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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday August 5th 2007

IOTA Contest

The Islands On The Air contest was held last weekend. In this year's contest, two offshore Irish islands were heard, Inis Oírr and Rathlin. South Dublin Radio Club and friends were on Inis Oírr Island, County Galway, using the call sign EJ0GI, while the Kilmarnock and Loudon Amateur Radio Club, call sign GI3YS, were on Rathlin Island, off the coast of County Antrim. Numerous mainland stations were also active. Among the mainland stations, club call signs EI0W (Dundalk Amateur Radio Society), EI7M (East Cork Amateur Radio Group) and EI9E (Network Southern Area Radio Experimenters Club) were active. At least 20 other EI, GI and MI call signs were heard during the contest, making the Islands on the Air contest one of the more popular international contests in this country.

For Irish stations, 20 metres and the low bands were the key bands this year, although there was some 15-metre activity on both Saturday and Sunday. 10 metres appeared to be open to Ireland only for a brief period on Saturday. While the higher bands may have been disappointing, there was some very good DX on the lower bands, with many VK, ZL and JA stations logged on 40 metres. The results of this contest, which can be expected before the end of the year, are no doubt eagerly awaited.


Great interest is being expressed worldwide in the Society's 75th Anniversary Contest CQIR, which will take place on the last weekend in September. The contest is a celebration of Ireland and the Irish, throughout the world and with 40 million people in the United States alone claiming Irish forefathers; we expect that CQIR will be one of the largest 'one off' contests ever aired on the Amateur Bands. It is a 24-hour single operator contest with the emphasis on participation rather than winning and to this end every participant gains an entry ticket for a spectacular draw for every 75 QSO’s made during the Contest.

The ticket drawn out of the EI/GI drum will win an all expenses paid long weekend in New York City for two people. ARRL have confirmed that this will include a visit to their national headquarters hosted by ARRL. Kinnitty Castle in Offaly will host the international winners for a week with flights for two from anywhere in the world. The prizes have been fully sponsored at no cost to the Society and this is really an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Society and its 75 years of service to Irish experimenters. We would encourage all Irish operators to be active during the Contest. So ring fence the last weekend of September in your diary, make an effort to have that new antenna up for the event and lets ensure a good show from the local Irish operators to support the international Irish who will no doubt come on the bands in their thousands for the contest. Full rules are on the IRTS website.


As part of the Society’s Jubilee Celebrations, we have been allocated the call sign EI75IRTS for the year 2007. Please note that Individuals and club members of IRTS may apply to use the call sign EI75IRTS during the rest of 2007. Contact Finbarr Buckley EI1CS about this. The use of the call sign EI75IRTS is subject to a number of conditions and full information is available on the IRTS web site at

South Dublin Radio Club

South Dublin Radio Club is on holidays following a successful activation of Inish Oirr in the Aran Islands under the callsign EJ0GI during the Islands on the air contest. Weekly meetings will resume as usual at 8pm on Tuesday the 14th of August in the Ballyroan community Centre on the Marian road in Rathfarnam. Thirteen people took part in the Island activation, which was enjoyed by all.

The next SDR event is a lighthouse activation during Lighthouse on the Air on Saturday 18th and Sunday the 19th of August. They will be activating Saint Johns Point Lighthouse County Down. This is not a contest but a fun event.

Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph in Ireland,

“Alpha/Omega Tour”

In 1907, Guglielmo Marconi’s dream of fixed point-to-point wireless telegraph stations linking North America and Europe became a reality. Derrygimla near Clifden, County Galway served as the site of his wireless station. Over the next 15 years, spark-induced blue flashes generated by the station’s massive 20 kV generators sent tens of thousands of wireless messages across the Atlantic, linking to its North American counterpart at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

2007 marks the centennial of those first sparks generated from Marconi’s historic Clifden station. To commemorate this significant event, as well as radio’s first-ever commercial venture at Ballycastle-Rathlin, Hal W8HC announces a special amateur radio operation from both locations central to Marconi’s fame and success as a pioneer in wireless technology. Ballycastle-Rathlin was his first wireless telegraph station and the Clifden station would be his last, ceasing operation in 1922.

