RSGB Clubs Newsletter – January 2016

RSGB Clubs Newsletter – January 2016

WAB offering special Kernow award in 2016


Only contacts made between 1st January and 31st December 2016 are valid for this award.

Prompted by the agreement from OFCOM to allow resident Cornish amateurs the opportunity to use the Regional Secondary Locator “K” in their call signs, this award is based on working (or for S.W.L.s, hearing) amateur radio stations and W.A.B. squares in Cornwall. It is based on a points system, with enhanced points for stations using the special Regional Secondary Locator (R.S.L) – i.e. stations with callsigns starting GK, MK or 2K.

The award is based on a points system, with stages able to be claimed at each 50 points earned, as follows:-

5 points for each Cornish W.A.B. Square worked/heard (for squares covering the Cornwall/Devon border, the station must be in Cornwall)

5 points for each station worked/heard in Cornwall not using the “K” R.S.L. (i.e. G, M, 2E, GB, GX)

10 points for each station worked/heard in Cornwall using the “K” R.S.L. (i.e. GK, MK, 2K)

There is also a separate award for mobiles/portables, again with stages able to be claimed at each 50 points earned, as follows:-

10 points for each Cornish W.A.B. Square activated

A Trophy will be awarded for earning 400 points.

Note:- to claim the trophy, all intermediate stages must be claimed before, or at the same time as, the Trophy claim.

Tracker Spreadsheet (ZIP)


The Worked All Britain Awards Group (W.A.B.) was devised by the late John Morris G3ABG in 1969. Intended to promote an interest in Amateur Radio in Britain and to sponsor a series of awards based on the geography of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. WAB

Since its inception, W.A.B. has grown through the voluntary efforts of many individuals. W.A.B. has many aims and has the motto “To assist others”.

W.A.B. aims to create more activity on the air by British amateurs and in doing to create friendships within this country and overseas. It is true to say that many lasting friendships have arisen through W.A.B. activity.

W.A.B. aims to improve and expand geographical knowledge of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles. Indeed the W.A.B. programme has encouraged many people to travel to the more remote parts of the country. At the same time it has encouraged overseas interest and encouraged many people to visit Britain and have hospitality extended to them by British amateurs.

W.A.B. aims to help less fortunate amateurs and provides, when funds allow, donations to organisations like the Radio Amateur Invalid & Blind Club, QTI etc.

Another aim is to encourage all radio amateur licencees and short wave listeners to improve their operating techniques. Mobile and expedition activity is given encouragement. W.A.B. has done much to bring about an upsurge in mobile activity on the LF bands and has increased mobile activity on the VHF and higher bands. It is the intention of W.A.B. to assist in the preservation of existing frequency allocations against commercial interests.

W.A.B. Squares:

The 10km x 10km “Small Square” alone does not constitute the W.A.B. Square.

The W.A.B. Square is the 10km small square and the Country, e.g. “SP87 England”. Small square numbered grid The Square must contain land, and the W.A.B Square is only that land or an inland waterway in the area.


Each claim Book/CD lists W.A.B. Squares in alpha-numeric order.

Care must be taken in the interpretation of areas from small-scale maps. The addresses of British Stations given in RSGB and International Call Books can be misleading. The postal address system tends to use old County names that no longer exist.

For example, there are some places in Wales that have an English postal address and vice versa. The same is true for places along the Scotland/England border. If the station does not know their W.A.B. Square, it is advisable to ask for their exact location..

Special Event News – 6-12-15

ANZAC centenary commemorations end with VI4ANZAC on the air between 12 and 20 December commemorating the work of the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train. A QSL card will be available.

The 200th Anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace will be commemorated by special event station GB200ADA at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, from 10 to 13 December. Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, is internationally recognised as the author of the first computer algorithm, which was written for the Analytical Engine designed by Charles Babbage to increase the accuracy of astronomical calculations. A special, self-service, downloadable certificate will be available to every one who makes contact.

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of IARU the Radio Club of Haiti will be using HH90IARU until 31 December. The QSL Manager is W3HNK.

