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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday March 23rd 2008

CQIR Contest Results

The full results of the CQIR Contest, held last year as part of the Society's 75th anniversary celebrations, have been published in Echo Ireland, which was recently circulated to members. These results show that 148 entries and 11 check-logs, representing more than 13,500 QSO’s, were submitted. The article on the results includes the detailed scores for all entrants, soapbox comments and details of the ancestry of the overseas Irish who participated in the contest.

2 metres Counties Contest

The 2 metres Counties Contest takes place on Easter Monday, from 14:00 to 16:00 local time. There are six sections in the contest - high power portable, low power portable, high power fixed, low power fixed, FM only (for single operators) and an SWL section. This contest normally attracts a large entry, and provides a great opportunity to work the rarer counties on 2 metres. Those participating should note that the rules provide that, once a contact has been made, the station that called CQ or QRZ must QSY to another channel (FM), or by at least 3 kHz (SSB), before soliciting another QSO. However, the station answering the CQ or QRZ call has the frequency for one more contact.

Full rules are available on the IRTS web site: go to and click on "Calendar and Rules". Note that the email address for contest logs is now "contestmanager at irts dot ie".

ComReg Document

Comreg has published a document entitled 'Proposed Strategy for Managing the Radio Spectrum: 2008 - 2010'. There is a short section on Radio Experimenters at pages 63 and 64 of the document. ComRegs strategy for the period concerned includes - implementing the life-time license - updating the guidelines document and facilitating short term authorizations for amateurs visiting Ireland - modifying the format of repeater callsigns, and - considering the allocation of spectrum around 500 kHz on the basis of a common European position.

Issues of concern to experimenters which are not mentioned in the strategy are the four 3 kHz channels in the 5 MHz region agreed some time back and the general release of the 70 MHz band which was also agreed. We are hopeful that these matters will be brought to a conclusion in the near future. The IRTS will be preparing a response to the document and it is also of course open to individual experimenters or clubs to submit views. Responses must be sent by 11 April to “sinead dot devey at comreg dot ie”. The document is available on the ComReg website at as Document ComReg 08/20.

New Call Book

A new printed call book was published earlier this month, and a copy has been sent to each member. The call book, which was prepared with assistance from the Commission for Communications Regulation, includes new call signs issued up to the end of February.

Solar Cycle 23

As you already know the first sunspot of the new solar cycle 24 took place in early January. It seems that all of the experts now agree that February 2008 marked the solar minimum. These experts are however divided on their present predictions for the intensity of he upcoming solar maximum. The low team are predicting smoothed sunspot numbers of somewhere between 75 and 105 at the peak of the cycle in August 2012 with an average of 90. This would approximate to solar flux levels of between 118 and 164 with an average of 141. The high team on the other hand predicts smoothed sunspot numbers of between 125 and 155 at the peak of the cycle in October 2011 with an average of 140. This would approximate to solar flux levels of between 164 and 210 with an average of 187.

The average of the high and low predictions show the peak in January 2012 with a smoothed sunspot number of 113 or a solar flux of 162. No matter which prediction is taken the good news is that solar flux levels should be pushing up to 100 by mid 2009.

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.


A meeting for all AREN members nationwide will take place on Saturday the 12th of April in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. All members are requested to attend. A copy of the Agenda has been circulated to all members.

There have been some changes at the Committee level. Outgoing Finance officer Dave Moore is succeeded by Tim McNight. John Ronan takes over as acting coordinator (pending the appointment of a new National coordinator). John Ketch will remain on the committee in a new role as Secretary while Conor O Neill continues in Operations. Mark Wall stands down as PRO leaving the position open. Declan Horan stands down as Training and recruitment officer. Expressions of interest for these posts are welcomed. We would like to thank Dave, Mark and Declan for their support over the past few years.

Upcoming Rallies

The Church Island Radio Rally will take place on Friday the 4th of April at the clubs QTH in the Community Hall, Bellaghy, Co. Derry from 8 to 10 p.m. This will feature a bring and buy sale, various traders, raffles and light refreshments. For information contact John McVeigh MI 0 MIO or visit

The Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally takes place on Sunday the 13th of April in the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh. Doors open at noon and the rally will feature a Bring and Buy. Access is available from the Lough Erne/Shannon Waterway. Food and parking are available on site. For further details contact Alan Gault GI6PYP or visit

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark Wall, EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 087-6302026 or 051-340850. 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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