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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 02 April 2023

News from the IRTS

Under Rule 23.1 of the IRTS Constitution, the Committee shall, at least twenty-eight days prior to the Annual General Meeting, send all paid-up members a list showing the nominees of the Committee for the Offices of President and Vice-President, and also nominees for each of the eleven Committee positions specified in Rule 9.1(c), who are eligible and willing to serve for the ensuing year. The following nominations have been received: President: Enda Broderick EI2II, Vice President: Robbie Phelan EI2IP. The following 11 names are of those who have been nominated for the 11 Committee positions: Pat Fitzpatrick EI2HX, Sean Byrne EI2HZB, Owen O’Reilly EI4GGB, David Gardiner EI3IXB, Declan Horan EI9FVB, Roger Greengrass EI8KN, John Ronan EI7IG, Niall Donohoe EI6HIB, Mark Condon EI6JK, Ronnie McGrane EI9ED and Tony Breathnach EI5EM. Nominations under Rule 23.2 accompanied by the written consent of the Nominee, shall be submitted by post to the Honorary Secretary at IRTS, P.O. Box 462 Dublin 9 and must reach him by 8 a.m. on the 11th April 2023. With the 2023 IRTS AGM approaching fast, the 2022 Cup and Trophy award holders are asked to return their awards as soon as possible please, so that the Awards Curator Mark Kilmartin EI4FNB can prepare them for the new recipients at the AGM 2023 awards ceremony in Ballinasloe. For anyone wishing to contact Mark you can find his details on the IRTS website. Cups and Trophies can also be returned to any IRTS committee member. Awards Curator Mark wishes to thank all those who have already returned the trophies they won and thanks also to those who have made contact with him in regard to returning trophies not yet returned.

SBRC IRTS AGM Weekend update

A reminder to all that the 2023 IRTS AGM weekend activities organised by Shannon Basin Radio Club will be held on April 29th and 30th. The venue will be the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Additions to the short talk series planned for Saturday April 29th are being finalised and will be announced in due course. We have a large range of traders and tables now confirmed and this is lining up to be the largest radio show in Ireland this year. To accommodate the demand, we now plan on opening the doors of the rally at 10 a.m. on Sunday April 30th, thirty minutes earlier than previously advertised. Tickets for entry and for the raffle will go on sale from 9 a.m. that morning. The rally will end at 3 p.m. sharp on Sunday. We are excited to announce that we also have a wide range of fantastic prizes on offer for the monster raffle. Key prize sponsors so far include Yaesu UK, Icom UK, Long Communications, Martin Lynch and Sons, MJF Enterprises, Messi and Paoloni, Satworld, Wescom, and Airmast. Hotel rooms using the special negotiated rates are now sold out. We kindly remind everyone that tickets are required for the 90th IRTS Gala Dinner on Saturday night and advise that you purchase them as soon as possible before they are sold out also. The Gala Dinner starts at 7.30 p.m., tickets cost 35 Euro. Further information about ticket purchases and the event is available at On behalf of Shannon Basin Radio Club, we look forward to welcoming you all to Ballinasloe and meeting friends old and new.

Kerry Amateur Radio Group

Members of Kerry Amateur Radio Group visited the Valentia Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) last Saturday to meet with the Irish Coastguard team. This was a very useful insight to the important work that the ICG does and how technology combined with the latest radio communication plays a central role to this. KARG would especially like to thank the team at the MRSC for the very extensive tour and talk. Members of KARG will be QRV on Sunday, the 9th of April from the Maurice Collins Vintage days at Ardfert, Co. Kerry. Members of the public will be able to see a live amateur radio station in use and have any questions relating to getting licensed or getting on the air answered. All are very welcome to come along and enjoy a great day out. The KARG in-person monthly meetings continue to be held on the last Saturday of each month, at the Ballyseedy Cafe, Tralee, at 11 a.m. All are welcome, especially if you're newly licensed or are interested in studying for a HAREC license.

Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club

The LCARC AGM was held in the Shannon Aviation Museum on Saturday, the 25th of March. The following were elected for the coming year. Chairman: Dermot Gleeson EI2GT. Secretary: Joe Ryan EI9HG. Treasurer: Liam Rainford EI7DSB. Committee: Michael Kingston EI2IX, Brendan Kilmartin EI0CZ, John Phelan EI4EY, Gerry Gervin EI8CC. Trustees: Gerry Gervin EI8CC, Tom O'Sullivan.EI3AL, Harry O'Loughlin EI2KL. Gerry Gervin EI8CC and Simon Kenny EI7ALB were elected Club Representatives to IRTS Meetings. The IRTS Radio News Bulletin is broadcast every Monday night on the LCARC repeater on the frequency 433.125 Mhz. This is a repeat of the news bulletin of the previous day on HF. The transmission commences at 20:00 local time and is read in rotation by Simon EI7ALB, Harry EI2KL and Angus EI5IIB. All are encouraged to call in with a signal report as this is a valuable local service to help Members to keep in touch. The Club Station will be activated on International Marconi Day on Saturday, the 22nd of April 2023 and members are invited to come and share in the operation.

