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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday July 25th 1999


Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

The first set of flight hardware for the Amateur Radio Station the International Space Station (ARISS) project has passed all its tests and is on its way to Kennedy Space Centre.

After a tremendous amount of work by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO and his team of volunteers at Goddard Space Flight Center, the transceivers, TNC, power supplies and harnesses for the initial transportable ARISS station are ready.

The hardware was shipped to KSC on July 9th where it will be loaded into the STS-101 SpaceHab module. Launch of mission STS-101 to the ISS is contingent upon successful launch of the Russian Service Module.

Initial amateur radio operations on ISS will consist of voice and AFSK packet on both 2m and 70cm. Future upgrades will include more bands and modes.

The ARISS external antennas will be mounted on the outside of the ISS Service module during a spacewalk scheduled for STS-101. The external antennas are the responsibility of the Italian ARISS team. Four external antennas will be flown to allow support of amateur communications on the HF, VHF, UHF, L band (including GPS receive) and S bands.


Silent Key

Alan Dorhoffer K2EEK, Editor of CQ magazine passed away on July the 19th from complications of cancer surgery.

Alan’s illness was only diagnosed one week before his death which was a great shock to the thousands of hams world wide with whom he came in contact.

He spent his entire professional life at CQ magazine and was Editor since 1976.

CQ magazine is one of the world’s most popular independently published amateur radio magazines and K2EEK was famous for his thought provoking full page editorials in every issue.


News input

High summer is always a very bad time for both the Radio News and Newsletters Editors and this year is no exception. In fact this year seems to be worse than usual and for the first time in a decade, there has been no local input for this weeks radio news bulletin.

Our Newsletter Editor, Kevin EI7IM also reports a serious lack of input for the forthcoming issue.

We appreciate that most people take holidays at this time but we have a long tradition of unbroken news broadcasts and it would be a pity if we had to close for holiday periods due to lack of material.

We again appeal, in particular to club officers, to keep the news services informed of their activities.

Local items are of much more interest than material from further afield.


New Licensing in the UK

The national Society for the U.K., the Radio Society of Great Britain, recently announced major changes in their licensing structure which will take effect in the Autumn.

The major change is a new licence class A/B which will give full access to the HF bands with 100 watts power on passing the RAE and a Morse test at 5 words per minute. 400 watts will be allowed above 30 MHz.

Those who pass a Morse test at 12 words per minute will have the same conditions with a power limit of 400 watts on HF.

Improvements in conditions for both the Novice A and B licensees were also announced. The power output will go up to 10 watts and new frequencies will include the 144 MHz band, an SSB allocation on 3.5MHz and the extension of the existing novice HF allocation to include the QRP CW calling frequencies.

The RSGB is of the opinion that mandatory Morse testing for access to the HF bands will be removed at the World Radio Conference on 2002 or 2003 and if that happens they plan to replace the existing licence structure with an incentive based system.

These changes seem to have been made unilaterally by the RSGB and the first we knew of them was when they appeared in the June Radcom Magazine.

No doubt, this subject will be well debated over the coming months.


Dates for your diary

The Telford Rally, popular with East Coast EI’s, is on August the 22nd.

The Coleraine Rally will be held in the Bohill Hotel, Cloyfin Road in Coleraine on August the 29th. Contact Jonathan GI7TMQ on 01265-822502.

The Counties Contest will be held as usual on Sunday August the 29th and the SSB Field Day will take place on September the 4th and 5th.

The Cork Radio Club annual rally will be held on Sunday September the 19th in the Blarney Park Hotel in Blarney.

Enquiries to Con EI7DJB QTHR or on the telephone at 021-270136

The Leicester Amateur radio and Electronics Exhibition will be held on September the 24th and 25th The RSGB International HF and IOTA Convention will be held at the Beaumont Conference Centre, near Windsor, over the weekend of 8th to the 10th of October.

The London Amateur Radio and Computer Show will be held this year on November the 27th and 28.


Input for the radio news should be sent to Dave EI4BZ at 021-883555 in the evenings only. You may E-mail to EI4BZ@tinet.ie or to EI8IR@tinet.ie

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@qsl.net Input to either the radio news or newsletter can also be sent by e-mail to news@irts.ie for automatic forwarding to both news services.

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