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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 27 February 2022

Silent Keys

We begin today’s bulletin with the sad news of the passing of three well know radio amateurs.

Ken McDermott EI4DW late of Ballybofey, Co. Donegal passed away peacefully in Letterkenny University Hospital on February 17th after a long illness. Ken was a very active DXer and contester and held several EI contest records over the years. He served as Vice President of IRTS from 1994 to 1996 and spent several more years as a committee member. We extend our deepest sympathy to his brothers Chris EI7HI and Derek and his extended family.

Frank Malone EI6EF late of Malahide, Co. Dublin passed away peacefully in the Mater Hospital, Dublin on February 21st after a long illness. Frank was on the news reader rota for the IRTS VHF broadcasts in the Dublin area on Sunday mornings. Our deepest sympathy goes to Frank’s wife Bernie and his extended family.

Ben Gaughran EI4IN late of Skerries, Co. Dublin passed away on February 20th in Beaumont Hospital. Ben was a long time member and a great supporter of Skerries Radio Club, EI2NCR and was always to the forefront in club activities, in particular portable operations. Ben was also a regular supporter of the IRTS News service and rarely missed a Sunday morning call in.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Pauline and extended family.

Club News

Shannon Basin Radio Club

The Shannon Basin Radio Club will be holding its AGM on 4th March 2022 at 8pm in Hannons Hotel, Roscommon Town. This is open to all club members and also to anyone interested in Radio and who would like join the club. Finger food and refreshments will be served after meeting. For more information contact admin /at/

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The 89th Irish Radio Transmitters AGM weekend will take place over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of April 2022 in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow. Final reminder that the special room rate secured for the event will end on this Tuesday, the 1st of March so there will be no rooms available after that date at the reduced rate and rooms will cost the standard hotel prices. Dinner tickets for the Gala Dinner can now be prebooked from John EI7IG for collection on arrival at the hotel. Tickets cost €35 and must be pre-booked before the 4th of April.

Only two tables remain for the SEARG radio rally on Sunday the 10th of April. So, if you require one or both tables contact John EI3HQB immediately. The rally will open its doors at 10:30 a.m. sharp and close at 2:00 p.m. There will be no admittance to the rally to the public until 10:30 a.m. The rally promises to be a great day with Ireland’s main radio dealers and equipment suppliers in attendance. There will also be many individual traders also in attendance so come early to grab a bargain! Entry to the rally will be €5. For more information about the weekend please see

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/ or please feel free to go along to any of their meetings. You can check their website and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Lough Erne Rally

The Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club are delighted to announce that this years’s Annual Club Rally will take place on May 8th in the main arena at the Share Discovery Village in Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh. Doors will open at 11:30.

Tables can be booked by contacting Alan Gault by email at alangault91 /at/ Keep an eye on their website at for more details.

Cork Radio Club

Members of Cork Radio Club continue to meet every Monday evening at 2030 on the Zoom platform. The on-line meeting facilitates the attendance of members and visitors from outside the immediate area and regularly includes amateurs from the US, Germany and Belgium. Everybody is invited to join in and the link can be found on the Cork Radio Club Facebook page. You can also email info at for more information.

Soldering Workshop in Tog Hackerspace

Many radio operators have to rely on ready-made radios, patch leads and antennas, because they never had the chance to learn the one skill that all true experimenters can't do without: soldering. The Tog Hackerspace aims to change that with a 2 hour long workshop taking place on the 6th of March.

This hands-on workshop will cover various aspects of soldering; from the basic techniques of soldering, to soldering electronic components to make simple circuits. Participants will learn how to solder and finish off the workshop with a kit they can bring home.

If you ever wanted to start your journey into electronics or want to move on from breadboard, learning to solder is a great step. We will have all the equipment and safety gear that you will need. The workshop will be led by Jeffrey EI7IRB and Gary. They have many years of experience building projects and leading workshops.

Tea, coffee and a few biscuits will be on hand before starting the workshop. Tours will be available for participants of the hackerspace to see the equipment and tools such as laser cutters, 3 D printers, machine room and lock picks.

