It now appears likely that IRTS will be taking over responsibility for the Radio Theory Examination. The date on which the take-over will become effective is still subject to satisfactory conclusion of the negotiations currently underway between IRTS and ComReg. It is, however likely that the take-over will occur before the end of the current year. Although the syllabus of the exam will not change, the submission made by IRTS was based on a Multiple Choice exam paper replacing the current essay-type paper.
A part of the agreement under negotiation with ComReg a special effort will now be made to accommodate those students who have been unable to sit a Theory Exam in the past year. AN EXAM IN THE TRADITIONAL ESSAY TYPE FORMAT WILL BE HELD IN DUBLIN IN A MATTER OF WEEKS - PROBABLY BEFORE THE END OF MAY. Those applicants who have already submitted their names to ComReg will be advised directly about the arrangements for the exam. Those who are interested in sitting the exam and, who are not yet on the ComReg waiting list, should contact; Derek O'Reilly, Licensing Division, ComReg, Abbey Court, Irish Life Centre, Lr. Abbey St., Dublin 1. Phone: 01 8049769 or Email: Derek dot oreilly at comreg dot ie.
As this will probably be the last examination of the essay type held in EI it is very important that those who have prepared for an exam in that format get their names on the ComReg list without delay.
South Dublin Radio Club will be providing theory revision classes from 8.00pm every Tuesday night in the Ballyroan Community Centre, Marian Road, Rathfarnham.
The 70 centimetre repeater should be back on air from the Patrickswell Co. Limerick test QTH from beginning of May.
Thanks to Ron EI2JP for supplying and programming the PMR rigs. Signal reports and queries about the remote DTMF controlled 2 metre rig to EI9FEB at Eircom dot net.
The CW Field Day will as usual be held over the first full weekend in June and intending participants are asked to contact the contest manager as soon as possible. If there is sufficient interest, the event can be held at a central location. The following have already confirmed their participation: The Shannon Basin Group, The East Cork Group and Joe Ryan EI7GY.
The National Mills Weekend in the UK takes place over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of May 2005. More information can be had from www.g4cdd.net/mills.html
An Emergency Planning office exercise was held in early April on the Cork-Waterford border on the N25 adjacent to Youghal, Co. Cork. This was a training exercise for first responders and it was run on a closed section of roadway in order to test the readiness of the agencies and to provide them with an opportunity to test their individual plans. The location at a county boundary was chosen to provide services from two administrations with an opportunity to work together.
The simulation involved an accident between a bus and a chemical truck during which injuries and death occurred. A number of cars were used including one that was placed in the tidal estuary. Personnel from the Gardai at Midleton responded to the 999 call and sealed and controlled the area while the ambulance and fire service dealt with the incident. Decontamination units were deployed and used in order to make the area safe for rescue personnel to operate while divers recovered bodies from the car that had left the carriageway. Ambulances from the health boards and Red Cross were used to ferry casualties to the coastguard search and rescue helicopter that in turn transferred them to hospital.
The Emercomms National Coordinator accepted an invitation to attend as an observer along with the Munster Coordinator. AREN coordinating panel members, John Ronan, EI7IG and John Costello, EI9ESB also attended.
The debriefing session held immediately after the event gave rise to an extremely useful discussion on each aspect of the exercise, ranging from the manner in which the initial call was handled by the telephone operator to how the various agencies deployed and performed on the ground. An informed discussion on communications formed a significant part of the de-brief to which the IRTS EmerComms coordinator contributed.
On Monday the 6th of June, EI2BY will be providing emergency radio coverage of the women's mini-marathon. If you would like to take part in this special event licensed by ComReg as EI2WMM please contact George Adjaye, EI2CPB by fax on 01 4908546 or phone 086 2586103. You can also e-mail George at adjayeg at dcu.ie. Please provide your name, phone number and callsign. Also note that you will require a 2-metre rig of your own for the event.
At the April general meeting of South Eastern Amateur Radio Group members and visitors enjoyed an APRS presentation and demo, which was given by John Ronan, EI7IG. John gave an overview of APRS and explained many of its uses and capabilities. John EI8JA, assisted in the latter part of the meeting by 'going mobile' while the others watched the APRS system track him aided by a projector and large screen. This opportunity was also used to demonstrate the text and e-mail capabilities of the system. Thanks to EI7IG and EI8JA for organising a very enjoyable presentation.
The Monthly 4 Metre Activity Night will take place this coming Tuesday night the 3rd of May from 20.00 to 22.00 hours. Operators who are equipped for 70 MHz are invited to listen out for and join in any activity on 70.2625 MHz FM. This net takes place on the first Tuesday of each month.
The monthly six metre FM net meets on the first Monday of each month on 51.525 MHz FM (vertical polarisation) at 9.00 p.m. local time. The purpose of this net is to increase activity on the six-metre band. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.
A weekly slow-speed (QRS) CW net meets each Monday evening on 3.567 MHz +/- QRM at 7 p.m. local time. The purpose of this net is to assist radio amateurs and SWLs in maintaining and improving their CW skills. Code speed is kept at a modest 6-7 words-per-minute. Net control is EI2JP. Further information can be obtained from EI2JP or from the Kerry Amateur Radio Group's web site at www.kerry.com
A reminder that the world-wide cable TV news channel CNN is featuring a segment on amateur radio operators' response to the December 26th tsunami and the March Indonesian earthquake. The segment focuses on the HF and Echolink operations of Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, who served as the main contact point for amateur radio traffic in and out of India in the wake of the devastating tsunami. In Europe, the feature is broadcast on the 'Global Challenges' programme on the CNN International channel at 0230 and 2000 UTC on the 1st and 8th of May.
GM island activator Seamus "Jim" Cameron MM0CWJ, a Hebridean and himself a sailor with a deep knowledge and experience of remote islands in that area, will join adventurer David Wood, MM0ALM as the two-man amateur radio side of an expedition to Rockall from around June 14th until about June 21st. This will be a high risk operation in more ways than one. Take a look at the last picture of the rock on a fairly average summer's day on the web-site! This will be a very costly expedition. If successful, proceeds will go to their chosen charitable organisations and unique Rockall stamps will be issued. Very few have landed on the rock, although many have attempted to do so. Ex-SAS man and Atlantic oarsman Tom Maclean did so in reportedly excellent WX conditions. Greenpeace also occupied the rock a few years ago, again in near perfect WX. But if Seamus and David make it, this will be an incredible "first" not just for IOTA, but for amateur radio in general. Note that Rockall is beyond the range of "search and rescue" helicopters.
The web-site below has just been set up by Seamus MM0CWJ and should be considered as the official web-site for the amateur radio aspect of the expedition. In the meantime, please pass the word around as widely as you wish. Please do not contact the expedition members for requests for skeds etc.
The Rockall Island web-site can be found at www.rockallisland.co.uk
Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 087-6302026. News should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. Please note that items for the radio news should reach the editor no later than midday on Fridays.