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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 26th October 2008

Exam Agreement

A new examination agreement has recently been concluded with ComReg. This means that the arrangement under which the IRTS is responsible for setting, organising and correcting the examination for an Experimenter’s Licence will continue over the next three years. The new agreement also formalises the long standing arrangement under which the IRTS is responsible for Morse testing.

The agreement between ComReg and IRTS about the theory examination has worked extremely well and is to the benefit of both ComReg and the radio experimenter community. Since the IRTS took over responsibility for the licensing examination three years ago 146 candidates have sat the examination and 90 of these obtained the HAREC qualification which is a pass rate of 62 percent. The next theory exam is coming up on Thursday next 30 October at the ComReg offices in Dublin.

5 MHz

Good news at last. After a long process of contacts between the military authorities and ComReg the first of the 5 MHz licences issued on Friday week last October 17th. We hope by now that all of those who applied have received the necessary permission. The permission varies the terms and conditions of the licences concerned so as to include three 3 kHz channels with centre frequencies of 5280, 5400 and 5405 kHz. The practice is to use Upper Sideband for voice transmissions on these channels. As these are centre channel frequencies and the actual dial readout on upper sideband is 5278.5, 5398.5 and 5403,5 kHz respectively i.e. 1.5 kHz on the low frequency side of the centre of the channel. The maximum power allowed is 200 watts. CW stations are encouraged to use the bottom 300 Hz of the channels as this permits the use of the channel for SSB at the same time.

It should be noted that military cadet stations in the UK which use special non amateur call signs are allowed to participate in the 5 MHz experiment in the UK. EI stations with 5 MHz permissions can not communicate with these stations and may only communicate with other licensed experimenter or amateur stations.

Dave EI3IO was one of the first EI’s on the band and has sent us some observations. He indicates that 5 MHz with its near optimum Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) properties provides superb and stable communication during daylight hours around the Western European Isles of EI, G, GI, GW and GM. At night, stations in North America on the East Coast and the Mid West were easily workable.

After 48 hours with the 5 MHz permission Dave worked 12 DXCC countries including Bermuda, Greenland and Puerto Rico. In all he had 82 QSO’s in that period with the best DX being K5RK in Alvin Texas at 7189 kilometres. Other EI’s heard on the band were EI7CD, EI6IZ and EI7CC.

Finally a word of thanks to ComReg and to the primary spectrum user for facilitating the release of the three channels at 5 MHz for experimentation

Morse Code tests at Mayo Rally

There will be Morse Code tests available at the upcoming Mayo Rally on the 23rd of November. These tests must be booked in advance by contacting Sean Donelan EI4GK telephone 01 2821420.

Congratulations to Roderick EI2P

We wish to extend our heartiest congratulations to Roderick EI2P who celebrates his 90th birthday today. Roderick has had a keen interest in amateur radio for over 75 years and is active on the bands from his well equipped station. He is as interested in experimental radio today as he was when he first started out those many years ago. His call, EI2P is one of the oldest, if not the oldest in the country. Roderick has always been a staunch supporter of the IRTS and is a Trustee of the Society.

We wish Roderick the happiest of birthdays with his family and we wish him and his wife Kate many more happy years together.

Global Simulated Emergency Test November 2008

The next IARU EmComm Party on the Air is scheduled for Saturday the 8th of November between 0400 and 0800 hours UTC. The time of each exercise changes to allow more stations to participate from around the world as well as recognising that emergencies can happen at any time

This is an exercise between stations interested in emergency communications and is not a contest. Activity will be concentrated around the IARU Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies which are 3760, 7060, 14300 and 21360 kHz.

IOTA Contest Results

Provisional results for this year's Islands On The Air Contest have been published. Scores for the EI and EJ entries are available on the IRTS web site, which also includes a link to the full provisional results.

The top scoring EI/EJ station was EJ0GI, a combined team from South Dublin Radio Club and City of Belfast Amateur Radio Society, who operated from Inis Oirr. This group achieved 6th place worldwide in their category. The other EI/EJ stations with scores in the million-plus range were EI0W (Dundalk Amateur Radio Society) and EI9HX (Pat O'Connor). Other EI/EJ stations also achieved high category placings, as can be seen from the contest results page on the IRTS web site.

Another joint EI/GI entry was GI0MPG, operating from Rathlin Island, who achieved 13th place worldwide in their category. This year's IOTA contest attracted more than 1800 entries worldwide, making it one of the most popular contest of the year.

South Dublin Radio Club News

Due to refurbishment of the current meeting premises the Club will be moving meetings to a new location for up to a year.

Next Tuesday 28th October will be the last meeting at the old premises and from Tuesday 4th of November the meetings will be held in a Scout Hall about a mile away, from the current location. Full details including a map is on the website:


1-2 November: North Wales Radio Society 22nd North Wales Amateur Radio Show Llandudno Radio Rally The new site is the brand new John Bright high school in Llandudno.

2nd November: Foyle & District Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally in The White Horse Hotel Campsie, Londonderry Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for Disabled access Main event at 12-noon info

Sunday 23rd November: Mayo Radio Rally, Belmont Hotel, Knock, Co. Mayo. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Rally Director, Padraic Baynes, EI9JA info

DX Bulletins

Swaziland, 25-26 October David GI4FUM / EI4DJ will be active during CQWW SSB from the former IRTS AFRI75 Dxpedition site & antenna farm in Hawane using the call 3DA0DJ. The 3DA0DJ call will be active from 18-28 October QSL via GI4FUM - see 3DA0DJ details on “QRZ dot com”

Willis Island Dxpedition

A team of mainly German radio amateurs have been operating from Willis Island, in the Coral Sea, north-east of Australia, since earlier this month, using the call sign is VK9DWX.

The group's signals have been heard on most HF bands in EI and GI, with 31 EI call signs and 25 GI call signs in the log by Thursday 23rd October, for a total of 124 QSOs. 20 metres and 17 metres have been the best bands to work Willis Island from Ireland, however the group's logs show QSOs with Irish stations on all HF bands except 10 metres. Monday next, 27th October, is expected to be the final day for the DXpedition.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Charlie EI8JB, via e-mail to “charlie dot Carolan at gmail dot com. Or by phone to 087-6265418

News can also be submitted via e-mail to “newsteam 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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