Archived News Script
IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 13 November 2022
Conor, Ei4JN sent in two reports about activities in the south-west.
On Saturday, the 15th October, an event was held in Munster Technological University for the Emergency Services. This consisted of an exhibition of capabilities and presentations from guest speakers, tofacilitate relationship building and knowledge sharing. The event was organised by AREN on behalf of the Interagency Emergency Management Office and the Voluntary Emergency Services working group region South. The IRTS and AREN were represented by IRTS President Larry McGriskin Ei9CN, the AREN National Coordinator John Ketch EI2GN, Conor O'Neill Ei4JN, who is the Liaison Officer, andMatthew Ei8IMB. The AREN outdoor exhibit included member vehicles, portable masts and an emergency power source in the form of a dual-fuel generator. The indoor exhibit featured the new "Dispatch" software which AREN procured for the coordination of VES resources in response to large events, a digital repeater recently purchased for shared use by the VES in Cork City, and information on Starlink satellite internet system. We would like to acknowledgethe contributions of John Ronan Ei7IG and Eohan Kinane Ei5HBB who contributed to preparations for the exhibit.
This year has seen many well planned and well coordinated JOTA-JOTI events, supported individual hams and clubs. The 31st Cork Lissarda took part in the recent JOTA-JOTI from Kilkully Campsite in Cork. Scouts operated on HF, repeaters and DMR over Saturday and Sunday. Conor Ei4JN and Matthew Ei8IMB who led the radio operation would like to thank Ei amateurs who took the time to chat with the scouts on the air, in particular Albert Ei7II and Mark Ei4FNB. The operation attracted much interest at the Campsite and plans are afoot to scale up the operation next year to involve additionalscout troops.
Leonard, Ei2JHB recently wrote on groups.irts.io: "The Worked All Ireland Award was a big thing back in the late nineties and early 2000s. David Barnes Ei5IMB has begun to put a bit of a push on it again here in the North West.With so many new call signs issued lately I think it could grow legs again as there is a whole new wave of people looking to enjoy and learn from the hobby. It's a nice handy award as it can be done at your leisure." Leonard goes on to suggest:"Why not drop Dave Moore, Ei4BZ a message and get a Book off him. God knows we've spent a EUR10 worse.If you don't want to take part in collecting them, please have a look at what your WAI Square is and keep it handy in case you are chatting to any of us who are." With Leonard's irts.groups.io posting comes attached an example of a printable WAI map, just to get started. One can find one's WAI Square on the www.irishhamradio.com .
Galway Radio Experimenters Club AGM
The AGM of the Galway Radio Experimenters Club (EI4GRC) will take place on the 20th of November, at 3.00 p.m. sharp, at The Menlo Park Hotel, Terryland, Headford Road, Galway, Eircode H91 E98N. Please note that the start time has moved forward, from 3.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be virtual access to the AGM, please contact the Club Secretary via an email to secretary /at/ galwayradio.com for access details. This is a very important AGM as it is the fortieth AGM of the club, and we want to celebrate those 40 years. We are having a party after the meeting and we are inviting both past and current members to join us for the party, and to bring any photos, letters or anything else to share and celebrate the 40 years. The party will start at 4 p.m., but anyone is welcome to come at 3 p.m. if they wish. We will be showing our very first club minutes book which is 40 years old, as well as showing other documentation we find. Please come and join us for this special occasion. The club website is www.galwayradio.com .
After a five month hiatus, John, Ei7GL has posted several new articles on his website at ei7gl.blogspot.com . His up-to-date reports and a large collection of articles has become a reference source of information for serious VHF and UHF operators. His latest post details the astounding results of last weekend's successful Digital Amateur TV tests, conducted by Rob, M0DTS. Using 100 Watt into a 3 Element Yagi, Rob transmitted moving images contained in a 80 kHz wide signal across the North Atlantic on the 29 MHz band.
With the much improved hf propagation it also becomes much easier to hear the "Irish Net". Active not only on Sundays, but most weekdays starting at around 16:00 UTC, the informal gathering meets on 14.156. It seems the net now also uses the 17m band, operating on around 18.114 MHz, avoiding the occasional stateside QRM on 20m.