The Santa Claus Arctic Circle Team will be active as OH9SCL from the Finnish Lapland above the Arctic Circle during December. Activity will be mostly on the HF bands, on all modes. QSL via OH9AB.

On 18 February 1930, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, using a blink comparator and photographic plates. 2015 was designated the Year of Pluto. To celebrate, the members of the Northern Arizona DX Association will operate special event station W7P starting at 0000UTC on 5 December and ending at 2359UTC on the 13th. W7P operators will be on the air from inside the Pluto discovery telescope dome, as well as from club members’ homes. Operation will be on SSB and CW.

Over 500 amateur radio licences revoked



  1. This is a General Notice of our decision to revoke an Amateur Radio licence. It is issued in accordance with Clause 4(3) of the Amateur Radio Licence. This General Notice is addressed to the holder of any Amateur Radio Licence described in (a) and (b), below (“the affected licences”):
    1. Any Amateur Radio Licence that was due to be revalidated between September 2012 and January 2013 respectively, both months being inclusive (“revalidated” means that, by no later than five years after the date of issue of the Licence, the licensee confirmed to Ofcom that the details set out in Section 1 of the Licence remained current and accurate); and
    2. Any Amateur Radio licence falling under the description in (a) above but which has not been revalidated as described in (a) above.
  2. In accordance with Schedule 1, paragraphs 6(b) and 7(10) and (11) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (as amended – “the Act”) and Clause 4(3) of the Amateur Radio Licence, (“the Licence”), we have made a decision to revoke the affected licences, as described below.
  3. Ofcom notified holders of the affected licences by e-mail dated 9th October 2015 and, on 15th October 2015, by way of a notice published on the Ofcom website of its proposal to revoke the affected licences (“the First Notification”). The reason that Ofcom proposed to revoke the affected licences was because our records showed that the affected licences had not been revalidated as required by Clause 6(3) of the Licence and described in paragraph 1, above.
  4. Holders of the affected licences had one month in which to make representations on Ofcom’s proposals to revoke the affected licences. The First Notification was issued by e-mail on 9th October and by a notice published on Ofcom’s website, on 15th October 2015. The deadline for receiving representations was therefore one month from each of those dates, that is, 10th November and 16th November 2015, respectively.
  5. Ofcom did not receive any representations in relation to the proposals set out in the First Notification.
  6. Ofcom now gives Notification in accordance with Schedule 1, paragraphs 6(b), 7(10) and (7)(11) of the Act, and in accordance with Clause 4(3) of the Licence, of its decision to revoke the affected licences.
  7. The reason that Ofcom is revoking the affected licences is because the holders of those licences have not revalidated the licences as required by Clause 6(3) of the Amateur Radio Licence.
  8. The revocation of the affected licences has immediate effect.
  9. Under sections 8 and 35 of the Act, it is an offence to install or use apparatus for wireless telegraphy other than under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted by Ofcom, unless the use is exempted by regulations. The maximum penalty for this offence is six months’ prison and a fine of £5,000.


Failure to re-validate will lead to this outcome. Make sure you are not one of the licensees who have not renewed on-line for a further period of 5 years.

Apparently there are mny more set for revocation = you have been warden.

To see the calls already stripped of their licence click on the following link.


I thought readers may be interested to see the Hamsphere Newsletter sent to those joining on their site.
It is interesting as it covers potential propagation and provides the environment for virtual contacts. I will
admit to not having embraced Hamsphere completely but thought some may be unaware of its existence.

My message read.

Welcome to the HamSphere Newsletter December 2015.

Click this link to read the newsletter:

HamSphere wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This newsletter comes with a trial extension for all Trial users.

Kelly 5B4***

Dont forget to apply for your NOV

Applications for NOV’s to permit the use of the temporary RSL letter ‘K’ for 12 months commencing
1st January 2016 can be actioned today via the RSGB website using the following link:

I have mine already applied for, granted and printed with details sent to GB2GM.

