This Week’s News
IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday May 9th 2021
IRTS Annual General Meeting
Each year at the Irish Radio Transmitters Society Annual General Meeting trophies are presented to amateurs who achieve a very high standard in home construction. This year the Folan Shield was presented to Tom Nevin EI4HCB and the Kevin Freeney Trophy was presented to Darwin Penamora EI4KX. There was only one motion before the 2021 AGM and this came from the Galway Radio Experimenters Club who asked that IRTS, in representing Ireland, support the inclusion of a new Licence Level in Ireland as part of a 3 year plan. Following a well-researched and well-presented case by the GREC representatives, the motion was defeated by the narrowest of margins. Next year’s Annual General Meeting will be hosted by the South Eastern Radio Group, date and venue to be announced.
As the member society for Ireland of the International Amateur Radio Union, the Irish Radio Transmitters Society, along with all the other member societies in Region 1 are conducting a review of the current position of amateur radio in each country. This will feed into a Region 1 conference being held in October to address the future of our hobby. The first step is to understand what are the current strengths and weaknesses of amateur radio and IRTS is asking you to express your opinion by filling out a brief survey, available on the home page on the IRTS website You do not need to be a member to participate. The survey is anonymous and only takes a few minutes. The responses will help shape the future of our hobby in Ireland and abroad and your input is greatly appreciated.
EIØHQ in the 2021 IARU HF Championship
In last week's bulletin and in the recent EINews members' newsletter, we looked for IRTS members to operate the society's HQ Station call sign EIØHQ during the IARU HF Championship contest over the weekend of 10th and 11th of July. We have now filled the 20 metres SSB and CW slots as well as the 160 metres SSB slot, but we are still looking for volunteers for the other band/mode slots. Please see the May issue of EINews or last week's Radio News Bulletin for full details of the requirements.
Howth Martello Tower on Air for International Marconi Day
Tony, EI5EM operated EI0MAR during the recent International Marconi Day event, from the Martello tower in Howth, as a solo effort due to Coviod-19 restrictions. Most contacts were made on CW on 40 and 20 metres with a few local ones on 2 metres as well. It was a beautiful day with lots of people gathering in the warm sunshine outside the tower. However, there was a sour note to the operation towards the end, when a group of about twenty very young teenagers decided to cut down the G5RV antenna and engage in threatening behaviour towards the operator. Despite this and poor conditions, many QSOs were made and it was a worthwhile effort to keep up the tradition. Tony says that it was strange not to have the usual visitor activity and craic. The presence of the museum founder and curator Pat Herbert, who died last year, was also sadly missed, but it was great to fire up the equipment and get back on the air after a long period being QRT during the pandemic.
EI9HQ on Worked All Ireland and Flora & Fauna Activities
WWFF, World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio has more than 26,000 Protected Flora and Fauna (PFF) areas worldwide which are registered in the WWFF Directory. Hunters and Activators can apply for colourful awards globally. We have 73 areas registered in Ireland and most of them have never being activated. Declan EI9HQ plans a portable operation on Sunday May the 9th working from EIFF-0006, the Wicklow Mountain's and Worked All Ireland square Oscar 11, Co. Wicklow using a linked dipole on 17, 20 and 40metres. He will be using SSB and digital modes RTTY, PSK31 and FT8 weather permitting. He will be out again on Friday May the 14th from EIFF-0051 in Co. Laois, Grantstown Wood/Lough in Worked All Ireland square S38 starting around 16:00utc on the same bands and modes. He will be out on Sunday next May the 16th from EIFF-0054 in Co. Laois, Timahoe Esker in Worked All Ireland Square S59, starting 09:00utc.
IRTS Contest News
For those listening to this bulletin on Sunday morning, a brief reminder that the IRTS 40 metres Counties Contest takes place today at 1200 UTC, that is 1.00pm local time. This is a one-hour contest, with EI and GI counties as multipliers, while EI and GI stations also have overseas DXCC entities as multipliers.
Last year, there was no IRTS Field Day contests due to public health restrictions. Following the recent announcement of new public health measures and the expected relaxation of restrictions in the near future, we consulted with a range of members involved in contesting to establish the appetite for Field Day contests this year, bearing in mind the necessary constraints on indoor gatherings that will remain in place for the time being. The majority of the members consulted were of the view that Field Day events could, with suitable arrangements, be safely held this year. Therefore, we are delighted to confirm that the usual Field Day contests will take place over the coming months. Full details of these events are on the contest calendar page www.irts.ie/contests There are 6-hour and 24-hour sections in all of these contests. The first one is CW Field Day on June 5th and 6th.
Also in relation to public health requirements, we have updated the health advisory that has been part of the IRTS General Contest Rules since last year: The updated advisory reads as follows: "Operators must comply with mandatory local COVID-19 Public Health Measures at the date of the contest. Contesters should be particularly conscious, in current circumstances, of the risks associated with prolonged close contact with others while indoors and of the risks associated with sharing equipment such as headsets."
On the Air next week
Next weekend is a quiet one for contesters with the only long duration event being the King of Spain Contest on CW, running from 1200z on Saturday to 1200z on Sunday. The exchange for Spanish stations is report plus province while non-Spanish stations send report and serial number. The Fists CW Club run eight sprint contests per year on the first Saturday and third Sunday in each quarter and the May Sunday event takes place next Sunday from 2100z to 2300z. FISTS Members will send RST plus (state/province/country) plus first name and FISTS Number. Non-members send RST plus (state/province/country) plus first name plus the figure zero.
Bouvet Island is the second most wanted DXCC entity after North Korea and is by far the most challenging to activate. The Intrepid-DX group in a recent press release outlined their progress towards a planned DX-pedition to Bouvet Island during January and February 2023. The budget for the trip is 764,000 US dollars and the team will fund most of this. However, the balance must be raised from donations from the amateur radio community. Many major contributions have already been made and full details on how to donate are available on www.3y0j.com
The Rebel DX Group are also planning an activation from Bouvet and they plan to leave Cape Town on December 15th 2021 before attempting a Bouvet landing. Their team of 8 operators aim to spend up to 30 days on Bouvet. Depending on weather, they will likely spend 7-10 days each way on the high seas getting there and returning. Their budget is 267,00 US Dollars and they currently have a shortfall of $32,000. They are hoping that between now and December they can accrue this missing amount, and appeal to all generous donors to help with their final push to meet target.
Of interest to high speed CW operators should be special event call sign OZ60VHSC which will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Very High Speed Club (VHSC) on May 1, 1961. The callsign will be active during the month of May, To join the VHSC, you will need recommendations from four existing members having had a 30 minute QSO at 40 words per minute with each of them.
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/dot/ie for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. The deadline is midnight on Thursday. Urgent items for the news may be telephoned to News Editor Dave EI4BZ on 087-6290574.