I Just Don’t Have Time For All This

World Time

Since radio signals can cross multiple time zones and the international date line, some worldwide standard for time and date is needed. This standard is coordinated universal time, abbreviated UTC. Formerly known as Greenwich mean time (GMT). Other terms used to refer to it include “Zulu time”, “universal time,” and “world time.”
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the globally used time standard.
It’s a 24-hour clock that’s based on the 0° longitude meridian, known as the Greenwich Meridian.

Time Notation for Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio operators have two ways of showing time, and which method they use depends upon whether they are communicating with other operators within the same time zone (local), or with operators in different time zones (Dx). Because transmissions on some frequencies can be picked up in many time zones, Amateur radio operators often schedule their radio contacts in UTC.
The International Radio Consultative Committee formalized the concept of UTC. and Coordinated Universal Time was officially adopted in 1967. UTC is used by international shortwave broadcasters.

Local Mean Time is local

It depends at your location. This didn’t matter when travel and communication were slow but the problem grew more acute in the 19th century. The widespread use of telegraphs and railroads finally forced a change. How could you catch a train when every town and railroad company kept a slightly different time?
When people are in different time zones, local time becomes problematic.
Whose “local time” should be the standard?

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Was established in 1675, when the Royal Observatory (UK) was built, providing a standard reference time.
Local solar time became increasingly inconvenient as rail transport and telecommunications improved, and each city in England kept a different local time. The first adoption of a standard time was in November 1840, in Great Britain by railway companies using GMT.
In 1852, time signals were first transmitted by telegraph from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UK.
US and Canadian railways inaugurated a time zone on Sunday, November 18, 1883, when each railroad station clock was reset as standard-time noon was reached within each time zone.
The “universal” time zone that was agreed upon (in 1884) is that of 0° longitude, Greenwich, England. Hence UTC is often called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

UTC – The World’s Time Standard

Commonly used across the world. UTC time is the same worldwide and does not vary regarding the time zone or daylight saving time.
Don’t forget that the day advances at midnight or retreats to the previous day, depending on where you are and the direction of the conversion! You can actually be talking to someone on the radio who is in your future or in your past, depending on your reference in time!
Time travel without a time machine, using RF and Skip.

24 hour Format

You will often see time expressed in the 24 hour format used by the military and many others.
The 24 hour system eliminates any confusion that could result from a failure to specify AM or PM.
UTC uses a 24-hour system of time notation. “1:00 a.m.” in UTC is expressed as 0100, pronounced “zero one hundred.” Fifteen minutes after 0100 is expressed as 0115; thirty-eight minutes after 0100 is 0138 (usually pronounced “zero one thirty-eight”). The time one minute after 0159 is 0200.
The time one minute after 1259 is 1300 (pronounced “thirteen hundred”). This continues until 2359. One minute later is 0000 (“zero hundred”), and the start of a new UTC day.

Time Zones

The world is divided up into about 24 time zones. By 1929, most major countries had adopted hourly time zones. It may be safe to assume local time when communicating in the same time zone, but it can be ambiguous when used in communicating across different time zones.
Time zones around the world are expressed using positive or negative offsets from UTC.

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Local time is calculated by subtracting a specific number of hours from UTC, determined by the amount of time zones between you and the Greenwich Meridian.
To convert UTC to local time, you have to add or subtract hours from it.
For persons west of the zero meridian to the international date line [0 > 180 degrees W], hours are subtracted from UTC to convert to local time.
East of the zero meridian, hours are added. Pay attention to the correct date as the time crosses midnight or the International Date Line.
When converting zone time to or from UTC, dates must be properly taken into account.
For example, 10 March at 02 UTC is the same as 9 March at 21 EST (U.S.).
A world map can help you picture the International Date Line time and see when a date conversion is needed.
Who uses universal time?
Major users of highly precise universal time include astronomers, spacecraft tracking stations, science labs, military and civilian ships. UTC is the time standard used in aviation, e.g. for flight plans and air traffic control (remember how you need to change your watch on arrival?). Weather forecasts, radio and TV stations, maps, seismographers, geologists, power companies and ham radio operators. UTC is the basis for all time-signal radio broadcasts and other time services.
Orbiting spacecraft typically experience many sunrises and sunsets in a 24-hour period, or in the case of the Apollo program astronauts travelling to the moon, none. A common practice for space exploration is to use the Earth-based time zone of the launch site or mission control. The ISS (International Space Station) normally uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

