Petrica Stolnicu YO9RIJ elected new President of EURAO

At the recent General Assembly of the European Radio Amateurs Organisation, Petrica Stolnicu, YO9RIJ, 43, was elected to be President of EURAO for the period 2017-2019.

YO9RIJ has previously been Vice-president of EURAO since 2015 and founding Vice-president of ARR (Romanian Radio Club Association – Asociatia Radioclubul Romaniei).

In an interview with Petrica, published recently on the EURO website,  a Romanian journalist explored his background in Amateur Radio and his hopes for EURO and the future.

Radio DARC shortwave broadcasts for IARU Region 1 Conference

Radio DARC International Shortwave Broadcasts

During the 24th IARU Region 1 Conference in Landshut, Germany, from 17th September until 22nd September, there will be a series of six consecutive special shortwave broadcasts to keep the IARU Region 1 amateur radio audience up to date with news and background reports

The programmes will be in the English language.

The RADIO DARC programmes will be compiled by Eva-Maria, DG9MFG, Christian, DL8MDW, Peter, HB9MQM and Rainer, DF2NU, the Editor-in-chief.

Several transmitters and shortwave bands are used to allow reception in different target regions of IARU Region 1. The broadcasting partner is the Austrian Broadcasting Transmitters Corporation (ORS) in Moosbrunn near Vienna. The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, 17 September to Friday, 22 September 2017

17:30 – 18:00 UTC – 13 775 kHz with 300 kW for Africa
17:30 – 18:00 UTC – 9 790 kHz with 100 kW for Eastern Europe / Russia / Middle East
18:00 – 18:30 UTC – 6 070 kHz with 100 kW for Central, Northern and Southern Europe
18:00 – 18:30 UTC – 9 540 kHz with 100 kW for Western Europe

RADIO DARC is the weekly magazine of the German Amateur Radio Club for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners, with three broadcasts on 6 070 kHz for Europe. The programs contain DX news, technical features and reports from the DARC, as well as commentary, propagation forecasts and some great music from the 70s and 80s.

EURAO DMR meeting on the air Fiesta de EURAO

The European Radio Amateurs’ Organization announces a new party on the air, this time with the motto: “DMR meeting on the air“. Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple ‘rules’, better to call them recommendations. The party will be held the weekend September 23th and 24th, 2017, 00:00-24:00 UTC

El fin de semana del 23 y 24 de septiembre tendrá lugar una nueva fiesta en el aire, convocada por la Organización Europea de Radioaficionados (EURAO). En esta ocasión está dedicada al DMR. No se trata de un con­cur­so, sino de pasarlo bien, ex­pe­ri­men­tar y hacer radio.

Purpose: DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is an open standard widely used by radio amateurs in the last years. A lot of repeaters around the world are networked. The most popular DMR network is BrandMeister (BM) which dedicate the Talk Group (TG) 9201 to EURAO. Try to connect to this TG to have fun and meet other hams, or just do SWLing.

Date & time: September 23th and 24th, 2017, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Bands & modes: in this Party there are no recommended frequencies for DMR. You have to find the repeater(s) in your area linked to the BM network. You can use this map to find yours. Or just listen to its stream.

Call: “CQ EURAO Party”.

Exchange: because this is a QSO event, not a contest, you can talk about whatever you want, in any language (choose one that everyone in this TG can understand), but posiby for a limited time, remembering this is a shared resource. Here are some topic suggestions to get the conversation going: name, city, locator, weather, antennas, rigs, etc.

Also talk about QSL interchange. Tell the truth. Say “no, thanks” if you are not interested in QSL cards. But if you would like to have a memory of your contact, feel free to use our EuroBureauQSL (see below).

Logs: for statistic purposes only, we ask participants to submit their logs in ADIF format to party@eurao.org, where the filename should be your callsign (e.g. EA3RKF.ADI).

There will be no results or league tables, only statistical information about number of QSOs, countries, callsigns, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificate of Participation: for those sending the log and with a minimum of 10% QSOs confirmed.

