UBARoyal Belgian Amateur Radio Union

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Photo: Couloir

Old "DX News" messages

VHF Contest survey
Submitted by: ON4AVJ

Dear contester,
you are invited to take part in the survey about IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwaves contests, first of its kind in their 61 years long history.

As you may know, the IARU R1 General Conference in Landshut this year formed the "C5 Contest Working Group" with the task to manage the IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwaves contests. Our goal is to bring the contest organization to a higher level so that the number of participants would increase. Contests are very important means of using our bands and this is even more so on microwave bands. We really want to hear your thoughts about VHF&up contesting.

To start a survey, follow this link: https://www.darc.de/referate/iaru/iaru-survey/
Survey will close on 30th of November 2017.

Forward this invitation to all hams that are interested in contest matters.

We are very thankful to DARC for their support.

OT5A/P IARU R1 432MHz & up Contest
Submitted by: ON6TI

During the upcoming weekend (7 & 8 October 2017) the IARU R1 432MHz & up Contest will be held. The OT5A/P contest team will participate in the UHF/Microwave contest from JO20MW in the municipality of Assent. Their will be multiple shacks on-site and different bands in the air: 432 MHz, 1.2 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 5.7 GHz, 10 GHz and 24 GHz. Everyone is welcome to have a look at what is built (pse contact ON4GS). If you cannot join us, still a super opportunity to work us on UHF or Microwave.

Remarquable expedition
Submitted by: ON4AVJ

Begin August some DL friends make a DX expedition on the millimeter bands. They activated, mainly in France, England and the Channel islands, but also touched Belgium. From De Panne they realized QSO's to Ramsgate/UK on 47 GHz and 76 GHz. This were first contacts between Belgium and England.

If you want to know more about this expedition you can read this article (in German). Later it will also be covered in DUBUS magazine.

You can find the list of firsts between ON and the rest of the world by clicking here.

50MHZ band open naar de Caraïben
Submitted by: ON4IQ
Na een aantal rustige dagen opnieuw DX te horen en werken vanuit België.

FM5AN, KP4EIT, PJ4NX, PJ4VHF, NP2J om er een paar te noemen.

Ook YV5IUA was van de partij.

Vanuit Engeland waren de condities wel een pak beter.
VHF/UHF contesters: important for the 6H contesters
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
Like you know we added a new category, 6H class, for the IARU VHF contests. The contest robot is ready for this and we tested it during the July contest, in cooperation with the S5 contest robot.
We did find a little problem:
Some contesters who are contesting in the 6h class, are competing more than 6H but only send the logs with only the 6h. This is confusing for the robots, because the QSO’s out of the 6h are rejected for the stations who are working 24 hours.
So please inform you members that they should be sending the complete log. We will correct this during the upcoming meetings.
Please inform you members who want to compete in the upcoming contests:

"Every participant that is planning to enter the 6H category MUST send his complete LOG even if he operated longer than 6 hours. Only first 6 active hours will be used for score evaluation, while the rest of the log (if at all) will be used for cross-check purposes".

73 and good luck
Chairman IARU-R1 C5 committee
New 70 cm beacon in GB
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
One of our new 70cm beacons is now on air - GB3LEU on 432.490.

One of its beams is South East (135 degrees) and should give you some reports in Belgium and Netherlands in good conditions.

You can see it on beaconspot at:-
UK Microwave Group - Beacon Spots.

View on www.beaconspot.eu.

Murray G6JYB
Possible interference due to malfunction of a satellite
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
For the past few weeks many 144MHz meteor scatter enthusiasts have been complaining of interference from AFSK packet transmissions. As a 144MHz DX enthusiast, in addition to being VHF manager I took an interest and started monitoring.
The transmissions on 144.390MHz FM AFSK occur at regular intervals, mostly on Northerly headings. The transmissions fill about 15KHz of spectrum on the waterfall display of a SDR receiver.

The impact the satellite signals on narrowband MS users can be seen from this video from GM4JJJ.
Because of the inclined orbit Northern European amateurs get a longer pass than those in the US which means that there is a burst every minute for a pass lasting up to about 12 minutes, repeating every 110 minutes orbit time. Whilst that is not continuous QRM one pass is enough to cause a meteor scatter QSO on 144.390 +/- 6KHz to fail if they coincide.

Find hereby the text of AMSAT-NA, published in their weekly bulletin:

PCSAT Default Beacon Transmissions on 144.390 MHz

An FM APRS signal has been received in England causing interference to the MGM frequency and weak-signal Meteor Scatter (MS) operation which is just below 144.390 MHz. A MS DXpedition was disrupted by such activity earlier in the month and interference has been occurring at various times since.

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, explains that the beacon was planned over 15 years ago for operation only when PCSAT is over North America based on published band plans at that time. Now, after 14 years on orbit, the ability to turn that backup beacon off has been lost.

PCSAT (now 14 years old) had a backup fail-safe beacon on 144.390 that would activate after any unknown spacecraft reset to give a backup comm link in case the primary 145.825 channel died. Being on the North American APRS frequency with hundreds of IGates there would always be at least one that would hear this "emergency call home" from PCSAT even though the channel is generally saturated. It worked.

The problem is, that now PCSAT resets on every orbit due to negative power budget and so, on every orbit that beacon comes back on. Even if we did get a command up to reset it, that setting would last only 15 minutes to the next eclipse.

We learned our lesson! That was our FIRST amateur satellite and we sure learned NOT to use a "connected-packet-command link" that needs ACKS and Retries and logon passwords just to LOGON before you can even send a SHUTUP command. All our satellites since, operate without the multiple Send, connect, ACK, retry, ACK, command, ACK overhead… just to get one command understood. Now, only the receiver on the spacecraft has to be functional to command it to silence in a single packet. But too late for PCSAT.
Expedtion to ZB
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
From August 10th to August 14th ON7EQ and ON5AEN will be active from ZB in IM76 square.

Activation of the Gibraltar Radio Amateur Society club station ZB2BU in Meteor Scatter on 70 Mhz and 144 MHz (as ZB2/ON7EQ) concentrated during Perseid shower, around August 13th.

More info - like frequencies, sequences etc… - will be released later via respective ON4KST chat rooms.

Meanwhile, already prepared some theoretical range prediction. According to our spot where we have chosen to set up the station and the excellent take-off in the NE quadrant, we expect a range like depicted on the map - as you can see ON will be ideally within reach!

With special thanks to the GARS for their support and interest in this Meteor Scatter activation.

73 and looking forward to cu in MS!

Jean-Jacques ON7EQ
Friedrichshafen 2015
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
Thanks to the hospitality of the DARC we will be able to have an informal C5 meeting. Not only for the VHF managers but all HAM’s who are interested in the work of IARU-R1 VHF & up matters.
After a small introduction about the way of working of C5 we will have an open discussion. This could be useful to prepare for the Vienna interim meeting in 2016.
This meeting will take place on Saturday June 27th from 15.00 until 16.30 in Room A (5th floor) in the administrative building. You have to leave the exhibition(don’t forget to get your stamp) and walk to the administrative building.
We would appreciate that you inform your members about this meeting and are looking forward to seeing you there.
Best 73
Jacques ON4AVJ
Chairman C5
New ARI EME Trophy
Submitted by: ON4AVJ
ARI is proud to invite you all to take part to the New ARI EME Trophy.
Full rules are here.
The first period is on April 25-26th.

Best 73’s Alex IV3KKW