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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday November 4th 2007

ComReg / IRTS Meeting Outcome

As we told you some time back a very productive meeting was held on the 10th of July between ComReg and the Society. ComReg was represented by Brian Whelan, Manager, Licensing Division and Derek O’Reilly while the society was represented by the President Finbarr Buckley EI1CS, Vice President Paul Martin EI2CA, Seán Donelan EI4GK, treasurer and Seán Nolan EI7CD IRTS/ComReg Liaison.

At the time of the meeting there were ongoing contacts between the IRTS and the military authorities in relation to 5 MHz and we wished to await the conclusion of these in order to give full details of the outcome of the meeting.

It has been agreed that as soon as the necessary documentation is amended by ComReg the secondary allocation at 70 MHz will be made generally available to existing and new licensees without the need for a special application in each case.

Following extensive contact with the military authorities by the Society it has now been agreed with the military and ComReg that for an initial period of a year four 3 kHz channels will be allocated to experimenters on a secondary and non-interference basis. Individual applications will have to be made for permission to operate on these channels. The 3 kHz channels are centred on 5280, 5290 5400 and 5405 kHz. The power limit will be 23 dBW (200 watts) to an antenna with not more than 0 dBd gain (e.g. a dipole). The permitted modes will be CW, USB and digital Modes. The USB carrier frequency will be 1.5 kHz on the low frequency side of the channel centre frequencies. Some or all of these channels are also in use in the UK, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Canada and the USA. It should be noted that three beacon stations in the UK operate on the 5290 kHz channel for three minutes in every fifteen minutes. These stations are GB3RAL, GB3WES and GB3ORK. Care should be taken to avoid any interference with these propagation beacons.

Still on 5 MHz, ComReg agreed to consider favourably an application by the Society for a 5 MHz beacon. An application was submitted after the meeting and the indications are that this will be granted in the near future.

It had been signalled some time back that ComReg wished to reorganise the allocation of call signs for repeaters. At that time a system was proposed by John McCarthy EI8JA and was publicised on the repeater Reflector. This system has been accepted by ComReg. Voice repeater call signs will for the future have the prefix EI2, EI7 or EI0 (probably) depending on whether a two-metre, seventy-centimetre or ten-metre repeater is involved. The call sign suffix will have three letters. The first two letters can be user-determined information such as ML for Mount Leinster and a final letter R denoting a repeater. ComReg have indicated that the figures 4 and 6 will be used for four and six metre repeaters when any such are licensed and that the figures 1, 8 and 9 will be used for Beacons and TV repeaters respectively.

Repeater groups and Clubs, which operate repeaters, were informed of the new arrangements via the Repeater Reflector or by letter and proposals for call signs are to be submitted to ComReg by the 1st of October. Even if a repeater call sign complies with the revised arrangements notification of intention to retain the existing call sign should be submitted to ComReg to avoid the possibility of duplication. The notification which IRTS received from ComReg about the proposal to open the segment 10.4 to 10.42 GHz to unlicensed Short Range Devices mainly for movement detection in the context of traffic control was discussed. In accordance with an undertaking given at the meeting this matter was publicised via the radio news bulletins of 16 and 23 September and any experimenter having concerns about the proposal was advised to contact Jim Connolly of ComReg. The relevant ComReg document is 07/37 and is available in the publications section of the ComReg website at

The question of increase power levels for experimenter stations was also discussed at the meeting and it was agreed that the Society could submit an application to ComReg in this regard. The necessary data for this is being collected at present.

New arrangements have been put in place so that the Society can be kept informed of the issue or cancellation of call signs.

Due to errors in the documentation submitted by the FCC to CEPT there was some difficulty with regard to certain US licences being accepted as CEPT equivalents. Arising from the meeting this matter has now been clarified through the efforts of ComReg and the Society. The position now is that Technician, General, Extra and the old Advanced classes of US licences are now accepted as CEPT equivalents and holders of them can operate here for up to three months, subject to the local ComReg regulations.