UTC does not observe Daylight Saving Time

UTC does not change with the seasons, but we change our habits and adjust our local clocks accordingly.

So how do you figure out what time it is in UTC?

The old fashioned way to do this is to listen to a shortwave station that broadcasts time information, such as radio station WWV. A more modern way to find the UTC time is to check the internet. Enter “UTC time” into Google or Yahoo and the correct time will be displayed.
GPS receivers are an excellent source of accurate time information because the positioning system depends on having precise timing between all of the system’s satellites. Just set the time zone on your GPS to “UTC” or “GMT” and it will read out in universal time. There are a number of smart-phone apps that display time in UTC.
One of the tricky things to get right is the UTC date. Since UTC time is running ahead in North America, the UTC date will change many hours before the date changes in USA.
For example, when it is late Saturday evening March 3 in the US, UTC time will already be Sunday morning March 4th. This is a classic error on QSL cards: getting the UTC time right but listing the wrong date.
When the UTC clock rolls past 0000, you need to increment the day ahead (compared to your local date). See:: “ How To” March 27, 2014 by Bob Witte. K0NR https://hamradioschool.com/does-anybody-really-know-what-time-it-is/
If your radio supports it, you should consider setting your radio clock to UTC. Or keep a regular wall or alarm clock set to UTC near your radio.


Is a standard radio abbreviation for a scheduled contact at a specific time.


An international notation standard covering the exchange of date- and time-related data, provides an unambiguous and well-defined method of representing dates and times, so as to avoid mis-interpretation of numeric dates and times, date and time values are ordered from the largest to smallest unit of time, using the 24-hour clock system. The basic format is [hh][mm][ss].

Snips – News For Scotland – 25th October

The news headlines:

  • Back to GMT today
  • New Zealand loses 5MHz
  • New RSGB Convention talks on YouTube

GB2RS Script – HERE 


This Sunday sees Stirling and District ARC competing in the CQWW DX SSB contest and may stream their activities on YouTube. Details from secretary@gm6nx.com.

The West of Scotland net in the Dumbarton area runs on Sundays from 8pm via the MB7IBH gateway on 144.9625MHz and via EchoLink to the same gateway address. A DMR net follows from 9pm. Details are on the West of Scotland Net Facebook page by MM3DDQ.

And a full list of current Club Nets can be found – HERE.

Snips – News For Scotland – 13th September

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Online Convention announces two more great talks
  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium news
  • Six Metre Group AGM goes online

GB2RS Script – HERE 


We strongly advise you to check with organisers before travelling, as events mentioned here may be affected by fluctuating pandemic precautions. Government regulations are changing rapidly and it is not necessarily the same across the whole of the UK. Above all, please observe all national or local restrictions, including social distancing and wearing face coverings where required.

We start by thanking Andy Hood, GM7GDE for his long service as West of Scotland GB2RS Newsreader on 2m and 70cm. He has now stepped down, which means there is a vacancy for a new volunteer to join the team. You’ll need to be a Full licence holder and a Member of the RSGB. You will also need to be equipped for 2m, 70cm and preferably also 4m, and have a good takeoff covering Ayr to the south, east out to the Lothians and north into Stirlingshire, plus good coverage to the city of Glasgow to the west. In the first instance please contact Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk.

We also have volunteer vacancies for RSGB District Representatives in three areas. These are Glasgow Central & Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, and Borders. If you live in or close to these areas and would be interested in joining the RSGB Regional Team, please email RR1@rsgb.org.uk for more information.

