, the 5V7EI team plan to run up to 5 QRO stations across all bands from 160m through 10m on SSB, CW and Digital modes.

Keep an eye on their website https://5v7ei.com/ which will be updated on a regular basis.

QSL will be via M0OXO OQRS.

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 7th January 2019

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 30th December, through Sunday, 6th January there were 213 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5R, 5W, 5Z, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9Q, 9V, 9Y,

A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH7K, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T2, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL,
TR, TT, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V6, V8, VE, VK, VK0M, VP2E, VP2M, VP6, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XX9, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 7th January 2019

Island activities:

AS-015. (Reminder) Rich, PA0RRS, is once again active as 9M2MRS from Penang Island until February 15th. Activity will probably be on 40-10 meters using CW, RTTY, PSK, FT8 and possibly SSB (he will have a microphone in the luggage, but normally no SSB [possible on request]). Rich will have a Yaesu FT450D with 100 watt into a G5RV dipole with bents on the balcony of the house and a MFJ automatic intellituner for all bands. QSL via his home callsign, ClubLog's OQRS, LoTW or eQSL.
 

AS-063/AS-152. RCC members Eugene/UA6EX, Leonid/UA7A and Vasily/R7AA plan to activate Bol'shoy Begichev (AS-152) sometime during mid-July. They plan to stay in the Khatanga Bay region for 2 weeks and will also try to activate Popigay-Ary Island (AS-063) during this period. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OC-133. (Update) Saty, 9M6NA, will once again be active as 9M6NA from Mohammed's, 9M6MO, QTH on Labuan Island, East Malaysia, during the CQWW DX 160m CW Contest (January 25-27th). He will be on the island between January 24-28th, but the focus will be on the contest. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS only for Bureau and direct QSLs. All the logs are promptly uploaded to LoTW. Visit Saty's home page at:
https://jsfc.org/je1jkl/9m6na.html

SA-023. Brazilian operators Bob/PY6TV, Esdras/PY6ZK, Lyudo/PY6DQ and Rafa/PP2OK will be active as ZY6C from the Island of Itaparica between January 18-20th. Activity will be on 80/40/20/15/10 meters using CW and SSB. Suggested frequencies are:

CW - 3510, 7017, 14017, 21060 and 28060 kHz
SSB - 3785, 7155, 14195, 21260 and 28460 kHz
QSL via PY6TV direct. NO Bureau.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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D-STAR ONE launched, telemetry received

Sunday 6th January 2019

German Orbital Systems reports a successful telemetry downlink has been received.

Their web page http://www.d-star.one/ reports D-Star ONE Sparrow and D-Star ONE iSat were successfully launched on December 27 as part of an ECM smallsat cluster on the Soyuz-2/Fregat from Russia's Vostochny launch site. Additional details can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/ANS-006-DSTAR-ONE

During the first orbits, beacons were received in the US, Germany, Czech Republic and Belarus, confirming the successful separations of the satellites on their target orbit 585 km, 97.73 deg, SSO.

D-Star ONE Sparrow and D-Star ONE iSat are a pair of 3U cubesats which are equipped with four identical radio modules with D-Star capabilities, all being operated in a half-duplex mode. At press time DSTAR One Sparrow was planned to be used for amateur radio.

DK3WN received the first telemetry on December 29, 2018 with more signals received by Scott, K4KDR and Vladimir, EU1SAT.

Check the German Orbital Systems web page for LEOP status and satellite availability for contacts.

D-Star ONE Sparrow operates as a half duplex repeater:
Callsign: DP1GOS
Uplink: 437.325 MHz
Downlink: 435.525 MHz RF-Power: 800-1200 mW
Telemetry: 435.700 MHz 4k8 GMSK Mobitex (CMX990 Mobitex Format)

The telemetry format is documented at:
http://tinyurl.com/ANS-006-DSTAR-ONE-Telemetry
A telemetry decoder is available at:
http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?page_id=29535

Technical details for radio amateurs is posted at:
http://tinyurl.com/ANS-006-DSTAR-ONE-Amateur

A D-Star voice message beacon transmits once a minute. All modules are operated in a power save mode. This means that they are in idle for 40 seconds and then in receive mode for 20 seconds.
Once a signal has been received, the modules switch to receive mode for five minutes. So it might be necessary to "ping" the satellite a couple of times until an answer is received. Object #43879 continues to be a likely fit for tracking at present.

German Orbital Systems, ANS

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PW-Sat2 deorbit sail deployment - on-board camera footage

Sunday 6th January 2019

PW-Sat2, the second Polish student satellite, also launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 SSO-A flight with AMSAT Fox-1Cliff, is a student project with the goal to test a new deorbit sail.

