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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 23rd August 2020

Silent Key - Michael Clarke EI3IG

We regret to announce the death of Michael Clarke EI3IG of Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on Thursday last August 20th after a short illness in Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar. While not very active on the radio in recent years, Mick was one of the more active members in the Worked All Ireland net and was also known throughout the country through his career as a musician in the showband days particularly with the Rhythm Stars Showband Mick served on the IRTS committee for three years from 1996 to 1998. We extend our deepest sympathy to his relatives and friends.

HF Digital Mode Band Plan Review

The International Amateur Radio Union have announced on August the 14th that the three IARU Regions have come together to review the band plans for the digital modes. The explosive growth in HF digital modes, particularly FT8 has led to the perceived overcrowding of the HF digital band segments. Accordingly, a working group has been formed consisting of representatives of the three regional band planning committees. This is the first time the three Regions have joined together to directly coordinate band planning efforts. The working group has already had fruitful discussions with the WSJT Development Group led by Joe Taylor, K1JT. Additional discussions, including with other HF stakeholders, will be held as part of a fundamental review of the different HF digital modes, and how they can be best categorized and arranged to share the limited spectrum available. IRTS will be keeping a close watch on these proceedings on your behalf.

IRTS Contest News

Following recent developments and the announcement of new public health measures, the IRTS SSB Field Day contest, due to be held on the weekend of 5th & 6th September, has been cancelled. The 70cms and 2 metres Counties Contests on Sunday 13th September will proceed, however the format of these contests may be amended depending on whether local travel restrictions are in place at the time.

Mid Ulster ARC Tuesday night lecture

The Mid Ulster Tuesday night lecture series continues this coming Tuesday with George Frazer GI4SJQ on “Contesting 101and setting up N1MM for rig control – the basics, give it a go, even once” For further information and the zoom details please contact Dave 2i0SJV on dcparkinson /at/ All the previous Tuesday night lectures can now be found at and are well worth a look.

Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club

Congratulations to Annemarie and Angus who were successful in passing the recent HAREC exam which was held in Cork. We wish them many hours and years of enjoyment from the hobby. On Monday 17th August LCARC went live with WIRES-X on the LCARC 70cms repeater. Thanks to Chairman Dermot EI2GT, who drove the project, to Steve EI5DD for his invaluable advice and especially to John Anderson MI0AAZ whose technical expertise helped solve a number of problems. The club also wishes to acknowledge Ken's EI4IU contribution of the WIRES-X box. After the Monday evening IRTS news on FM, the WIRES-X setup was well tested over a three hour period. Check out the Ireland room, CQ Ireland. As Loop Head lighthouse is closed due to the Covid-19 virus, LCARC will be on air for the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend from the Atlantic Air Adventures Museum, with set up on Friday afternoon and operating on Saturday and Sunday.

EIDX Group Summer Challenge

The EIDX Group Summer Challenge 2020 has been running since June 1st and will finish next Sunday August 30th at midnight. It is a fun event open to ham radio operators worldwide and the aim is to make contact on the HF and VHF bands, earning points for each unique DXCC, Zone, Irish County and EI DX Group participating member. Have a look at the EIDX Group website for all the details and a checklist in excel file format. The EIDXG was formed in January 2016 to encourage and facilitate Irish radio amateurs who wished to explore the possibility of participating in a major DX-pedition. Three highly successful DX-peditions have been held to date, 9N7EI in Nepal in 2017, 7Q7EI in Malawi in 2018 and 5V7EI in Togo in 2019. Anyone with an interest in DXing is invited to join the Group. Log on to for further information.

The United Kingdom and Ireland Contest Club

The UKEICC was formed in 2014 to promote the development of contesting in Ireland and The UK. EI Amateurs on the team are Paul EI5DI and Tim EI2KA. They run two DX contests over 24 hours, CW in Spring and SSB in the Autumn. This year’s SSB event will be held from 1200z on October 31st. to 1200z on November 1st. A series of one-hour duration contests are held monthly from September to April with SSB on the first Wednesday and CW on the last Wednesday each month. A unique feature of these contests is that log submissions must be made within one hour of the contest end and the results will be available within another hour. The first contest will be SSB on Wednesday September 2nd. Have a look at for more information and free membership details.

IRTS Committee Meeting on August 29th

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown, the Irish Radio Transmitters Society continues to function almost as normal. The exceptions are multi-operator contests and the QSL Bureau. Some international QSL bureaus are not accepting or sending out any mail, so the volume of incoming cards is down. Committee meetings continue as normal on Zoom and the next meeting will be held on Saturday next August 29th at 1100. Preparations continue for the IARU Region 1 virtual conference on October 11th to the 16th and IRTS members are actively involved in this work. The Autumn edition of Echo Ireland is currently being prepared and material for inclusion should reach the Editor at newsteam /at/ before August 31st.

On the Air this week

FT4 and FT8 has really taken over the HF bands of late and operators of these modes can take part in the World Wide Digi DX Contest next weekend. It runs for 24 hours starting at 1200utc on Saturday the 29th of August. Log on to to see sub-bands for both modes and the full rules. The contest is run by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation and the Solvenia Contest Club.

Radio Officers Association Contest Team

David G3PLE is hoping to form a team of four to represent the Radio Officers Association in the 2020/2021 UKEI 80m series of one hour a month CW & SSB series of contests. For further details please e-mail David at g3ple /at/ Any EI member joining in would be most welcome as he remembers EI friends from his days at Colwyn Bay Wireless College.

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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