CW Morse Classes

Contest News from a village somewhere East of Norwich.


The AFS contests are almost complete for another season, just the 432MHz AFS on 2nd February left.
NARC had a good 6th place in the 160m Club Calls contest in November and an excellent 4th place in the HF CW AFS in early January. We just need to have a couple of good placings in the DATA and SSB AFS contests which we're awaiting results for.
Based on predictions from the old soothsayer we may have a very good place in the DATA and maybe in the top 5 for SSB.
(The fat lady must sin first.)
Two contests for this weekend:
The CQ WW 160m CW contest starts on 24th January at 2200utc runs to 26th January at 2200utc.
25th January at 1200utc to 26th January at 11:59utc it is the first of BARTG's HF RTTY Contests.
February isn't far away and on Monday 3rd February the 80m Club Championship begins again for another 18 contests.
3rd Feb. SSB. 2000utc to 2130utc.
12th Feb. DATA.
27th Feb. CW.
Also in early February the RSGB 1st 1.8MHz contest is 8th February 1900 to 2300utc, so you'll need to get those 160m dipoles up in time.
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th is the CQ WPX RTTY contest, 48hours starting 0000utc on 8th February - good for DXCC hunting early in the year.
RSGB HF Contest Calendar:
RSGB VHF Contest Calendar:
Check for rule changes, don't assume that you know the rules because you last read them in 2015 !
Another useful source of non-RSGB and WW events can be found here in Bruce's (WA7BNM) weekly listings:
Always download and study the rules for other countries' contests as they often have different conditions from the RSGB contests.

VHF events:

The Final event in the 2019/20 AFS Super League takes place on Sunday 2nd February from 0900utc to 1300utc.

UK Activity Contests.
February 144MHz UKAC on Tuesday 4th February at 2000utc.

Tuesday 11th February is 432MHz UKAC.

Thursday 13th February is the 6m (50MHz) UKAC

Thursday 20th February is the 4m (70MHz) UKAC.


Good Luck and always mention Norfolk Amateur Radio Club when submitting your contest scores.

73 John G8VPE

HF News

This week saw a decline in Sporadic E conditions on 10m. This may be due to a repositioning of the jet stream or just the end of the winter Es season, but more of that in the VHF section.

On the face of it, last week saw the Sun behaving itself with zero sunspots.

But look a little closer and it has actually been quite active. Two solar events were launched off the Sun’s surface, one on Sunday the 19th, which was preceded by an X-ray solar flare, the other from a coronal hole on Monday the 21st.

There was a slight increase in the solar wind at times this week due to the coronal hole’s solar wind stream. This pushed the Kp index to three.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 72, with mainly settled geomagnetic conditions. The Kp index is predicted to remain around two, at least until the first of February when an unsettled region of the Sun rotates back into view.

The most interesting propagation this week has been on the low bands, notably Top Band and 80 metres. Derek G3RAU reports on the CDXC reflector that he worked Mexico on 80m at 0900 UTC, while Chris G3SJJ worked NA5G in Louisiana on 160m at 0745 UTC. Victor G3JNB reports working JT5DX in Mongolia on 80m in the late evening. The JT5 station has also been active on 160 metres.

This really is an optimum time of year for low band DXing, so keep an eye on 160, 80 and 40 metres, especially around dawn for DX from the West. The DX net around 3.795 MHz every morning is always a good test of your station’s 80m DX capabilities.

VHF and up

It’s goodbye to the high pressure as we go through this weekend and the Atlantic weather systems start to move in from the west. This will set up a very unsettled period of weather again during most of the week with strong winds, especially in the north, but also in southern areas at times.

As for propagation, there should be some GHz bands rain scatter options as squally fronts cross the country, and from scattered showers in the unstable westerly flow which follows the cold fronts.

Although high pressure remains over the southern half of the continent, it will be well out of reach from most of the UK and Tropo is unlikely to be a feature of propagation this week.

It’s always just possible for out of season Es, and the jet stream over the UK is likely to strengthen again next week. If this were high summer it would be a very positive steer, but in mid-winter it's not a good prospect, except perhaps for paths to Scandinavia and the Baltic if you are really lucky.

Moon declination is rising this week, and going positive on Thursday, but with apogee on Thursday, so it is not a great week for EME due to high path losses. 144 MHz sky noise is low.

There are no major meteor showers this week so continue to look for random QSOs in the early morning around dawn.

Tonight is a social informal plus Bright Sparks for our young members from 7.30pm and also a Trainers meeting from 8pm for all those involved in NARC training to plan 2020 courses on new syllabus. (NB if you are waiting for a course with us please ensure that you have emailed your name to me as our courses are run on demand based on the number of people waiting and if you do not email we do not know you are waiting for a course).


2020 Subs are also overdue, prices are the same as 2018 and 2019! If you were a member in 2019 and you rejoin before the end of January your membership will not lapse and you will not have to complete a new member application form to apply from fresh. You can also apply online or by post - see previous newsletters and the Join Us button on the website.


