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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday August 3rd 2003

Silent Key

It is with deep regret that we report on the death, last Thursday, of Tom Jeffery EI3HH of Abbeyfeale in West Limerick. Tom was well known to amateurs in EI, particularly those interested in CW and he inaugurated and was the first newsreader for the IRTS News Bulletins on CW for many years. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Joan and all his family. Tom was buried on Saturday last in Abbeyfeale.

Morse Requirement dropped in the UK

The RSGB has announced that there is no longer a requirement to have passed a Morse code test in order to operate on the HF bands in the UK. Intermediate and full Class B licensees are granted their Class A operating privileges and may operate on the HF bands using their existing callsigns since the 26th of July last.

The move comes following the decision taken at the recent World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva recently, which agreed that a Morse code test would no longer be a requirement for HF privileges.

SSB Field Day

Following the recent successful running of the CW Field Day in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, it has been decided by the IRTS committee to look into the possibility of holding the HF SSB Field day at a central location on the 6th and 7th of September. In order to proceed with plans for the Field Day it is necessary to gauge interest from Clubs.

Clubs interested in taking part in the Field Day at a central location should contact the Contest Manager Noel Walsh EI2JC at QTHR or by email to by Friday the 1st of August. The event will only proceed if sufficient numbers express interest. Details of the event will be discussed with the Clubs involved.

VHF Openings

On Thursday, the 26th of June last, VHF-FM DXer Paul Logan in County Fermanagh, recorded a station identification from broadcast station WHCF in Bangor, Maine, on 88.5 MHz. On the same day, David Hamilton in Ayrshire, Scotland, made a recording of CBTB-FM from Baie Verte, Newfoundland, on 97.1 MHz. The propagation mode was multi-hop Sporadic E.

The sporadic-E season is now at its height with excellent band conditions almost every day on 6 metres. Recently there has been openings to the USA and Caribbean. The number of EI's heard working the band is encouraging.

Tipperary Amateur Radio Group

The next meeting of Tipperary Amateur Radio Group will take place on Thursday the 7th of August next.

4 Metre Activity

The monthly 4 meter activity period will be held on Tuesday evening the 5th August from 8.00 p.m. onwards. Monitor frequency will be 70.2625, all modes, vertical or horizontal polarisation. For those interested in the yearly IRTS 4 meter Shield this is a good opportunity to work some new stations and Maidenhead grid squares.

Staying with 4 metres, a 70 MHz activity afternoon is planned for Saturday the 30th of August. The purpose of the afternoon is to encourage use of the 4 metre band. The event is being organised by Rob Mannion G3XFD/EI5IW editor of Practical Wireless magazine and he hopes to work many EI's over the afternoon using either a 3 or 5 element beam from his QTH in Dorset which provides excellent take off to EI on 144 and 70 MHz.

Those interest in taking part are asked to e-mail Rob at and he will return an e-mail detailing a list of those planning to be active and proposed frequencies etc.

Denmark has been allocated the 3 spot frequencies of 70.025, 70.050 and 70.100 MHz. CW only. These 3 frequencies are below the 4 metre band here in Ireland which starts at 70.125 MHz. Outside of the UK and Ireland, Denmark is only the second European country to have issued 4 metre licences. Slovenia issued their first 4 metre licences in 1998.

On the 21st of July last, John Desmond, EI7GL worked OZ3ZW for the first EI to OZ QSO on 4 metres. EI7GL operated spilt by transmitting on 70.200 MHz and listening to OZ3ZW on 70.100 MHz.

Contest Rule Changes

At a recent meeting of the IRTS committee, some important rule changes were approved. These changes will allow for non-members of the Society to participate in multi-operator stations in IRTS contests. Any such station must be representing an affiliated club or society. The amended rules are in the May/June issue of Echo Ireland.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

At the last meeting of South Eastern Amateur Radio Group, the club was treated to an Amateur Television demonstration by Jim EI8IG who showed video footage of the latest ATV tests as well as showing the visitors to the meeting a portable ATV station and antennas. John EI7IG demonstrated broadband wireless networking and spoke about plans by the Waterford WAN group. He also showed some of the equipment and antennas available for wireless networking.

The EI2WRB VHF/UHF Beacon run by South Eastern Amateur Radio Group is operational once again from Donnells Hill, Portlaw, Co. Waterford. It was set up on Sunday the 20th of July. It can be heard on 144.403 MHz. The UHF frequency 432.870 is not yet operational. Reports are welcome to

Counties Contest

The Autumn leg of the EI Counties Contest will take place on Sunday the 31st August 2003.

Shannon Basin Radio Club Challenge

The Shannon Basin Radio club is running a one day Open, Fixed, Challenge for EI residence. This challenge is open to all licensed operators and short wave listeners, and will be held annually on the First Sunday of November. The purpose of the challenge is to encourage radio operators and short wave listeners to be active on the H.F bands. The challenge will have three modes of operation, and the winner in each mode will be awarded with the following. The Lough Allen Shield will be awarded to the highest score in SSB. The Lough Ree Shield will be awarded to the highest score in CW (A1A). The Lough Derg Shield will be awarded to the highest score for SWL. The winners will also receive a personal trophy.

To receive a copy of the rules for the above challenge, please send a stamped address envelope to the contest manager EI6HW, Noel Mulvihill, Hillquarter, Coosan, Athlone, Co. Westmeath or e-mail

Please note that persons intending to compete must send notification 10-days prior to the contest date, so get a copy of the rules early.

South Dublin Radio Club

There will be no meetings of South Dublin Radio Club for the first two weeks of August. The next meeting will be on Tuesday the 19th of August, at the usual time of 8.00 pm. Visitors and new members are always welcome. The club meets on Tuesdays at 8.00 pm at the Ballyroan Community Centre, Marian Road, Rathfarnham.

IOTA Contest

Members of South Dublin Radio Club and its sister club GEARS, from County Antrim, operated in the IOTA Contest from Inisbofin, off the Galway coast. The callsign used was EJ2SDR. A lot of planning went into this years event, using the lessons learned from the group's first contest operation in the 2002 IOTA Contest. Computer problems forced them to resort to paper logging, but that apart, the event went well. Band conditions seemed well down on previous years, with little or no activity on 10 metres.

Three members of the East Cork Group, EI4BZ, EI6BT and EI8IR travelled to Bere Island in West Cork and operated in the restricted section, 100 watts and single wire aerials. Weather conditions were excellent for the entire weekend and all the gear worked to plan. Propagation conditions were only fair (probably something to do with wire aerials) and CW was the main mode used.

Declan EI9HQ operated in the 12 hour SSB section from Arranmore Island off Co. Donegal and other station heard over the weekend include: EI5DI, EI8FH, EI7CC, EI7GY, EI4CF, EI2JD, EI8GS, EI7IQ and EI6IZ.


The Amateur Radio Emergency Network operates nationally on the first Tuesday of each month. Local groups will be called on 145.525 at 2130 local and the national group will be called on 7.043 plus or minus at 2145 local, when local nets will cease to operate. Traffic for individual members of local groups who cannot call the national net will be passed by local net controllers. Operators who are interested in becoming members of AREN should contact John, EI2GN at the IRTS or QTHR.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be

forwarded Mark Wall EI7IS. He can be contacted on 087-6302026. News can also be submitted via e-mail to for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.


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