On Saturday and Sunday, August the 4th and 5th. Hal will operate from Ballycastle as GI/W8HC/p. He will be also taking part in the annual Marconi Festival at Ballycastle with the Marconi Radio Group’s MNØMRG special event station on Sunday the 5th of August. On Monday the 6th of August, he will ferry over to Rathlin Island (EU-122) and operate from East Lighthouse (ARLS designator NTI 011).

He will arrive in Clifden on Wednesday the 8th of August where he will operate as EI/W8HC/p at the Derrygimla site on Thursday and Friday the 9th and 10th of August. It is hoped that some operating time can also occur from nearby Letterfrack, site of an ancillary receive station built in 1912 to allow for full duplex operation of the transatlantic signals.

All QSOs will be confirmed via LOTW and special QSLs from each of these historic Marconi locations will be printed and sent via GlobalQSL In addition, a specially designed certificate will be issued to those stations making contact with both GI and EI operations from either Ballycastle or Rathlin and Derrygimla or Letterfrack. In keeping with the historic connection, all QSOs from these locations will be CW only. Limited mobile phone operation will take place during transit in both GI and EI.

Field Days and Contests

The 2 metres counties contest will take place on the 26th of August. The SSB field day will take place over the first weekend (1st and 2nd) of September. Again the grounds of Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway will be available, thanks to Niall EI4CF and once again the Shannon Basin Club will be hosting their now famous Barbeque. Of course, the big event will be CQIR over the last weekend, so plenty to look forward to.

Please note that the deadline for submission of logs for the VHF/UHF Field Day is the 7th of August.

Foyle and District ARC Rally

The Foyle and District Rally will take place on Sunday the 4th of November 2007 at the White Horse Hotel, Derry, 3 miles from Derry on the main Limavady Road. Doors open at midday. The club's web address for more information is

Church Broadcasts

Recently we carried an item telling you that it has now been established that a church broadcast is being transmitted on 28.105 MHz FM in the Dublin area. Some further work is required to identify the Church concerned. Mass is transmitted at 0900, 1000 and 1100 local on Sundays and at 1000 on weekdays. Initial bearings would indicate that the transmissions are originating somewhere on the north side of Dublin.

It would help greatly if bearings on the station from areas such as Blanchardstown, Malahide and the north side generally could be provided, as these would help to further pin down the general area from which the transmission originates. The local Church notices can be of assistance in positively identifying the Church concerned. If you cannot identify the station and you have a beam antenna you could take a bearing on the peak signal from anywhere in the greater Dublin area which in conjunction with similar bearings taken by other stations could help in locating the source of the transmission. Stations located outside Dublin should listen on FM the lower end of the 28 MHz band generally to see if any unauthorised activity is taking place in the band in their areas.

If you hear anything worth reporting you should send a report to Thos Caffrey EI2JD the IRTS Intruder Watch coordinator at QTHR or to “thoscaffrey at hotmail dot com” with a copy to Sean Nolan EI7CD at QTHR or to “ei7cd at gofree dot indigo dot ie”. The report should include date, time, frequency, signal strength, possible location of station if identified, beam heading in degrees from true north and any other relevant information. If the station is identified from an announcement of local events, details should be given. Should you hear anything, no action should be taken other than forwarding a report as requested.

It is in our own interests to identify any unauthorised activity so as to preserve the exclusive nature of the 28 MHz allocation. The matter has already been reported to ComReg who will act on the matter if we can provide appropriate information.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark Wall, EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 051-853806 or 087-6302026. Items for the radio news can also be faxed to 087 5 6302026. News should be submitted via e-mail to “news at irts dot ie” for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. Please note that items for the radio news should reach the editor no later than midday on Friday in order to be guaranteed inclusion in the following Sunday’s bulletin.


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