Spanish Geodesic Vertices Diploma

The Radio Club Henares operates the Geodesic Vertices Diploma of Spain, which has similarities to both the Worked all Britain Trig Point Award and to SOTA. Information about the award (in Spanish) can be found of the Radio Club Henares website (unfortunately this does not appear to interact very well with the online translation systems)
The geodesic vertex are usually represented by a cylinder 120 cm high, mounted on a concrete pedestal, and painted white (instead of cylinders, they can also be represented by prismatic signals). The signal is used to place topographic instruments on the cylinder to make measurements. In additon, from each signal other geodesic vertices can be seen, which is why they are always placed in high locations, clear of obstructions and with ample vision of the surrounding landscape.
The geodesic vertices are classified in categories of 1st, 2nd and 3rd order. The network of 1st order has its vertices separated by 40 km. The second order is separated by about 20 km. The third order is between 4 and 5 km. The 1st order network is the one with the highest precision.
In order to protect and maintain the geodetic vertices, the “Geodesic and Geophysical Signals Act” has been in force since the 1970s. This law entrusts custody of signals to mayors and municipalities, not only in but also the prevention of activities that could hinder their use, or the construction in the surroundings that could create screens for the work of surveyors, cartographers and geologists.
Recently, the National Geographic Institute has launched the REGENTE network, acronym of National Geodetic Network for Space Techniques, which aims to establish a network of very high precision throughout Spain. This new network is a mesh of points that were already geodesic vertices of the first order, and have been chosen so that in each sheet of the National Topographic Map at scale 1: 50000 there is a single REGENT, that is, one by every 500 square kilometers. The application of this network will be to provide effective help to users of measurement techniques by GPS systems.
A list of Vertices locations can be found at http://www.radioclubhenares.org/dvge/utilidades/
The Geodesic Vertices Diploma of Spain operates according to the following rules:
  1. Participation in this diploma, supposes the full acceptance of these rules.
  2. The present Diploma DVGE or Diploma Geodesic Vertices of Spain, will have effect and validity from 1st November 2006.
  3. The Diploma will be issued in four categories: Mixed, CW, MGM (digital modes) and QRP.
  4. Contacts made from fixed, portable and mobile stations will be valid. In no case will the stations in maritime or aeronautical mobile, nor those made through any type of repeater will be valid. Communications made through “bridge stations” or third parties, or fictitious communications with stations that are not present will not be tolerated. Operators will adhere to the IARU band plans.
  5. Location references will be assigned by the initials VG followed by the letter of the province plus the assigned reference number
  6. To obtain the diploma, the requesting station must contact a minimum of 100 different references. Listeners will be able to obtain the diploma, sending a list to dvge@radioclubhenares.org with at least 100 activations, detailing a minimum of 3 QSOs heard of each activation.
    Activators have the possibility of obtaining a diploma, within three categories: Bronze, Silver and Gold for having activated, respectively 25, 75 and 150 different references.
    The diplomas in PDF format, are free, and can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.radioclubhenares.org/dvge/solicitar-diploma-dvge-en-pdf/
    The remaining prizes have a cost to be paid by the applicant. See section of the web “Request Awards” http://www.radioclubhenares.org/dvge/solicitar-dvge/
  7. In the case of registering contacts with a following contact in either QRO and QRP, only the last registered will be validated. That is, only one contact will be validated in QRO or QRP, but not both.
  8. In case of errors in the log, only the manager of the activity can request corrections of the LOG.
    If it is a correction of callsign, you must indicate: the date of the activity, the reference activated, the call sign used during the call, band and mode, as well as the correspondent’s erroneous call sign and the correct one. If it were an inclusion in the log, the maximum term is two months from the date of the activity.
  9. To certify an operation as valid, the following obligatory requirements must be met:
    ● The antennas used should be located no further than 200 meters from the Geodesic Vertex worked.
    ● The activator must be on the air for at least 1 hour or perform a minimum of 100 QSO
    ● The activator mus go to the Radio Club Henares website (www.radioclubhenares.org/dvge/validar-activity-dvge/), within a maximum period of 10 days from the activity and:
    ○ Upload the log of the operation in ADIF format. The log should indicate the actual time of each contact, expressed in UTC. The operators of the activity can be added at the end of the activity, so that the reference from which they are transmitting can be qualified for the diploma.
    ○ Upload one or several photographs of the activation, where you can see, without a doubt:
    ■ The Geodesic Vertex. No reference will be valid, and therefore invalidated activities performed from it, in which the Vertex signal is not present or destroyed. At least one of the two parts, or the base or the cylinder, must be present. However, sending the photograph may be exempted in cases where, in the IGN’s file, it is CLEARLY indicated, that the landmark is in a non-accessible location, because it is at the top of a building. The location of the landmark within a private estate, will not exempt the presentation of this photograph
    ■ Geodesic vertex and radio and / or antenna equipment with which it is transmitted. In case it is not possible, a video will be provided, in which, without cuts, you can see the vertex and the equipment, or georeferenced photographs in which the real situation of the operators can be verified.
    ■ In the case of activities with several operators, photographs or videos should also be sent in which all the operators are seen

