News

ARISSYou have a two-day window (today and tomorrow) to try and receive Slow-Scan TV pictures transmitted from the International Space Station using the callsign RS0ISS. The frequency used will be 145.800MHz FM, and will probably employ SSTV PD120 format. The radio used will be a Kenwood TM-D710.

The transmissions will be made as part of the Moscow Aviation Institute's SSTV experiments (MAI-75), and are specifically intended to be made during orbits over Moscow, but many other amateurs underneath the track of these passes will have the opportunity to capture the images too, including those in Europe, Asia, South America and Oceania.

RS0ISS SSTV image, captured June 2021 Transmission times are slated for:

Wednesday 9th June between 09:35 and 13:50

Thursday 10th June between 08:55 an 15:50

All times are UTC and are subject to change.

Predicted overflight times for the International Space Station can be viewed on the AMSAT website:

https://www.amsat.org/track

Update

Additional transmission dates have now been announced:

Transmissions will start at around 0940 UTC on the 21st of June and images will be transmitted continuously until approximately 1830 UTC on the 26th of June.

Lawnmower Insurance for Radio Amateurs

Rob M0KPD/M & Tim K3LR from DX Engineering

Our very own Rob M0KPD/M (don't forget the /M) is now bigger in America than Harry and Meghan.

Get to have a proper nosey around his Ford Transit and see just where that big fat signal comes from.

Here he is chatting to Tim K3LR about van-based radio that Ford never envisioned.

The changes to our licences (now finalised by Ofcom) will be implemented pretty much as proposed in the consultation draft, albeit with some consideration having been given to feedback from various parties including UK amateurs and the RSGB.

These conditions will impact all UK radio amateurs, although having said that, maybe not some QRP operators.

Speaking to some of the other club members, it's clear that if you radiate a signal that falls into the qualifying criteria for having to assess your station for EMF compliance, then that's what you should do - and in that case you should fully document that process. I've re-written this part of my article, because it was factually incorrect, and was itself misleading. The point I wanted to make was that the flowchart below (click to enlarge) clearly states that if you stay under the specified power output (10W EIRP, 6.1W ERP), then NO ACTION is required. This chart is a generic one however, and not specifically aimed at amateur radio licensees. The one that was previously issued by Ofcom (and posted here) from their amateur-specific guidelines document is very different. This has currently been withdrawn from their website, pending a re-write and will be re-issued again by June 8th. We'll have to wait to see exactly what the new version says, but the old one stated that if your usage fell below the 10W EIRP / 6.1W ERP limit, then you SHOULD DOCUMENT that fact and the reasons that you don't have to complete an EMF assessment. We shall see what transpires.

The 'no action' outcome does seem to be more reasonable than saddling low-power users (particularly many Foundation level licence holders) with the responsibility of additional EMF record-keeping. It's still not completely clear in my mind though. It seems at first glance that Ofcom have over-simplified the flowchart below to the point of ambiguity.

It's also true that Foundation licence holders can quite legitimately take their allotted 10W output power, top it up to compensate for feedline losses and insert it into the feedpoint of a high-gain Yagi, or even a modest colinear, and be very much in a position of needing to assess their station for EMF compliance (see bottom illustration) so beware of falling into that trap.

 Ofcom - new license condition for amateur radio licensees

 

What has become a lot clearer - and this may not be any great consolation to UK amateurs - is that we have been given a little longer to either get our compliance documentation in order, modify our antennas, or give up the hobby. Let's hope that there are only a small minority of us in that latter category. In reality though, with many folks having to cram compromised antennas into postage-stamp-sized back gardens, we may be left with such crippled capabilities combined with the frustratingly high levels of noise pollution from VDSL broadband and cheap imported power supplies etc. that it may not be worth carrying on for some of us.

Perhaps if Ofcom were to go after the big noise polluters out there, then we wouldn't need to run any more than 10W to speak to each other, although that would be a very sad state of affairs.

None of that is going to impact the timeline for compliance though, and here it is:

a) Until 18 November 2021 for any equipment which operates on frequencies at or above 110 MHz. 
b) Until 18 May 2022 for any equipment which operates on frequencies above 10 MHz but below 110 MHz.
c) Until 18 November 2022 for any equipment which operates on frequencies at or below 10 MHz.  

To view and download the new terms, conditions and limitations you can follow the link below:

Amateur Radio Licence Terms, Conditions and Limitations

 

EMF Compliance - don't assume you are exempt

Above: Yagi, sure - but I was surprised that even a standard colinear can tip you over into a compliance situation using 10W.

I'm sure there will be lots more to play out in the EMF shake-up.

Berni M0XYF

Just a quick note regarding the above. I've already sent out an email on this subject via groups.io, but want to follow it up here for the benefit of anyone in Ken's address book that isn't on the club mailing list.

Ken has sadly had his computer and email account hijacked by criminals who are trying to con individuals in his contacts list with potentially multiple scams including a request to purchase Google Play vouchers and then reveal the codes to a second bogus email address. Please don't fall for that.

Ken's original email address is still under the control of the bad guys, so you cannot trust anything from Ken until we have it confirmed by other means that this is resolved. Meanwhile, I've been having a nice little chat with the thief, who is quite angry with me for spoiling his fun. He asked if I would please stop emailing him! Funny guy.

His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I have reported that account to the relevant abuse department. I've also posted it here in case it isn't shut down in a timely manner and in the hope that the address will be harvested by bots and flooded with spam.

Berni M0XYF