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M0UKI/p EU-109 Expedition

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by; Charles M0OXO

M0UKI/p EU-109

K1024 Longstone Lighthouse 2Just a reminder that myself Charles M0OXO, Nobby G0VJG, Dave EI9FBB, Richard G7GLW & will be qrv from EU-109 (Farne Islands) on the 6th and 7th September 2014.

Callsign will be M0UKI/p.

This short operation may also include participation in the SSB Field Day contest. The team are aiming for Longstone Island, dependant on weather, (keep an eye on QRZ.com links for updates). They will be using multi-band Dipoles & vertical antennas and hope to give this IOTA to as many chasers as possible in the short time frame.

Qsl will be via M0OXO OQRS Direct/Bureau. Your Qsl Cards are NOT required so please use OQRS where possible.

New Logo and Club Rebranding

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

SHARKFor the past 12 months or so we have been looking at changing the name of our group and having a new Logo designed by Rhian, the daughter of one of Rob & Janes friend (Caroline). And we have now decided on the final design.

We will still be te closed club that we always have been, and we will still be carrying out the same activations and having just as much fun as we always have. We will just have a different logo on our clothing and apparel. So here is what we are going for, and the new club name.....

Thius will be incorporated into the banner shortly. The call will still be the same and we will be on the air sometime between now and Christmas from the farm for a couple of days.

Russian Robinson (RRC) anniversary

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Taken from Charles (M0OXO) webpage.

Written By Charles M0OXO:

rrcRussian Robinson Club (RRC) is celebrating 20 years since its foundation.

Check the excellent video presentation, which was first presented at the 50th Anniversary IOTA Convention in Windsor, London, UK (4-6, July, 2014).

Click the image to see this amazing presentation.









Congratulations guys and thanks for all the activations. We look forward to sharing some more drinks and stories with you at the next RSGB or IOTA convention - All the S.H.A.R.K. Boys.


Bureau and QSL Manager Update

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Hello all,

Firstly we would like to send our appologies to any of you who have sent for a QSL card via the bureau by sending one of your cards for any of our activations previous to this last year (2014). The RSGB bureau is refusing to send cards to Tim if they are for MC0SHL as the club is not affiliated to them - in other words we have not paid for a club membership even though every member of the team are RSGB members. We have also found out that these cards are being returned to the senders with this information on them. To us as a group we find this a silly situation, simply because it is showing us in a bad light. We have offered to pay for a bureau only posting service as we are not wanting or in need of the full RSGB membership for the group and this is being looked into. In fact it is 6 months since Tim or Charles received any cards from the RSGB bureau for any of the call signs they look after - and that includes all the SHARK members - so none of us are getting the cards through the system.

If you have sent a card via the bureau and would like one returning that way then please use the OQRS system on Tim's website - just follow this link OQRS BUREAU REQUEST and Tim will get the card out to you. If you want to request a direct card remember we do ask for contributions towards the postal cost, etc. Bureau cards are free and do not incur a direct cost to you, but we have noticed recently how the cost for posting to the bureaus has increased with more people requesting cards this way.

Which brings me on to the next bit of news. Tim has had to renew his computer system and close his QSL request service and operations for a few days to get all the logs and other information over to the new machine. This is because his old one, 8 years old and a very busy machine, is just about to give up on him. So give him a day or two more to catch up and he will be able to sort the cards immediately.

Even though we all think that a bureau card is free there are costs involved, and the following is taken from Tim's website:

Bureau Expenses                                          Created on Monday, 18 August 2014 06:56

With many Bureau users requesting many cards at a time, I would like to remind you that no bureau system is free, it actually costs us a LOT of money. There is the cost of printing the QSL cards and the cost of posting to all World Bureaus to pay.

Please consider donating via PayPal towards expenses This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thank you.

Please support the DX Code Of Conduct

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

dx cODE

Operating standards have been declining.

That is no news to any DXer. Even the IARU took notice and published a resolution encouraging operators to "operate to the highest levels of proficiency, with proper consideration for others using the amateur radio bands."  Read the Full Resolution here.

The publication of DX Etiquette in the March 2010 issue of QST sparked a new world-wide effort to get all hams to operate in a manner consistent with that Resolution. To that end an international group of DXers have developed a DX Code of Conduct.  Since introducing it, hams from all continents have joined in this effort. You can play an important role in spreading the word. This is one project of which it can truthfully be said, "We are all in this together, and we can all benefit."

Learn more about the DX Code Of Conduct by clicking here.

Bureau cards - What a waste

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by: Charles - M0OXO

I hope this is a wake up call for many!

