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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 16th August 2020

Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club

Over the next two weeks, the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club plans to provide WIRES-X capability. The project is at an advanced stage in that all the hardware is available. A number of club members have also created hotspots using the DV4mini dongle for C4FM. Following the IRTS FM news, on the LCARC 70cms Repeater on Monday evenings at 2000, club members will continue with the C4FM fusion net. The net has proven to be very useful in that a lot has been learned and confidence increased over the past two weeks.

Galway Radio Experimenters Club

The Galway Radio Experimenters Clubs have resumed their meetings in the Menlo Park Hotel on the first Monday every month. Members who cannot attend in person can also participate in the meeting via the Zoom platform. Enquiries about the Galway Club should be directed to club secretary Paul O’Connor via email to p.oconnor /at/

Mid Ulster ARC Tuesday night lecture by Laurie Margolis G3UML

The Mid Ulster Tuesday night lecture series continues this Tuesday with an interview with Laurie Margolis G3UML who is a broadcast journalist with the BBC. Laurie has many interesting amateur radio related stories to tell not least his involvement as an amateur with news confirmation from the invasion of the Falkland Islands. For further information and the zoom details please contact Dave 2i0SJV on dcparkinson /at/ All the lectures are now available on YouTube. Just search for Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club.

G-QRP Club Convention

The GQRP Club Online Convention 2020, will take place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September. The online event, which replaces the club’s annual GQRP convention at Telford due to current Covid-19 restrictions, is open to all Club members, and there is a special deal for non-members. The two-day event comprises a series of online presentations and knowledge-sharing meetings and chat rooms where people can discuss their ideas. Subjects covered include Building QRP Transceivers with G0UPL, HF propagation and QRP with G0KYA, Vector Network Analysers and the NanoVNA with W2EAW, Antennas for QRP with M0MCX plus much more. More information and the full event schedule will be on the website

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend

The 23rd Annual International Lighthouse/Lightship weekend will be held next weekend on Saturday and Sunday August 22nd and 23rd. To date, 314 stations have signed up to participate. There are four Irish stations listed amongst the participants. The Carndonagh Amateur Radio Club EI0CAR will be active from Strove Lighthouse in County Donegal, the Skywave Amateur Radio Club EI0SW will operate the Old Head of Kinsale, the Avondhu Radio Club EI1E will be on from Youghal Lighthouse in east Cork and the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group EI2WRC will activate Hook Head Lighthouse in County Wexford. Further information on

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo 2020

As all the big international radio gatherings have been cancelled due to the corona virus, activity has moved online and last weekend the inaugural QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo attracted over 14,000 attendees from a total of 26,000 people who registered for the event. The event was held over two days and its platinum sponsor was Icom while the gold sponsors included Flex Radio, DX Engineering, Elecraft, RigExpert, GigaParts, and the NCG Company. There were three lecture streams on both days with over 40 different topics and speakers. Forty exhibitors had stands that covered all aspects of our hobby. You can visit the Expo until September 9th by logging on to Next year’s Expo is scheduled for March 13th and 14th 2021.

On the air this week

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Korea on 15 August 1945, members of the Korean Amateur Radio League will be active as HL75V until the end of August. QSL via 6K0MF. Commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I, special event stations TC3GP and TC3GS will be active until 23 August. QSLs via YM3KCN. Henri, OH3JR plans to be active from Market Reef (EU-053) as OJ0JR during August 15th to the 21st. He will be QRV on 80 to 10 metres on CW and FT8 and possibly SSB in his spare time as he helps with maintenance of lighthouse whilst there. QSL via home call and Club Log. Bill K9HZ/J68HZ is operating daily from St. Lucia between 01:00 and 10:00 UTC until September on 160 metres FT8. QSL via LoTW. The Brazil based CVA DX SSB Contest will run from 2100z August 22nd to 2100z 23rd. You get 3 points for working a station in Brazil and 1 point for all others. If you are waiting to Work Hawaii for DXCC or Worked All States, you may succeed next weekend as the Hawaii QSO Party runs on all modes, CW, SSB and Digital from 0400z on Saturday the 22nd to 0400z on Monday 24th on 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160 metres.

Propagation on the HF bands remains only fair but should improve slowly and cycle 25 is definitely on the way. Sunspot numbers have been good for several weeks and the solar flux is forecast to rise slightly over the coming weeks, reaching a high of 75 at times. This is a welcome change from recent forecasts which saw predicted solar flux below 70.

Logbook of the World (LOTW)

Exchanging QSL cards has become very expensive for anyone chasing DX awards with more and more stations only QSLing direct. In 2003, the American National Society, The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) introduced Logbook of the World (LOTW), a system where you upload your log and your QSOs are matched with other station logs, removing the need for paper QSL cards. It can also be very useful as a log backup. The is no charge for using LOTW but charges do apply when you apply for an award. Awards covered are DXCC, WPX, Worked all States, Worked All Zones and VUCC. There are currently twelve hundred and eighteen million QSO records in the system and it is growing rapidly. The ARRL are seeking financial help in maintaining and further developing the system and invite donors to log on to arrl,org/arrl-donation-form.

Items for inclusion in next week’s radio news can be submitted by email to newsteam/at/irts/dot/ie for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. The deadline is midnight on Thursday Urgent items for the radio news may be telephoned to 087-6290574.


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