Viking Amateur Radio Net runs daily from 5 to 6am on 3.770MHz. Details are on group’s Facebook page.

Ayr Amateur Radio Group has daily nets on 7.035MHz ± QRM at 10.15am, QSYing to 7.065MHz for SSB and 145.450MHz at 10.30am with CW on 144.295MHz at 7.30pm. On Sundays there a CW net on 144.295MHz from 7pm and 145.450MHz FM at 7.30pm. Contact Derek, MM0OVD on 0744 793 1941.

Dundee Amateur Radio Club has an open net today via GB3AG from 7.30pm. Activities for International Air Ambulance Week will also take place. Contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933.

Kilmarnock & Loudoun Amateur Radio Club has a net on Sundays from 2pm around 3.720MHz SSB, moving to around 3.540MHz for a CW net after the SSB net ends. On Tuesday there’s a net on 145.475MHz FM from 7.30pm. Contact Len, GM0ONX by email to Klarcinfo@gmail.com.

Mid Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society has a net on Sundays from 10pm on 28.475MHz. On Wednesday it’s the DMR Scotland net on TG23550 from 8pm. Friday sees the club Zello chat from 7.30pm, which later moves to 2m. Details are at https://mlars.co.uk.

Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club has a net on Sundays from 7.30pm on GB3DG, which usually moves to Zoom around 8pm. On Thursdays the net is on GB3DG from 7pm. Members are also invited to join the daily RAYNET net on GB3DG at noon. For details see www.gm4riv.org.

The Glasgow local lockdown means that West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society meetings are presently suspended. . There is a daily Net on  145.425MHz at 11.00am. Wednesday see a Net on 433.425MHz and Friday sees a net on 145.425MHz & Zello from 8pm. Please see wosars.club/radio-nets for details of all known club nets and activities across the region, compiled by RSGB Region 1 Regional Representative Tony Miles, MM0TMZ.

Glenrothes & District Radio Club has open nets on Monday to Saturday at 10am on 3.790MHz. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they are also on 145.425MHz at 7.20pm. Supplemental to the VHF nets there will be Morse training. Contact Tam on 07753 526 498.

Paisley Amateur Radio Club has a net from 8pm on 144.550MHz and Zello on Monday. Tuesday sees the club using DMR room 4415 at 8pm. On Thursday there’s a net on 144.550MHz and the Zello channel from 7.30pm.

Stirling and District Club is running web presentations live at www.youtube.com/user/GM6NX. There is a net on GB3FE on Mondays from 7pm. For details, email secretary@gm6nx.com.

On Monday Edinburgh & District Amateur Radio club has its net, starting on 433.525MHz FM at 8pm. Contact Norman, GM1CNH, on 0774 094 6192.

On Tuesday Livingston and District Amateur Radio Society will either have a net. Wednesday sees a net on DMR Scotland channel TG23550 from 2000. Details from Cathie, 2M0DIB, on 01506 433 846.

On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society has a net on 144.350MHz SSB at 8pm. Details by email to secretary@lothiansradiosociety.com.

Inverness & District Amateur Radio Society has a net from 8pm on 145.575MHz and via GB7BI or GB7II slot 1 475 on Wednesday. For details, email InvernessRadioSociety@gmail.com.

The Lomond Club will be using MB7IBH on 144.9625MHz in the Dumbarton area from 7.30pm on Thursday and they will be also connected on EchoLink using the same gateway. More from Barrie, GM4HEL by email to gm0kzx@googlemail.com.

On Friday Strathclyde Park Amateur Radio Club runs a net from 7.30pm on 145.400MHz, and also on the BATC channel from 8pm. Contact Bill, MM0SFB for information.

Reflections From An Old WoSARS Young-Yin!

