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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 13th December 2020

International Space Station Contact with Athlone School

On Monday last December 7th, pupils from Athlone Community College spoke to U.S. astronaut Shannon Walker KD5DXB, who was operating as OR4IIS on board the International Space Station. A range of topics covering the lives of astronauts on the ISS and the future of space travel were included in the question and answer session between the Athlone pupils and astronaut Shannon Walker. This event - which was live-streamed on YouTube and widely reported by news outlets, including RTÉ, and on social media - was part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) programme. The 2metre base station using the callsign EI1ISS, was set up and operated by Irish members of ARISS Europe along with members of Shannon Basin Radio Club. A full report on this important event is included in the Winter 2020 edition of the IRTS members' journal Echo Ireland. A link to the YouTube stream of the day's proceedings is currently on the IRTS home page

Looking forward, an ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) event is scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS) for late December. This will be a special SSTV event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Amateur Radio on ISS. The event is scheduled to begin on December 24th and continue through December 31st. Dates are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments. Many EI stations had great success copying SSTV pictures from the ISS in recent weeks.

EI YOTA Success

The EI0YOTA callsign has been activated a number of times since the start of December. A special thanks to eight-year-old Ryan EI8KW, eleven-year-old Siobhan, daughter of Adrian EI9HAB and Slav EI6KW and his daughter, who have all taken the time to operate the EI0YOTA callsign. Between them they have achieved over one thousand QSOs so far. If anyone else would like to take the time to activate the callsign this December, and share the hobby with a young relative or friend, please contact the IRTS Youth Officer, Niall EI6HIB by email, ei6hib at Forty-three stations with the YOTA suffix are now listed on the YOTA website at By working these YOTA stations during December, you can qualify for an award that’s available in four categories, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Check the website for details.

Christmas Greetings from the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group would like to take this opportunity to wish all our radio friends and their families in Ireland and around the world a very happy and peaceful Christmas 2020. We hope you all have a wonderful time, and that Santa is good to you. We would also like to extend every good wish to you all for the new year ahead. We hope 2021 brings you all good health, good wealth, and plenty of new DXCC’s. For anyone that wishes to find out more about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and their activities you can drop them an email to southeasternarg /at/ or please feel free to go along to any their meetings. You can check their website and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Winter Edition of Echo Ireland

The Winter edition of Echo Ireland should be with members during the coming week and editor Veronica Holohan has produced another superb 40-page issue. Included is the end of year address and review by IRTS President Jim EI4HH and the IARU conference report from Dave EI3IO. Séamus EI8BP reports on the fantastic ARISS contact from Athlone with the International Space Station and Michael EI3KO tells all about the Crookhaven Wireless Station from 1901 to 1922. Joe EI6EG gives details of an eggbeater antenna he built for 2 metre and 70centimentre operation and Adrian EI9HAB gives us a very detailed rundown on South Dublin Radio Club’s experiences with social media. All the regular features are there including DX News with Don EI6IL, the 51st edition of the HX files with Pat EI2HX and contest news and DXCC standings from Joe EI7GY. There are club reports from East Leinster and Avondhu plus the all-important members advertisements. Don Brennan EI6IL is unfortunately finishing his tenure as the HF DX reporter and any member interested in taking over the role is asked to contact the President Jim EI4HH.

Club Representatives at IRTS Committee meetings

During the current health crisis, IRTS committee meetings continue to be held on the Zoom platform. The next meeting is on Saturday next December 19th at 1100. Under Rule 16.1, the members in each affiliated club, society or other body may elect a representative and an alternate annually to attend Committee meetings, subject to including among their members at least five paid-up members of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society. Clubs wishing to send a representative should notify the Acting Secretary Harry EI2KL at ei2kl.harry at

First Voice Transmission

The Vienna Wireless Society in Virginia, USA, is operating a special event station in honour of Reginald Fessenden whose experiments in wireless telegraphy in the early 20th century led to his development of a way to transmit the human voice by modulating the radio wave's amplitude into the shape of a sound wave. That's the very principle behind AM. On December 23rd, 1900, the inventor used this technique to transmit a brief voice message between two stations about a mile apart on Cobb Island in the Potomac River in Maryland. As the location is just south of the Vienna club's QTH and the time seemed right to mark the 120th anniversary of the transmission. Station W4F will be on the air between the 18th and 24th of December. There will be a special QSL card for all confirmed contacts.

On the Air next week

The Russian 160 Metre DX Contest will be held on Friday next starting at 1800 and running for four hours on both CW and SSB. Russian stations send report plus oblast number and all others send report and serial number. The Canadian RAC Winter HF and VHF contest is held over twenty-four hours on Saturday next the 19th starting at midnight Friday. VE stations send report and district and all others send report and serial number. RTTY operators can enjoy the OK DX RTTY contest also running for 24 hours on Saturday next. The Croatian CW Contest starts at 1400 on Saturday next and runs until 1359 on Sunday afternoon. Work everybody but you get additional points for working 9Alpha stations. A reminder that the IRTS 80 metre one-hour contest takes place on New Year’s Day at 1700 on SSB and CW And now to some DX news. Tony, 3D2AG is QRV as 3D2AG/p until mid-January 2021. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters, including 60 meters, using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. Look for a group of operators to be QRV as 6V1A from Goree Island, IOTA Africa-045, from December 18 to 20. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW and SSB. Robert, S53R is QRV as T6AA from Kabul, Afghanistan until December 15.

EI Nets

And finally, a reminder of some EI nets on during the coming week. South Dublin Radio Club run a net on 144.330MHz USB from 8 to 9pm every evening except Tuesdays when they run a net on 7.123MHz from 8 to 10pm. On Mondays at 2000, the Shannon Basin Club hold their top band net on 1.847MHz plus or minus QRM, On Tuesday next, the Cork VHF/UHF Group net is on 70.2625 MHz FM at 2100. On Wednesdays, the Shannon Basin Club 80 metre net is on the club’s repeater EI2CAR on 145.775MHz. Also, on Wednesdays, the Mayo VHF Group Christmas Countdown Net is on 145.375MHz at 2000. This net will run on the 16th & 23rd of December This net covers the Mayo area and beyond. So, join in and say hello, all welcome including SWL reports On Thursdays. the Shannon Basin 80 metre net is on at 2000 on 3.720MHz plus or minus QRM at 20:00, On Saturdays, the North Dublin Radio Club - EI0NDR hold a weekly net at 8pm on 145.575 MHz On Sunday mornings, 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.

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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