What is Amateur Radio?

This week we have DarrIn KE9NS via Skype giving us a talk on Power SDR, PowerSDR is the Microsoft Windows based client software created by Flexradio to operate their software defined radios.


As usual, we meet from 7pm and DarrIn's talk starts straight after notices at 7.45pm.

Thanks to all those who have recently renewed their NARC Membership full details can be found here to renew your membership at NARC.

73 de Mark G0LGJ

Contest News from two Villages somewhere East of Norwich.


Malcolm G3PDH wrote this to the NARC Contest reflector:

As you may have seen the results of the CW AFS have been published where NARC Team A came a creditable 4th in the Local Club section.

Our team B also came in at 10th and team C 30th (only 3 members) out of a total of 55 entries in that section. A good result and well done to all that took part.

Of note was that Peter M0RYB/P kept up his usual QRP performance coming second in that category. Also Phil G4LPP, still in the ‘learning’ process of Morse, made it into team A with an excellent score.

As we are rapidly approaching the start of the Club Championships with SSB on 3rd Feb I will shortly publish the final listings of the two teams taking into account any new calls to be added to the list after further discussion at the club tonight.

73 Malcolm G3PDH

Full Results and individual placings follow the link:



Future HF events:
This weekend on Saturday 18th January 2020 at 0900utc it is the SSB HF AFS, last of the HF AFS events .
Ensure that you are familiar with the rules at the link below:
Have lots of fun with your chosen contests in the coming 12 months,


February isn't far away and on Monday 3rd February the 80m Club Championship begins again for another 18 contests.

Also the RSGB 1st 1.8MHz contest is 8th February 1900 to 2300utc, so you'll need to get those 160m dipoles up in time.

8th and 9th it is the CQ WPX RTTY contest, 48hours starting 0000utc on 8th February - good for DXCC hunting early in the year.
For future events keep looking at:
RSGB HF Contest Calendar:
RSGB VHF Contest Calendar:
Some rule changes have also been implemented so always study the current rules for this year's contests and 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:
Again, always download and study the rules for other countries' contests as they often have different terms and conditions than those we are used to.
Two more to keep you contesting:
24th January at 2200utc to 26th January at 2200utc it is the CQ WW 160m CW contest.

25th January at 1200utc to 26th January at 11:59utc it is the first of BARTG's HF RTTY 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. NARC had 3 logs submitted in January in a total of 264 logs.

Tuesday 11th February is 432MHz UKAC.

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


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

73 John G8VPE




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

Beginners CW - GB2CW 25wpm week 2 report

Well, to say I’m thrilled would be an understatement! A big thank you for all the interest in learning CW at 25wpm in my sessions on the repeater GB3NB on Tuesday evenings 8-9pm.

Last Tuesday we had 10 join in and I have heard of several more who were listening. So how did everyone get on? Firstly, we added five new characters D E X and 7 3 to last week’s list of C N Q 5 9 and then worked on a few examples of those letters combined to make familiar phrases you might hear on the CW end of the amateur bands, like CQ, DE, DX, 599, 5nn, 559, 73. These are all very common in CW QSOs, so if you listen you will certainly hear them, and hopefully recognise them! This is you reading morse off-air at 25wpm… who thought?

The whole point of this series of lessons is the get enough skill that you can, by Easter, feel confident that you will be able to tune the CW end of the band and not feel like a ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’. It is only going to be possible if you do the hard yards yourself, which means doing plenty of practice in between the weekly Tuesday evening 8-9pm GB3NB sessions. So that could be listening on the bands, but should also include using an App or PC program to put the characters on repeat (at 25wpm) and make it so that its instinctive what the letter or figure is, without counting dashes or dots… its simply sound recognition. For some it may be 15 mins a day, or better still two or three times a day. Investment now will pay off hugely later in the course, because as we progress you will have more letters and figures to cope with.

Your homework is to plug those characters and phrases into your software of choice and listen… a lot! Also, just to sense that this can produce results, spare a moment to check out the CW end of the bands and see if you can detect any of those items from the lessons.

