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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 15th November 2020

Silent Key John Devoldere ON4UN

We regret to report the death of a giant in the field of low-band DXing and contesting, John Devoldere, ON4UN, who died on November 9th at the age of 79 after a long illness. First licensed in 1981, John went on to become a leading DXer and contester and in 1979 he became the first ham to earn CQ’s 5-band worked all zones award. In recognition of his great achievements in the fields of DXing and contesting, he was elected to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame in 1997 and the CQ DXing Hall of Fame in 2008. He served as President of the Belgian national society, the UBA, from 1998 to 2007. However, most of us will know of John from his work in writing the Low Band DXing Book which became the bible for anyone interested in operating on the 160 metre to 40 metre amateur bands. The first edition was published by the ARRL in 1987 and four more editions were published over the years, with edition five in 2010.

Together with Mark ON4WW, John co-authored the document “Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur” which is now an IARU policy document that should be known to all amateur radio operators We extend our deepest sympathy to John’s family and friends.

HAREC Examination Classes on Zoom

The first course on the Zoom platform run by IRTS volunteer tutors commences on Wednesday next. Participants will be advised of the link via email. Over seventy people have registered an interest in doing the course and a second course will begin on Thursday the 26th. Again, participants will be sent the link for this course via email. Registrations for the current courses have now closed but expressions of interest in future courses are very welcome at any time by email to training /at/ To date, nine experienced members have volunteered to act at course tutors. Other volunteers would of course be very welcome.

IRTS Club Insurance

A major benefit for clubs affiliating with the Irish Radio Transmitters Society is the free public liability insurance cover provided. This is saving clubs hundreds of Euro a year. Annual renewal is due at the end of the year and cover is dependant on the IRTS Insurance Officer, Larry McGriskin EI9CN having all the club’s correct details. Contact Larry at lmcgrisk /at/ to ensure you are covered.. Remember, it is the responsibility of each club to ensure that correct details are with the insurer, otherwise cover may not be provided. New clubs, in particular should make sure that their details are submitted in good time before the year end. Remember that after January first, details cannot be amended and new clubs cannot be admitted to the scheme.

South Dublin Radio Club

South Dublin Radio Club has uploaded its latest video to the club's YouTube channel. The video was created for Science Week in collaboration with Dublin Maker & Science Foundation Ireland and is called "Signals from Outerspace! Make your own antenna to get images from Weather Satellites". It is designed as a beginner's radio project and instructs viewers on how to construct a very simple V-dipole for 137MHz, demonstrating how it can be utilised along with a basic Software Defined Receiver and computer in order to decode images from passing NOAA Weather satellites. This a very achievable project for anyone wishing to learn more about radio and, in particular, would suit younger hobbyists. Seasoned operators wishing to learn more about satellite communications should also give this project a try! Please visit SDR's YouTube channel for details.

The club is currently lining up presentations & talks for further Tuesday night lectures over the next few weeks, please stay tuned to our social media channels & IRTS News for details.

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club Talks

On Tuesday, November 10th, Dave Johnson G4DPZ gave an online satellite talk to the Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club and the video is now available for everyone to watch on YouTube The talk covered the many amateur satellites in Low Earth Orbit that operate in the 145.8-146.0 MHz and 435-438 MHz satellite bands as well as the QO-100 geostationary satellite which uses the 2.4 GHz and 10 GHz bands. Also covered were the new Inter-Operable Radio System which has recently been installed in the ISS Columbus module and Gateway Amateur Radio Exploration (AREx). You can watch all previous MUARC talks at Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club (MUARC) talks are held online on Zoom at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday's of each month

On the Air next week

Top Band CW operators should see great activity next Saturday evening as three European countries hold their contests with times overlapping. Actions starts at 1600 with the All Austrian 160m contest running until 2359. The French REF contest starts at 1700 and runs until 0100 Sunday while the RSGB contest starts at 1900 and finishes at 2300. The LZ DX Contest starts at 1220 on Saturday next and runs for twenty-four hours. Adherence to the IARU band plans is mandatory. Full rules on all these contests is available on the WA7BNM web page at

Now, some DX news. S01WS has been QRV on 17 metres from Western Sahara using SSB around 1800z. QSL direct. Ulmar, DK1CE will be QRV as TZ1CE from Bamako in Mali for a month. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using FT8. QSL to home call. Sigfrido, IW9FMD is QRV as Z81S from South Sudan while working with the United Nations Mission there. Activity is in his free time. QSL direct to IT9YVO. Rene, DL2JRM will be QRV as J28XX from Djibouti. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home call. Members of the Russian Robinson Club Team got their visas sorted and made it to Malawi and should be QRV until Wednesday next. QSL via R7AL. They are putting good signals in to EI.

And finally, a reminder of some EI nets on during the coming week. South Dublin Radio Club have a daily 2m net on 144.330MHz SSB from 2000 to 2100. On Mondays at 2000, the Shannon Basin Club hold their top band net on 1.847MHz plus or minus QRM, On Tuesdays, the Cork VHF/UHF net is held on a different band each week. This week its 70.2625 MHz FM at 2000 and 50.150 MHz SSB at 2100. On Wednesdays, the Shannon Basin Club 80 metre net is on at 2000 on 3.720MHz plus or minus QRM and also on Wednesdays, the Mayo VHF Group Lockdown net is on 145.375MHz at 2000. This net covers the Mayo area and beyond. Everyone welcome to call in, give a radio report, have a chat, say Hi! The Shannon Basin 2 metre net is on the club’s repeater EI2CAR on 145.775MHz with an 88.5 tone on Thursdays at 20:00, On Sunday mornings, the South Dublin Radio Club hold their 40m net on 7.123MHz from 0830 until IRTS news time with Joe EI6EG at 1100. The Irish hour is on daily on 14.156MHz at 1700 with a special emphasis on the Sunday net.

The Leonids Meteor Shower peaks on Tuesday next

VHF operators should be ready for some good but short-lived meteor scatter conditions as the Leonids meteor shower reaches its peak in the hours before dawn on Tuesday, the 17th of November. Leonids is associated with the comet Tempel–Tuttle and has a Zenithal Hourly Rate of 15 and meteors have been visible for over a week.

That is the news for this week. 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 news may be telephoned to 087-6290574


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