Longwave 252

The 252 kHz signal which carries the RTÉ Radio 1 program to listeners across the UK and other parts of Europe that cannot access an FM service will be ended on the 14th of April. The broadcaster claims the decision to take a core service to the public off air is based on the need to reduce their electricity bill, citing the climate crisis, public expenditure efficiency, and the need to reduce the burden on the national grid. The 252 kHz transmitter currently increases the electricity bill by around 250,000 Euro per year, accounting for 2,5 per cent of RTÉ's electricity consumption. The phasing out and closure of the Long Wave service was one of the recommendations of the "Future of Media Commission" report which was published by the Government in July 2022, but not after spending significant amounts of money for an overhaul of the antenna system in 2019. The Algerian broadcasters who recently increased their output power on 252 kHz will no doubt be delighted to finally get rid of the co-channel interference by the already diminished signal from Ireland.

World Amateur Radio Day

On the 18th of April radio amateurs world-wide take to the air-waves celebrating World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum could support world-wide propagation. Soon after, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. In response, radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU. "Human Security for All", HS4A, will be the theme of World Amateur Radio Day on the 18th of April 2023. For the first time, the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science are partnering with the IARU in a campaign to highlight the role that amateur radio plays in addressing the world’s most pressing needs. The IARU and its member-societies will be conducting a special two-week on-the-air event from the 11th to the 25th of April. Special event stations will be operating from around the world, making two-way radio contacts to call attention to the HS4A campaign. A number of IARU member societies have already become active, for example the German DARC team has activated the special event call-sign DA23WARD and will be on the air until the 18th of April. Another society marking World Amateur Radio Day is the UBA special event station in Belgium, using the call-sign OT23WARD, active until the end of April.

Contacting the International Space Station

Some ISS crew members make unscheduled contacts with hams on the ground. They can make radio contacts during their breaks, pre-sleep time and before and after mealtime. The crew's usual waking period is 07:30 to 19:30 UTC. The most common times to find a crew member making casual contacts are about one hour after waking and before sleeping. A typical ground station for contacting the ISS station includes a 2-meter FM transceiver and 25-100 watts of output power. A circular polarisation yagi, a helical antenna or at least a full size ground plane antennas is required. Visit the the "Beginners" sections of the AMSAT-NA or AMSAT-UK websites for information on how to get started. Frequencies in use for operations in IARU Region-1 are as follows: the FM and SSTV down-link can be heard on 145.800 MHz, with an FM up-link to the ISS on 145.200 MHz. The packet radio frequencies are 145.825 and 437.550 MHz. The cross-band repeater up-link listens on 145.990 MHz with a 67 Hz PL tone, the cross-band repeater down-link can then be heard on 437.807 MHz. The ISS crew uses the call-signs DP0ISS, IR0ISS, NA1SS, OR4ISS and RS0ISS.

VHF Propagation Beacon

John, EI7GL reports on his blog pages about the propagation experiments on the lower VHF bands by Phil EI9KP. This weekend Phil carries out more propagation tests on 32 MHz to 36 MHz. Unfortunately, the test were again announced too late, therefore going unnoticed by potentially interested experimenters. A beacon with one Watt of output power operates until 19:00 UTC this Sunday. The purpose of these tests is to investigate F2 layer propagation at this point in the solar cycle.

The Propagation Horoscope

The solar flaring activity has been at low levels since mid-week, about a dozen weak C-class flares observed. The strongest flare was a GOES M4.4 class flare peaking at 09:10 UTC on Friday. That region has rotated out of view, but it is still spewing large plumes from behind the western limb. All earth-facing active regions have simple magnetic fields, therefore only C-class flares are expected, only isolated M-class flares are likely. During the last 48 hours there were no Earth-directed CME, but the solar wind speed has been increasing, from about 480 km/s to about 600 km/s, thanks to the arrival of a high speed stream associated with the equatorial coronal hole crossing the central meridian last Wednesday. The solar wind speed will remain elevated and the geomagnetic conditions will stay unsettled after briefly reaching minor storm conditions on Saturday morning. The Kp index hovers around 4. Moderate Sporadic-E drives openings above 12 meters, with otherwise moderate to good conditions on all DX bands, 80m and Top-band will be poor on northern circuits.


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