EuroBureauQSL: you can use it to interchange QSLs even if you are not member. In this case, just send the QSL to the entry point in the country of contacted station.

Fiesta de EURAO – Verano 2017: encuentro DMR en el aire

El fin de semana del 23 y 24 de septiembre tendrá lugar una nueva fiesta en el aire, convocada por la Organización Europea de Radioaficionados (EURAO). En esta ocasión está dedicada al DMR. No se trata de un con­cur­so, sino de pasarlo bien, ex­pe­ri­men­tar y hacer radio.


Fiesta de EURAO – Verano 2017: encuentro DMR en el aire

La Organización Europea de Radioaficionados anuncia una nueva fiesta en el aire, esta vez con el lema: “encuentro DMR en el aire“. Recuerda que esto no es un concurso, es sólo un encuentro por radio con unas pocas ‘reglas’ muy simples, casi mejor llamarlas recomendaciones.

Objetivo: DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) es un estándar abierto ampliamente usado por los radioaficionados en los últimos años. Un montón de repetidores de todo el mundo están interconectados. La red más popular de DMR es BrandMeister (BM) que dedica el Talk Group (TG) 9201 a EURAO. Intenta conectar a este TG para divertirte y conocer otros radioaficionados, o simplemente haz radioescucha.

Fechas y horarios: 23 y 24 de septiembre del 2017, sábado y domingo, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Bandas y modos: en esta Fiesta no hay frecuencias recomendadas para DMR. Tú tienes que encontrar el repetidor (o repetidores) de tu zona que esté enlazado a la red BM. Puedes utilizar este mapa para encontrar el tuyo. O simplemente escuchar por streaming.

Llamada: “CQ EURAO Party”.

Intercambio: como se trata de un QSO, no de un concurso, se puede hablar de lo que uno quiera, en cualquier idioma (elige uno que todos en ese TG puedan entender), y durante el tiempo que se desee tiempo limitado, pues es un recurso compartido. De todas maneras, sugerimos algunos temas típicos de conversación: nombre, ciudad, locator, tiempo, antenas, equipos, etc.

También habla sobre el intercambio de QSLs. Di la verdad. Di “no, gracias” si no estás interesado en las tarjetas QSL. Pero si te gustaría tener un recuerdo de tu corresponsal, no dudes en usar nuestro EuroBureauQSL (ver más abajo).

Logs: sólo a efectos estadísticos, pedimos a los participantes que envíen sus logs en formato ADIF aparty@eurao.org, donde el nombre del archivo debe ser su indicativo (ej. EA3RKF.ADI).

No habrá resultados o clasificación, sólo información estadística sobre el número de QSOs, países, indicativos, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificado de Participación: para aquellos que envíen el log y tengan un mínimo del 10% de QSOs confirmados.

EuroBureauQSL: puedes usarlo para intercambiar QSLs aunque no seas socio. En este caso, envía la QSL alpunto de entrada del país de tu corresponsal.

When friends fall out – EURAO and IARU Region 1

Some may have noticed the recent spat between EURAO and IARU Region 1 and wondered what it is all about.

Disagreements are possibly part and parcel of any organisation but it is somewhat disconcerting to the average Radio Amateur to see such a public disagreement between two organisations who are supposedly representing the Amateur Radio movement.

The two organisations are probably quite different. One primarily brings together national organisations and enables their representation at International level – this is also the older organisation with perhaps a degree of Northern Europe bureaucratic presentation not unlike that which might be displayed by a political party in power.   The other is the new upstart which perhaps target more the grassroots of Amateur Radio, including individuals and local clubs but not excluding national organisations – this may also driven from the more flamboyant southern part of Europe.

There is clearly some history to this spat which appears to have driven EURAO to go public with their criticism – or perhaps it is simply that they do not wish to see the potential of meeting at Friedrichshafen being missed.

