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OQRS is the way to go

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

This was written by Tim, M0URX, and can be found on his webpage. We all agree with this and would like to get more of our radio friends using the OQRS system and understand that we don't need your card as we don't apply for awards for MC0SHL and it costs to receive through the RSGB bureau as the club is not affiliated to it.

OQRS is the way to go!

Times change and how we receive bureau QSL requests has also changed, let me show you why we need to make these changes.

Here are two photographs, the first on the top left is a box of 4,500 bureau cards received from  the RSGB Bureau on Monday.

The second photograph underneath is the same box 3 days later after all the QSL cards have been processed through the logs that I am QSL manager for.

THIS is how many are then put into my rubbish recycling bin just 3 days after receiving the cards.

I want to ask please for your help! In order to keep this Bureau service going we must change the way that I receive bureau requests.

AfterIf you are requesting a DXCC or IOTA Expedition or contest QSL card you must ONLY use OQRS!

Please understand that DXpedition call signs are NOT members of the RSGB and I will be charged money to receive them.

Just as important to remember is that DXpeditions and contest stations DO NOT need YOUR QSL card.

A DXpedition is undertaken to help you obtain an ATNO (All Time New One) whether that be a DXCC, IOTA, WAB area, band, mode or whatever.

Here are some facts for you:
4,500+ QSL cards received 4,200 QSL cards thrown away!

Out of the 4,500 QSL cards, 2,000 had already been requested direct, bureau or using OQRS, in some cases all three!. If you request a bureau QSL PLEASE DO NOT send another QSL! Only use 1 QSL route.

The average length of time that the cards took to arrive with me are 2 years 6 months. If the QSL cards had been requested on OQRS then you would get the cards 2 years 6 months quicker.

One Japanese station sent me 34 QSL cards for 34 QSOs for ONE DXpedition. The work that the bureaus have had to put in in both time and money just to get those 34 cards to me is quite startling. We need to STOP the waste and get smarter in how we use our resources.

If you DO have to send your QSL in Via Bureau type ALL QSOs on ONE card or paper.

Of course there are some stations that I am QSL manager that ARE RSGB members that DO want your QSL. OY1OF, OY4TN, PJ4DX, M0URX. Please continue to send us QSL cards for those stations, for ALL other DXpeditions please use OQRS only.

“QSL Via M0URX” does NOT mean that all QSL cards that I am manager for can be sent to me Via Bureau. Only RSGB affiliated call signs can receive QSL cards.

So the best way to know what to send me and what NOT, is clear. ALL DXpedition & contest QSL requests must be made by OQRS ONLY.

For the QSL route of the rest please check on QRZ.com for each call sign. Or use OQRS. If we need your QSL we will contact you.

I have been working with the RSGB for the past year to ensure that all QSL cards for my attention are delivered to me, but this costs money. I have agreed to pay to receive for DXpediitons QSL cards that I am QSL manager for and are not RSGB affiliated.. However this is only for those that cannot use OQRS as a last resort. OQRS must be your first option to receive  ALL DXpedition Bureau cards!

Any QSL cards that ARE sent to me for the call signs I am manager for MUST be made clear “QSL Via M0URX” if not they will NOT reach me. Sorry.

ALL OUT-GOING QSL cards are sent at my cost to all IARU World QSL Bureaus, so our outgoing QSL service continues as normal.

Thank you for your help in changing the way we work with you and reducing costs and time that your QSL cards are delivered to you.

SV5/MW0JZE - Kos

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by Charles M0OXO and taken from his website.

K1024 img041Listen for Ant MW0JZE as he operates holiday style from the Island of Kos.

Ant will be qrv from Kos from this weekend 19th September for around two weeks. He will be SV5/MW0JZE and his operation will be primarily RTTY on whichever bands are open.

K1024 img040Kos is a Greek island, part of the Dodecanese Island Group (IOTA EU-001) in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the Anatolian coast of Turkey.

The island measures 40 by 8 kilometres (25 by 5 miles), and is 4 km (2 miles) from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, (the ancient Halicarnassus) and the ancient region of Caria. It has a population of around 35,000.

Qsl Cards are already printed and are available via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Mail to M0OXO home address.

Great antennas, great price!

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by Charles M0OXO and from his website.

Great antennas, great price!

LOGO-10Are you looking for an antenna that has great performance, easy to build and at a very competitive price? Then check out the range of Hexbeam antennas and accessories available from Ant MW0JZE.

MW0JZE - G3TXQ Broadband 6 band Hexbeam 6 bands: 20m - 6m 2 Elements on each band No traps or coils Ideal for portable or fixed station.

The Ultra Lightweight D-HEXpedition Portable Hexbeam 6-KG 30 min set-up time No tools needed Packs away to 100 x 20 x 20 CM.

