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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday August 1st 2004

Silent Keys

It is with deep regret we announce the unexpected death, on Thursday last, of Andy MacMahon EI7AYB of Skibbereen in West Cork. Andy was a well known voice on the Cork and Limerick repeaters and was also responsible for the Bantry packet node.

Andy will be missed by his many friends in the amateur radio community. We extend our sympathy to his family at this time.

We are sorry to have to record the recent death of Ian Kyle MIOAYZ/GI8AYZ. Ian was an honorary member of the IRTS and was a former President of the RSGB. He was very actively involved in the planning and organisation of the EI/GI Conventions which used to be held in the Ballymascanlon House Hotel near Dundalk and would be well known to many EI amateurs. Ian was well known to the amateur community in N.Ireland and much further afield, having served the hobby well.

His friendly manner and helpful advice will be sadly missed by all. To his XYL Jean and to his family we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.


Paddy XE1/EI7GK is in Mexico as you know from the news before he went out. He is on each morning on 14.268 and is very strong in EI with a 5/7, 5/8 signal. He has worked some EI, GI, and G's but would like to hear from more. He is on each morning between 05.00 and 08.00 hrs local.

SSB Field Day

SSB Field Day will be held this year on September 4th and 5th and it is hoped to hold it centrally once again at Garbally Park in Ballinasloe. This year, open section stations will be located off site but still in the immediate vicinity of Ballinasloe. Intending entrants should contact the Contest Manager, Noel EI2JC as soon as possible. This of course does not prevent entrants setting up and operating in their own localities. In conjunction with Field Day, experimenters are invited to attend a caravan and camping rally at the same venue. Anyone interested should contact Dave EI4BZ for more information.


Do you qualify for DXCC Awards but have never applied because you do not want to trust your valuable QSL cards to the mail? If so, there may be a solution to your problem.

Hal Turley KC8FS is a DXCC Field Checker for ARRL who will be visiting Ireland shortly and he has offered his services to any EIs who may need to have QSL cards checked for the DXCC Program Awards. He will be doing this with the permission of the ARRL DXCC Manager. Hal will be in Ireland from August 13th to 22nd and will be staying in Galway, Killarney and Shannon. He also hopes to operate from the Signal Station at Mizen Head during part of the International Lighthouse Weekend.

If you are interested in meeting up with Hal to have cards checked, you should email him as soon as possible at

South Dublin Radio Club

South Dublin Radio Club is now closed for holidays. The next meeting will be on Tuesday the 17th of August, at 8.00 p.m. in the Ballyroan Community Centre, Marian Road, Rathfarnham.


A team of 18, including members of South Dublin Radio Club and members of GEARS from County Antrim took part in the recent IOTA contest, using the call sign EJ5E. They operated from Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway.

On a smaller scale, and in the low power section Sean Donelan and six others, including operators from Poland and Belgium, operated as EJ4F from Little Saltee Island, off the coast of Wexford.

Another international team made up of 19 members of the East Cork and Bristol Radio Groups, using the callsign EJ2MT, operated from the recently renovated Martello Tower on Bere Island.

Another entrant in the multi-operator section was EI2JD, helped by Mark EI9IB and Oleg EI2JK. They operated from the EI2JD QTH at Clogherhead in Co. Louth.

The usual good number of EI single operator stations were also heard over the weekend.

Mayo Rally 2004 Confirmed

Mayo Rally Director, Padraic Baynes, EI9JA, has confirmed that the 2004 Mayo Rally will be held on Sunday November the 21st at the usual venue of The Belmont Hotel, Knock.

A full programme of events will be announced shortly.

The club meets this Wednesday August the 4th in Stenson's of Ballyvary at 9 p.m. and visitors are welcome as always.

Tipperary Amateur Radio Group

Tipperary Amateur Radio Groups next meeting will take place on Wednesday the 4th of August in Raheen House Hotel in Clonmel town at 8 p.m. and all are welcome.

Experimenters with 4 metre equipment are reminded that the next 4 metre activity night will take place this Tuesday the 3rd of August on 70.2652 MHz. Several members or Tipperary Amateur Radio Group are active on the band and would be delighted to work your station.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The next committee meeting of the group will take place this coming Wednesday the 4th of August at 8.00 p.m. in the usual venue of Roanmore Social and Sports Centre, Cleaboy Road, Waterford.

International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

With just under three weeks to go to the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend which take place on the 21st and 22nd of August 2004, there are 236 stations in 34 countries who have confirmed their participation. If you have not registered your lighthouse or lightship station with Kevin, VK2CE could you please fill in the entry form at

Solar News

A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field on July the 26th last and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm effecting HF radio conditions. During the storm, Auroras were visible as far south as California in the United States.

Solar and geomagnetic activity, which has been raised for the past few weeks, should subside in the days ahead as giant sunspot 652 disappears over the sun's western limb.

AMSAT-Echo (AO-51)

AO-51 (AMSAT-Echo) was due to be switched on for general use in FM repeat mode on the 30th of July 2004. This will be for a trial period of about three weeks during which the command stations will be monitoring the power budget and adjusting the UHF transmitter B power as needed for good management of the battery. Initially, the transmitter will be running at about 1W but will be slowly increased during the trial. The TX B transmitter will be on 435.300 MHz, which is also a trial frequency.

To work Echo in this mode you need the following information: Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM voice with 67 Hz PL. Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM voice.

The downlink transmitter will come on when it hears an uplink signal with a 67 Hz PL tone for about 1 second. It stays on for 10 seconds after that signal goes away.

Note that Echo is still wobbling a great deal and the polarization sense of the downlink will vary. The B UHF TX is nominally RHCP in the northern hemisphere but this will change over the duration of a pass due to orientation relative to the ground station.

Please note that the digital transponder and the store and forward BBS, are NOT yet open for general use. TX A may also switch to 38k4 from time to time to facilitate downloading large files.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News for next

week should be forwarded to Mark EI7IS. News should be submitted via e-mail to for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.


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