WP 20140803 002The volume of incoming bureau cards that as a Qsl Manager I have to deal with is amazing. Sadly, a massive amount of these are not required and just end up being recycled. I don't even have time to look at the beautiful photos that appear on many of them

The Photos in this item show the amount of unwanted cards that I discarded yesterday. There were 46 Kilo, around 17-18,000 Qsl cards and most of these would have been shown in my Qsl information as ''Qsl Cards NOT required''.

OQRS is so important. Why send unwanted cards through the bureau when they are not required? If you use OQRS you can request your card just the same.  The only difference is that with OQRS you will get the card probably 2 years earlier than if you send via the Bureau and, it saves you money as you areWP 20140803 003 not wasting your cards!

Before you request a bureau card from me, please check out this page. http://www.m0oxo.com/qsl-manager/callsigns-i-manage.html  This will tell you whether or not the station does or does not require your card. Please cut down on bureau wasteage, you will save your time and my time as well as saving yourself money.


As a club we get sent cards through the bureau system for every activation we do. BUT we have one big problem. Because the club is not affiliated to the RSGB we cannot collect the cards from the sub bureau. This means that every card sent to us through this way just gets thrown away or into the recycling system and we never see them. This is not only for MC0SHL but Tim (M0URX) also has problems with some of the calls he manages. So if you need a card use Tim's OQRS system to request the bureau card, and you will receive it completely FREE of charge and probably within a couple of months as opposed to a couple of years. 

It's all quiet on the Sun!

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

sunLess than two weeks ago, the sun was peppered with large active regions. Now, the face of the sun is almost completely blank.

Suddenly, the sunspot number and the sun's x-ray output have dropped to their lowest levels in years. Is Solar Maximum finished? Probably not, but the ongoing quiet spell is remarkable.

Maybe you remember 2008 and 2009, years of spotlessness when the sun plunged into the deepest solar minimum in a century.

The resemblance, however, is only superficial. Deep inside the sun, the solar dynamo is still churning out knots of magnetism that should soon bob to the surface to make new sunspots. Solar Max is not finished, it’s just miniature.

IOTA 50th Anniversary Convention

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

WP 20140705 005As a final end to the trip by VK8NSB to the UK (see below blog entries). Tim M0URX, Charles M0OXO & VK8NSB attended the 50th Anniversary of the IOTA Programme in London last weekend.

It was great weekend located in Windsor, London.

We were priviliged to meet Hams from many Countries including Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA & Eugene Shelkanovtsev RZ3EC from the Russian Robinson Club, seasoned IOTA activator's Cezar-Ioan Trifu VE3LYC, Daniel Gerth DL5YWM and Bodo Fritsche DL3OCH (DF8DX). Also present were two of our JA colleagues Take Funaki JI3DST & Yoshitake Izumi JJ8DEN (KH0PR) (see photo).

You can find many photo's from the event thanks to Nigel G3TXF on this link (click here)

Thanks to all named above, it was a very memorable weekend and a fitting end to Stuie's visit to England and Wales.

Update from Last Week

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Hello all,

Just a brief update on last weeks activities.

The boys made just over 1000 contacts in the 24 hour period on Ramsey Island using MC0SHL, not bad for a part time effort and only 100w output to a Carolina Windom. The activation was more of a visit for Stuie, VK8NSB to see where we have been and operated from - and also to show him this beautiful part of the world.

They then moved on to the farm where most of the contacts made were by Stuie using MW/VK8NSB along with a few using MC0SHL - though this number was less than 100.

It is now just over a week before we all gather down at the farm once more to celebrate the centenial of Rob's family owning and working the farm. We will be on air part time from Wednesday 16th July and hope you will join us in the celebrations by making a QSO.

SWL Comments on Cluster

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

WOW. We have never had a comment like this before.

dx summit
















If you look at the top comment a coward posing as a SWL has posted the comment "$$$$$$ Hunter". If this is because of our comments about no bureau cards then how wrong could they be.

We are not interested in your dollars, we do not want any payments from any of you for what we do. BUT if you want a card direct then we will send direct if you pay for the cost of the postage etc. If you want a card via the bureau then go on to the OQRS we use and click on the request card via bureau. This is completely free to you and costs us to send the cards DIRECT to the international bureaus.


So if the cowardly SWL would like to receive a card then please write to me via our contact page with the details of what QSO's you heard - must be at least 2 contacts that you listened to and not just use a cluster spot - with your details then I personally will ensure that Tim sends it to you direct at my own expense.

Ramsey on The Air

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

photo 1The boys arrived on the island today at 12:30 (local), and set up the station. They have been enjoying pile ups all day, and have been showing the resident wardens and the other volunteers what amateur radio is all about.

Stuie (VK8NSB) did not know he was going over to the island until they arrived at the boat slipway, then the team told him what the plans were. He has been operating and as can be seen from the photo's looks to be enjoying himself.photo 2

All logs will be uploaded to LOTW when the boys get back to the mainland. And don't for get the QSL route is via Tim M0URX.


