With over 60 people watching last weeks SDRplay talk on NARC Live! I feel sure we should try and 'meet' online most Wednesdays and do something.

This coming Wednesday should have been our AGM which of course has had to be postponed, so I am asking for ideas on both what we should do and how we should meet...  We could meet on the radio, but then thats what the Monday net is ideal for, so I wondered if we could try a Zoom get together. Zoom is a system similar to Skype but can apparently cope with a large number of people visually on screen and easy to set up and share with invited guests - you!

So what do you think? If you would like us to try something else please let me know by Sunday, otherwise I will put something together together with a subject and let you know with another email early next week. 

Please feel free to come forward with ideas for talks etc - maybe you could do a talk for us from home? 

Please let any of the committee or me know your thoughts and ideas, its your club.

73, David G7URP   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday night net - My other hobby is........

Last Mondays net was very popular so we will continue it on Monday nights from 19.30 on repeater GB3NB, so accessible by the most people.

But I would really like to encourage different people to come forward to run it each week to keep it fresh and interesting, so I am happy to run it this Monday but please can I have volunteers for future weeks please....  

So this Monday, the subject to get our teeth into is 'My other hobby is' and hope you will call in and share with us another favourite hobby of yours which is helping you keep occupied in these days where we cannot go out. (mine has wheels and runs on a track ;)

Monday, 7.30pm, GB3NB (listen on 145.625MHz)


New talk on FT8 and FT4 data modes

These new computer based modes are amazing in how they can pick data out of so much noise and FT4 is now adopted as a contest mode. Ray G3XLG has asked us to arrange a talk on setting up and using these modes. Do you use them, could you help others with it online? If you would rather not do a structured talk I can help you share it with NARC. Please drop me a line    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Keeping cheerful...

Whilst most of us have plenty of things to do and sources of entertainment, lets bear in mind that some people are not well, have birthdays or anniversarys which they cannot celebrate, or maybe just feeling completely overwhelmed and isolated with this lockdown. Now more than ever a greeting card can really make someones day, so if you know anyone who might really appreciate a card I will be happy to arrange and send on behalf of the club. Just drop me an email with details....


Talking of birthdays, congratulations to Paul G3VPT who is EIGHTY today! He sent me this pic saying he is waiting for his wife to bring him his birthday cake!

Very best wishes from NARC Paul, a suitable card for your humour is already on the way ;)






I-Project: Engineering a Covid-19 safe way to test peoples eyes

A strong team of 6 people from NARC have showed interest to get involved and the first fact finding meeting by Zoom was on Thursday evening with clinicians live at N&N. Peter Richmond is coordinating the NARC team to see if we can contribute:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Can you 3D Print?

Our new Bright Spark young member Sam asked me to share these links to interesting local ways you may be able to help the efforts against coronavirus - thanks Sam! 



Thats all from me for now - contributions for the newsletter always welcome on any radio & technology related issue, or just if we can help...

Take care, stay well, stay inside.  

73 David G7URP  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Hi to the members of NARC from Jon and Andy at SDRplay.  We were sorry not to be physically with you on Wednesday, but hopefully the A/V link-up worked as a practical alternative.

(Note: If you would like to replay the complete talk on NARC Live! you can watch it again by visiting the NARC Facebook page:  )


Special SDRplay offers for NARC members - please note that these offers are open until April 3rd 2020.

RSP1A:  £95

RSPdx:   £180

RSPduo  £216

Free delivery

Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you will receive an offer link for you to enter your address and pay by credit card.

Useful links:

Check out the video reviews on

Explore the applications and “how to” videos and documentation on

SDRuno manual is on

Links to datasheets and information for each of the RSP devices (click on the picture)

The thriving independent Facebook Group  and  for non-Facebook users, another forum on    

Both the above are ideal for getting opinions, help, tips and sharing ideas.

Many thanks for letting us share our enthusiasm for our products,

Best 73,  Jon and Andy

Jim G3YLA's class is still going strong!