The initial post by EURAO was placed on line in answer to questions they were receiving about a paragraph in the IARU Region 1 Executive Council minutes held on May 5-7, 2017, in Landshut, which read

“ITEM 16: EURAO
G3BJ gave a verbal report on EURAO and the lack of progress since the 2016 EC Meeting. He had invited EURAO to a meeting some months ago to explore each other’s strategies and seek common ground. Sadly, EURAO had not yet responded.”

IARU responded to the initial EURAO post with an “IARU commentary on EURAO Statement about meeting at Friedrichshafen” where there appears to be a possible suggestion that only IARU should represent Amateur Radio issues to CEPT, a proposal that the two organisations required to have a meeting which would require to last all day and a statement that IARU was already too committed to have such a meeting at Friedrichshafen.   You are recommended to read this IARU response yourself to get a fuller picture of where IARU Region 1 are coming from but it is not too difficult to see that the above points, posted publicly, could certainly be enough to annoy EURAO!

EURAO’s latest response can be found at http://www.eurao.org/en/node/900 where they give, as they see it, some history to the issues behind this disagreement, including accusing IARU Region 1 of “mistakes, half truths and missing facts” along with bias.   It is a lengthy post so you are recommended to read it for yourself if you wish some details of the gripes EURAO have.

The clearest thing seems to be that public pronouncements are not the best way to resolve such differences.  And before any extensive meeting it seems appropriate that the two sides should get together and clear the air before they discuss more detailed matters – and where better to have such a meeting than at Friedrichshafen?

EURAO Boulevard at Friedrichshafen 2017

This is the detailed plan of EURAO Boulevard inside the HAM RADIO exhibition, to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany this year on 14-16 July.

In addition to the main EURAO (European Radio Amateur Organisation) booth (A1-662), there will also be booths of the following EURAO member associations:

  • RNRE (A1-660)
  • CISAR (A1-666)
  • URC (A1-661)
  • ARR (A1-663)
  • FRC (A1-665)
  • FEDI-EA (A1-667).

Other member associations, like VRA, will be inside EURAO booth meeting members, friends and visitors, listening to opinions and sharing experiences.

EURAO’s own agenda for the exhibition weekend includes several meetings:

  • Board of Directors on Thursday
  • Technical team on Friday
  • General Assembly on Saturday;
    • coordination of annual activities,
    • discussion of new projects, etc.

If you are visiting  HAM RADIO 2017 at Friedrichshafen, do not forget to pay a visit to the EURAO stand.

SOTA at Friedrichshafen 15th July 2017

Saturday is the day for SOTA enthusiasts at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen this year.

The SOTA program for Saturday is as follows –

12 Noon – SOTA Meet-up at the QSL Wall

14:00 to 15:45 – SOTA Seminars will take place in the Austria room in the western wing of the Conference Centre.

16:30 – A SOTA Activation of DM/BW-348 GehrenBerg is planned from 16:30 to 18:30

19:00 – the annual SOTA Dinner this year is at “Wirthaus am Gehrenberg” in Markdorf.

Richard G3CWI, co-founder of the SOTA award scheme and CEO of SOTABEAMS, has supplied a SOTABEAMS WSPRLite unit which will be awarded at the dinner to the person with the most original piece of SOTA clothing, as judged by the dinner attendees.

 

EURAO Party On The Air – Watching SSTV – 17 & 18 June

The European Radio Amateurs’ Organization has announced a new party on the air, this time with the motto: “watching SSTV“. This is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple recommended ‘rules’.

Purpose: SSTV (Slow Scan TeleVision) is not a new mode, but it is incredibly fun, even as a SWL.

Date & time: June 17th and 18th, 2017, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Bands & modes: these are the recommended frequencies (+/-) for SSTV: 3.730, 7.058, 10.132, 14.230, 21.340, 28.680, 50.510 and 144.500 MHz.

Call: “CQ EURAO Party”.

