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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday January 6th 2008

80 metres Counties Contest

The IRTS 80 metres counties contest, held on New Year's Day, was well supported in Ireland and overseas. The later start and finish time designed to encourage more overseas participation was generally welcomed by all participants.

Being a counties contest, the rarer counties were in great demand. All counties, with the possible exception of Kildare were active for some part of the contest, although some counties, such as Sligo, Kerry and Cavan, appeared to have been activated only briefly. Most of the activity was on SSB, with only a few counties being heard on CW.

All participants are encouraged to submit logs - these should be sent to "contests2008 at irts dot ie".

IOTA Results

Provisional results for the 2007 Islands On The Air contest have now been published. Almost 1900 logs were received by the contest organisers, a record for this contest. There were 14 EI or EJ entries, and the results for these stations are now available on the IRTS web site, which also has a link to the full results table.

In the highly competitive DXpedition Multi-op, mixed mode 24-hour high-power section, South Dublin Radio Club and friends, using the call sign EJ0GI and operating from Inis Oirr, were placed 12th, achieving almost 4 million points with 2039 QSOs and 314 multipliers. EI7M (East Cork Amateur Radio Group), who were in the Fixed Multi-op, mixed mode 24-hour high-power section were 7th in their category, with over 3.3 million points.

Click on the contests link on the home page of to see all the results.

Contests Email address

The email address for IRTS contests is now "contests2008 at irts dot ie". Note that the previous email address is no longer in use.

WRC-07 and 5 MHz

Despite the best efforts of IARU no progress was made on a 5 MHz amateur allocation due to the determined position of administrations outside of the CEPT block. All is not lost however as this question will again be raised at the forthcoming CEPT WGFM (Working Group Frequency Management) meeting scheduled in February. As the 5 MHz proposal was included within a European Common Proposal concerning the HF bands between 4 and 10 MHz it is hoped those administrations within CEPT will again support the Amateur Service in a bid to find a segment between 5260 and 5410 kHz, even if it is only within the CEPT group.

An example of how this works can be seen by the fact that the 136 kHz band has now been accepted as a worldwide Secondary allocation within the Frequency Allocations of the Radio Regulations. It will be remembered that this first became a Secondary allocation within CEPT early in the 1990s following representations by IARU Region 1. Let's hope that 5 MHz will ultimately follow the same path.

Theory Examination

The next Theory Examination is now only a month away and will be held at the ComReg Offices in Dublin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday the 6th of February. Over half the places for the examination have now been allocated an all the necessary paperwork about the examination was posted out on Thursday last to all those who had forwarded the appropriate fee to reserve a place. Some other people have indicated their intention to sit the examination but have not yet forwarded the necessary fee. It should be noted that as places at the exam are limited a place can only be reserved when the necessary fee is received.

The fee is 50 Euro or 25 Euro for full time registered students, those who are retired, unemployed or have a disability. To reserve a place please send the appropriate fee to Seán Nolan EI7CD at 12 Little Meadow, Pottery Road, Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin. Cheques and Money Orders should be made payable to the IRTS. Seán's address is available in the IRTS call book or on the Call Book section of the IRTS website at

Also available in the “Where Do I Start” section of the IRTS website are Examination Notes with a sample examination paper as well as links to the ComReg Experimenter pages which contain some very useful data under “Licensing Information”.

The examination consists of a multiple choice question paper of 60 questions divided into three main sections A, B, and C and the time allowed is two hours. The pass mark is 60% and a pass is required in each of the three main sections of the paper. When forwarding the exam fee intending candidates should include their postal address as well as phone and e-mail contact details.

Limerick Radio Club

The next club meeting will take place on Thursday the 10th of January at the Limerick Institute of Technology, Moylish, Limerick at 19:30. All are welcome.

Tipperary Amateur Radio Group

There will be no monthly meeting of the Tipperary Amateur Radio Group in January, the next Meeting will be held on February the 7th 2008.

Kerry Amateur Radio Group January QSO Party

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group is sponsoring a QSO party on 160 to 6 metres from 0000 UTC on Saturday the 26th of January to 2359 UTC on Sunday the 27th of January. The purpose of this event is to stimulate EI HF and 6-metre activity during the inclement winter months.

Complete information about the QSO party can be found at

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The next meeting of the committee will take place on Monday the 7th of January and the next General Meeting will be on Monday the 28th of January at 8.00 p.m. in the Roanmore Centre, Waterford.

Codes and Ciphers Exhibition

A Codes and Ciphers Exhibition will take place from Monday the 11th of February until Friday the 15th of February 2008 at the Somme Heritage Centre located just off the Bangor Road, a few miles outside Newtownards, Co. Down. Equipment on display will include a German Enigma machine along with other cipher equipment. For more information visit,

Coolmine Rally

The Phoenix Amateur Radio Club will run the Coolmine Radio Rally on Sunday the 10th of February 2008 at the Coolmine Community School, Clonsilla, Dublin 15. Doors open for traders at 9:00 a.m. and for the general public at 11:00 a.m. To book tables contact Tony on 087-2439997 or Tom on 086-3417017. The rally will feature a bring-and-buy sale and admission is 4 Euro.

Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club

The Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally will take place in The Share Centre, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh on Sunday the 13th of April 2008. The rally will feature a Bring & Buy, Caravan Park and access from Lough Erne/Shannon Waterway. There will be food and parking is on site. Other facilities may be available by prior arrangement with The Share Centre.

Solar News

We are now at a low point of solar activity as Cycle 23 comes to an end resulting in scarce DX. Scientists predict that Solar Cycle 24 may have started a few weeks ago.

NASA scientists studying solar physics noted a knot of magnetism appearing over the sun's eastern limb back in early December. Each new solar cycle begins with high-latitude, reversed polarity sunspots, in other words a sunspot with an opposite magnetic polarity compared to sunspots from the previous solar cycle.

A NASA Science News release describes old cycle spots as those that tend to congregate near the sun's equator. New cycle spots appear about 25 or 30 degrees higher in latitude.

The release says that many forecasters believe Solar Cycle 24 will peak in 2011 or 2012 and will be intense. These same Solar Cycle forecasters claim that more time is needed to see if this sunspot really is the start of Solar Cycle 24.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark Wall, EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 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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