The workshop takes place on Sunday, the 6th of March, from 12:00 to 14:00, at a cost of 35 Euro plus credit card fees, at Unit 1B Motor City, Kylemore Road, Dublin 12, Eircode D12 KRW1. Booking information can be found on their website at

Amateur Radio prohibited in Ukraine

The executive of the Ukrainian Amateur Radio League, LRU has informed international Amateur Radio organizations that following a decree by the Ukrainian President, dated 23rd of February, all use of amateur radio stations is banned for 30 days.


Last weekend's CQ RTTY WPX had a good participation from EI, with the Avondhu Radio Club just making it into the high score table. Team members Donal EI3KY, Denis EI4KH, Charles EI5FK, Gerard EI5KF, David EI6IQB, Nikolay EI6IWB, and John EI7HMB put in a strong performance with over 4 million points in the two transmitter high power section. Single OPs Tony EI2INB, Justin EI3CTB on 10meters, Denis EI6HB, and Mark Ei6JK put in respectable scores, with the highlight being an outstanding entry by Ryan, EI8KW in the Youth section.

Listeners on Sunday can still help by giving a few points to EI and GI stations taking part in the 160m CQ WW SSB contest, you will find a crowded topband until 22:00 UTC.

The UK and Ireland Contest Club will hold their next one hour SSB 80m contest on Wednesday, the 2nd of March. This polite contest has certainly gained in popularity around Europe, thanks to the many friendly voices heard from the British Isles. Please have a look at their website at for more information about this unique contest.

The ARRL's International DX Phone Contest is taking place next weekend, starting 0000Z on the 5th of March, and ends 48 hours later, at 2359Z on Sunday. The ARRL website has the details at

The 5MHz Newsletter

The 10th birthday edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter, number 28 for autumn and winter 2022, is now available as a free PDF download from the 'External Links' section of the 60m Band page, or from the RSGB 5 MHz page.

This edition includes 5 MHz news from 6 countries, Malaysia Emcom Response, 10 Years of The 5 MHz Newsletter, Exercise Blue Ham 22-1, and World of 5 MHz.

A Chess-Playing Ham Radio Satellite

The Union de Radioaficionados Españoles, URE hopes to make URESAT-1 available October 2022, hitching a ride from from Cape Caneveral.

A translation of the URE announcemnt on their website reads: URESAT-1 is based on the architecture used in the GENESIS, EASAT-2 and HADES missions, but will include significant improvements, such as a 32-bit computer instead of the 8-bit computers used in previous satellites, and improvements in the deployment mechanisms of antennas and batteries. It will have a VHF and UHF FM repeater and a FSK data mode, allowing for voice QSOs and digipeating of AX.25 and APRS.

The payload is not yet defined, but it could be the same SSTV camera that flies in HADES, a thruster, or some kind of experiment. Talks with universities and companies and are expected to be closed in the coming weeks.

One of the projects that is confirmed is a chess game that will allow radio amateurs to play the on-board computer as an opponent. This will work by sending FSK frames with the moves, to which the on-board computer will answer in its telemetry. Several radio amateurs are working on the project and if it is completed by the time the satellite is due to be delivered, it will be included.

The expected orbital altitude is around 525 km and the inclination will be polar, probably around 97 degrees, which would place it in the same orbital plane as its companions EASAT-2 and Hades.

Detailed information on the Spanish Amateur Radio satellites can be found on the URE website at

The Propagation Horoscope

The number of cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere are decreasing as a result of the see-saw relationship between the solar cycle and cosmic rays, a more active sun displaces the cosmic rays before they can reach the inner solar system. There are currently close to 50 sunspots visible on the earth facing side. Returning sunspot AR2936 has been re-numbered AR2954, as sunspots receive a new number each time they reappear on the solar disk. Sunspot region 2954 is likely to produce C and M Flares, the solarwind is already increasing towards 600km/s with a moderate proton count. No pronounced geomagnectic disturbances are predicted for the week. Topband and 80m may be be affected by Aurora in the northern paths, combined with usable greyline propagation at sunrise. Expect good and stable DX from 40 to 15m, with the MUF2 increasing to around 25MHz at noon time.

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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