Exchange: because this is a QSO event, not a contest, you can send/watch whatever you want, in any language, and for as long as you like. Here are some topic suggestions to get the conversation going: name, city, locator, weather, antennas, rigs, etc.

Also talk about QSL interchange. Tell the truth. Say “no, thanks” if you are not interested in QSL cards. But if you would like to have a memory of your contact, feel free to use our EuroBureauQSL (see below).

Logs: for statistic purposes only, we ask participants to submit their logs in ADIF format to party@eurao.org, where the filename should be your callsign (e.g. EA3RKF.ADI).

There will be no results or league tables, only statistical information about number of QSOs, countries, callsigns, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificate of Participation: for those sending the log and with a minimum of 10% QSOs confirmed.

EuroBureauQSL: you can use it to interchange QSLs even if you are not member. In this case, just send the QSL to the entry point in the country of contacted station.

IARU Region 1 Youth Contesting Programme 2017

The IARU Region 1 Youth Contesting Program (YCP) continues in 2017. Youth members (under 26 years old) from IARU Region 1 member societies are invited to take part in a contest from   “Top-Gun” stations.

Applications are open: apply here.

These young Radio Amateurs will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their contest skills and will aim for the best results together as a team in a live contest.
A youngster will probably be coming for the first time to the host country and will get the chance to experience this country and share amateur radio knowledge with local youngsters.
Contest locations:conteststationsycp
  • ES5TV ARI International DX contest (6-7 May 2017)
  • 9A1A 9A1RBZ  CQ M International DX contest (13-14 May 2017)
  • 4O3A CQWW RTTY contest (23-24 September 2017)
  • Further contests may be added to stay tuned to the web pages listed below
Rules:
  • Young people aged under 26 years.
  • 1 or 2 participants per member society
  • All levels of contest experience are accepted. A participant should have at least basic knowledge about contesting and using a transceiver.
  • Member societies are asked to select young people who are  willing to experience a contest in a “big-gun”station, eager to learn more about amateur radio and who are aiming to get the best results out of the contest. A group of ±6 international youngsters and ±6 domestic youngsters will take part per contest.
  • Participants are asked to fund their own travel costs. All other costs will be covered.

Example Schedule for participants

When taking part in a 24 hours contest the participant will arrive on Friday and leave on Monday.
This is an example time schedule from 9A1A:

Friday: Arrive to host city (in this case Zagreb ). Social event in late afternoon and
evening hours. Sleeping  in one of Zagreb hostels.
Saturday – Sunday: Travel to contest location (in 9A1A case about 40 km). Introduction to the
contest location, its capacities and possibilities. Team will take part in the contest.
Team will sleep on Sunday/Monday night on contest location.
Monday: Travel to home.

Find out more at these web locations:-

Clubs & Groups Membership of EURAO

EURAO – the European Radio Amateurs’ Organisation – has intruduced a new class of membership for clubs and groups.

Local radio clubs and specialised Amateur Radio groups around the world are important.

For this reason, EURAO has created the membership category Clubs&Groups in order that they can provide the following EURAO collective services to ALL their members:

  • International QSL Service (*)
  • European Radio Amateur Card
  • EURAO Member Benefits Program
  • EURAO Newsletter
  • EURAO TV Channel
  • Representation before international institutions

More information at http://www.eurao.org/en/node/464

What Callsigns for an Independent Scotland?

Sometime after the United Kingdom Government and the European Union come to an agreement on the UK leaving the EU – generally known as BREXIT – all the governments of  the EU (including some local governments) will be given the negotiated terms in order that they can determine whether they can be agreed.   It is the plan of the Scottish Government to offer the people of Scotland an opportunity to decide, in a referendum, whether they wish to

(a) remain a part of a United Kingdom which has withdrawn from the European Union under BREXIT, or

(b) withdraw from the union which is the United Kingdom and return to being a self-determining nation as they were before before the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.

The timescale for this has always been uncertain and could be open to variation but will relate to the period when it is expected that the UK’s withdrawal negotiations with the EU will have been completed and the proposed package is then available for the European Parliament, the Parliaments of the nations of Europe (and some European local parliaments) to consider and approve or reject.

