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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday August 10th 2003


UHF Openings

Tony EI8JK made a CW and an SSB contact into Spain on 1296 MHz from IO51 to IO53 recently using a home-made antenna and running about 10 watts. Contact was made initially on 144 and 432 MHz.

Well done to Tony who lives in West Cork, this is probably another first on 1296 MHz.


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 contests@irts.ie 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.


Transatlantic Model Plane attempt

In August 2002, a group of Maryland enthusiasts attempted to fly a model plane from Newfoundland to Galway. The team led by retired NASA engineer Maynard Hill built an 11 lbs balsa wood model plane. The six foot long plane was powered by a 10CC engine and ran on lighter fuel. Joe Footer programmed the autopilot which used an on-board GPS for navigation and processors to steer the model plane. The custom telemetry systems were designed and built by Paul Howey and his son Russell. The plane was tracked using Satellite based systems.

The model named "The Spirit of Buts Farm" was launched from Cape Spear, Newfoundland on August 20th. The flight time to Ireland was estimated at 30 to 40 hours.

Paul Howey and his son Russell travelled to Ireland to land the transatlantic model. Radio Amateurs from Galway set up a 20m link on PSK31 to contact the Newfoundland team from the site at Roundstone in Connemara. The Galway team also set up an Internet link via mobile phone and the UHF antenna system to track the aircraft on its approach to the Irish coast.

Weather conditions made things difficult for the Irish based crew. Dave Brown, President of the Academy of Model Aeronautics was on Holiday in Ireland and came to Roundstone to help. Unfortunately, the model plane disappeared about 25% into its journey, most likely due to turbulence. Maynard Hill and the entire team would like to thank all who helped and to ask for your help again with an attempt this summer.

The Galway Amateurs included Tom EI3ER, Aengus EI4ABB, Ronan EI8HJ, Damian EI2HG, Dave Glynn SWL and Richard EI5GC. This years attempt can be followed at tam.plannet21.com, and is due to launch on August the 6th.


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.


4 Metre Activity

A 70 MHz activity afternoon is planned for Saturday the 30th of August. The event is being organised by Rob Mannion G3XFD/EI5IW and he hopes to work many EI's over the afternoon from his QTH in Dorset. Those interest in taking part are asked to e-mail Rob at rob@pwpublishing.ltd.uk and he will return an e-mail detailing a list of those planning to be active and proposed frequencies etc.

Denmark has recently been allocated the 3 spot frequencies on the 4 metre band. Derek, G8TOK, reports that S53X worked OY9JD in the Faeroe Islands on 4 metres recently, so the permission extends to Danish overseas territories presumably including Greenland.

On the 21st of July last, John Desmond, EI7GL worked OZ3ZW for the first EI to OZ QSO on 4 metres.


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

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 searg@angelfire.com or to John EI8JA at QTHR.

The next general meeting of the group will take place at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday the 27th of August in the Roanmore Social and Sports Club, Cleaboy Road, Waterford. All are welcome.


South Dublin Radio Club

The next meeting of South Dublin Radio Club will take place on Tuesday the 19th of August, at the usual time of 8.00 p.m. Visitors and new members are always welcome. The club meets on Tuesdays at 8.00 p.m. at the Ballyroan Community Centre, Marian Road, Rathfarnham.


Counties Contest

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


International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend

The organiser of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, Mike Dalrymple, GM4SUC, reports that over 250 stations in 34 countries have confirmed their participation in the event.

The event is run over the full 48 hours of the weekend of the 16th and 17th of August. A list of stations can be found on the ILLW website and the organiser asks that if you have already notified your participation you should please check that the details are correct. This can be checked at lighthouses.net.au/illw/2003.htm There is still time to decide to join in, but, if you are unable to establish a station at a lighthouse or lightship, you can still join in the fun by working as many stations at lighthouses and ships as you can.


DX News

DL6KVA will be active as 4K0CW from Baku, Azerbaijan, between the 4th and 17th of August this year. Activity will be on CW only, typically in his night time hours, after 2100 UTC.

JH3PAS will operate as 9N7AS from Nepal from the 11th to the 19th of August. He will be active on HF CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31, and plans to concentrate most of the operation on 30 metres.


AREN Net

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 news@irts.ie for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.

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