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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 16th January 2022

Radio News service celebrates 53rd year

On Wednesday next January the 19th we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the IRTS Radio news service. On January 19th 1969, the first radio news broadcast was made Bill McIlwaine EI9F on the AM mode on 3.650MHz at 1200. This was followed at 1230 on the same frequency on SSB by Jim Bartlett EI2BB. Later on, Shane McNamee EI2A transmitted the bulletin on VHF. We take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those who started and maintained this service over the past 53 years. This includes newsreaders, editors and all who provide content for the bulletins. Please support the sevice by sending your news items to newsteam /at/

National Short Wave Listeners Club

The National Short Wave Listeners Club have resumed their Sunday night online meetings on the Zoom platform. The club’s aim is to get members through the HAREC examination and to get their own callsign. In line with this, existing clubs are being invited to attend the Sunday meetings to promote their activities and hopefully provide a new focus for newly licensed amateurs. The next few Sundays nights are already booked by clubs but if you want to try and recruit new members for your club, then just send an email to info /at/

Bookings are still being taken for the next online course. Send your enquiries to info /at/

On The Bands

The Medway Amateur Receiving and Transmitting Society is operating the special callsign GB6NU until 27 January in remembrance of its founder, William "Bill" Edgar Nutton G6NU SK during the society's centenary year. QSL via eQSL.

Special event station GB2KW is active until the 28th of January from near Inverness, Scotland using vintage equipment manufactured by KW Electronics Ltd during the 1960s and 1970s.

GB1900HA and GB1900HW will run throughout 2022 to commemorate 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall, the Northern frontier of the mighty Roman Empire.  Austin, M0MNE and Roy, M0TKF will be operating the stations from near Hadrian’s Wall on HF and VHF in voice, CW and digital modes.

TC60TRAC is the special callsign for the Turkiye Radyo Amatorleri Cemiyeti, the Turkish Amateur Radio Association, to celebrate its 60th anniversary during 2022. QSL via the bureau.

4A90FMRE is on the air to mark the 90th anniversary of the Federacion Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores. Operation is taking place from all 31 Mexican states plus Mexico City, various diplomas are on offer.

Alex, UG1A, will be active in his spare time from Vostok Base in Antarctica as RI1ANC until the beginning of February. Activity will be mostly CW. QSL via RN1ON, CL OQRS, direct, or via the bureau. 

In warmer latitudes, Thaire, W2APF is VP2MDX from Montserrat Island IOTA NA-103, until the 18th of February. He is on 80 to 10m using CW and SSB, with an Elecraft KX1 and KPA100 into a Hexbeam and Delta Loop antennas. QSL via W2APF.

Ray, HB9DNG/F5UKV, is moving to Mauritius Island, IOTA AF-049, and will be QRV as 3B8HH starting this week. Activity will be on 80-2 meters, possibly 160m, using CW and some SSB. When the station is completely installed, he will operate also some PSK and RTTY. QSL via 3B8HH, direct or bureau.

To get a paper QSL Card from Warwick, E51WL, Penrhyn Atoll in the Cook Islands will become more expensive. Citing increased costs at his new, even more remote island QTH he asks for four Dollars for up to three cards. E51WL is now back on air on all bands, topband to 6m with rebuilt antennas.

John, GM0KTO, is again active as C5/GM0KTO from the Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi, The Gambia. John is using a barefoot ICOM 706 and simple antennas at the resort. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

The visit of Henning, OZ2I, to the home of Gerard, Ei5KF, during last year's entry of Ei7EE into the CQWW CW contest is now immortalized on the website, giving a quick video tour of Gerard's wonderful QTH.

Quick Fix

On Thursday, the club members of the Icelandic Radio Association, IRA, found the tower at their club station TF3IRA damaged by last week's storm. One leg had sheared off at the base of the aging mast. The IRA website's report gives an idea of the challenging conditions Georg, TF3GZ had to deal with during the emergency repairs. See, the photos tell the story.


