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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 10th January 2021

Silent Key, EI5FI

We regret to announce the death of Diarmuid O’Sullivan EI5FI of Terenure, Dublin on May 5th, 2020. Diarmuid passed away peacefully in the care of Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross. We extend our deepest sympathy to his relatives and friends.

Contest News

There was a good turnout of Irish and overseas stations for the New Year's Day IRTS 80 metres Counties Contest. Conditions were good, so the band was busy for the full hour of the contest. More than 40 logs have been received to date. To improve cross-checking, the contest manager is hoping to receive more logs before the deadline, which is Friday next, 15th January. Logs, even if they have only a few QSOs, should be sent to irts.contests/at/gmail/dot/com

The UKEICC evening 80 metres contest took place on Wednesday last and there was strong participation from EI stations, with Enda Broderick EI2II taking second place overall. UKEICC runs SSB contests on the first Wednesday of the month, and CW on the last Wednesday of the month, while its annual CW DX 24-hour contest commences on Saturday 23rd January at 1200z. UKEICC's DX contests are the only DX contests where EI and GI counties are multipliers.

South Dublin Radio Club Zoom Lectures

On Tuesday January 5th, 2021, South Dublin Radio Club was delighted to host Michael O'Connell (a.k.a I87 Astroshot Observatory) in delivering the club's first online live lecture of 2021, via Zoom. The lecture is titled " Amateur Observations of Meteors" and is now available to view on the club's YouTube channel. Michael's presentation covers Meteors, Meteor related radio phenomena and how radio techniques are used by amateurs to detect and track meteors. A great question and answer session between Michael and the audience followed the presentation; about where amateur radio and amateur astronomy intersect and the broader applications of amateur radio in astronomy. Also discussed is the NEMETODE network (Network for Meteor Triangulation and Orbit Determination). This amateur network in the British Isles monitors the night sky for meteors and there is an interesting discussion on how amateur radio could potentially collaborate on this project in the future on Michael O'Connell is a "citizen scientist ". He has his own astronomical observatory in Kildare and assists the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies’ Dunsink Observatory as a STEM ambassador. You can follow Michael's work on Twitter, /at/ Astroshot or via his website The South Dublin Club will have more Tuesday night lectures in 2021, so stay tuned to their social media channels and the IRTS News service for details on how to join them via Zoom. The Club continues its weekly club meetings on Zoom on Tuesday nights from 2000 to 2200. All are welcome to join. Please direct message the club via their website, Twitter or Facebook accounts for login details. Their daily 2 metre net on 144.330 MHz SSB from 20:00 to 21:00 continues, as does their weekly Sunday morning 40 metre net on 7.123 MHz SSB (+/- for QRM) from 08:30, followed by the IRTS Weekly news read at 1100 by Joe EI6EG.

Russian Districts Award

There are many thousands of awards available to amateur radio operators ranging from very easy to very difficult. Some are short-term but others can occupy you for a lifetime. One of the better organised and well-run award schemes is the Russian Districts Award, sponsored and run by the Tambov Award group (TAG). There are 2,745 different districts inside 89 different oblasts in the Russian Federation and you can start off with the basic award of 100 districts followed by 250, 500, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000 and honor roll for 2,500 districts. You can check on their excellent website for the number of confirmed districts you have. You get credits from the ARRL’s Logbook of the World and for participating in the RDA contest held annually in mid-August. Otherwise, QSL Cards are required, but they can be scanned and submitted online. The website is, That’s an award that could keep you busy for a while.

Radio Imports

Now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union, we will see major changes in importing radio equipment. Definitive information is scarce but imports from the UK can have VAT paid on purchase or depending on the retailer, VAT may have to be paid before delivery. If it comes via An Post, any charges will have to paid before the item is sent out for delivery. The Post Office employees will not be collecting money at the door. Whether duty is also collected is not very clear, but some sources say that anything originating outside the European Union will attract duty as well as VAT. There may also be a handling charge. John EI7GL has compiled a list of radio and electronic dealers based in the European Union on his blog page and would welcome any updates you can supply.

On the Air next week

The Hungarian DX Contest runs for 24 hours on both SSB and CW starting at 1200 on Saturday next. HA stations will give a signal report and their two-letter county while all others give signal report and serial number. RTTY operators can enjoy the Romanian Pro Digi contest also running for 24 hours from 1200 on Saturday next. On Saturday, the Worked All Britain 1.8MHz Phone Contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. British stations send signal report, serial number and WAB square. All other just signal report, serial number and DXCC prefix. Now some DX news: Bo, OZ1DJJ plans to be active from Tasiilaq Island North America-151 with the call OX3LX from January 13th to the 30th. (DX Grant, VK5GR will be active as VK5KI from Kangaroo Island, OC-139, until the 22nd of January. He plans to operate holiday style on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and FT8, possibly with some RTTY and PSK. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS. Seba, SQ1SGB and Will, M0ZXA expect to be active as VP8/SQ1SGB or VP8HAL and VP8DOI from Halley VI Research Station, Antarctica until the 4th of February. In their spare time they will operate SSB and digital modes FT8 and JT65 on 40 and 20 metres. Members of the SEDINA Contest Club of Poland will activate the special event station SQ0MORSE until April 30th, marking the 230th anniversary of the birth of Samuel F.B. Morse. Operations will be on various HF bands. Send QSLs to SP1EG, direct or by the Bureau. Information comes from Fedor, UK9AA, of the Radio Amateurs of Uzbekistan, to say that permission has been received for Category 1 Uzbek licensees to operate in the new WRC-15 Amateur 60m Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz with a maximum power of 100 watts. The Japan International DX Meeting Committee (JIDXM) Contribution Award 2020 went to Joe Taylor, K1JT, for his development of WSJT-X software “with cutting-edge digital technology,” and to ARRL Director of Operations Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, “for demonstrating brilliant leadership in managing the DXCC Award program” during the pandemic. Croatia has joined the small number of countries to allow operation on the new 40 MHz (8-meter) band. Dragan Mojsilovic, 9A6W, reports that national telecom authorities there have granted him a 1-year experimental license to operate from 40.660 MHz to 40.700 MHz, in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band. Croatia becomes the fifth country to offer at least some operating authority in the band. Ireland, Slovenia, and South Africa already have 40 MHz allocations, while Lithuania has allocated spot frequencies for experimental purposes. See the EI7GL blog for more information.

Cork Activity

Cork Radio Club continues to meet on the Zoom platform every Monday night at 2030 following the IRTS news bulletin read on the Cork repeater on 145.750MHz by Vincent EI7HN. The Zoom link is available on the Cork Radio Club Facebook page or you can email info at Everybody is welcome to join in to say hello, especially Shortwave Listeners. The Cork VHF Groups weekly net will be on 70cm this coming Tuesday at 2100 on 433.475 MHz FM. The following week it will be on Tues 19th at 2100 on 70.2625 MHz FM and on Tuesday 26th at 2100 it will be Digital on DMR Talk Group 2723 with CH3 as the backup

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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