The United Kingdom’s minority government is of the opinion that the people of Scotland should not be allowed to determine their future direction. The policy of the devolved government of Scotland is that this should be their democratic right and the Scottish Parliament has agreed with that policy.

At the time of writing this document, in Scotland support for independence from the UK is sitting around the 50% mark and there is, as yet, no campaign running to persuade the people of Scotland of the benefits of seeking Independence. Despite an ongoing campaign for many months by those who favour retention of the UK, in the recent UK election the voters of Scotland returned more independence minded Members of Parliament than those who favour retention of the union.

What is written here considers radio callsigns for Scotland. A similar political issue may exist for Northern Ireland where members of the Republic of Ireland government have indicated that they may require a programme leading to the unification of Ireland to be part of any BREXIT agreement.   The answer to future callsigns for Northern Ireland may be simpler, in that Ireland already has it’s allocation of EIA-EJZ (although some Radio Amateurs in Northern Ireland may prefer not to part with their existing callsigns)

Returning to Scotland now where Amateur Radio callsigns issued for use within the nation have traditionally started with GM (nowadays could also be MM or 2M). There is also the use of GS for Scottish club stations, GA (A for Alba) has been used or two extended periods of time and the shared special event call GB is also used.

All the above are part of the extensive range of callsigns allocated to the United Kingdom and its dependencies. But what would happen to Amateur Radio callsigns if Scotland chose to became independent from the UK.

During the independence referendum held in Scotland in 2014 there was some ill informed comment on this subject, where it was suggested that Scotland would be issued with “one of those funny number callsign prefixes” that are now issued to emerging countries. That, of course, could be one possibility. But there is precedent which would indicate a different outcome.

Callsigns are not owned by countries but allocated to them – by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) which is part of the United Nations. And history has shown that callsign allocations are not sacrosanct and can be withdrawn or modified.

Callsign allocations are not only related to Amateur Radio but also to the Maritime, Aeronautical and Broadcasting services (and just about any other radio service which might cross international borders).   Callsigns are allocated to the UK in the ranges GAA-GZZ, MAA-MZZ, 2AA-2ZZ, etc. This means that the option of saying all GM/MM/GA/2M/GS/MA callsigns could just be allocated to Scotland, is difficult – because their will be ships and aircraft registered in the UK which also use the first letters in their callsigns. (Traditionally UK ship callsign have been allocated in the format GBTT with four letters and aircraft in the format GAAIR with five letters although ship callsigns have become longer in recent times). So whether Scottish Radio Amateurs could retain their existing callsigns becomes a very big question.

Of course OFCOM,  the UK regulator, argues that regional secondary locators (RSL) are not really an integral part of callsign allocaton, are not required by the Radio Regulations and are not used by other countries.    OFCOM, of course, are very wrong. OFCOM themselves appear not to have retained records which explain the reason for the introduction of RSLs but they are thought to have come into being in the 1950 (at which time they were not known as RSLs).

  • The term RSL in itself with the R representing Regional is incorrect and representative of a very Westminster-bubble thinking. In reality the separate indicators designating operating in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and (originally) the Channel Islands – they were National indicators to be used in the different nations which make up the United Kingdom (as regulated for radio purposes).
  • As for the Radio Regulations, although there is not absolute requirement to use these national indicators, it is the Radio Radio Regulations which authorise their use through the overall callsign range allocated to the UK.
  • And considering other countries using such national/regional identifiers, there are many examples of this.   As an example, look at Denmark where their self governing overseas territories of the Faroe Islands (OY) and Greenland (OX) use callsigns which come directly from the Danish international callsign allocation.    Then in Spain the various regions are designated by numbers so that, for example, EA3 is Catalonia and EA6 is the Balearic Islands. Poland uses a callsign system similar to Spain.

But some will ask why the UK (or what remains of it) should give up any of its callsign allocation to an independent Scotland. The answer involves both history and politics.