By Hugh Cummings GM0HSC (WoSARS Past Member)

Dragging up some old memories:

Along with a number of the other younger amateurs around Glasgow, we set up a group specifically aimed at younger folks, and people new to the hobby, called YAGIS – the Young Amateurs Group In Scotland. One area of interest saw us partake in conversion of assorted PMR sets, to get cheap access to the bands, where commercial kit wasn’t available, including a batch of Pye Cambridges on 4m AM, then converting them (badly) to FM. We ended  with D3E – pretty much!

PYE Cambridge – Hybrid Mobile Tx/Rx (Valve Tx Transistor Rx)

A lesson was learned about shorting out valve grids with a screwdriver I remember, and simultaneously, that electric current flows from a person to another touching person – ouch!

I used to use aircraft scatter to make a 4m qso between David – then GM7BPA (who was a runner up in the young amateur of the year contest I think?) in Croftamie and myself in Mansewood Glasgow. 2m was fine but 4m needed an aircraft approaching the airport over Duntocher for the path to work 🙂

We also ran fox hunts, and many hill-top operations, with all sorts or mobile trips up hills in Ayrshire and the southern Highlands. I also remember a VHF field day above East Kilbride and special event station GB0BUS using a double decker bus I had at the time.

Hugh’s Current Bus – Fares Please! (COX)

I went on to become the senior novice licence instructor for Strathclyde and along with Tommy GM3VBT and Susan GM4SGB, we trained somewhere in the region of 30 mainly young people at novice level, with many going on to get Class B and Class A licences – including young folk from the High School of Glasgow and St Aloysius’ College – one of whom went on to be the lead guitarist in Indy band  MOGWAI  (Almost a callsign – COX).

Another memorable adventure was a mini dxpedition to ACHILL ISLAND in Co Mayo in Ireland IO43………..

View of Achill Island using NASA’s technology overhead

…………..where we got special permission from the Ministry to operate as EJ4VNX on 50MHz as well as on 70MHz, and the other bands. We picked a great week for it (as we had researched the likelihood) and from day 2, had almost constant day time E openings to mainland Europe.

Great times.

Best regards to all at WoSARS for your forthcoming 50th Celebrations.

Shug GM0HSC – a Old Young Yin!

Snips – News For Scotland – 5th July

The news headlines:

Celebrate the NHS with Get on the air to care

Contest Committee to relax Covid-19 rule

IARU appoints new EMC Coordinator

GB2RS Script – HERE .


During the COVID crisis a list of known club nets, and activities, is now being published on the West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society (WoSARS) web site. They have a table listing times and frequencies and this can be found at

Also, WoSARS is trialling a new Daily Morning Net on 145.425MHz @ 1100hrs local. As well as WoSARS Members, the Net is open to all licenced amateurs.

And, as noted in last Sunday’s GB2RS the following:

CANCELLATION – Lomond Radio Club – Crianlarich Rally Sunday 2nd August cancelled.

CANCELLATION – the Cockenzie and Port Seaton Mini Rally/Junk Night on Friday 14th August has been cancelled.

CANCELLATION – GMDX Conventition – Bannockburn – October, cancelled.

All other News Items relate to the Club Nets. Checkout the above LINK .

Snips – News For Scotland – 3rd May

The news headlines:

  • Get on the air to care campaign succeeding
  • May RadCom made available to all online
  • Repeater and Beacon insurance renewed

GB2RS – Script – HERE .


Please note that the RSGB has relaxed the rules for practical assessments as a prerequisite for amateur radio licence examinations. These assessments have been suspended for the foreseeable future during the COVID-19 crisis. Foundation candidates can now sit their exam entirely on line. At present arrangements for Intermediate and Full examinations are currently under review. For further information go to www.rsgb.org/exam-faq. Latest news on this is that there are over 500 candidates now waiting to sit their exam, so get your entry in now.

For those of our listeners who want to buff up before taking the foundation exam then Billy MacFarlane of the Stirling Club has produced an on-line training programme with 43 lessons and this is available to use free of charge at https://gm6dx.thinkific.com/

Today Stirling and District Radio Society are running a net in place of their regular Sunday Club Meetings they are using the GB3FE repeater located at Stirling from 10am.

Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET group are running a NET today and for the foreseeable future using the MB7IBH gateway at Dumbarton. Access is via EchoLink or on RF on 144.9625 MHz and the net is open to ALL from 8:00pm

Ayr Amateur Radio Group has daily CW nets on 7.035MHz ± QRM at 10.15am, then they QSY to 7.065MHz for a SSB net; then at 10:30 their net is on145.450MHz; then in the evening they hold a net on CW on 144.295MHz at 7.30pm, following that they QSY to FM or SSB. Sundays also see a CW net on 144.295MHz from 7pm and one on 145.450MHz FM at 7.30pm. Contact Derek, MM0OVD, on 07447 931 941.

Dundee ARC has a net on Sundays via GB3AG from 7pm. Contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 07763 708 933.

Kilmarnock & Loudoun Amateur Radio Club has a net on Sundays from 2pm around 3.720MHz SSB, moving to around 3.540MHz for a CW net after the SSB net ends. Tuesday sees a net on 145.475MHz FM from 7.30pm and on Saturday there’s an online meeting. Contact Len Paget, GM0ONX, via email to klarcinfo@gmail.com.

Mid Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society has a net on Sundays from 10pm on 28.475MHz. On Wednesday it’s the DMR Scotland chat on TG23550 from 8pm and Friday sees a Zello net on the club channel, moving later to 2m FM. Details are at https://mlars.co.uk.

Glenrothes & District Radio Club has open nets on Monday to Saturday at 10am on 3.790MHz and on Tuesdays and Thursdays on 145.425MHz at 7:20pm. In addition to the VHF nets there will be morse training. Contact Tam on 07753 526 498.

On Monday Edinburgh & District Amateur Radio Club has a net on 433.525MHz FM at 8pm. Contact Norman, GM1CNH, on 07740 946 192.

Paisley Amateur Radio Club are running nets on Monday from 2000 on144.550 and Zello, and on Tuesday at 2000 using DMR 4415 and on Thursday at 2000 on 144.550 and Zello

On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society has a net on 144.350MHz SSB at 8pm. All are welcome to join in. For further information please contact Andy by email to secretary@lothiansradiosociety.com.

On Wednesday Inverness & District Amateur Radio Society has it net from 8pm on 145.575MHz & GB7BI or GB7II slot 1 475, For details, email InvernessRadioSociety@gmail.com.

On Wednesday West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has a net from 8pm on 433.425MHz. On Friday there’s a net on 145.425MHz also from 8pm. Details are at wosars.club.

On Thursday Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club has a net from 7pm on GB3DG. See www.gm4riv.org for other details.

Also, on Thursday the Lomond Club will be using MB7IBH on 144.9625MHz in the Dumbarton Area from 7:30 and they will be also connected on EchoLink using the same gateway

Thirdly, on Thursday the Stirling Club has a net on GB3FE from 7pm.

And finally on Friday Strathclyde Park Amateur Radio Club  (SPARCS) runs a net from 1930 on 145.400 MHz. contact Bill MM0SFB for information.


…… and if you have any relevant information with regards to Club Nets, please contact Tony – MM0TMZ or radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Also, WoSARS has a compiled table of known Nets which can be accessed on their Homepage at wosars.club …..

EDIT: 03/05/20 – A table of Club Radio Nets – HERE .

Snips – News For Scotland – 5th April

The news headlines:

  • G2HCG becomes centenarian this week
  • Remember to vote in RSGB elections
  • Foundation exams online during pandemic

GB2RS Script – HERE .


On Monday Edinburgh and District Amateur Radio club has a net. Contact Norman, GM1CNH, on 0774 094 6192.

West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has a net on Wednesday from 8pm on 433.425MHz from 8pm. On Friday there’s a net on 145.375MHz from 8pm—details at wosars.club