Unlike some manufactures his antennas are plug and play, no assembling spreaders or cutting wires, DX right out of the box!!

No hidden Paypal charges, what you see is what you pay. For more information click the image (left) to be directed to his website.

Even More Winning Ways

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

IMG 2621-1Not only have Ant, Charles, and Chris been winning their sections in contests, we also have Rob (MW0RLJ) coming first in the SSB section of the CDXC DXCC Marathon 2014 - full details here. The CDXC group is the big UK DX Foundation supporting DXpeditions and offering encouragement and support to new DXers.

Unfortunately Rob couldn't be at the CDXC Annual Summer Social to collect the trophy so Charles did the honours and then presented the trophy to Rob on his visit this week to the farm.

Cosmic Weather Forecast

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

While surfing the internet today I came across this article on a UK Newspaper website.daily mail


Makes interesting reading.....


(Click on image to read).

Ramsey Island News

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

We know most of you like to keep up with what we are up to when we are not playing radio at MC0SHL. Well what about keeping up with the news on what is happening on our favourite destination for our portable activities.

As we have said before Ramsey Island is a RSPB reserve where the Flora and Fauna is spectacular - hopefully you see this in our photos. Well why not keep up with what Greg. Lisa, and the volunteers get up to and how the birds, wildlife and the island in general get on day by day? Just go to their blog http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/ramseyisland/default.aspx for all the latest news and updates.

Or go to the Thousand Islands boat comapanies facebook page for some excellent photographs of the sealife around the island.

How to Send a QSL Card

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Tim (M0URX) put this on his webpage a few weeks ago. Something that is worth reposting and keeping fresh in peoples minds, and not just UK operators but also some of our overseas friends seem to forget to include return postage costs - if you do it will be returned via the BUREAU.

FAO UK Hams - How to send a QSL card

Created on Saturday, 27 June 2015

K800 WP 20150627 004I have noticed that many new hams in the United Kingdom are not aware of how to send QSL cards to ensure they get a 100% reply. So here are a few tips to help you along the way.

1) Use a Self-Addressed Envelope SAE for the QSL to be returned to you.

2) Enclose US$2 - this pays for postage, ink, labels and other items that are needed in QSL management. Never send a QSL without covering the return costs.
NO stamps or IRC's Sorry!

3) All QSOs should be neatly listed either on one QSL card or on a piece of paper attached to the QSL card.

Now let's look at what should be on your QSL card. Many QSL cards are used to claim awards, this means that your QSL card should contain at least the very basic details.

1) Your call sign, name and mailing address. Call sign should also be on the back.
2) The country name "England" should be clear. Not everyone will know that Hinckley Bottom is in England.
3) IOTA (Islands On The Air) MUST have the Island name printed on the QSL so "Mainland Great Britain" should be shown. You can also add the IOTA reference: EU-005.
4) CQ Zone: 14 ITU Zone: 27 should also be on your QSL for CQ & ITU Zones awards.
5) It is also helpful to add your Maidenhead locator: mine is IO92fj it is common that the last two letter suffix       be in lower case.
6) WAB: Worked All Britain is another award where it is helpful to show your WAB area mine is SP27. You      can also add your book numbers too.

7) This is most important! If you are using a photograph on the QSL, use HIGH RESOLUTION digital images.       Low resolution or scanned images will not work in QSL reproduction, they will be pixelated or grainy or           both. The same for logos, use high resolution logos.

Do not assume that the QSL printer will add such detail. To be honest QSL designers / printers that do not add the data or advise you about such information should not even be designing or printing QSL cards. So think about your design AND what text must be written on it.


Further to the above post. All UK hams that do not provide US$2 for the QSL costs will be sent this letter with their QSL card. We hope that this will help UK hams understand that you must provide QSL costs to receive the QSL direct.

Thank you for the QSL card, I am pleased enclose our QSL card for you.

I would like to remind you that QSL Via M0URX = US$2 – I am sorry that I am not able to accept UK postage stamps or IRCs.

There are three reasons for this:

1)            Stamps are the most expensive way of getting QSL cards to you.

2)            Postage is only ONE of the costs involved in QSL management.

3)            I am not able to use IRCs for postage.

Please let me explain, sending over 10,000 letters every year using stamps is not a cost effective way to provide QSL management.

All my mail is posted on a Royal Mail Online Business Account. This account is accessed by several UK QSL managers from all over the UK. Together we are spending over £20,000 a year on postage to the UK and the rest of the world. This means that we have access to the most competitive rates in the postal industry.

As a QSL manager I have to follow certain rules set out by the IARU:

IARU Region 1 QSLing Code of Practice From Chapter 10.5 of the IARU Region 1 HF Handbook available at the IARU - Region 1 website

“1. Any DX station appointing a QSL Manager must ensure that satisfactory arrangements are in place for receiving and responding to incoming bureau as well as direct cards. Adequate publicity must be given to such arrangements.”

