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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday February 24th 2008

IRTS AGM 2008 - Galway

The IRTS Annual General Meeting will be hosted this year on the 26th and 27th of April 2008 by the Galway Radio Experimenters Club. The venue is the Salthill Hotel on the prom in Salthill, Galway. See their website for details at You can also call the hotel on 091 522711 to book accommodation. Rates are 75 Euro per person sharing double room and a single room is 85 Euro to include breakfast. Please mention the Galway Radio Club when booking.

If you prefer B&B, there are ample B&B’s in the Salthill area. The IRTS dinner will be held on Saturday evening the 26th of April in the hotel at 8 p.m. with music in the bar afterwards. On Sunday the 27th there will be a rally in the hotel from 11 a.m. with many of the traders that were at the Knock rally attending. Lunch will be available in the hotel and the AGM meeting will be held afterwards in the meeting room upstairs. Salthill is an ideal venue for a family weekend, walk the famous promenade and avail of the many attractions Salthill has to offer, the Sea Aquarium, cafes, restaurants and bars.

The Leisureland swimming complex is beside the hotel and Galway’s shopping centres are not too far away. For any help and rally details, contact the club’s officers: Damian Commins EI2HG on 086 8316382 or Tom Frawley EI3ER on 086 8224170.

70 MHz Initiative

As reported earlier, Ireland submitted a proposal to CEPT's Frequency Management Working Group, WGFM, concerning the possibility of a secondary allocation to the amateur service in the band 70.0 - 70.5 MHz in Europe's Table of Frequency Allocations, the ECA.

Following on an earlier document submitted in July last, a document drafted by Dave EI3IO was submitted by IRTS to ComReg soon after the close of WRC-07 last year. ComReg acted on this and submitted a formal proposal to the WGFM. The prime goal for doing this was to secure regulatory recognition for the frequency allocation at 70 MHz, which appeared to be a requirement before some countries would release the band to the amateur service. Ten supporting Administrations were needed to automatically write a new allocation into the ECA. Unfortunately the proposal was supported by only six Administrations; The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. With six other countries actively opposing it. It will be obvious that some countries whose amateurs are active on the band did not support the Irish proposal for one reason or another. This was despite strenuous efforts by the IRTS, the RSGB's VHF Manager G4ASR and the IARU to contact all member societies, in order that they would be in a position to discuss the Irish proposal with their national delegates prior to the CEPT meeting.

The good news is that as there was some limited support, Ireland can propose a note to be included in the ECA which reports that a number of CEPT countries are now allocating this band on a national basis to the amateur service. It is understood that ComReg will shortly be submitting an appropriate note for inclusion in the ECA. It is therefore hoped that this will be sufficient for those countries, which need some regulatory ammunition to obtain a 4-metre allocation. Furthermore, the note may also provide an opening for another proposal or request from the IARU to CEPT for a 70 MHz allocation at some point in the future, hopefully with more support. And of course more good news is that we might also see Switzerland and maybe Liechtenstein and 4U1ITU on the band before too long.

We’re sure everyone in Ireland and elsewhere would like to give recognition and appreciation to Samuel Ritchie of Comreg, for his excellent efforts in respect of amateur access to 70 MHz as well as to Dave EI3IO for his personal input in drafting all of the initial technical documentation.

Trophy Returns

It is now necessary to return all Trophies presented at the 2007 AGM in Cork. To allow time for any engraving or minor repairs, the final date for returns is the 9th of March 2008.

Returns can be made before that date to any IRTS Committee Member, or to the IRTS Stand at the Limerick Rally on Sunday March the 9th. Return of trophies to the home QTH of Peter Grant, Award Manager by regular post is the least reliable and most expensive.

500 kHz Experiments

From July 1908, 500 Kilocycle frequency commenced operation as the recognised international CW marine calling and distress frequency. In the UK and Ireland this service ceased in 1997 due to advances in telecommunications technology. However, in the past few years, special permits were issued in Britain to radio amateurs for experimental purposes using frequencies in the range 501 to 504 kilocycles. Ray, GI3PDN is the holder of one such license and a few weeks ago he contacted Tony (EI5EM) to see if a crossband QSO could be arranged with EI0MAR at the Martello Tower in Howth. A sked was arranged with EI0MAR operating on 3550 kilocycles and Ray operating on 501.5 kilocycles. A successful two-way QSO was completed with 559 reports both ways.

Ray was using a home-brew transmitter running less that one Watt into a 300 foot long inverted Vee antenna. No such antenna was available at Howth where a 40-meter dipole tuned for 80 metres was used for transmit and receive. The rig used at EI0MAR was a Yaesu FT-747 running about 70 Watts. A second successful crossband QSO then took place with Finbar GI4PDE (also EI0CF) in Derry but the report on 501.5 kilocycles was not as good at 339. Tony, in arranging these QSOs approached it more in hope than in expectation and was pleasantly surprised and very satisfied with this successful wireless telegraphy experiment. A big thanks to Ray and Finbar for two very memorable QSOs.

EI0MAR is located in the Vintage Radio Museum in Howth and is QRV most Sundays. Further information is available on the web or by email from “ei0mar at eircom dot net”. A booklet about the museum and its history along with the history of wireless is available for free download at

Limerick Radio Club - Annual General Meeting

The 2007 Annual General Meeting of Limerick Radio Club took place at the Limerick Institute of Technology on Thursday last, the 14th of February. It was nice to see such a good turnout of members on the night.