When you obtain your own you will see that it is requested that you send an e-mail message to letting them know so that your call may be added to the list to help award checking.

We should have a busy year on the bands, especially in the first few months.

Norman G4USB

The award details can be found here:

2 x Pi computers compared

Source: IT Pro

30 Nov, 2015

We put the £4 microcomputer head-to-head with its bigger brother to see whether cheapness = value for money

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a little computer that’s made a big impact. It’s the latest single-board device from The Raspberry Pi Foundation, which has been stunning the world by continually making computers smaller and cheaper than anyone had thought possible.

It’s so popular, in fact, that when the official Raspberry Pi magazine gave away free units with every copy, the issue sold out inside of a day. With tech-heads clamouring to get their hands on the Raspberry Pi Zero, we put it head-to-head with its predecessor to see whether or not it’s really better than the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

Specs and hardware

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is touting the Zero as having “twice the utility of the Model A+”, and there’s no denying that. However, it’s slightly more evenly matched when it comes to the B version.

Running at 1GHz, the CPU has a speed edge over its older sibling. On the other hand, it’s only got one core, whereas the Model B has a quad-core SoC. The B also beats the Zero in the RAM stakes, with a 1GB allocation compared to a mere 512MB. This makes it much more capable for multi-tasking, especially the kind used in traditional desktop computing.

Aside from that, the main difference is in the ports. As is to be expected from a device that’s significantly smaller than the average business card, the Pi Zero isn’t exactly overflowing with ports and connections. In fact, it’s got a mere three – one USB On-The-Go (OTG) port for data, a micro USB port for power, and a mini HDMI slot for display.

In this arena, the Raspberry Pi B is the much better option, with four full-sized USB ports, a full-sized HDMI output, an audio jack and even an Ethernet port. The two are equally matched in terms of GPIO pins, with 40 apiece.


Naturally, the Raspberry Pi Zero has the edge here – the fact that you can virtually pick it up for pocket change is one of the reasons the device sold out within hours. However, while the Pi Zero’s big brother is more than three times the price of its newest sibling, it’s not bad value by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, it almost evens out once you factor in the cost of all the associated peripherals. As the Pi Zero’s diminutive size only allows for a USB OTG port, you’ll need to shell out a few pounds for an adapter cable and then around £10 for a powered hub if you’re wanting to use it as a proper computer.

Because it’s also lacking the Ethernet port seen on larger models, you’ll also most likely want either a USB Ethernet adaptor (around £10) or a USB WiFi adapter (£5-£10). This pushes the total cost of the Pi Zero to between £20 and £25, and into the same ballpark as the Model B.


This is the real kicker. As with the earliest runs of the Raspberry Pi, the Zero has proved so popular that demand has outstripped supply by a huge margin. The Foundation is now racing to print more units, but judging by previous experience, the Raspberry Pi Zero is going to be hard to come by for the foreseeable future.

The Raspberry Pi 2 B, by contrast, is in more than ample supply. Distribution partner RS Components has over 52,000 in stock at the time of writing, with more in the hands of other resellers. This makes the model B an excellent fallback option for those who need their microcomputing fix right now.


While the Raspberry Pi Zero is currently the hottest ticket in town, consumers may want to consider whether they’re being beguiled by its petite frame and cheapness. It’s a fantastic device and a marvel of engineering, but its lack of inputs and slimmed-down RAM limit its utility for many applications.

Unless you’re really strapped for cash or need the form-factor stripped down to the absolute bare minimum, the Raspberry Pi 2 B remains the more capable – if slightly more expensive – option.

Read more:

Offer to CRAC paid up Club members from UAS

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The New Raspberry Pi Zero

Well, not quite zero and it will be interesting what the UK price will be but the U/S/ price of $5 seems unbelievable cheap:


Raspberry Pi has unveiled its latest device: a tiny programmable computer that sells for a just $5 called the Raspberry Pi Zero.