As a QSL manager I am not permitted to use the RSGB QSL Bureau. Because of this I had to set up my own outgoing QSL bureau to send QSL cards to all World IARU Bureaus at my expense. It is the discounts that we get from the mailing account, especially from major DXpeditions that finance the United Radio Outgoing QSL Bureau.

DXpedition sponsors have terms and conditions that I have to adhere to as QSL manager requiring me to provide a service above and beyond the cost of postage.

There are also many other expenses in QSL’ing such as QSL printing, labels, envelopes, IT, computer hardware, and software.

Thank you for reading and I hope that this explains why it is so important to provide US$2 for the QSL costs.

Thank you!

More Winning Ways

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

mw0jzecqwwcertWell not only are Chris and Charles at it getting certificates in the post from CQ Magazine for their efforts in the contests, but also our antenna guru Anthony. I know it's a little late but CQ are just catching up on getting their certificates out in the mail for the past couple of years.

"Postman came today and this was in the post!" Said Ant, "I'm feeling happy and didn't realise I had got this. But I can do better and will do this year -if we have any sunspots left (hi hi)"

Well done Ant and lets start getting the S.H.A.R.K boys back on top in these contests.

Winning ways

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Well it has been a good week for Charles (M0OXO) and Chris (G1VDP) this week with both of them receiving winners certificates from CQ Magazines headquarters in the USA.

M0OXOCharles has come first in England in the CQ World Wide WPX RTTY Contest 2015 for his band category. This also puts him in 7th overall in Europe in the contest, which attracts thousands of entries each year. Well done Charles and lets see some more of these certificates on the wall.

Chris has also come 1st in England in his category that he entered in the CQ World-Wide DX Contest on SSB. Again this contest attracts thousands of entries from around the world and is the contest where the Strumble Head Amateur Radio Klub started - a group of guys G1VDPgetting together and entering from the farm back in 2007 - and where we decided to have fun each year on the radio.

These are the start of many that will follow for the group, and you never know maybe the boys will be back in one of the big contests as a group soon.

End of EU-124 for 2015

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

That's it for another year.

D7K 7284 Ant SunsetThe sun has set on another of our activations.

It has been a great few days on the island and alltogether a fantastic 10 days away for this operator (G1VDP - Chris). A big thank you to Charles, Rob and Jane for their company and friendship over this period.

Both myself and Charles started early with a few days relaxing at the farm getting on the air for a couple of hours, and fishing the small pond that Rob has on his property catching well over 200 small Rudd. We set up the FT897 and a laptop for exclusive 100w digi operations on PSK63 and RTTY ready for on the island.

When Tim, Vinny, Ant and Laura arrived we had a small party and learned all about the new Hexbeams and how easy they are to construct and attach to a mast.

Tony and Glenys arrived late on the Thursday and we sailed on the Friday. From then on it was fun and laughter all the way through the weekend, with some serious operating as soon as the bands opened. We ended the 3 days - well 2 and 1/2 if we take out the waiting time on Friday for the sheep to be sheared and Monday's stripping down of the equipment - with over 4000 contacts in the log (check Tim's online log search), and the bands were in poor shape for most of Friday evening and Saturday.

We all got back to the farm and started heading home on the Tuesday morning, again with Charles and Chris being the last 2 to leave as we had an extra days holiday. Thanks all for your work, friendship and fun all weekend.

And a huge thanks from us all to Greg & Lisa - the RSPB wardens on the island - and their team for their help and allowing us to go over to do what we do. As Greg stated "the aliens have landed" upon seeing the Hexbeams. We must also say thanks to Thousand Islands Expeditions for their support and for taking us over to the island with all the kit each year, Morgan - the Gower Ranger's skipper - is a big help along with his crew who always make us welcome and feel safe.

I personally want to thank the team for everything, and to thank Vinny (M0TAV) for fitting in and being our guest operator this year. Photo's to follow in a new gallery as soon as I have sorted through them.

Also thanks to all who called in and worked us. Tim is now processing all the QSL requests through his OQRS and will be despatching the directs as soon as done and the bureau in his next posting to the international bureaus direct. As we have asked previously please don't send us your cards as they are just recycled (we have no where to store them) and it is far quicker for you to request through OQRS. Again thanks for the on air fun and we will see you all again at our next on air activation.

Geomagnetic storm reaching G4-Severe levels

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

g4-severe gms Three Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) produced on June 18, 19 and 21 have now all arrived at our planet and their combined effects caused G4-Strong geomagnetic storm on 22nd June 2015.

Two of the three CMEs were produced by Region 2371, one of the biggest regions of the current solar cycle, which is currently directly facing Earth. This region has 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic configuration and is capable of producing more strong to major eruptions on Sun. Due to its location, CMEs this region could produce over the coming days would most likely be Earth-directed.