Special News - Ramsey on the Air for 24 Hours Only

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

On Sunday morning we welcomed to the UK a friend of ours from Australia, Stuie (VK8NSB). Currently he is with Tim and Charles at Anthonys home before they head down to the farm Tuesday morning, in fact some of you may have ven worked Stuie on the air using GW/VK8NSB. I also know MC0SHL has been activated from Ants. WP 20140629 002

There is also some other news to share. On Tuesday 1st July 2014 the boys will be landing on Ramsey Island (EU-124) and staying overnight. They hope that there will be time to set up and operate from there. It will be a simple activation using a K3, KPA 500, and Carolina Windom antenna. They will also be operating from the farm from Thursday afternoon before Tim, Charles and Stuie leave to attend the IOTA convention at Windsor.

So PLEASE make sure you log the station from the correct location. We will have the logs set up for both EU-124 and from the farm but please do not be dissappointed if you have logged the wrong details!!! QSL is via Tim, M0URX, and we only accept bureau requests via his OQRS service. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET A CARD VIA BUREAU DUE TO THE RSGB BUREAU RULES. ALL USUAL DIRECT QSL ROUTES ARE STILL OK.

Picture shows stuie operating from Anthonys.

Update and Weather

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Hello all,

We have all been a little quiet recently with the weather in the UK being rather wet and windy. Many areas around the country have been suffering with the heavy rain causing flooding to the countryside and many properties. The West Coast has also been battered by strong Hurricane force winds along with high tides that has caused extensive damage to the sea fronts.

DSC 0075Down in the area of the farm, Pembrokeshire, has seen some horrendous wind, rain, and high tides. Our friends Greg and Lisa, the RSPB wardens on Ramsey Island posted some video footage of the harbour area on the island to their blog and on YouTube which just shows the power of the oceans. This photo shows the harbour when we land, click on the link to see the video and the huge difference. Rob, Charles and Ant have taken photo's of the damage and flooding in their areas which we have in a new gallery showing how ferocious the storms have been.

We would also like to wish all our friends in the USA who have had the heavy snow fall a safe recovery from their unusually strange weather. The snow fall and temperatures have been extreme with snow of unusual depths being recorded in areas where if they are lucky they get just a light dusting. Again this is unusual and has caused damage and disruption through out the Northern states.

At least not everything is doom and gloom. Rob is busy with his lambing down on the farm, Ant cannot build his HexBeams quick enough and now has his son helping him out, Tim and Charles are both getting busier with their QSL management work and the rest of us are working hard at our day jobs. We are all making plans for this coming year for trips to the farm and various conventions and radio related activities.

This year is also a special year for Rob, Jane, and Rob's brother Ian on the farm as it is 100 years since their family moved on there. A big party is being planned for the summer, with the club call being activated. We will share the fun by uploading photo's, video's and on the radio with all our friends around the world. We may even have a trip around and over to Ramsey Island for a day so again we could be on the air from there.

We are also having a visitor from "Down Under" at the end of June in the shape of Stuie, VK8NSB. He will be staying with Tim and there are plans for some of us to go to the farm for a couple of days so you may hear Stuie on the air from there (if Rob lets him!! hahahaha). Tim and Stuie will then be going up to the IOTA convention at the start of July, so if you are attending then say hello and buy them a beer or two.

Chris will be on HMS Belfast around April 25th for the AGM of the HMS Belfast group and will try to get on the radio while he is on board. He is hoping to have some time to do some photography while he is there and will post the pics on his FlickR page and some on here.

That's all for now but we will try to keep up to date with what is happening through out the year.

Sun Going to Sleep

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

As radio amateurs we all have an interest in what happens on the Sun. Whether we are interested in DXing, Contesting, or just chatting with friends it will affect all our contacts at some point. On HF the Sun Spots and Solar Indexes determine Sunspot Llanferranwhether we can make long distance (DX) contacts on the higher bands, and on the lower band the suns radiation causes absorption in the layers in the upper atmosphere so the signals are from much more local sources.

Even on the VHF/UHF bands the sun plays it's part with how far our transmitted signals travel. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will send out magnetic particles that cause the Aurora's at the poles, we can then use these to bounce our signals and achieve greater distances then on a direct sky path - unless the sun has caused some form of ducting up in the upper atmosphere which - on certain bands - allow the signals to travel thousands of miles.

The BBC's Newsnight programme had a very interesting article on the sun and the possibility of us being in a Maunder Minimum period which is, to put it simply, when the "Sun goes to sleep". Just click on the highlighted words to get to the article.

Lets hope the science is wrong, and the sun is just having a quick power nap to revive itself.