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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday June 20th 2021.

Paddy Maher (Pádraig Ó Meachair) EI7GK, Silent Key

We were saddened to hear that Paddy Maher EI7GK died on 11th June. Paddy was a very active radio amateur and IRTS committee member. Until a few years ago he was the society's Bainisteoir na Gaeilge and read the weekly radio news bulletins in Irish on 40 metres. He had previously served the society as Radio News Editor and as outgoing QSL Manager. Paddy was a keen Worked All Ireland operator, and activated many rare squares, including squares on a number of offshore islands. He also brought his radio gear with him on his travels overseas, his "Echo India Seacht Golf Kilo" call sign was heard from places as far apart as Monaco, Iceland and Mexico. Paddy's "QSO as Gaeilge" from these relatively rare locations were much appreciated by EI operators. Paddy was a science teacher in the Community College in Wicklow. He promoted the benefits of amateur radio with his students, and some of their projects entered for the Young Scientists Exhibition were radio related - these projects included a study of HF propagation and a comparison of received signal strengths using different types of antennas at varying altitudes. Paddy had a great love for the Irish language and culture. Following his retirement, he was heavily involved in many local community activities, even in recent years when his health was poor. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Irene, daughters Cliona and Emer, sons John and Declan EI4FCB as well as his extended family and friends.

HAREC Examination

The IRTS Examination Licence Board report that discussions are ongoing with the Communications Regulator in an effort to get a HAREC examination date finalised. As soon as these discussions are concluded successfully, examination candidates will be offered places in the order of their applications dates.

Fast Scan TV from the International Space Station

The ARISS team will be transmitting SSTV images continuously from June 21 until June 26. The images will be related to some of the amateur radio activities that have occurred on the Space Shuttle, Mir space station and the International Space Station. The schedule start and stop times are: Monday, June 21 – Setup is scheduled to begin at 09:40 UTC (transmissions should start a little later). Saturday, June 26 – Transmissions are scheduled to end by 18:30 UTC. The downlink frequency will be 145.800 MHz and the mode should be PD120. You can get predictions for the ISS pass times on


On Saturday June the 12th, IARU Region 1 and its Member Societies continued the workshop addressing the future of Amateur Radio. Member Societies prepared SWOT analysis (including Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) on amateur radio. To get a significant outcome, many asked their members for extensive input. These results were shared in the meeting, showing that, over the Region, there are many common issues but also differences, dependent on the particular environment in which the society operates and its geographical location. In the afternoon, the session continued in break-out groups leading to interactive discussions, refining the outcome of the morning presentations. With this valuable information, a good foundation has been laid for the upcoming sessions including the final Workshop in October later this year. IRTS thanks all who participated in the recent SWOT analysis and their contributions were incorporated in the IARU workshop presentations. IRTS was represented at the workshop by President Jim Holohan EI4HH.

IRTS News Broadcast on 4 metres

The East Leinster Amateur Radio Club (ELARC) conducted a Pilot IRTS News Broadcast on the 4 metre band, on the first Sundays of April, May and June. The news broadcasts took place from field stations in the East Leinster region with a battery powered station on 70.350 MHz on FM. ELARC had several objectives, firstly to generate greater interest in the 4 metre band, secondly to operate field day style with portable power and finally to have a bit of fun while operating as a team under some self-imposed pressure. ELARC believe they achieved all objectives with a good number of call-ins and a lot of experience gained. They propose continuing the 4 metre news broadcast on the first Sunday of each month, at 10:30am local time on a frequency to be confirmed.

EI1SMC Slow Morse Club Operation

From the 17th to the 25th of July 2021 the Slow Morse Club will celebrate its very first complete year of operation. The club is about doing 'exactly what it says on the tin,' using slow morse, whether the operators are experienced or newbies to the mode. To help celebrate this event John EI3HQB, Keith EI5KJ and possibly a few others will be operating the special call sign EI1SMC (Slow Morse Club) during the above dates. Other international members of the club will be on air with special event call signs as well during this period using their own countries' prefixes and the suffix 'SMC'. Please listen out for them and give them a call. Operation will be at various times and bands depending on propagation. These will be QRS CW operation, no QRQ. If you haven't used a key for a while or if you've never put CW on air but have the basic skill and feel you'd like to give it a try then here is a good opportunity to have a bash with a gentle, slow, CW QSO. It does not have to be a long ragchew, just a simple rubber stamp contact if you prefer. Remember; 17th to 25th of July, all Slow Morse Club stations will welcome you. So, if propagation won't allow you to work EI1SMC then tune around for one of the other club stations.

Friedrichshafen Ham Radio event on-line next weekend

The annual Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Event due to be held next weekend was cancelled due the covid pandemic but you can avail of an online replacement in Ham Radio World running from next Friday until Sunday. Log on to for all the details.

On the Air next week

His Majesty King of Spain SSB Contest starts at 1200 on Saturday next the 26th and finishes at 1200 on Sunday. Spanish stations will send report and province and all other send report and serial number. Running at the same time will be the Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest on RTTY and PSK63. The exchange for non-Ukraine stations is report and serial number. The ARRL field day runs from 1800z on Saturday the 26th to 2100z on Sunday the 27th. See the rules at

DX news The big DX news this week was the announcement on June 13th of the cancellation of the 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet by the Intrepid-DX group scheduled for January-February 2003. In the statement the Group said “The global pandemic has impacted the expedition charter vessel business very hard; this includes the venerable RV Braveheart which has provided outstanding safety and service to many DXpeditions. As you know, we had signed a contract with Braveheart for 3Y0J. Today, we were informed that Braveheart will be sold. As a result, Nigel Jolly will no longer be associated with the ship, our contract with the ship has been cancelled and our deposit will be refunded. This is a very disappointing development to all involved. At this time, we are cancelling the 3Y0J DXpedition. We have ceased accepting donations and we will begin refunding 100% of the donations using the same method they were received, i.e., PayPal, cash or check. This process will take several weeks to sort out, so please be patient.” In a further statement on June 18th, the Intrepid-DX Group announced that they are working closely with Nigel Jolly to form a new plan, with a new owner of Braveheart and a revised payment plan that enables Nigel Jolly to continue managing Braveheart and will keep it available for DXpeditions for years to come. They hope to have some very positive news very soon and have not given up

From we learn that Jeje, F8FKJ to be active from Djibouti as J20EE during mid-June to mid-July 2021. QRV on HF bands, CW. QSL via LoTW, eQSL. No paper QSL. Paul, G4PVM will be active as GM4PVM from the Isle of Lismore, EU-008, from the 29th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

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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