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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 23rd January 2022


Paddy 'Pat' Touhy, EI4DC, Silent Key

We send our sincere condolences to family and friends of Patrick 'Pat' Tuohy, Ei4DC, from Ballinagough, Whitegate, Co. Clare, who passed away on Saturday morning. Paddy was a familiar voice on Repeaters from his shore side QTH at Lough Derg, and he was active on the HF bands from the 70s right through to more recent times when ill health impacted on his operating.


St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Flora & Fauna Activity Event

WWFF, World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio is a long standing award scheme internationally and has more than 26,000 Protected Flora and Fauna (PFF) areas worldwide which are registered in the WWFF Directory. The EI Flora and Fauna Award scheme, which is affiliated to the international scheme, has has been active since January 1st this year led by coordinator and awards manager Jer EI3HGB and Declan EI9HQLog Manager. There are over 250 areas defined by the National Parks and Wildlife service and you can find all the necessary information on eiffirl.wordpress.com. Planning is underway for an activity over the four day St. Patricks Day weekend and amateurs are asked to consider getting out and putting one of their local flora and fauna areas on the air. Certificates will be available for both activators and chasers for this event. Please advise Declan EI9HQ of your plans so duplication can be avoided. Contact Declan by email at eifflogs /at/ gmail.com


South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

Planning for the 89th IRTS AGM weekend continues. The event will take place in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of April. Hotel rooms are almost all taken so if anyone wishes to book a hotel room for the event immediate booking is advised. Contact hotel reception on 059 9142002 and use the code “IRTS2022” to get special room rate. Dinner tickets for the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening are available to be pre-booked from John EI7IG. You can get in touch with John on 086 816 7310 or by email to tickets2022 /at/ searg.ie

All up to date information regarding the Saturday Workshop Talks and the Radio Rally on the Sunday morning and other details about the weekend is available on www.irtsagm2022cw.blogspot.com Any IRTS affiliated radio club or group are very welcome to attend the rally and promote their club or group. Tables will be available free of charge, providing they do not sell any radio gear or radio related items. For any club or group to secure a place at the rally please contact the organizing committee by email to irtsagm2022cw /at/ gmail.com as soon as possible but no later than by Friday the 11th of March 2022 in order to be guaranteed a place. Tables will be allocated on a first come first serve basis so book your table early.

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.


DARC Webserver Intrusion

The website of the national society for German radio amateurs, DARC, was compromised last Saturday the 15th, and is not fully operational since. A Wordpress plugin served as the point of intrusion, spreading to the main pages, redirecting users to a Russian website.


Reverse Beacons

Allowing for a simpler setup of filters for spots to and from other continents, the new and polished version of the Reverse Beacon Network's website is now at beta.reversebeacon.net


QSL Museeum

A story on the Southgate Amateur Radion News Channel reports about Jean Michel, F6AJA, who has thousands and thousands of QSL cards, some from rare DX entities, and he didn't even have to turn his rig on once to get them. Jean Michel has created an online gallery of images of nearly 20,000 QSL cards sorted into different albums, including an assortment of the 10 most wanted DXCC entities, spanning the years 2011 to 2020. The collection contains more than 500 cards from contacts on rare French Pacific Islands, more than 1,000 from the various research bases in Antarctica and commemorative stations for the IARU and the ITU. That collection has more than 900 cards. Hams collecting DX from the United States have contributed images from each of the states, all dating before 1945. He's always looking to add to his collection and you can write to him if you're interested in contributing some of your own cards. The French language website is at lesnouvellesdx.free.fr


TF3IRA Repair Job

As reported last week, the antenna mast at the club station of TF3IRA was damaged during a recent storm, but saved from falling thanks to a quick repair effort by local hams. They installed a makeshift fix, held in place with ratchet straps. A more permanent solution was needed: the ingenious repair is now documented on the Icelandic Radio Association's website www.ira.is


Bandwatch

Gaspar, EA6AMM, reports on the IARU Region 1 website that authorities in Portugal have carried out targeted inspections, looking for illegally used radio equipment aboard ships and boats. During the last quarter of 2021, the Portugese telecoms authority, ANACOM, supported by the Portugese maritime police force carried out inspections on twenty fishing vessels, passenger and leisure craft along the Portugese coast. A translation of the report on the ANACOM website states that 'The actions concerned aims to verify the state, operability and correct use of radio communications equipment installed on board vessels. If they are not properly operating or used in the appropriate conditions, or in the appropriate spectrum bands, they may interfere with other services and the correct functioning of emergency communications.'

Please document and report observations of interferences and unlicensed signals within our allocations. Michael, Ei3GYB is monitoring the HF bands, and writes the monthly reports for the IARU Monitoring System. The informative reports are archived at www.iaru-r1.org


Space News

A new batch of AstroPi computers are up and running on board the International Space Station, replacing the existing AstroPi units "Ed" and "Izzy" which have resided on the ISS for six years. ESA Astronaut Matthias Maurer set up the new kit, which consists of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B hardware, a 12.3MP camera, and a range of sensors. Code submissions from the Mission Zero and Mission Space Lab programs will be uploaded, both are aimed at getting young people interested in coding, with one teaching participants how to write a program to take a humidity reading and even display messages to the astronauts.

The AmSat website at www.amsat.org has published the latest orbital elements and user manuals for the satellites that recently entered service, after the mass deployment from a Space-X rocket last weekend. The Spanish Radio Society notes that the correct reception of EASAT-2 and HADES signals is confirmed. EASAT-2 seems to be in good working order, except for the deployment of its antennas, which apparently has not yet occurred and causes the signals to be weak.


Calls & Contests

Dom, F5SJB will use the special TM5CW in order to promote CW and QRP from the 1st to 5th of February, March and April. Two contacts with TM5CW on two bands are needed for the telegraphy diploma of the city of Lons-le-Saunier.

OZ50Q will be on air on the air throughout January to mark the 50th Birthday of the Princess of Denmark. The EDR also invites contacts with the Special Event Stations OZ50HRH and OX50HRH on the 5th February 2022.

Three major contests are coming up, all HF bands will be busy. The CQ World-Wide 160m CW Contest runs over 48 hours from Friday to Sunday next, urging participants in IARU Region 1 to spread out from 1810 to 2000khz.

The REF HF Contest coincides with the UBA DX Contest, also next weekend.

Listen out for EI90IRTS, the special callsign is on the air every day, and on all bands and modes throughout 2022, to celebrate 90 years of the IRTS. There are already about 5,000 QSO's logged. QSL Manager is Dave EI6AL. Any IRTS members wishing to join the Activation team, please contact Declan EI9FVB.


The Propagation Horoscope

For next week all attention is at the VHF frequencies. Not only are auroras predicted, tropospheric conditions will be helped by a stable high pressure cell over Ireland. On Friday, the OY6BEC Beacon on the Faeroe Islands was received on 2m and 70cm in Co.Clare, with up to S7 on both bands around noon, loud signals persited until fading at sunset. A sure sign of increased solar activity is the detailed report on EI7GL.blogspot.com about TEP, short for TransEquatorial Propagation. John's latest bulletin reports a 5300 km contact from the Caribbean to Buenos Aires. Numerous active regions and coronal holes are producing M and C Class Flares. Last Tuesday's CME's will graze Earth this weekend, expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The Solar wind peaked at 850 km/s last Monday and has not dropped much since then, albeit with a low particle count, meaning that we have been spared a direct hit so far. A much larger field of active Regions will be affecting us from late Wednesday. The daytime MUF barely rises above 12 MHz, a weak winter F-Layer make for unreliable DX, with a few Sporadic-E nuggets for those who search for them.

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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