25wpm CW Week12 Report


Another good week of progress on the 25wpm ‘beginners’ CW class on GB3NB at 8pm on Tuesday evening. We are now on week 12 and four new sets of 10 useful phrases and abbreviations were covered. This is only scratching the surface and much of the hard work comes from practice you you have to do in your own time.

So… give yourselves a pressure-free half hour on the CW ends of the amateur bands and try to pick out some of the abbreviations and just the odd letter. Its all practice and as such is never wasted! Sadly, many of us find occupying our time more of a challenge at the moment, but it could provide space in your busy worlds to gain some solid CW experience.

Hope you all stay well and look forward to another session next Tuesday.

73 de Jim



BOOTCAMP will return in November, all being well.. In the meaantime, you now have lots of time for the big P word!. I will keep the distribution list and send another round robin nearer the date.
In the meantime, with self isolation, what a great opportunity to get some practice in. Lots of choice:
All of the above, plus many more, can give a varied amount of practice.
Try a few CQ calls on the FISTS frequencies, nothing quite like a REAL QSO, plus the sending practice too!


Headcopy Class is going well.
EISH5 These groups are just a bit of fun really. It concentrates the mind on patterns.If you have problems with this mix, don't worry too much because it is highly unlikely that they will ever be sent in general covesation. So don't despair, even the most skilled have problems with groups like this.
However, it is all good Practice, that Big P word again!

The main amount  of time will  be going over QSO format.
So, join us at 1000 on Monday mornings and have some fun.

73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.


HF News

With the solar flux index remaining at 70-71 all week conditions were pretty predictable. The Kp index rose to two or three at times, but on the whole geomagnetic conditions were stable.

There was a large coronal mass ejection off the Sun on March 20, but it wasn’t Earth directed and didn’t affect us.

It is at times like this when the slightest HF enhancement stands out. At 10:30UTC on Wednesday the 25th the critical frequency as measured by the Chilton Digisonde rose to 5.675MHz, which meant a maximum usable frequency of more than 21MHz over a 3,000 path.

Buy why did it rise?

NOAA issued a warning that the greater than 2 MeV electron flux reached high levels on Wednesday, with a peak flux value of 1,398 particle flux units.

At about this time the GOES-16 satellite showed a fall in the X-ray flux coming off the Sun.

Solar X-rays from the Sun penetrate to the bottom of the ionosphere to around 80 km and create an enhancement of the D layer. So it could be that the lower X-ray flux meant less D-layer absorption and, coupled with the increased electron flux, HF signals were able to more easily reach the now-enhanced F2 layer.

The moral of this story is that HF propagation isn’t all about sunspots! If anyone did work any interesting DX on the higher bands around 10:30UTC on Wednesday please email the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain at around 70. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be settled with a Kp index around two. This weekend may have unsettled HF conditions due to a large solar coronal hole, which became Earth facing on Thursday the 26th. Things should be more settled by Monday.

VHF and up

The recent high pressure has certainly looked promising on the weather maps, but as hinted last week, the air near the surface is very dry and since good Tropo needs moist air near the surface, overlain by warmer dry air above, we have not seen the bands live up to expectations based on the ‘hall barometer' alone.

This high is being nudged west over the Atlantic, and that will allow a cold northerly flow down across the country with a few wintry showers in the east at first, but maintain dry, high-pressure weather across most of the country for most of the week. This means that there is a continuing chance of Tropo, but don’t expect too much of it!

There has been some Sporadic E on 10m and 6m. The primary driver of this appears to be related to an east-north easterly jet stream over the continent at just the right distance from the UK to support paths to SE Europe and round to Italy and Spain. This favourable jet stream will decline by this weekend, but next week a further northerly jet stream may offer some chances, this time towards Scandinavia and eastern Europe.

The spring aurora period is upon us, so it is always worth checking for activity if the Kp index shows a disturbed magnetic field.

The Moon reaches maximum declination on Wednesday and with just over a week to go to perigee, path losses will fall all week. 144 MHz sky noise is at its lowest next weekend.