The Chairman Dermot Gleeson EI2GT welcomed all those present and outlined the Club’s activities during the past year: Eight club meetings were held in Limerick Institute of Technology and a number of lectures were given by members on various topics. These included; Aviation and Spectrum by Tom O’Sullivan EI3AL at the October meeting and Radio Astronomy by Simon Kenny EI7ALB at the November meeting. Seven committee meetings were held. Seven maintenance visits were made to the 2-metre repeater site at Tountinna for essential repair work including the replacement of the 2-metre antenna and pole.

The following Officers and Committee were elected; Chairman is Dermot Gleeson EI2GT, Hon Secretary is Michael Kingston EI2IX and Hon Treasurer is Tony Condon EI2AW. Committee members are as follows; Alan Cronin EI8EM, John O’Brien, John Edgeworth EI6IW and Simon Kenny EI7ALB. The Trustees are; Albert Lahoud EI9IY, Alan Cronin EI8EM and Michael Kingston EI2IX.

Limerick Radio Club – Roundup of 2007

The Limerick Radio Clubs Radio, Electronics and Hobbies Exhibition took place in March at the Greenhills Hotel. ICOM UK and the usual Irish traders took part. The Club participated in the 70th year celebrations at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, commemorating the first commercial transatlantic flying boat flight from Botwood, Newfoundland to Foynes in 1937. A special event station was set up using the call-sign EI70FOY.

The Club participated in the International Lighthouse Week-end from Tarbert Lighthouse using the special call sign EI4TLH.

IRLP Hardware and Software has been acquired and it is hoped that the arrangements for the connection to the Internet will be finalized shortly. The Club is awaiting final confirmation from ComReg of the new call sign to be used on the repeater at Tountinna.

Through the good offices of Alan EI8EM a Kenwood TS940S transceiver was gifted to the club by Greg Nitkowski N2BSA. Limerick Radio Club expresses sincere thanks to Greg for this very generous offer. Many thanks also to Simon EI7ALB for all the time and effort he put into refurbishing the transceiver.

The 2008 Radio, Electronics & Hobbies Fair takes place on the 9th of March 2008 at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Ennis Road Limerick. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and Admission is €5 (Accompanied children enter for free). The following traders are scheduled to attend: Yaeusu UK, Icom UK, South East Communications, Long Communications, Cellcom, Jim Bob Traynor, Shannonside Astronomy Club and a Bring & Buy. Those wishing to book a table for the Bring and Buy should contact Dermot EI2GT at 0872352028 or email to “ei2gt at eircom dot net” as soon as possible. The cost of a table will be 10 Euro.

North Dublin Radio Club

At the recently held North Dublin Radio Club AGM, the Club Trophy was awarded to Mike Wright (EI2DJ) for his outstanding contribution to amateur radio and particularly for his work on repeaters. This trophy was designed by Ray, EI7AHB, and donated to the Club in the early 1990s to be awarded annually for worthy contributions to the Club or to amateur radio in general. The trophy, in the shape of a triangle, is inscribed with the formula for Ohm's Law.

Many of us who use repeaters regularly do not realise the amount of work that goes into setting them up and maintaining them. In addition to the voluntary work, there are also costs involved. As we all know, money does not grow on trees. So the next time that you are using your local repeater, consider contributing to the group that maintains it, if you haven't already done so. Congratulations to Mike on his well-deserved award.

At last year's AGM, it was disappointing that there was only one entry for the Professor Folan Shield and the Kevin Freaney trophy. These two trophies are awarded for construction of amateur radio equipment. Tony, EI5EM, in accepting the awards, addressed the meeting and expressed his own disappointment at the lack of competition. He said that there must be many experimenters out there constructing equipment but who do not consider submitting them. With the IRTS AGM fast approaching, now is the time to consider submitting an entry. You do not need to have designed and built a multiband DSP transceiver to enter. If you have built a kit, an SWR meter, a mobile antenna or other piece of equipment, why not submit your project and show that the art of building isn't dead and that EIs are not just a bunch of radio operators. After all, our licenses designates us experimenters. So where are the results of these experiments? Hopefully some of them will appear at the AGM in April.

South Dublin Radio Club

The South Dublin Radio Club annual general meeting will take place on Tuesday the 4th of March at the club's premises on the Marian Road in Rathfarnam.

Theory Classes

Theory Classes are continuing at South Dublin Radio Club and also Cara Amateur Radio Society. Classes at SDR take place each Tuesday from 8 to 10 p.m. while classes at Cara take place on Wednesdays from 8.30 to 10.30 p.m. For more information contact Michael EI2GKB.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The Annual General Meeting of South Eastern Amateur Radio Group will take place on Monday the 25th of February at 8.00 p.m. in the Roanmore Centre, Waterford. All members are asked to attend and visitors are welcome.

6 Metre Repeater

A new 6 metre repeater is operating from Belfast on 50.780 MHz. Input is on 21.280 and the repeater uses 110.9Hz CTCSS.

Upcoming Rallies

The Lagan Vally Radio Rally will take place on the 15th of March at Lagan Valley Hospital, Lisburn. For information contact Jim Henry, GI0DVU on 048 926 62270.

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.

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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