The three year agreement between ComReg and IRTS under which the Society is responsible for setting, organising and correcting the examination for the Experimenter Licence is due to expire in May. Arising from this, representatives of the Society held a very successful meeting on Wednesday last with representatives of ComReg. At this meeting it was decided that the agreement would be renewed for a further three-year period. A new agreement with minor amendments is being drawn up at present and should be signed shortly.
It was also agreed that for the future an examination would be held in June or July with a repeat examination in September or October. The next examination will be held in early July. The success of the collaboration between ComReg and IRTS on the examination is evidenced by the fact that since IRTS took over responsibility for the examination just under three years ago, six examinations have been held. A total of 126 candidates have sat these examinations and 75 of them have obtained the HAREC qualification, which entitled them to apply for an experimenter licence. This is probably the highest number ever to pass the examination in a three-year period.
Recently IRTS applied to ComReg to try to secure the 500 kHz segment between 70.0 and 70.5 MHz for use by experimenters. Unfortunately frequencies both below and above the existing secondsary allocation of 70.125 to 70.450 MHz are still in use in thirteen counties by business radio licensees.
At its last meeting the Committee of the Society approved the appointment of John Ronan EI7IG as AREN Co-ordinator. John has been acting as Co-ortinator since the retirement of John Ketch EI2GN. We wish John EI7IG every best wish in his new role.
The IRTS Annual General Meeting will be hosted this year on the 26th and 27th of April 2008 by the Galway Radio Experimenters Club. The venue is the Salthill Hotel on the prom in Salthill, Galway. See their website for details at www.salthillhotel.com You can also call the hotel on 091 522711 to book accommodation. Rates are 75 Euro per person sharing double room and a single room is 85 Euro to include breakfast. Please mention the Galway Radio Club when booking.
If you prefer B&B, there are ample B&B’s in the Salthill area. The IRTS dinner will be held on Saturday evening the 26th of April in the hotel at 8 p.m. with music in the bar afterwards. On Sunday the 27th there will be a rally in the hotel from 11 a.m. with many of the traders that were at the Knock rally attending. Lunch will be available in the hotel and the AGM meeting will be held afterwards in the meeting room upstairs. Salthill is an ideal venue for a family weekend, walk the famous promenade and avail of the many attractions Salthill has to offer, the Sea Aquarium, cafes, restaurants and bars.
The Leisureland swimming complex is beside the hotel and Galway’s shopping centres are not too far away. For any help and rally details, contact the club’s officers: Damian Commins EI2HG on 086 8316382 or Tom Frawley EI3ER on 086 8224170.
ComReg would like to advise that following on from the submission of the required information, ComReg is currently invoicing all the relevant contacts. Licences will be issuing shortly thereafter.
The International Amateur Radio Union has designated next Friday the 18th of April, International Amateur Radio Day. National Societies have been asked to mark the day in some way that helps publicise Amateur Radio.
IRTS are using the event to formally announce the establishment of the new Irish 5 MHz beacon, which is expected to come on air by the end of the month. This beacon, together with the other international 5 MHz beacons will be used to study propagation, in particular 'near vertical' radiation which can be used for very reliable short range paths needed for emergency communications. The Society has recently forwarded to Clubs around the country, a Press Release, which they can use to promote Amateur Radio in their local, printed and radio press. The Press Release refers to World Amateur Radio Day and the new Irish beacon, and is an opportunity for Clubs to recruit new members in their area. Clubs requiring further assistance should contact the PRO, Paul EI2CA on 087 2523908.
The 21st International Marconi Day event takes place on the 26th of April next. Among the stations taking part will be EI0MAR, from the Vintage Radio Museum, located in the Martello tower in Howth. An experimental Marconi wireless telegraphy station was set up at the same location in 1905. The HMS Monarch, with wireless telegraphy equipment aboard, transmitted from various locations in the Irish Sea each time relaying its distance from the receiving station in Howth where signal strengths were logged.
Though not a contest, EI0MAR, as an award station will be eagerly sought for QSO’s during the event. Visitors are invited to come along and operate on the day. The EI0MAR website is ei5em.110mb.com/ei0mar.html. If you follow links from that page to the museum page, you can download a free booklet that chronicles the history of the Martello tower and gives greater details of the 1905 Marconi tests. The International Marconi Day event is organised by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club. Further details and a list of participating award stations is available at the club's web site www.g4imd.org.uk
Recently members of Fingal Radio Club were guests of the North Dublin Radio Club at the Vintage Radio Museum in Howth. If any other clubs would like to organise a visit to the museum they would be most welcome. Interested club secretaries can, in the first instance, email “ei0mar at eircom dot net”.
It is time once again to call for nominations for the various awards sponsored each year by the IRTS.
It is also the time for submission of entries for the two construction awards, which will be judged by the Awards Committee. Submissions or entries can be sent by post to Peter Grant EI4HX Chairperson, Awards Committee at QTHR or by e-mail to “ei4hxperimental at eircom dot net”.
Please note that logs for the spring leg of the 2 metres Counties Contest must be submitted before the 23rd of April. Logs should be sent to "contestmanager at irts dot ie".
GB3GEO will be on the air from The Prehistoric Caves, of “Kent’s Cavern”, England’s oldest home in Britain. GB3GEO will be situated in The English Riviera (Torbay) that is recognised as having Geo Park status. There are six in the UK, and fifty-three in the world. It is hoped that GB3GEO will help to promote geological heritage to the general public.
There will be a special open day at the caves on Sunday the 25th and GB3GEO will be on the air during the weekend of 24th and 25th of May, operation is on 80 metres to 2 metres and the station will be run by Martin G3VOF, with help from John G7HIK, Paddy M1EIW, and Roger 2E0GHR.
There will be a special QSL card sent for all QSO’s made with GB3GEO via the bureau.
Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark Wall, EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 087-6302026 or 051-340850. Items for the radio news can also be faxed to 087 5 6302026. News should be submitted via e-mail to “news at irts dot ie” 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 Friday in order to be guaranteed inclusion in the following Sunday’s bulletin.