The Tuscan Amateur Packet Radio Club, TAPR, is a well known organizationtion that pioneered packet radio. Today, they are still at the bleeding edge of data transmission in amateur radio. Completing their line of kits covering all HF bands and beyond, TAPR now announces a 160m and 80m band add-on for the popular Raspberry Pi single board computers, a small board turning it into a WSPR transmitter. Have a look at

Orbital News

The Chinese satellite CAMSAT XW-3 CAS-9 was launched three weeks ago has been given the designator HO-113, short for Hope-OSCAR-113. The Beacon frequency with 22 WPM CW can be heard on 435,575 MHz, GMSK telemetry is transmitted on 435,725 MHz. The inverting 100 miliWatt transponder listens on 145.870 Mhz and transmits on 435,180 MHz with a 30kHz passband.

Space-X nailed this weekend's launch of a low polar orbit deployment of 105 satellites. The stunning footage posted by Space-X shows a multitude of satellites being launched over a period of 90 minutes, while the first stage of the rocket landed back near the launch site, completing its tenth flight. Noteworthy is the the Tevel mission consisting of 8 satellites developed by the Herzliya Science Center in Israel, each carrying an FM transponder. The satellites were built by 8 schools in different parts of Israel. The Tevel satellites all use the same frequencies, so as long as the footprints are overlapping, only one FM transponder will be activated. Telemetry with 9600bps BPSK G3RUH protocol is on 436.400 MHz, the FM transponders listen on 145.970 MHz and retransmit on 436.400 MHz. This launch also included the long delayed AMSAT-EA's EASAT-2 and HADES satellites.

RSGB Contests

The RSGB AFS Datamodes contest takes place today, the 16th, from 13:00 to 17:00UTC. It uses the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, and the exchange is signal report and serial number. The following weekend the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group BARTG holds their 24 hour contest, with the emphasis on speed. No RST is to be sent in order to shorten the QSO. The contest forms round one of the four contest series for the single operator championship. The date is next weekend 18:00z on Saturday, until 11:59z on Sunday.

Thursday sees the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 20:00 to 22:30 UTC. The exchange is the signal report, serial number and locator.

The RSGB AFS 80 and 40m SSB contest runs from 13:00 to 17:00 UTC next Saturday. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Broadcasters has an updated schedule for 2022. The 'CQ-Serenade', followed by 'Scorribande', moved to Saturdays, 14:00 and 16:00 UTC on 3975 and 6160 kHz, and again on Sundays at 10:00 and 14:00 UTC on both 3975 and 6160kHz.

The first Radio Caroline North broadcast of January 2022 commences this weekend, the 16th and 17th, broadcasting from Norwich on 648 kHz AM, and also relayed by Manx Radio on 1368 kHz AM. Expect the usual mix of music from the pirate era of broadcasting, complete with competitions and merchandise. SWLs are encouraged to post receiption reports via the online at


The antenna software written, maintained and distributed by Roy Lewallen, W7EL, is no longer for sale. Roy announced that EZNEC is now free to download and use, but will no longer be maintained. Before retiring, he will issue the last updated version 7 this weekend. It will have all the features of the current version, but with the added option to calculate wire loss for individual wires, and the ability to run external NEC-4.2 and NEC-5 programs for calculation, finally catching up with Linux based programs like XNEC2C.

The Propagation Horoscope

Since the start of this solar cycle the number of counted spots on both hemispheres is about the same, and in sync. That is in contrast to counts during weak cycles, so far all indications are for a steeper rise in the number of solar spots. However, last week saw a low number of quiet sunspot resulting in a solar flux of just above 100. This gave a few midday openings in the higher HF bands, and improved noon conditions for short skip on 40m, followed by 80m. On Friday the stream from the last coronal mass ejections produced a solar wind of 400 km/s and over 25 particles per cubic centimeter, giving way to another week without major upsets. NOAA predicteds solar flux peaking at 120 around next weekend.

The annual January high pressure zones, with a reported air pressures of 1040 hPa on Thursday, promise tropo DX well into next weekend, with changing conditions as the high pressure cells slowly move about. Next weekend's expected solar activity may very well bring some aurora.

That is the news for this week. Items for inclusion in next week’s radio news can be submitted by email to newsteam /at/ for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. The deadline is midnight on Friday.



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