The sail was deployed on December 29, 2018. On-Board camera footage of the event can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fbMzI9w4MM

Amateur radio operators are invited to take part in this mission.
Dashboard software to receive, decode and upload PW-Sat2 frames to the PW-Sat2 cloud is available on their website:
https://radio.pw-sat.pl/

The team has posted additional information at:
https://github.com/PW-Sat2/HAMRadio/wiki

PW-Sat2 transmits on 435.275 MHz using 1k2 and 9k6 BPSK AX25.

PW-Sat2 team, ANS

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New book on the Icom IC-7610

Saturday 5th January 2019

Andrew Barron, ZL3DW, the best selling author of SDR for Amateur Radio Operators, and Amsats & Hamsats, has a new book out on Amazon and Kindle for owners and 'wannabe owners' of the Icom IC-7610.

This is the book I wish I had when I bought my Icom IC-7610. It includes useful tips and tricks for the configuration and operation of the fabulous Icom IC-7610 transceiver.

Rather than duplicate the manuals which describe each button, function, and control, I have used a more functional approach.
This is a “how to do it” book with easy to follow step by step instructions. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1791723233

It is available from Amazon and on Kindle.
It will also be available from the RSGB in a month

 

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Surrey Amateur Radio Club January newsletter now available

Saturday 5th January 2019

Here is our popular newsletter, the first for 2019, with over 50 pages of Amateur Radio news, articles, and projects with a special look at Arduino.

View or download at goo.gl/ijv4Wr

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Solar eclipse this weekend

Saturday 5th January 2019

This weekend, Jan. 5-6, the New Moon will pass in front of the sun, producing a partial eclipse visible from coastal China to the Aleutian islands of Alaska.

At maximum, 71% of the sun will be covered, turning the solar disk into a deep crescent.

Visit Spaceweather.com for observing tips and a movie of the eclipse zone

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Australian Jamboree - AJ2019

Friday 4th January 2019

Hi I am Brett Nicholas VK2BNN the National Coordinator JOTA/JOTI Scouts Australia.

In January approximately 8400 scouts will be converging on Tailem Bend in South Australia to participate in the 25th Australian Jamboree, AJ2019.

I am pleased to announce Amateur Radio will be showcased operating under the special event call sign VI25AJ.

A showcase station has been planned demonstrating many aspects of our exciting hobby and an ARDF course will be running. We are expecting 2000 scouts to participate in the Amateur Radio activity over the duration of the Jamboree. Get on the air and give us a call.

We will be relying on as many amateurs as possible to assist us to conduct as many on air demonstrations as possible. We will be active on the HF bands both SSB and digital modes, Satellites, IRLP and EchoLink.  Full details will be available via our QRZ page.

If you are attending AJ2019 once activities have finished for the day the showcase station will be available for licensed amateurs to use.
Bring your HT, we will have an IRLP linked repeater onsite.

A number of our VI25AJ operators are WIA assessors, if you are attending AJ2019 and have been thinking about a license upgrade let us know and we can arrange an assessment over the course of the Jamboree.

I would also like to thank all the individual Amateurs and clubs that are assisting with equipment and staffing of the station. In particular I would like to mention the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group, Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society and the SA & VIC Scout Electronics and Radio Team’s for their assistance and support.

Check out our VI25AJ QRZ page for further details or email me on jota.joti@scouts.com.au if you require further information.

If you hear us on the air give us a call.

Thanks & 73
Brett VK2BNN

Wireless Institute of Australia

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SD logging App now free

Thursday 3rd January 2019

With effect from January 1, version 21 of the logging App SD by EI5DI is free and unrestricted

SD supports RSGB, UKEICC and IRTS HF contests, and hundreds of others worldwide.

SD runs on Windows, and on Linux with Wine, and on Raspberry Pi 3 with
Wine and Exagear (from eltechs.com)

No registration or key file is required.  SD will continue to be supported and
updated, and users can request help by emailing
sd-user (at) contesting.com

Further information on SD is at
http://www.ei5di.com/

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Historic first images of Ultima Thule

Thursday 3rd January 2019

Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission have released the first detailed images of Ultima Thule,

the most distant object ever explored.

Its remarkable appearance, consisting of two primitive spheres stuck together in the middle, is unlike anything we've seen before.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for photos and more information.

 

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Ofcom quizzed about enforcement

Thursday 3rd January 2019

Michael Durbridge asked Ofcom if there had been any successful prosecutions concerning the unlicenced use of Radio Microphones

In a Freedom of Information request Michael said:

"I am asking for information on successful prosecution for licence dodgers using there radio microphones / IEMs on channel 38, Freq 606-648 MHz."

Ofcom replied "we have not prosecuted anyone for unlicensed use of wireless/radio microphones to date".

They did say they might write to people but Ofcom didn't say how many times, if at all, they had actually done so.

Ofcom did note the relevant licenced frequency range was 606.500-613.500 MHz rather than the frequencies given in the original request.

