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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday February 28th 2021


IRTS Training Courses

Applications are still being accepted for the next HAREC on-line course being run by the IRTS training section starting on March 30th. The course will run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 8 weeks. The course is free for IRTS members and intending members. Send expressions of interest to training /at/ irts.ie. Early application is advisable due to the hight interest levels.


South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The 2021 AGM of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group took place on Monday the 22nd of February and, due to the current Covid pandemic, this year’s AGM had to take place on the Zoom platform. Club Chairman Mark EI4FNB welcomed the members online and thanked them for attending.

Mark listed the 59 activities that the club took part in throughout 2020. Even though most of the physical activations had to be cancelled due to Covid the club took part in several different activities including various talks and courses on the Zoom platform. He also noted the disappointment felt by the club at having to cancel the IRTS 2020 AGM which the club was due to host in Carlow in April 2020. He thanked all the members for their support in what had been a tough year and looked forward to 2021 being a much better year for everyone. Club treasurer Sue SWL gave a report on the finances of the club for the 2020 year noting that 2020 had been a successful year financially and that club finances are in a healthy position. She mentioned the fact than anyone that had joined the club in 2020 got free membership for 2021 due to the club being inactive with the Covid restrictions. She also noted that membership was at a record high with close on 55 members paid up at present.

Chairman Mark EI4FNB then thanked the committee members for all their hard work over the previous year and the following committee was then declared elected for 2021. Chairman Mark Kilmartin EI4FNB, Vice Chairman Wayne Lewis EI7HKB, Secretary John Tubbritt EI3HQB, Treasurer Sue McCormick SWL, PRO Sean Byrne EI2HZB, Club Officers John Ronan EI7IG, Eoghan Kinane EI5HBB and Roger Greengrass EI8KN.

Enquiries about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and their activities are welcome by email to southeasternarg /at/ gmail.com or please feel free to go along to any their meetings. You can check their website www.searg.ie and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.


Request for nominations for IRTS Awards.

The IRTS Awards Committee is seeking nominations for “Awards for Services to the Society or to Amateur Radio” and for “Awards to IRTS Members for other achievements”. The winners in the above categories would normally be presented with their inscribed trophy/shield in person at the AGM. However, due to the Corona-19 virus pandemic the trophies/shields will be inscribed but will not be distributed to the winners except where a winner specifically requests delivery of same. It is important that our fellow experimenters and operators whose work and effort on behalf of each one of us and for the Society be recognised and rewarded. Please send your nominations for specific awards to the Awards Manager to - holohaj2 /at/ hotmail.com


Elon Musk’s SpaceX will double Starlink's satellite internet speeds in 2021

It has been reported that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter on Monday that his company's satellite internet service, Starlink, will offer speeds close to 300 Megabits per second later in 2021. That's roughly twice as fast as currently advertised and would represent a significant step forward for the service as it seeks to deliver high-speed internet to underserved regions across the globe. Stories published in some Irish newspapers this week suggest that he may provide an internet service to the Black Valley in County Kerry, a notorious blackspot for radio, telephone and internet services. They also suggested that SpaceX has a link with the National Space Centre at Elfordstown, near Midleton in east Cork.


Mayo Lock Down Net

The Mayo VHF Group - Covid Lockdown Net takes place on Wednesday evenings at 2000 on 145.375MHz FM. This Net will run for the duration of the Government Level 5 lock down. So, join in and say hello, all welcome including Shortwave Listener reports.


On the Air next week

The UK EI Contest Club’s monthly 80 metres SSB contest will held on Wednesday next the 3rd from 2000 to 2100. The exchange is your 6-character Grid Locator and no signal report should be sent. Operation is from 3.650 to 3.775 MHz. Logs to be sent in within one hour of the finish and results will be available an hour later. A few more EI entrants would be appreciated. Bonus station EI5G and GM7V will be worth ten points each in this contest. Looking back to the January event, we had ten EI entries led by Enda EI2II who finished in third place overall.

The ARRL DX SSB contest takes place next weekend starting at midnight on Friday and running for 48 hours until midnight Sunday. North American stations send report plus state or province and everyone else sends a report and their power out.

Anyone interested in the Worked All Britain Award Scheme should be on 80 metres from 1800 to 2200 next Sunday evening the 7th when the WAB 80 Metre Phone contest will be held. UK stations will give report and WAB Square and all others give report and country prefix.

The Open Ukraine RTTY Championship takes place using RTTY 45 Baud next weekend in two parts. The low band section is on the 1.8 to 7MHz bands on Saturday from 1800 to 2059 and again from 2100 to 2359 when you can work the same stations again. The high band section covers the 7 to 28MHz bands on Sunday from 0800 to 1059 and from 1100 to 1359. VHF/UHF operators are reminded that the RSGB 144MHz and 432MHz contest takes place next weekend from 1400 on Saturday until 1400 on Sunday. The modes allowed are CW, SSB, FM, AM, JT6M, ISCAT and FSK441. See rsgbcc.org for the full rules.

Now some DX news: From modest beginnings on the 31st of March 1921, the men and women of the Royal Australian Air Force have served Australia’s national interest. To mark this Centenary, the Wireless Institute of Australia will be celebrating with two callsigns. VI100AF will operate from the 1st of March to the 29th of May. It will be used by radio amateurs that are either current or veteran military personnel; some activities may be from military bases. VK100AF will be active from the 1st of March to the 31st of August. This callsign will be used by a team of over 40 radio amateurs across the bands around Australia. Full QSL information and detail on operations can be found on QRZ.com. Radio amateurs serving in the Finnish military will be using the prefix Oscar India on Friday the 5th of March. This should be of interest to prefix hunters are there are only about 35 stations with an OI callsign, so it’s a rare prefix. There is an award available for working five Oscar India stations since January 1st. 5V7DE is the newly issued callsign for Daniel, HB9EHD, who is in Kara, Togo. He will operate on QO-100 SSB during his evenings and on the 40 and 20m bands FT8. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL, or direct to his home call Simon, GW0NVN will be operating GB0SDD on HF and 2m from 0000 to 2359UTC on the first of March to celebrate St. David’s Day. Club Log, Logbook of The World and eQSL will be used.

Now at last, news of a confirmed DXpedition. Willis Island, Oceania 007, which at number 38 on the most wanted DXCC list, will be activated by the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia hopefully with the callsign VK9W on 160 through 10 metres between November the 3rd and the 13th 2021.


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 News Editor Dave EI4BZ on 087-6290574.

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