    It is not permitted to include photographs or videos of the activities, whose content has a marked political or religious character. Neither are photographs allowed that may be considered of bad taste or disrespect to third parties.
    Link to  Manual for,uploading logs, photos and validate DVGE activities0

  10. Each expeditionary can only participate in the activation of a maximum of two references per day, with an interval of 2 hours between the end of the first operation and the beginning of the second and regardless of the indicative used.
  11. The organisation has created a section on the diploma website where all the expeditionaries can announce operations that they plan to carry out. Activities may not be announced more than 15 DAYS in advance. Although the announcement is voluntary, we strongly urge activators to announce their activities in advance to avoid, as much as possible, several activators trying to perform the same activity simultaneously. The advertisement, provided that it is made at least 24 hours in advance, will ensure that, from the publication of the announcement and until the completion of the announced activity, no one else can activate such a reference. Click here to announce your activation.
  12. Exemplary conduct of all amateurs participating in this diploma is expected. This diploma is governed by the Code of Conduct of the DXista
  13. The knowledge of intentionally irregular practices and / or ethically inappropriate behavior in any aspect of participation in this diploma, the irregular use of activity announcements, such as any threat against the diploma committee, as well as in the omission of compliance with the current regulation, will lead to open a file with all the evidence to be processed and resolved by the DVGE Vocalía del Diploma.
  14. The Activation Manager accepts and expressly authorises all documents (including photographs and videos) submitted, to be displayed on the Radio Club Henares website.
  15. Any question not contemplated in the rules, or of different interpretations, will be debated by the Vocalía del Diploma DVGE, with any decisions taken being unappealable.
  16. For any doubt, query or claim use  the email address: dvge@radioclubhenares.org
D.V.G.E. Geodesic Vertices Diploma of Spain
Radio Club Henares, EA4RCH
Post Office: 69
28830 S. Fernando de Henares – Madrid

Contest Loggers for the Scottish DX Contest

The Scottish DX Contest is now supported by

The organisers will be working with ​the compilers of other contest logging packages for the 2018 contest.

The Scottish DX Contest is the only dedicated Amateur Radio competition with Scotland at the forefront and the 1st SDXC will take place over the weekend 22-23 July 2017.  The Goal is to make contact with as many DXCC and Scottish Council regions as possible.

Full details about SDXC can be found here and the rules can be found here.

IQ6NE Special Event from Martinsicuro Fishing Museum

IQ6NE will operate from the Martinsicuro Fishing Museum on the 14th, 15th, 16th July and 4th, 5th 6th August.  The station will operate on both SSB and CW and CW frequencies have been advised as between 7020.0 and 7025.0 kHz and on 14052.0 kHz

Inbetween the two three-day activations, on the seafront of the same town on 23rd July there will be the 7th Exhibition of Vintage Radio.

Photographs of the Fisheries Museum can be found here.

 

About

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.

Irish Amateur Station Licence Examination

In Ireland, the next Amateur Station Licence Examination will be held on Thursday 29th June 2017 in the ComReg offices in Dublin and at other centres if warranted by the numbers.

The closing date for applications to sit this examination is Monday 12th June 2017.

Places for examinations at the ComReg Offices are limited, they are allocated on a first come first served basis and are only reserved on receipt of an application form and the examination fee.

To reserve a place for the exam, candidates should forward a completed application form to …

Download the application form here.  The exam fee is €50 or €25 for full-time registered students, repeat candidates and those who are retired, unemployed or have a disability.

Payment may be made by credit card or PayPal using our online payments system.  Alternatively, Cheques or Money Orders payable to IRTS may be sent to the address above.

N.B.  A completed application form must be submitted and payment must be made before a candidate can reserve a place for the exam.

Intending candidates should note that anyone who fails to produce a photo identity on the day of the examination will not be allowed to sit the examination.  The photo ID can be a driving licence, a passport, an employment photo identity card or a student card containing a photograph.  A national Garda photo ID is also acceptable.

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:-

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