Despite its size — a mere 65mm by 30mm by 5mm — the Zero has a core that’s 40 percent faster then the original Pi 1.
We really don’t think we’re going to get any cheaper than this,” said Eben Upton founder of Raspberry Pi, which has been building Raspberry Pi boards since 2012 with the aim of getting more people interested in programming.

Raspberry Pi: 11 reasons why it’s the perfect small server

Raspberry Pi: 11 reasons why it’s the perfect small server

The original Raspberry Pi aimed at putting coding within reach of anyone with $20 to $35 to spend; while Raspberry Pi only expected to sell 10,000 of its original model, more than seven million have now been sold. An even smaller, cheaper device like this could have just as big an impact, especially in terms of fuelling the nascent Internet of Things (IoT).

But Upton said there were still people for whom cost is a barrier to entry.

“Even in the developed world, a programmable computer is a luxury item for a lot of people, and every extra dollar that we ask someone to spend decreases the chance that they’ll choose to get involved,” he said. At the start of this year Raspberry Pi began work on an even cheaper device to help these people take the plunge.

Upton describes the Raspberry Pi Zero, which is made in Wales, a “full-fledged member of the Raspberry Pi family”.

Features include:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
  • 1GHz ARM11 core
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
  • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header

Raspberry Pi Zero runs Raspbian and applications including Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. It is available today in the UK from element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit and in-store at Micro Center.

“We’ve built several tens of thousands of units so far, and are building more, but we expect demand to outstrip supply for the next little while,” said Upton. The Zero is also being given away on the front of each copy of the December issue of The MagPi, the Raspberry Pi magazine

Will you be inspired? Let us know at the next meeting. How’s your Raspberry Pi cooking?

Special Regional Secondary Locator – K for Cornwall

rsgb | November 27, 2015

Ofcom has agreed that the special regional secondary locator, K, may be used between 1 January and 31 December 2016 inclusive by the holder of any amateur radio licence with a main station address in Cornwall, subject to the licensee obtaining a valid Notice of Variation.

It may only be used when the radio equipment is located in Cornwall.

Use of this NoV is optional, and can be obtained from the RSGB website at from 1 December 2015, but may not be used until 1 January 2016.

Cornish clubs have set up the Kernow Award, and there will be a special activity day on St Piran’s Day, the Patron Saint of Cornwall, on 5 March.

Category: Front Page News, GB2RS Headlines

The Kernow Award

From 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016, radio amateurs with a main address in the County of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly may apply to add the letter ‘K’ as a Regional Secondary Locator (RSL). E.g G3UCQ becomes GK3UCQ.

Why the ‘K’? Kernow is Celtic for Cornwall.

In April, 2014 The U.K. Government announced that the proud history, unique culture, and distinctive language of Cornwall would be fully recognised under European rules for the protection of national minorities.The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords the County the same status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.

OfCom have agreed to allow the use of the RSL for a period of one year to allow radio amateurs, with a main address in Cornwall, to add the letter K to their call signs and to celebrate the unique status of the County.

The Kernow Award is being offered by the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club to stations who make the required number of points. The award offers three levels of achievement for both HF & VHF classes. One point is given per QSO made with a station using the ‘K’ in the call sign, any bands and modes may be used. A station may be worked on the same band with different modes.

No repeater or internet QSOs are allowed. QSOs must be made between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016.

The Special station GB2016K may be active during 2016 and, if so, will count 5 points for each QSO.

CLASS ONE – Amateur Bands 1.8 to 30MHz

Gold – 30 points.
Silver – 20 points.

Bronze – 10 points.

CLASS TWO – Amateur Bands 50 MHz and above

Gold – 15 points.
Silver – 10 points.
Bronze – 5 points.

QSOs may be any mode and band the operator is legally entitled to use.
QSOs between 00:01 UTC 01/01/2016 and 23:59 31/12/2016 only will count.
The Kernow Award certificate will be a free download .pdf file.
All QSOs must be made using the same call sign, but /M /MM or /P is acceptable.

Please email your log in adif format to:-
email The Award Manager. John Farrar, G3UCQ

(This is a work in progress so the conditions for the Award may change before 1/1/2016)


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