Going back to 1603 sees the first steps towards creating what has become the United Kingdom when King James VI of Scotland also took on the mantle of King James I of England, but with Scotland and England remaining two separate countries with their own parliaments, own laws and minting their own currency. It was not until 1707 that the parliaments of Scotland and England came together to form the political union of the Kingdom of Great Britain (which is now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). This was a move which was greatly disliked by the majority in Scotland, but at a time when the majority had no voting rights. The dislike of rule from another country has simmered since that time. But although decisions were made from a distance, Scotland retained a number of vestiges of it’s nationhood, including it’s legal system, it’s education system, it’s church and privileges of the Scottish Royal Burghs. The bottom line is that Scotland was one partner in the two partner union which formed the Kingdom of Great Britain.   Should Scotland withdraw from the union, it will have entitlements to it’s share of the union’s assets – which certainly can be seen as including radio callsign allocations.

Historically the United Kingdom and it’s Empire were allocated a great range of callsign blocks.  Along with G, M and 2 there are or were also V and Z allocations, the latter being associated with the Empire, later the Commonwealth.   It is these V and Z allocations which give some interesting historical precedent in relation to UK allocations.

Today there are many nations of the world which were once part of the British Empire and which are now proud and successful independent nations – but which still retain callsign allocations which were originally related to the their old British Empire allocation (i.e. callsign ranges which were once allocated to the United Kingdom) . These include countries such as Australia (VHA-VNZ & VZA-VZZ) India (VTA-VWZ), Hong Kong (VRA-VRZ), New Zealand (ZKA-ZMZ) and South Africa (ZRA-ZUZ). (Some of these countries also have other callsign blocks allocated).

So, there is a simple truth here. A shrinking “empire” no longer warrants the extensive callsign allocations it once enjoyed. And as parts of the “empire” opt out from it’s control, it is completely reasonable that parts of the callsign allocations should transfer to them. It can be argued that this is even more so the case with Scotland which is one of the founding nations of what became today’s United Kingdom – it is certainly the case that Scotland would legally be entitled to it’s fair share of UK assets (which would happen to include the very extensive UK debt!).

However, transferring callsign allocations to Australia, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. was much simpler than the process would be with Scotland. These countries already used these callsign blocks exclusively whereas Scotland’s callsigns are interwoven with the overall UK allocation.

Looking at this from a purely Amateur Radio perspective, it would be very easy to determine that the GMA-GMZ, MMA-MMZ and 2MA-2MZ blocks could simply transfer to Scotland. The same could be the case for GAA-GAZ and GSA-GSZ and potentially for some of the V and Z blocks which continue to be allocated tot he UK.   Such a process would mean minimal changes to Scottish callsigns (Repeaters, Beacons and special events would be exceptions). However, Amateur Radio cannot be taken in isolation and all other radio users require to be considered. This means, without doubt, that some radio users much endure change should Scotland become a self-determining nation.

These are matters which a Scottish Government preparing for independence from the UK would need to consider. They are significant matters to radio users, and perhaps particularly to Radio Amateurs, but relatively minor issues in the great scope of negotiations and applications which require to be considered in shaping a self determining nation.    They are matters which could become submerged in all the work required to launch a nation on the world stage – but this means there could be an opportunity for the Scottish Amateur Radio community to shape their own destiny.

There is no one body in Scotland which represents Amateur Radio – the RSGB will no longer be relevant as a body representing the hobby to government.   There is time now for a new national body representing Amateur Radio in Scotland to come together, to consider all matters which might affect Radio Amateur’s in a nation and to begin building relationships with the Scottish Government.

This year Scotland saw the reintroduction of a national radio convention and the introduction of a Scottish focused international radio contest – there is also the need for a national Amateur Radio body to be in place and prepared should the people of Scotland vote to withdraw from the UK in 2018/2019.

Links

Scottish Amateur Radio Convention 2017

Scottish DX Contest