Look forward to seeing you next week and hope you can encourage each other to keep going, even when it feels difficult. By this time next year you will be able to use the CW ends of the amateur bands, if you give up now, you won’t!

73 de Jim
BOOTCAMP is Sunday April 19th.
If you wish to attend, I shall start taking bookings and making a list. I am tempted to start with Pike, but I don't think we have anyody with that name?
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.


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. This week there were three attending with some listening too! It mainly consists of number groups, letter groups, and mixed, but this week I introduced some post codes.That really was very taxing. Remembering a group like that is not easy, being totally illogical. The well known sayings are easier, because if you can copy the first couple of words, you can then anticipate the rest of it and just "follow" the CW to check. This is how you have a conversation on CW. Lots of it is expectation, anticipation and fills as it goes along. Nothing wrong with that!
So, join us at 1000 on Monday mornings and have some fun.

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.

HF News

We had another pretty uneventful week with zero sunspots, but no major geomagnetic disturbances.

The K index rose to three on Thursday morning due to the effects of the solar wind, but the ionosphere was otherwise calm geomagnetically.

I said last week that there had been some winter Sporadic E, which had livened up 10 metres. I also said there had been no SSB activity of note on the band and was promptly corrected by Tony M0IQD who sent a copy of his log.

This showed that he made more than 15 SSB contacts on January the 8th, including Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany and even VO1FOG in Newfoundland. Keep an eye open around 28.450-28.495MHz for SSB openings.

He also suggested that the Facebook group “10 Metre UK Net” was a useful tool for 10m operators. I’m only too happy to pass that information on.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 70-72, reflecting the current state of the solar cycle. It also predicts quiet geomagnetic conditions all week, so the ionosphere should be settled and showing seasonal norms in terms of propagation.

According to Propquest, daytime critical frequencies as measured by the Chilton digisonde, are generally in the range 4.1-5.3 MHz, which suggests that 80m remains best for inter-G contacts, with 40m being restricted to longer paths such as G to GM. Nighttime critical frequencies are generally around 3.1-3.6 MHz, so 80m propagation may be marginal over shorter distances, but better over 500km or more.

Daytime F2 layer openings are generally up to 18MHz with the 20 metre band being more reliable.

Weather charts show that the jet stream will remain strong over the UK and Europe next week, which may be an indicator for Winter Sporadic E, although the season may be ending – more of this in the VHF section.

VHF and up

High pressure has started to reassert itself over southern Britain and improved Tropo conditions will probably kick in from today into early next week. Paths into the continent and south past Portugal towards the Canaries might be worth a look, in view of recent performances.

This positive Tropo pattern could hold into midweek, but thereafter the models show a collapse of the high back towards the Azores, allowing room for a colder north-westerly to bring stronger winds and a risk of some wintry weather across eastern areas.

But other models confine the cold outbreak to the northern half of the UK only.

There is always scope for some winter sporadic E and the jet stream pattern may favour paths into western Europe and the western Mediterranean, particularly for digital modes like FT8, but it could also be worth checking for CW and SSB on 10m too.

The cold northwesterly with its wintry showers may excite the GHz fraternity towards the latter part of next week as heavy showers move down the North Sea and Irish sea bringing some rain scatter propagation. The good thing about winter rain scatter is that the showers are not diurnal like in summer and usually maintain activity throughout the day and night.

Moon declination is negative and reaching a minimum on Thursday. Path losses continue to rise all week, and the very high 144 MHz sky noise midweek means it's a poor week for EME.

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

South Essex Amateur Radio Society 36th Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally

 2nd February 2020

Cornelius Vermuyden School, Dinant Avenue , Canvey Island, Essex, SS8 9QS

Free Car parking, easy level ground floor access to 2 large halls.

Doors open at 10.00am, disabled visitors can come in from 09.45am.

Admission cost is £3. Children under 10 can come in for free .

Tea , Coffee , soft drinks available, as well as our Famous Bacon butties.

Well know traders will be there including Radio, computing, electronics stalls

Contact Tony G0JYI at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for bookings and further info

Canvey Rally Talk-In on 145.550 Mhz