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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday October 24th 2021


Club News

The next HAREC course organised by the National Short Wave Listeners Club will start this Thursday, 28 October, on the Zoom platform. It consists of 14 weeks of training, finishing on 10 February. This course prepares for the current ComReg licensing examinations. 59 attendees have already registered. If anyone would like to join please email: training at swl.ie as soon as possible, and no later than Wednesday 27 October. NSWLC are planning to offer further HAREC courses in the spring of 2022.

The popular Shannon Basin Radio Club nets are once again on the air. The top band net is on Mondays at 21:00 on 1.919 Mhz +- qrm, The 80M net is on Thursdays qt 21:00 on 3.785 MHz +- qrm, The 2 net is on Sundays at 21:00 on the Clubs Repeater EI2SBR . All are welcome to join the various nets and SWL reports can be emailed to admin /at/ sbrc.ie For more information see www.sbrc.ie or the club's Facebook page.

LCARC will hold a Rally in the Radisson Blu Hotel on Sunday 7th of November 2021. Doors will open at 11:00. Entrance fee is €5 per person. As with previous Rallys, there will be a bring and buy opportunity. Tables for bring and buy, exhibitors and related demonstrations are free. Tables should be booked through Michael Kingston EI2IX via email to rapidov66 /at/ gmail.com

Steve Wright EI5DD will be demonstrating digital modes and the networks supporting them.

Please check out the current list of donated equipment for sale and also equipment for sale by private sellers. Go to the club web site www.limerickclareamateurradioclub.ie and follow the *market place* drop down menu.

LCARC wishes to acknowledge the generous donation from Robbie Phelan, EI2IP, of a new 2 metre/70cms antenna. It is now installed at the club station in the Shannon Aviation Museum.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group, EI2WRC were active with the Copper Coast Scout Group on Saturday the 16th of October for the JotaJoti 2021 event. The club travelled to the scout’s base in Annestown for a fun filled day with a large number of scouts from the group. Club members showed the scouts various aspects of the hobby including HF operation, Morse Code, DMR, basic electronic circuits and Digi modes. The scouts showed great interest in what they were shown and hopefully this will lead to many of them taking up the hobby. Plans are already in place for the club to return in 2022 with an even bigger showcase of the hobby.

The 89th Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s AGM weekend hosted by EI2WRC will take place over the weekend of the 9th & 10th April 2022 in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow. The club’s event organising committee are working away in the background in planning for the weekend and hope to make the 2022 event a great success. We are looking forward to welcoming radio enthusiasts from Ireland and beyond to Carlow for the event. A special room rate is available for anyone attending the event over the weekend. A full price list, special price room code and booking details are all available on the Hotel section on  https://irtsagm2022cw.blogspot.com Booking your room as soon as possible is advised as hotel rooms are being booked rapidly and no further rooms in the hotel will be made available once the current allocation is gone. More details about the 2022 event will be made known once confirmed

For anyone that wishes to find out more about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and their activities you can drop them an email to southeasternarg /at/ gmail.com or please feel free to go along to any of their meetings. You can check their website www.searg.ie and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.


Contest News

The results of the 80 metres Counties Contest held on 5th October 2021 have now been published. 28 station logs with 604 QSOs from 16 EI and GI counties plus 9 overseas DXCC entities were submitted, allowing 491 QSOs, that is 81%, to be cross checked. See www.irts.ie/results for the detailed results.

The next IRTS Counties Contest is the 80 Metres New Year's Day contest on Saturday 1st January 2022. See www.irts.ie/contests for a Provisional Calendar of contests for next year.

The CQ WW is the largest Amateur Radio competition in the world. Over 35,000 participants take to the airwaves on SSB during the last weekend of October, and CW later in November, with the goal of making as many contacts with as many different DXCC entities and CQ Zones as possible. This year's mammoth contest is held on the weekend of the 30th and 31st of October.

The 2021 UKEI DX SSB contest took place until yesterday noon, logs would have to be submitted online at the latest at noon on Sunday. Expect results to be announced shortly, have a look at www.ukeicc.com

Still ongoing, but not as easy to actively participate in is the ARRL EME contest. But you may still be able to hear some of the QRObig shots with a good vhf or uhf beam until midnight tonight. Keeping a receive antenna pointed at that slow moving target should be easy enough.

In Romania, the sixth edition of the 80m BUCOVINA CUP contest is run by the Bukovinian radio amateurs this Monday, the 25th. Bukovinian is romanian for Beech Wood, it is a historic region now straddling several countries, and the stated aim of the Cup is to promote friendship across borders. The format is similar to the ukeicc contests, with an SSB and CW leg, so consider trying a new contest this Monday, from 15.00 to 17.00 UTC. Frequencies are 3675-3775 khz SSB and 3510 -3560 kHz CW. Contesters should use the contest call Bucovina Cup when calliing on SSB, and TEST BA or TEST YO for CW. You can use google to translate the relevant info on www.radioamator.ro


AMSAT News

Listeners on Sunday can still catch a few hours of the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, which is currently running as an online Zoom Webinar until 1600 local time. You don’t have to be a member of AMSAT-UK to attend, and the event is free and simple to join. For the rest of the afternoon there will be presentations on an X-Band Upconverter and a Dual Band L/X Patch Antenna for Space, how to get on QO-100 using a SkyQ Dish, and about Satellite Operating from 57 Degrees North. This year's colloquium will also be streamed via the AMSATUK youtube channel.


