***** CANCELLED *****

RAF Air Cadet Exercise Blue Ham 20-3

17-18 October 2020

Exercise Blue Ham 20-3 will take place on 17th & 18th October 2020 (if RAFAC COVID-19 Rules allow from Unit Headquarters) Updated 03/08/2020

Please note:- If you are operating on 5398.5kHz you MUST change to another available frequency by 14.30hrs UTC on the Sunday as the RSGB GB2RS Weekly News Bulletin will be read out to all Radio Amateurs from 15:00hrs on this frequency. Do not tune up or operate until the station has announced that the frequency is clear for use.

On the dates above the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) will be organising and running a military style National Radio Exercise named ‘EXERCISE BLUE HAM’ other users may be the Army Cadet Force (ACF), Sea Cadet Corps (SSC) or Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Staff and some Cadets. To make this successful we would like to invite all Full Licenced Amateur Radio Operators to take part and make contact with our ‘Special Edition Callsigns’ during the weekend.

The exercise will take place on the MoD 5MHz (60 Mtr) Shared Band and will be on the section of the band that Amateurs are authorised to use (Check Licences Conditions and Band Plan).The only authourised Data Modes for this exercise are PSK31 Data Mode on 5366.5kHz or Olivia Signal 16/500 may be used on the 5368.0kHz frequency exchanging the same QSO information as listed in bold below.

Callsigns will be operating on each of the days, mainly from 08:00 to 17:00, but could also be outside these times depending on working conditions. Where possible stations will advertise which frequency they are operating on using the ‘live page’ on this website as the exercise is in progress and amateurs are welcome to check this page and call in on the advertised frequencies. The website will be going live at the start of the exercise and before that time it may be running test software/calls where all data will be simulated.

All Callsigns will call ‘Alpha Charlie’ which is the equivalent of CQ, amateur stations are welcome to reply to these calls. Exercise Callsigns will all be in the range MRE01 up to MRE98 although other MR, MF and MA prefixed callsigns may be taking part.

The information exchange to complete the contact will be:-

  • Your Callsign
  • Your Location – Using the 6 Digit Maidenhead locator only
  • Transmitter Power
  • Radio Check / Signal Report
  • Antenna Type
  • Antenna Direction

Your operating location is to be in 6 digit Maidenhead Square format as it makes it easier to log and can be a location near you. Callsigns will also be using 6 digits, but this may not necessarily be an accurate location of their station. As Callsigns change frequency during the exercise contacting them again on a different frequency will score as an additional contact, as these frequency changes they will be reported on the exercise website where possible. Maidenhead locators need to be logged carefully and entered correctly on the system so that Amateur callsigns are shown on the A/C Map in their correct location. The contacts will be plotted almost live on the exercise web server by MRE stations.

For those who are not used to our Signal Reports we will generally give Loud Clear, Good Readable, Weak Distorted, Fading with Interference or Unreadable.

We will issue Certificates for Amateur stations that contact 10 or more MRE Callsigns during the exercise period of operation, contact with the same Callsign on different days count as a separate contacts. After close down of the Exercise email your callsign and contact details to claim your Certificate to: blueham@alphacharlie.org.uk (By contacting us your are confirming that we have your permission to reply to you either by email or post – GDPR)

We will also issue to Squadrons and Wings a ‘Certificate of Operation’ providing they email a request to blueham@alphacharlie.org.uk

Please Note:- This exercise does not give amateur stations permission to operate outside of their normal Licensing Conditions or Band Plan.

The RAFAC/ACF/SCC and CCF RAF Section Callsigns look forward to operating as many of you that we can during the period of the Exercise and it will give our operators an ideal opportunity for them to utilise their radio training on HF equipment to a different audience. Unfortuantely you can not ask them their exact location or name but we are more than happy for you to ask them about the weather at their location, how long they have been in the cadet organisation, what radio training they have received, their station set up, etc.

Once a contact is logged into the system it shows up onto a map which can be accessed at http://alphacharlie.org.uk/blueham/showmap.php

Feedback from the previous exercises has again been very good and thanks go to those who have sent in the detail, various arcticles on the exercises have been published in RADCOM, PRACTICAL WIRELESS, The 5MHz Newsletter and RAFARS QRV.

Thank you for taking part and giving the operators plenty of ‘Air time’ which helps to cement their radio training that they have received and experience longer periods of operating, also to those that have assisted with the set up and running of the Exercise.

This information is from the Alpha Charlie website https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham/

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