Read the response to the FoI request (PDF is the 7th attachment)
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/
successful_court_
prosecution_in#incoming-1283743


You can submit a Freedom of Information request to Ofcom online at
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/ofcom

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Shed radio DJ broadcasts in BBC local radio slot

Thursday 3rd January 2019

BBC News reports Deke Duncan of Radio 77 said his interest in radio was sparked by pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a ship off the coast of Essex in the 1960's

Deke was the subject of a 1974 BBC Nationwide television report from his home in Stevenage. In 2018 he was tracked down by BBC Three Counties Radio and broadcast a one-hour special on the station on Monday night.

Read the BBC story with TV/Radio clips at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-46384526

Follow Deke Duncan at
https://twitter.com/DuncanDeke

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Latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter now available for download

Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Hi All,
The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter 
(No 22 – Autumn/Winter 2018) is now available for free pdf download from the ‘External Links’ section of the Wikipedia 60m Band page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60-meter_band#External_links

or the RSGB 5 MHz page 

http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/hf/5mhz/

This edition includes 5 MHz news from 10 countries, features the latest number of CEPT countries on 5 MHz, Exercise Blue Ham 100 and an article on Taking Care on 5357.

Cheers

Paul Gaskell G4MWO
Editor, 
The 5 MHz Newslette

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China’s new antenna is five times the size of New York City, but some fear it could be a cancer risk

Wednesday 2nd January 2019

China has built a giant experimental radio antenna on a piece of land almost five times the size of New York City, according to researchers involved in the highly controversial project.

The Wireless Electromagnetic Method (WEM) project took 13 years to build but researchers said that it was finally ready to emit extremely low frequency radio waves, also known as ELF waves. Those waves have been linked to cancer by the World Health Organisation-affiliated International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Although the project has civilian applications – officially it will be used for earthquake and mineral detection and forms part of China’s 11th five-year plan – it could also play a crucial role in military communications.

Scientists said that its transmissions could be picked up by a submarine lurking hundreds of metres under the sea, thus reducing the vessel’s risk of having to resurface to receive transmissions.

The project follows the construction of China’s first military-grade Super Low Frequency transmission station in 2009.

The next year, a Chinese nuclear submarine successfully communicated with the station from deep water – making China the third country in the world to have established such a submarine communication system, after the United States and Russia.

But the Chinese navy is eager to expand its capacity and has been pouring resources into the more advanced ELF radio technology, which allows submarines to communicate with the command centre from a greater depth and is harder to disrupt.

The Chinese government, however, has played down the importance of the facility, which occupies some 3,700 sq km (1,400 square miles) of land, in information released to the public.

Apart from the need to protect an important strategic asset, some researchers said that the secrecy was to avoid causing public alarm

Read the full South China Morning Post article:
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/2180071/chinas-new-antenna-five-times-size-new-york-city-it-also-cancer

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Amateur satellites part of YOTA event

Tuesday 1st January 2019

The Shropshire Star newspaper reports on the Wellington Youngsters On The Air event which saw young people using amateur radio to talk to others from across the world, all under expert supervision

The technology and communications activity day was organised by the Telford and District Amateur Radio Society to help attract younger people to the world of ham radio.

TDARS members showed the youngsters how to send signals up to the amateur satellites, get in touch with the International Space Station and even how to build their own television station.

Read the Shropshire Star story at
https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/telford/2018/12/31/radio-hams-encourage-youngsters-to-join/

Telford and District Amateur Radio Society
http://tdars.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/G3ZME

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Tuesday 1st January 2019

Sky News reports a NASA spacecraft has flown past the most distant world ever studied by humankind - sparking jubilant celebrations from scientists.

The New Horizons spacecraft paid a visit to the tiny, icy world of Ultima Thule, which lies one billion miles beyond Pluto, in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Roughly 20 miles long and shaped like a giant peanut, the mysterious object lies four billion miles from Earth.

It will take an estimated 10 hours for flight controllers to find out whether the spacecraft has survived the close encounter - and will find out if the pass was successful at about 3pm UK time.

Clear images of the cosmic body are expected to emerge in the coming days.

As crowds cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, the mission's lead scientist Alan Stern said: "Go New Horizons! Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away."

John Spencer, from the Southwest Research Institute, added: "Now it is just a matter of time to see the data coming down."

The spacecraft was aiming to collect about 900 images in a matter of seconds as it travelled past from a distance of approximately 2,000 miles.

Prior to the flypast, Mr Stern had said: "[Ultima Thule] is in such a deep freeze that it is perfectly preserved from its original formation.

"Everything we are going to learn about Ultima - from its composition to its geology to how it was originally assembled, whether it has satellites and an atmosphere and those kinds of things - are going to teach us about the original formation conditions of objects in the solar system."

The milestone comes hours after a different NASA spacecraft broke records by successfully going into orbit around an ancient asteroid.

Read the full Sky News story
https://news.sky.com/story/leap-for-humankind-as-nasa-spacecraft-orbits-bennu-an-ancient-asteroid-11595867

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-  webmaster@wadarc.com