The results of the CQ WPX CW have been published. Twelve Irish stations sent in their logs for this major competition. Congratulations to Andrij Ei/UW8SM on winning with a very impressive score! Congratulations are also due to our outstanding Junior Ops Megan, Ei5LA and Ryan, Ei8KW. Last week, Ryan, Ei8KW received his U.S. amateur extra call-signAE0SO . Ryan will now have access to the full range of Remote Ham Radio Youth stations many of which are located in the USA. Unfortunately, the U.S. youth network does not accept CEPT licenses and the only way to operate these remote stations is to get a FCC issued call-sign. Please keep a listen out for Ryan who will be active on all bands and modes in the coming weeks.
For those of us who not only have a few more solar cycles in the log, but also managed to hold on to their old transceiver will soon have their day: Hams in Finland organise the PRT35 event, taking place on Tuesday, the 6th of December. It is not a competition, but a mark of respect for the over 40 year old, meaning the veteran radios and the radio veterans who use them. The event is free form, there are no points or multipliers. CW, AM and SSB is used, activity is on the 40 and 80m bands, starting early in the morning. The recommendation is that the vintage QRP stations operate at the upper end of the frequency range and the more powerful ones at the lower end. A station using old equipment can use the suffix /S after the station ID. If the device type has been already in service use during the Second World War, the additional code can be /SA. As opposite stations all radio amateur stations, regardless of equipment, are welcome to participate. Also, OI stations are expected to participate in large numbers. Shack stories and pictures can be sent to Karille, OH5YW's e-mail address is kari.syrjanen /at/ gmail.com. Summaries will be published after the event on the website of the Tube Radio Museum.
Competitive contest activity will again fill the HF bands next weekend. Both CW and SSB will be used during the LZ DX Contest, leaving precious little space for rag chewing, especially on 40m. The LZ DX Contest starts at noon UTC next Saturday, and runs until one minute before noon UTC on Sunday. The contest rules on lzdx.bfra.bg translates into Ei/Gi stations sending RST and the number 14, which is our ITU Zone. The Bulgarian Station sends RST and a two letters district abbreviation. One gets 10 points for each QSO with a LZ station, three points for a QSO with another continent, and one point for each QSO within the rest of Europe. Multiplier is the sum of worked ITU zones and worked LZ districts.
While the LZ DX contest covers 80 to 10m, topband will be catered for by the annual French HF championship, also known as "Coupe du REF". CW Ops compete on 160m for 8 hours, starting next Saturday at 17:00 UTC. The set of rules shown on the contest organiser's website on concours.r-e-f.org are refreshingly brief and simple: Three points for each QSO, multiplied by number of worked DXCC entities and French departments.
The Propagation Horoscope
Aurora prediction here on Earth may in the future be helped by observing Mars. In August, a coronal mass ejection from our Sun sent a shower of charged particles to both Earth and Mars, simultaneously illuminating the polar regions of both planets. While orbiting Mars, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has detected those auroras. Here on Earth, magnetic field-lines steer the solar wind toward the polar regions to create the familiar Northern and Southern Lights. The Red Planet lacks a magnetic field and has a very weak, thin atmosphere, yet it still produces displays of lights. The observed auroras are thought to be produced at the end of dust storms, when water vapour is lifted to high altitudes, exposing it of solar radiation splitting the molecules, thus creating a visible glow. Astronomers expect the MAVEN space craft to spot more Martian auroras as the Sun approaches its solar maximum in 2024 to 2025. Propagation affected by Aurora can both be a bother and a bonus. While higher frequencies from low VHF to high UHF can be reflected at oblique angles from the curtain structures of charged particles, imparting a rasping tone to the signal. CW is the preferred mode, SSB signals are often quite strong, but too distorted to copy. Robbie, Ei2IP reported such signals on irts.groups.io recently. On the lower end of HF one needs to take into account strong absorption effects on paths traversing aurora regions. The propagation predictions for HF are getting more "hit and miss" as we are entering the hot phase of the current cycle. Friday's fireworks of C-class flares raised the kP index to 3 until around Saturday noon, currently ebbing away to more DX-friendly numbers. Topband and 80m come into their own again, most evenings now see a strong presence of North- and South-American stations all across 80 and 40m. All bands above 40m are well open towards the east before noon. 20m is reliable for North America until about three hours after sunset, longer for more southerly paths, but 10 and 12m are worth checking until late into the night, all parts of Central- and South-America arrive until midnight, frequently with deep QSB. Informal nets are again springing up on 10m, many of them on the quieter upper SSB segment. For example the Sunday morning net by the French ARAM in the 95th Departement, just north of Charles de Gaulle Airport, they are busy on 28950 KHz. Just above 29 MHz a number of Canadian and US-American AM stations can be heard, serving as a good indicator of DX conditions.
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 Friday noon.