On the question of call signs it was clarified that a call sign can be held without payment of fee where licensees notify ComReg of their intention to be away for some period of time but would intend to re-activate the licence at a later date. As was already the position, the call signs of silent keys will not be re-issued without the permission of the next of kin. At present, lapsed calls are only being re-issued where there were good reasons for the holder ignoring reminders and not paying the annual licence fee. The Society intends pursuing this matter further with ComReg. This issue will of course no longer be a problem with the introduction of the proposed lifetime licence. It was established at the meeting that the lifetime licence is awaiting general regulatory changes in relation to licensing generally. No definite timeframe is available on this at present.

The Society would like to thank the ComReg officials for their positive approach to this meeting, which enabled a number of issues of concern to the Society to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.


The World Radio Conference of the International Telecommunications Union commenced in Geneva on Monday last and will continue until 16 November. The Irish Delegation at the conference comprises five members three of whom are holders of experimenter licences. They are John Breen EI7BV and Rory Henchy EI4DJB of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Samuel Ritchie of ComReg.

It is hoped that the Conference will agree to a new allocation to the amateur service of 150 kHz at 5260 to 5410 kHz. The European Common Proposal from the CEPT Countries supports this by way of an appropriate footnote to the ITU Radio Regulations. It is also proposed that existing allocations at 135 kHz become a worldwide secondary allocation at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz. IRTS has received assurances that Ireland will be supporting these proposals at the Conference.

Looking ahead to WRC-'11 it is hoped that the present Conference will agree to include on the agenda for the 2011 Conference consideration of an allocation in the range 50 to 54 MHz in the European Region of the ITU as well as a worldwide secondary allocation in parts of the band 415 to 526.5 kHz. We hope to keep you informed of developments as we get information on the progress of these items at the Conference.

Cork Repeater Group

The Annual General Meeting of the Cork Repeater Group will be held on Wednesday next at 2100 at the Cork Radio Club Premises which are located in the Cork Foyer Complex on Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. All users and potential users of the Cork Repeaters are welcome to attend. Contact the groups secretary Jim EI8GS on 087-2533768 for further information.

Foyle and District Amateur Radio Club

Foyle & District ARC play host to GB75PW on the 15th of November, the special event station to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Practical Wireless magazine. The club has the added advantage of having the ranks of their operators joined by Rob Mannion, editor of the magazine. Operation is expected to take place on a number of HF bands and also on 2 metres. For more information visit the clubs web site on

Limerick Radio Club

The next Meeting of the Limerick Radio Club will be on Thursday the 8th of November at Limerick Institute of Technology at 19:30 Hours Local. Simon EI7ALB will give a presentation on Radio Astronomy. Radio astronomy is the study of distant objects in the Universe by collecting and analysing the naturally occurring radio emissions from those objects in the frequency range from about 30 MHz to 300 GHz.

South Dublin Radio Club

This year’s South Dublin Radio Club Christmas Party will take place on Tuesday the 11th of December. After last year’s success, the venue will remain the same; "The Morgue", Tempelogue from 8.00 p.m. until late. Members of other clubs and visitors are very welcome to this social event. It’s always a great turnout. Limited free food will be available for paid up members while visitors can choose from the bar menu up to 9.00 p.m.

The club will then go on Christmas holidays until the return on the 8th of January.

Mayo Rally

The Mayo Radio Rally will take place on Sunday the 18th of November in the Belmount Hotel, Knock, Co. Mayo. For more information contact Padraic Baynes, EI9JA @ QTHR.

New Callsigns

Tara radio club are proud to announce 3 newly licensed amateurs, Alan EI5GFB, Victor EI5GLB and Damien EI5GKB. Classes are continuing at South Dublin Radio from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights. Crossakiel Amateur Radio Association will also hold classes from 8.30 – 10.30 weekly. Anybody interested in sitting the exam are welcome to drop in to either club.

Emergency Frequencies

Please be aware that Disaster Frequencies in Tabasco region of Mexico in use are 7060 and 3690 kHz.

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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