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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday January 3rd 1999


IRTS Committee Meeting

Committee members and club representatives are reminded that the next IRTS Committee Meeting will be held in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone on Saturday next January the 9th at 11.00 am. Please note the change of time from the usual afternoon start.


Millennium DX Marathon

We remind you again that the Millennium DX Marathon has commenced on January the 1st and will run for the whole of 1999 with the aim of generating activity from EI on all bands and modes. The objective is for EI operators to work as many DXCC entities on as many bands and modes as possible during next year. There are two sections, one for those licensed after January the 1st 1996 and the other section covers all others. This event is sponsored by the WestNet DX Group and a substantial radio related prize will be presented to the winners of each section at the IRTS AGM of the year 2000. Full rules have been published in the recent IRTS Newsletter. A similar event has also been announced by the Belgian National Society, the UBA, with broadly similar rules.


EI - HL Day (13/12/98)

Conditions for the EI- HL day on December the 19th were not too bad, but activity was poor enough. The propagation forecasts were very accurate with Song HL2AQN coming up on frequency minutes before 0900. There is great demand in South Korea for contacts with EI and to satisfy this demand, another EI/HL day has been declared for Saturday next January the 9th. The best band should be 15 metres with a window of about 40 minutes around 0900 utc. The frequencies to listen on are 21.130 MHz on CW and 21.155 MHz on SSB. Your support would be appreciated.

Scheveningen Radio The activity on December the 19th last to mark the closure of Scheveningen Radio caused lots of excitement with the crossband operation confusing lots of operators who had not heard of it in advance. The pile-ups were as big as any for a rare DX station and unfortunately the operators at PCH were not used to handling that kind of traffic. All QSOs will confirmed and please do not send a QSL card to PCH. A series of special event stations will be active during April to mark the closure of many of the maritime stations around the world. There should be three or four EI stations among them.


International Space Station

For amateurs interested in Space, 1999 should be an exciting year with developments continuing with the International Space Station. The initial construction phase of the ISS was completed by the recent very successful Endeavour/STS-88 mission. ISS flight controllers report that all systems on the new complex are functioning normally as the station orbits the Earth at an altitude of 246 statute miles, the Unity module facing the Earth and the Zarya module facing deep space. The station was commanded to spin slowly at one revolution every 30 minutes to maintain the proper heating and cooling while it flies unpiloted for the next five months. The next shuttle assembly mission to the station is STS-96, scheduled for launch aboard Discovery in May. That mission will see a multi-national crew of seven astronauts return to the station in a logistics resupply flight which will include at least one spacewalk to attach additional hardware to the new orbiting facility. Ron, WA4SIR, reports that Phase 1 of the ISS amateur radio station will consist of 2-meter and 70cm transceivers and a packet TNC. The hardware is built and is currently undergoing qualification testing. Phase 2 has higher power equipment with a digitalker and configurations for crossband repeater operation.


Campbell Island DXpedition

Declan EI6FR should by now be on the high seas on his journey from Wellington in New Zealand to Campbell Island as a team member of the ZL9CI DXpedition. They should be on the air next weekend. At least six stations should be active every day from 1600 to 1030utc. and EI operators should have a good chance of a QSO on most bands. Robert GI0KOW is the European pilot for the expedition and he will keep the amateur community informed of progress on Campbell and will provide feedback to the group.


30 YEAR OLD MOUSE

The computer mouse has celebrated its thirtieth birthday. The anniversary of this technological milestone took place on December 9th, but its 73-year-old inventor Douglas Engelbart says all the fuss over his computer device is somewhat embarrassing. During its tenure with mankind, the computer mouse has been celebrated as a bridge between our physical world and the virtual life of computers. It has also has a lot of detractors who call it an ongoing source of irritated and bruised wrists. By the way, Logitech, which is the world's largest maker of computer mice says that 90 million of these devices are sold each year.


Items for inclusion in the Radio News can be faxed to 021-632730 or passed on the telephone to Dave EI4BZ on 021-632444 during the day or at 021-883555 in the evening.

Input for the Newsletter should be sent to Kevin EI7IM at QTHR or on the phone at 01-4509514 or by E-mail to EI7IM@tinet.ie All input to either the radio news or newsletter can also be sent by e-mail to news@irts.ie

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