United Nations Day

Today, Sunday the 24th of October is United Nations Day. For this occasion the unique and historical Alexanderson alternator in Grimeton Sweden, with call sign SAQ, is scheduled to send out a message to the whole world on 17.2 kHz CW. Unless one already has a dedicated receiver or up-converter for VLF, ad-hoc receiption is made surprisingly simple by using a computer or laptop soundcard and suitable software made available by the Grimeton crew, and a long piece of wire as an antenna. Brief test transmissions were already heard on Friday with such setup. True armchair amateurs may resort to listening on an internet based SDR receiver. The startup on Sunday commences at 1430UTC and one can monitor how it takes a while for the frequency of the transmitter's flywheel to settle on 17.2 kHz. The CW message will be sent starting 1500 UTC. There will be an amateur station on air for the Grimeton site operating as SK6SAQ on 3.535, 7.035 kHz and 14.035 KHz CW and also on 3.755 and 7.140 kHz SSB.

Also marking the United Nations Day since 1948 is the Italian special event station 4U24. Members of the Global Service Centre ARC, 4U1GSC are now active as 4U24OCT from Brindisi, Italy. Activity is on 160-10 meters. QSL via 9A2AA or ClubLog.


DX News

The latvian RSF team is still active as 3DA0WW, and was heard from eSwatini on 40 and 20 meters. Frequencies in use can be seen at www.lral.lv until their departure Monday evening.

John, OX/OZ1LXJ is active with CW on topband from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Listen for him between 1930-2300z.

Gavin, GB60ANT is on the air for another week from Scotland to mark the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty Signature. Send QSLs to GM0LVI

The Gambia can be heard on all bands until the 19th of November. Four french and british operators will use the callsign C5C, but not before hauling a lot of equipment to the tropics. Therefore the first few days the operation is limited to 60-10m and 100W. Using all modes, they also hope to get on QO100 for some of the time. For more details, have a look at the dxpedition section on www.m0npt.com

Tom, OH6VDA is on air from Svalbard with the club staion callsign JW5E until the end of the month, he has been heard on SSB on 40m using a rotatable dipole, but also uses other bands and digital modes.


F5LEN Webcluster

Following many requests the creator of the F5FLEN WebCluster software added a filter called NO-DIGI. As the name suggests, it allows you to display DX spots between 1.8 MHz and 145 MHz that are not in digital modes. A new version for the desktop and for mobile devices can be downloaded from cluster.f5len.org


Forward to the Past

Don't forget to adjust your clocks next week, when our local time will thankfully be the same again as UTC, making writing your log that litle bit less confusing. But if your electronic clocks already went haywire today, here the explanation: there is a bug in GPSD, the software daemon responsible for deriving time from the GPS system, and it triggers today, the 24th of October 2021, jumping the time back to March of 2002. For most systems it is just a matter of a software upgrade. Embedded devices, however, may not be so simple to fix.


AM Radio

A recent british government publication states that AM radio reaches around three percent of listeners, responsible for a considerable part of the electricity bill of the UK radio industry, which is calculated to consume around 115 GWh/year of energy at an estimated £16 million per annum on electricity for transmission. That is the electrical energy equivalent to that used by 30,000 households. This represents around 0.03% of UK energy use. Of this, around three quarters of the energy is used for analogue radio broadcasts and one quarter for digital radio broadcasts. Most of the radio stations provided as analogue broadcasts are duplicated on DAB transmission networks which also carry many digital-only services. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport report states that only FM is to be retained until 2030. It recommends that the UK’s three national medium wave networks be closed in the mid 2020s, though the final decision is to be left to the individual broadcasters.

The Friday evening net of the Society for the Preservation of AM, also known as SPAM, has been running now for 30 years, and unlike their professional UK counterparts, they are not likely to go away that quickly. They are also unconcerned about their power consumption. Unfortunatly, it's not a net we can participate in from IARU Region 1. The special call ZL6AM continues to attract a small, but enthusiastic group from all over New Zealand. Looking at their monthly newsletter it is obvious that they are a lively bunch, using a mix of old professional grade equiment and modern tranceivers. Their net runs on Fridays from 0830, and Wednesdays at 1130 New Zealand time. It's their net frequency that is of interest to us, as 3850 kHz is outside our allocation, meaning that their weaker AM Signals are not drowned by european stations around morning greyline time. Which brings us to our last item.


The Propagation Horoscope

After a spotless sun on the 17th, a large southern hole in the sun’s atmosphere spewed solar wind that missed us on Thursday. Region 2886 will shortly be joined by region 2880 for another rotation. This will increase flux values slightly. As of Friday, the X-ray flux is a mid R0, the Proton Flux is also quiet at S0,and the geomagnetic KP index is undisturbed at G0. There is moderate auroral activity over nother latitudes, leaving the high paths undisturbed for good topband conditions on medium and high hemisphere circuits. The higher frequencies have clearly improved with 10m open across the Atlantic and into Europe late afternoons via long single hop F2. Expect short openings on higher bands, and good dx opportunities up to 17m. The nightime MUF is around 6Mhz, 20m will open at around 0630 local time. On VHF you might catch the last Orionid meteors until the 7th of November. The peak was the morning of the 21st of October. The nearly full Hunter’s Moon made visual observation difficult, but pings are still clearly audible.


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.ie for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. The deadline is midnight on Friday.

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