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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday March 21st 2021


IRTS Counties Contest

A reminder that there is an IRTS 80 metres Counties Contest on Tuesday next 23rd March at 20:00 UTC. This is a one hour contest with separate SSB only and SSB/CW sections. Multipliers are the EI and GI counties; for EI and GI stations, overseas DXCC entities also count as multipliers. See www.irts.ie/contests for links to the rules, which include permitted frequency ranges. Note that there is a upper limit of 100 watts PEP for this contest.


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 spring edition of Echo Ireland which should now be with all members. Also included are details on how to arrange your attendance at the meeting on Zoom. Clubs are invited to give short presentations on their activities in the hour leading up to the Annual General Meeting. Contact Declan EI9FVB for details.


Shannon Basin Radion Club AGM

The Shannon Basin Radio Club held its Annual General Meeting on 5th March last. As is normal at the moment, it was held online but that didn’t hinder the proceedings in any way. It had the largest attendance since the formation of the club with only a couple of members sending apologies. The new committee is as follows: Chairperson is Pat EI9HX, Secretary is Brian EI8IU and Joint Treasurers are Pat EI9HX and Anthony EI6GGB, Club Rep and PRO is Owen EI4GGB, QSL Manager is Paul EI9HQB, Youth Officer is Marty EI2IAB. The Webmaster is Anthony EI6GGB, Safety Officer is Tom EI4HCB, and committee members are John EI5INB, Peter EI2IU, Joe EI2IFB. The outgoing committee were thanked for their services over the past year. Among the topics that were discussed were the ISS school contact and EI2CAR, the club’s repeater. Also, plans for post covid club outings and contests were on the agenda. Another “webinar” was also held in which Tom EI4HCB gave a talk and demonstration on surface mount component soldering. Several more webinars are planned as these are both educational and entertaining and are a great way of seeing other club members in these strange times. The club run weekly nets on Mondays at 2000 on 1.847MHz plus or minus QRM, on Wednesdays, on the club’s repeater EI2CAR on 145.775MHz. and on Thursdays on 3.720MHz plus or minus QRM at 2000.


St. Patrick’s Day Activity

Mike KD2DYY from New York reports a very successful Irish Hour net on 14.176MHz on St. Patrick’s Day. The following six north American stations checked in: Mike KD2DYY, Brian W7DFO, Kay WA0WOF, Paul N4PD, Nancy N1NCY, Winston VE3YFB. EI stations on the net were Marty EI2IAB, Ian EI3Y, Lez EI4GEB, Alan EI8EM, Jim EI8GS, James EI8KJ, Declan EI9FVB and Patrick EI9HX. If and when conditions improve, the net will move back to its historical frequency on the 15 metre band of 21.317MHz. A look at the DX Clusters shows that activity on the day from EI was not up to previous years numbers and the most spotted EI station was EI0YOTA. As usual the most active mode was FT8. The Irish Hour net meets daily on 14.176MHz at 1700z and a special effort is made on Sundays.


New Radio News Broadcast on the 4 Metre Band

The East Leinster Radio Club will broadcast the weekly IRTS News Bulletin on a trial basis on the first Sunday each month starting on April 4th at 1030 for three months. The frequency is 70.350MHz and the mode is FM. The newsreaders will be Dom EI5IAB, Tom EI5IEB and Frank EI8HIB. Your support for this new broadcast would be appreciated.


Columbia Module on the ISS.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) ham station in the Columbus module is once again operational. A January 27 spacewalk replaced a coax feed line installed 11 years ago with another built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus following which the station went off the air. While the specific cause of the problem has not yet been determined, a March 13 spacewalk that restored the antenna cabling to its original configuration provided the cure. On March 14, ARISS was able to confirm the repair operation’s success when Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) signals on 145.825MHz were heard in California, Utah, and Idaho as the ISS passed overhead. ARISS team member Christy Hunter, KB6LTY, was able to digipeat through NA1SS during the pass. With additional confirmation from stations in South America and the Middle East, ARISS declared the radio system operational again.


On the Air next week

The big event on the air next weekend is the CQWW WPX SSB Contest running for 48 hours from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. The exchange in this one is report and serial number and its an ideal opportunity for prefix hunters to collect rare and unusual prefixes. EI records have been set in most categories and can be seen on www.cqwpx.com/records CW operators are catered for with the FOC QSO party, a 24 hour event all day next Saturday. FOC members will give RST plus name and member number while others give RST and name.

Now some DX news: A small Russian team will be active as A25RU from Botswana between March 15-28th. Activity will be on various HF bands with the priority to most distant regions using CW, SSB and FT8 in Fox and Hound mode. They will have 3 stations with amplifiers on the air. QSL via R7AL, ClubLog's OQRS, direct, by the Bureau or LoTW. Barring Covid-related restrictions, Janusz, SP9FIH will be active as TO1K from Saint Martin, North America-105, between the 22nd of March and the 5th of April. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, or via his home call. Mats, SM6LRR, will be active as 8Q7MS from the Maldives between March 28th and April 10th. He is operating holiday style on mainly 40-15 meters using CW, but he will also use SSB. Bodo, HB9EWU is on the air in Zambia using the call sign 9J2BG and is active on 20 meters. Send QSLs to HB9EWU, direct or by the Bureau. He is unsure of the length of his activation but will send QSL cards in 2022 when he returns to Switzerland. The word from Dom, 3Z9DX of the Rebel DX team is that after visiting South Africa 2 months ago, they can confirm that all equipment is ready for this year’s 2021 Bouvet operation part 2 in November/December. In the meantime, plans are to go back to Conway Reef for 3 weeks, Rotuma for 3 to 4 weeks and to activate some very rare IOTAs around 3D2 zone.


QSO Today Virtual Ham EXPO

Last weekends QSO Today On line Ham Expo attracted great interest from the worldwide ham community but unfortunately for the organisers, software problems caused major inconvenience for many ticket holders unable to access the presentations. The organisers have now successfully placed the presentations on line and tickets holders can access them for up to thirty days. They apologise to all who were inconvenienced. Trade exhibitors report a successful event with many thousands visiting the virtual stands.

The 45th Ham Radio event in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still on schedule for June 25th to 27th, but the German national society DARC concedes that the Covid-19 pandemic is making planning exceedingly difficult. The DARC is the event’s sponsor, while the venue, the Friedrichshafen Fairgrounds (Messe Friedrichshafen) and local authorities have the last word. Planning under way includes appropriate hygienic and physical distancing policies.


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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