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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday March 14th 2021


Michael Forde EI6AJB Silent Key

Sadly, we announce the death on Tuesday last March the 9th of Michael Forde EI6AJB of Raheny, Dublin and formerly of Drumkeeran, County Leitrim. Michael was an active member of the North Dublin Radio Club in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a lecturer in Bolton Street College of Technology and had a great technical and practical knowledge of radio and was always willing to help others and pass on his vast knowledge. He had not been active in recent years but will be fondly remembered by those who knew him. A real gentleman in the true meaning of the word. May he rest in peace. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Dorothy, his son Ter and daughters Eileen and Annette and extended family and friends.


HAREC Training Courses

Applications are still being accepted for the next HAREC on-line course 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 and the closing date for applications is Saturday next March 20th. Send expressions of interest to harectraining /at/ gmail.com.


IRTS Annual General Meeting

Due to the continuing and forecast Covid-9 pandemic restrictions, the 2021 IRTS Annual General Meeting will be held online on the Zoom platform on Saturday April 24th at 1100. The annual committee report, financial report, committee nominations and formal notice of the AGM are included in the current spring edition of Echo Ireland which should be with all members shortly. Also included will be details on how to arrange your attendance at the Annual General Meeting on Zoom.


IRTS Contest News

The next IRTS contest is the 80 metres Evening Counties Contest on Tuesday 23rd March at 2000 until 2100 UTC. There are separate SSB only and SSB/CW mixed mode sections in this contest.

On Easter Monday, 5th April, we were due to have the usual 70 cms and 2 metres Counties Contests. However, the current "stay at home" public health restrictions are expected to be in place at least until early April, so the usual hilltop stations that are key to providing county multipliers and QSOs for this contest will not be possible. Therefore, instead of a Counties Contest, we will run a one-hour 2 metres distance-scoring contest for fixed EI and GI stations. Scoring will be 1 point per kilometre but otherwise the rules incorporate many of the features of the VHF Counties Contests, including the QSY Rule for FM channels and a choice of mixed mode SSB/FM sections or FM Only sections. There is also an SWL section.

VHF/UHF Field Day takes place over the first weekend of July, and we are of course hoping that the easing of travel and other restrictions will be sufficient by then to permit this event to proceed. With a view to encouraging more participation, a number of proposed changes to the rules for this contest were published in the February issue of the IRTS monthly newsletter EiNews, while details were also sent directly to contesters. Following this consultation process, the rules for VHF/UHF Field Day have now been updated and are on the IRTS web site. See www.irts.ie/rules for full details of the forthcoming 80 metres Evening Counties Contest, the 2 metres Easter Monday contest and the revised VHF/UHF Field Day rules.


IARU Receives Gift of hamradio.org Domain

Andrew J. Wolfram, KI7RYC, has donated the hamradio.org domain to the International Amateur Radio Union for non-profit educational use to promote the amateur and amateur-satellite services. In accepting the gift, IARU President Tim Ellam VE6SH said: “The hamradio.org domain offers a unique opportunity for which we are deeply grateful to Andrew. It is our intention to develop a website that can serve as a focal point for anyone, anywhere, who may be seeking information on amateur radio, which is better known as ‘ham radio’ by the general public.”


New Multi-mode Digital Gateway, EI2PMD, Portmarnock, North Dublin

Ger, EI4HOB is pleased to report that the new Multi-Mode Digital Gateway, EI2PMD, located in Portmarnock, North Dublin, is now fully operational. The Gateway operates DMR, C4FM and D-Star on 144.825 MHz with a wide coverage of Dublin from the Northside down to the Tallaght and Dún Laoghaire areas. The DMR operates on Time Slot 2 and Colour Code 2. DMR Defaults to TG 2724, C4FM to IE-YSF-Ireland and D-Star to DCS 049 I. The Gateway operates 25 watts of power into a vertical colinear antenna. This gateway will provide a much needed digital service for the Dublin area. Good coverage reports have been received to date as borne out by the coverage maps.


UKEICC Monthly 80m Contests

The March UKEICC 80m SSB hour long contest was held as usual on the first Tuesday of the month. 84 logs were entered and showed an increase in EI participation to 16 stations this month. The overall winner was G4PIQ with runner spot going to Mike 6 Oscar. In third place Enda EI2II was again challenging for honours while Aiden EI8CE was another top ten finisher in sixth place. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in a great contest. Let’s hope for even more EI stations next month on April 7th. The monthly CW contest will be held on Wednesday week, March 31st at 2000 Zulu. Have a look at www.ukeicc.com for all the rules and full results.


On the Air next week

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest will be held next weekend organised by the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group and it runs from 0200 on the 20th to 0159 on the 22nd. The exchange is report, serial number and time in four digits. The multipliers are DXCC countries, JA, W, VE and VK areas once per band and continents once, regardless of band. Congratulations to Neil EI3JE who was the winner of the 6 hour single operator all band section in last years contest. The Russian DX Contest runs for 24 hours from 1200 on Saturday the 20th on both CW and SSB. Russian station will send report and 2 letter Oblast number while all other will send report and serial number.

Now some DX news: 10 members of the Northern Corridor Radio Group are going to pay a visit to Cocos Keeling Island, Oceania-003, from March 16th to the 23rd and operate holiday-style as VK9CE on 80 to 10m on FT8, CW and SSB. Hiro, JF1OCQ, is now active as 5W7X (remotely from Japan) from Samoa (Oceania-097). The length of his activity is not known. Activity will be on all HF bands. QSL via JF1OCQ.


St. Patrick’s Day Activity

Next Wednesday is St. Patrick’s Day and traditionally stations in EI and overseas stations with a connection to EI make a special effort to get on the air for the occasion. Please be aware of your Worked All Ireland Square and do give your county during QSOs to help Shortwave Listeners working towards the WEIC and WAI Awards. Have a listen on 14.156MHz around 1700 for the daily Irish hour with our friends in North America.


Kerry Group Mark 102nd Anniversary of First East/West Telephony Trans-Atlantic Transmission

Members of Kerry Amateur Radio Group will be QRV on Friday next March 19th as EI6YXQ to commemorate the 102nd Anniversary of the first East to West Trans-Atlantic telephony transmission, from Ballybunion in North Kerry to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Due to Covid restrictions, club members will be QRV from their home QTH this year and will be active on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL is via EI9FVB, direct or buro. Further details are available on QRZ.com


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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