New licensing structure proposed in the United States Big news from the U.S.A. this week is the proposal from the Federal Communication Commission for the restructuring of their amateur radio licensing system.
The radical proposals, scheduled to come into effect in April, will mean that the number of license classes will be reduced from six to three and the only Morse Code test will be at five words per minute.
The new simplified exam system will only have four elements. One will be the Morse test at 5 words per minute, the second will be a 35 question written test for a Technician Licence, the third will be a 35 question test for a General licence and the fourth will be a 50 question test for the Extra licence.
The FCC believes that the 5 words per minute Morse test satisfies the international requirement for access to the HF bands.
Nearer home, in the United Kingdom the licensing authority, the Radiocommunications Agency, following agreement with the national society the Radio Society of Great Britain, have announced agreement on the granting of permission for amateur radio connection to non–amateur networks. This will allow internet access from the amateur bands.
This will be by way of a notice of variation to existing repeater and mailbox licences. The remote controlling of repeaters using non-amateur networks will also be permitted.
These changes will not come into effect until late January to allow time for licensees to apply for these special permissions.
Monaghan Radio Club has recently issued a press release outlining details of the IRTS AGM weekend on April 8th and 9th next.
All the events will be held in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan Town and the hotel is offering a special rate of £38.00 per person sharing for bed and breakfast for the event.
The dinner dance will be held on the Saturday night starting at 9 pm and tickets cost £20.00.
Doors open for the rally on the Sunday at 1130 and a wide range of traders is expected.
The IRTS Annual General Meeting will be held at 1430 on Sunday afternoon. Full catering facilities are available in the hotel.
Enquiries to Stephen Hand GI7UIM/EI7FKB on 087-2932438.
IRTS Irish Language Officer Danny EI6GS made yet another media appearance, this time on TG4, on the Wednesday before Christmas.
The programme in question was Idir Mhagadh agus Dáiríre and is a weekly progamme, going out at 2230, that takes a look at a wide variety of gaeltacht affairs.
Danny’slot extended to seven minutes and he took the opportunity to explain the international scale of the hobby, in particular the operation of the QSL bureau and the national society and it’s place within the IARU.
Danny reads the IRTS news bulletin in the Irish language every Sunday morning on 7.068MHz at 1130. He would welcome more reports.
There are no major contests over the next two weekends. However we have three popular contests scheduled for the last weekend in January.
The big one for Top Band operators is the CQ Worldwide 160 metre CW contest running from Friday night at 2200 until 2200 on Sunday.
The two other contests are both 24 hour events with the French REF contest on CW and the UBA contest on SSB.
The UBA contest was once very popular with EI operators but interest has declined in recent years. There is an E.E.C. sponsored trophy for the leading single operator station from within the E.E.C. and this has been won on two occasions by John Barry EI8IR.
The next meeting of the IRTS Committee will be held in The Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone on Saturday January 22nd at 11.00am.
Affiliated clubs are reminded that a representative can be sent to this and other meetings of the Committee.
A national packet meeting is provisionally fixed for the same date and venue. Anyone interested should contact Liam EI7FE on 052-22493.
As this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, an EI activity weekend is being proposed, covering the Friday Saturday and Sunday 17th to the 19th. Clubs are asked to make a special effort to activate rarer counties over the period. Please advise the news service of your intentions.
The Limerick Radio Club will hold their annual rally on Sunday the 26th of March 2000 in the Limerick Inn Hotel The IRTS AGM will be held in The Four Seasons Hotel on Monaghan over the weekend of April the 8th and 9th this year.
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