Full-halo CME produced by a long duration M3.0 solar flare which erupted at 17:35 UTC on June 18 hit our planet at 16:50 UTC on 21st June. It was a glancing blow followed by the arrival of partial-halo CME (produced by filament eruption in the SSE quadrant early June 19) at 05:45 UTC on 22nd June.3 cmes wsa enlil june222015 f

Direct hit by full-halo CME produced early 21st June was registered at 18:37 UTC.

Geomagnetic K-index of 8 (G4-Severe) threshold was reached at 18:52 UTC.

Area of impact is primarily poleward of 45 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.Under G4-Severe conditions, widespread voltage control problems are possible and some protective systems may mistakenly trip out key assets from the power grid. Induced pipeline currents intensify

Less Than a Week to go

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

With less than a week to go before the gang gather and start having fun on the air and putting Ramsey Island (EU-124) back on the map. But don't forget this will only be from Friday 19th June, all other activity will be from the farm HQ on the mainland (EU-005). The schedule is as follows:

Monday - Charles is traveling from Yorkshire to collect Chris from his home in Warwickshire. Then they will make the journey down to Fishguard calling in to see Ant and Laura for a quick cup of tea and catch up to break up the journey. Some time during the day they will probably be on the air, and will again be on on Tuesday at some point.

Wednesday - Tim and Vinny leave their homes in Coventry to get down to the farm and allow Vinny time to meet Rob and Jane and see the beutiful views for the first time. Ant and Laura will join the boys later that evening after they have finished work. We hope to get Vinny on air for a couple of hours too this day so he can hear our friends calling in to say1 Welcome to Ramsey Island EU124 2011 hello.

Thursday - Tony and Glenys will be making their way down to Fishguard arriving some time in the evening as they too have other commitments up until this time. The team already at the farm will be doing some antenna testing with Ant and learning how to put together the new DHEXPEDITION Hex Beam.

Friday - Up bright and early setting off to get the boat over to Ramsey. The team will the set up the stations and try to get on the air some time mid afternoon. They will be on throughout the weekend right up to Sunday late afternoon where they will strip down to leave just one station active.

Monday - Strip down the final station and clean up leaving the place just as they found it. Another boat trip back to the mainland and then back to the farm for a much needed shower and freshen up.

Tuesday - The team will start to return back to their homes, leaving Rob and Jane in peace, well almost as Chris and Charles are going to be staying until Wednesday.

So don't forget only from 19th June to 22nd June we will be on EU-124. Please do call in and say hello - but you must use your full call sign.


MC0SHL now on Twitter

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

At last we are catching up to the 21st Century. We have just created a Twitter account and will be using that when we are at the farm, on Ramsey, and carrying out any other activities - even on a day to day basis. We will advertise the frequencies we are on next week - along with the cluster - while on Ramsey, keep you up to date with QSLing activities, show some photo's of the boys & girls having fun, and along with the website keep you up to date with the group in general. So why not start following us. We can be found using @MC0SHL and we look forward to seeing you on there, and maybe meeting on the air next week.


Ramsey Island - 2015

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

We would like to announce that we are currently in the final planning stages of our regular trip to Ramsey Island - IOTA EU-124. This year we are going to try to have 3 stations on air full time as we are only there for 3 nights.

Arrive on island Friday 19th June
Depart island Monday 22nd June

We will be using 3 of the new "Hexpedition" hexbeams built by Ant, one will be directed to the West to allow us to work as many stations in the USA as possible as we seem to be lacking contacts from there each year. There may be some digi mode operating and again we will be looking on 6m to work as many as possible on there too.

Team members this year include a new addition of Vinny, M0TAV, who we welcome into the fold as a guest operator. Vinny is the antenna erector here in the midlands and has experience of operating from around the world when he was working on cruise ships and from his time in Thailand.

The full team this year are;QSL-MC0SHL-2




Charles M0OXO

Tony G4LDL

Chris G1VDP

Vinny M0TAV

Jane - Rob's wife and the chief chef and the one who keeps us in check

Laura MW6INK - Ant's wife and Janes right hand and will also taking to the air.


Glenys G8KWD - Tony's wife and Janes left hand

The girls are in charge as usual and I am sure will keep us all in our place.

Usual DX Code of conduct rules will be adhered to (FULL CALL ONLY) and the regular QSL route via M0URX. Please do not send your card to us via the bureau as we do not need your card, but use Tim's on line request service to get your card sent this way free of charge - or request direct and donate a couple of dollars to assit with our costs.

There may be some operating the days before and after from the farm as we all assemble and get ready to travel.

We look forward to meeting you on the air and again we ask to listen to who we call and just act in a true Ham Spirit and allow us to complete the QSO's.