73, David G7URP 


Dates for your diary

It may be still early in the year, but already we have some non-Wednesday events in our diary so I thought I should highlight a couple:

CNS Super Science Saturday:   Saturday 14th March (looking for fresh ideas and contributions from members)

International Marconi Day, Caister:     Saturday 25th April 

(You can also look in the club calendar to see when events which have been finalised are taking place)


Jim's 25wpm Morse Class! This from Jim:

25wpm CW Week 3 Report

Another good turnout for the morse class on GB3NB Tuesday 8-9pm with 9 participants plus a few secret listeners. Well done to all those who are making 2020 the year it happens!

In week 3 we introduced A M P and 4 and 6. This means you should now have 9 letters and 6 figures under your belts. The process seems to be suggesting a few tweaks as we move forward and I will add a little more spacing between groups as a result of the last couple of weeks. This is, after all, an experiment and please feed back any comments or thoughts for making the process easier.

The plan is to close up the gaps when you move on to phase two of the training after Easter, so don’t worry that the long gaps make it seem unrealistic. The most important thing at this stage is to commit the sounds of the characters to memory.

However, I accept it is a big task and the homework is really important, so I hope you are doing lots of practice and listening on the bands to see if you recognise anything. There are many really good programs that you can use to practice and you probably already have a favourite, but in case you haven’t, these are just two that do a good job.

For the Apple iPhone and iPad: try Morse-it from the App store.

For the PC I was told about CW Teacher: which is also a good trainer.

When you set these programs up for training make sure the speed is 25 wpm and select just the letters covered in the lessons so far. Once you’ve selected the correct characters try to space them out when you type them in so that the spacing is not too close. Of course, once you have mastered the letters you can close up the gaps. So how much should you spend on the homework? As much as you can spare, but ideally 15 mins each evening would be good, plus a little tune around the bands.

So once again stick with it, it’ll soon become second nature and you will be a CW operator!


Week1 C N Q 5 9
Week2 D E X 7 3
Week3 A P M 4 6

73 de Jim

BOOTCAMP is Sunday April 19th.
The mention of the torture chamber did not deter anybody! I now have ten people booked in. If you decide to join them:
Email me to reserve a place in the torture chamber! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


single lever paddle

We will be concentrating on paddle technique and practice to encourage you to get on the air!!


As usual Marconi Day takes place at the Caister-on-Sea Lifeboat Station. The date is Saturday April 25th. For those that don't know:
IMD is a 24 hour amateur radio event that is held annually to celebrate the birth of Marconi on 25 April 1874. The event is usually held on the Saturday closest to Marconi's birthday and in 2020 it will be held on 25th April, Marconi's birthday.
Although predominantly a CW event, for obvious reasons, SSB and Data are also used. We normally have 2 stations running simultaneously, both using the Call GB0CMS. There is a schedule for operating, so if you wish to book a time, please contact steve G0KYA, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will book a slot for you. We have a fun day, lunch at the cafe, lots of banter and chat and you can go for a walk along the beach, and even go for a swim if you are brave enough!

Headcopy Class is going well.
Some groups are proving to be difficult, mostly due to memory recall than copying ability. Interestingly when I ask individually to repeat what I sent, normally the last in he list has a job with recall, so I have taken to varying the order and that seems to help. However, it is all good Practice, that Big P word again!
So, join us at 1000 on Monday mornings and have some fun.

ra1aom sk


A reminder that Straight Key (SK) Night is on Monday January 27th, so polish up the brass! Speeds will be no more than 18 wpm, so something for everybody to enjoy. Nothing more basic than being a Brasspounder, so a good chance to Practice the technique. Theere are numerous SK events on the air too, so a great chance to make a lot of contacts with other SK-ers.

Other classes all started so we are back into the swing again!

Great to see the support that Paul M1AFQ is receiving at the Club with his Morse in the Computer Room practice sessions. Try it! It really is fun.
73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.

Club Championship teams 2020

This year NARC will enter two teams in the General section of the Club Championships.  Whilst the information has been promulgated on the club contest e-mail circulation the make up of members for each team is repeated below to ensure that all operators are aware of their team allocation.   If anyone else wishes to participate, or decides at a later date, and has not been allocated below please let me know.

Norfolk ARC Nelson

Peter M0RYB,  Malcolm G3PDH,  Chris G0TZZ,  Chris G0DWV,  Chris G4CCX,  Phil G4LPP,  Mike G4KQY,  Steve G0KYA,  John 2E0TWQ,  Gordon G3PXT,  Ray G3XLG, Paul G4ZBA

Keith  G0GFQ,  Marshall 2E0TTN, Nick M0NVT


Norfolk ARC Boudica

Roger G3LDI,  Jim G3YLA, Andy M0NKR,  Alan G8OO,  Dick G3WRJ,  John G8VPE,  (Mui M0MUI,  Mark M0UMG)  Kim G4WUG,  David M0WEL,  Mike G4DYC,  (Lorna 2E0YAO,  Tony G0OOR).

NARC Club Stn G4ARN or Sonny M0SYW, Stuart M0JKB, Stuart M6XTD,  Barrie M5AEC


Malcolm G3PDH