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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 18 December 2022

IRTS Contests

The IRTS Contest Manager published the results for the 80m Counties Contest in October of this year. The one-hour long contest suffered from very poor propagation conditions, reflected in the low number of submitted logs. The New Year's Day 80m Counties Contest typically enjoys much better mid-winter HF propagation, and attracts a lot of activity from both shores of the Irish Sea, a chance to catch up with friends at the conclusion of the festive seasons. The provisional Contest Calendar for 2023 has also been updated, have a look at, for next year's contesting fixtures. The first IRTS contest of 2023 will be the IRTS 80m Counties Contest and it will take place on Sunday the 1st of January 2023, starting at 17:00 UTC, for the duration of one hour. This generally follows the very successful format of the 40 meters contest, and the full rules are available in the 'Contest' section on the IRTS website . The contest is open to all, EI and GI stations must send their county abbreviation, as well as the report and a serial number starting with 001 for the first contact. Please note in particular the rule about the permitted frequencies for this contest, which are for CW 3510-3560 and for SSB 3600-3650 & 3700-3775. The very popular contest logging software SD by EI5DI supports this contest and is available as a free download from .


December YOTA month is underway and a list of participating stations and QSOs can be found at . The entire month of December several youngsters will become active with YOTA as suffix in the call-sign. The idea for this is to show the amateur radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to be active on the ham radio waves. Ei0YOTA has been active on SSB, FT8 and are looking for volunteers to take some time and activate the call-sign with youngsters. Email Niall yota /at/ to book a slot with the call-sign. The YOTA call-sign always generates some interest and gives young-ops a great introduction to the hobby.

Shannon Basin Radio Club Ei2SBC

A reminder that the 2023 IRTS AGM weekend will take place over the weekend of Saturday, April 29th, and Sunday, April 30th, 2023. The venue is the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Tickets for the gala dinner are available for sale for EUR35 each. A dinner ticket is required to attend; it will not be possible to attend without one. They must be pre-bookedfrom Anthony Ei6GGB. A limited number of hotel rooms are still available using the special negotiated rates. Take up has been swiftthis year so it is advisable that you contact the hotel as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The host club, Shannon Basin Radio Club, is seeking submissions for short talks that will take place on Saturday April 29th. In addition, the club would be delighted to hear from other clubs, traders, and interested parties wishingto reserve tables or booth space as part of the radio rally taking place on Sunday, April 30th. Contact information and further details are available on , as well as the dedicated website for the eventat . On behalf of Shannon Basin Radio Club, we would like to wish everyone a happy, peaceful, and QSO-filled Christmas & New Year

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group Ei2WRC

The final Tuesday night IRTS News bulletin by the club for 2022 will be on Tuesday the 20th of December at the usual time of 8 p.m. The next news bulletin after that will be on Tuesday the 10th of January 2023 at 8 p.m. Everyone in Ei2WRC would like to take this opportunity to wish all our families and friends in Ireland and around the world a very happy and peaceful Christmas and every good wish for the new year ahead. 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 find them on Facebook.

Tipperary Amateur Radio Group Ei7T

The Tipperary Amateur Radio Group, Ei7T would like to take this opportunity to wish all radio amateur friends and short wave listeners in Ireland and in fact all around the globe a peaceful and fabulous Christmas 2022.A prosperous and healthy 2023 to all . May You all remain safe, warm and continue to grow our wonderful hobby, remembering those silent keys who are no longer with us.

Cas-5A OSCAR-118

On December 9th, the CAS-5A satellite was launched on a launch vehicle from the Chinese sea launch platform in the Yellow Sea. The Chinese Amateur Satellite Group CAMSAT built an unusual satellite in that it has transponders with a down-link in the 70cm band and up-links on the 2m VHF and the 15m HF band. CAS-5A carries two linear transponders and an FM transponder, which are all continuously active assuming the power budget permits. The Linear Transponder has an up-link 145.805 MHz to 145.835 MHz, and down-link on 435.525 MHz to 435.555 MHz inverting. The FM Transponder has an up-link on 145.925 MHz, with the FM down-link on 435.600 MHz. The novel HF to UHF linear transponder listens between 21.4275 MHz and 21.4425 MHz, and that slice of HF spectrum is retransmitted between 435.4975 MHz and 435.5125 MHz. The CW Beacon transmits 22 wpm CW on 435.570 MHz, and the 4800 bps GMSK telemetry can be heard on 435.650 MHz. QSOs have been reported via all three of the transponders as of this writing. Reports indicate that the down-link is strong and the transponders are sensitive. John, Ei7GL reports receiving the satellite on Thursday, at a maximum elevation of 44 degrees. Using an indoor antenna, he managed to take screenshots, showing the beacon signal and its Doppler shift. At moderate power levels, a HF transmitter and a 21 MHz dipole, combined with an outdoor low-gain UHF antenna should be sufficient to work OSCAR-118. Orbital and operational information can be found on

SAQ Grimeton on VLF

On Christmas Eve morning SAQ Grimeton is scheduled to be in the air, to send out a Christmas message to the whole world, using the nearly 100 year old 200kW Alexanderson alternator, transmitting on 17.2 kHz CW. Live stream on YouTube begins at 07:25 UTC, at 08:30 UTC the Alexanderson Alternator is started and tuned, followed by the transmission of a CW message. To receive the message, one can use a random length wire, as long as possible, connected to the microphone socket of a laptop or PC sound-card, a choice of programs can then use the sound-card as a receiver, allowing to listen to the transmission. A number of ham-radio receivers can dial as low as 17.2 kHz, but are often too deaf at the lower end. Using a simple up-converter gives much better results when receiving VLF signals. SAQ are planning to carry out test transmissions on Friday, approximately between 12:00 UTC and 15:00 UTC. SAQ will be on air for shorter periods of time during this interval when they will be carrying out some tests and measurements.

The Propagation Horoscope

The geomagnetic field was quiet on December 15, The Solar wind speed at SOHO dropped to between 333 and 381 km/sec. GEOS-16 reports an background x-ray flux at class C3-level. Thursday's M-class flare and halo ejected from a Solar spot just leaving over the south-western limb caused deep blackouts over the Mid- Atlantic, lasting until Friday noon. Rare pink Auroras were seen above northern Norway, while raspy CW notes were copied on topband and 80m. The critical frequency dropped to below the 80m band during the past few evenings. Expect very changeable HF conditions during next week, favouring the lower bands.

That is the last news bulletin for this year. Your IRTS News Team wishes all listeners a happy new year and good health. Ei0IRTS will be back on the air on the 8th of January with our first bulletin for 2023. Items for inclusion can be submitted by email to newsteam /at/ for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.


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