Today marks the start of the Wild Atlantic Way award programme, based around nine special call signs which will be active during 2017. These call signs – EI11WAW through to EI99WAW – each represent one of the counties on the Wild Atlantic Way. Clubs located in these counties will be activating the WAW call signs during the year, but they are also looking for other EI licensed operators to help them keep their calls regularly on air throughout 2017 on all bands and modes. To assist WAW operators, Paul EI5DI is providing a free special-event and DXpedition logger, available from www.ei5di.com/sdxsetup.exe .
See www.irts.ie/waw for more information, including the arrangements for other EI licensed operators to assist in this programme.
Today also marks the start of the Worked All GI (WAGI) Award, available for working WAB Areas in Northern Ireland. Only contacts made after 1st January 2017 are eligible for this award. There are 189 WAB areas in Northern Ireland, so expect to hear a lot more GI/MI/2I activity in the coming months. 40 metres is probably a good band for EI stations to work WAB stations – the WAB net frequencies on 40 metres are 7.035 (CW) and 7.160 (SSB).
Following the announcement last week of the release on a secondary basis to EI radio amateurs of the WRC-15 band of 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz, we have been listening to activity on the band, particularly during the afternoons and evenings. Many continental European countries have similar allocations and they have been keen to work EI stations on this experimental band. The allocation covers just 15 kHz, and it is important to be familiar with the band plan, which is available at the Downloads page on the IRTS web site www.irts.ie/downloads
Note that the new allocation does not affect the availability of the existing channels for which special authorisation is required.
The IRTS 80 metres counties contest takes place today from 15:00 to 17:00 UTC. There are SSB only and SSB/CW mixed mode sections for fixed and portable stations. There is also a mixed mode section for stations using one of the nine Wild Atlantic Way special call signs, so the contest will present a great opportunity to work these stations on the first day of the Wild Atlantic Way project. To encourage more CW activity in the mixed mode sections, CW QSOs earn double points. See www.irts.ie/contests for the full contest rules.
Congratulations to the SEARG club members David Kirwan and Conor Lewis who both passed the HAREC exam which was held on the 1st of December last. David and Conor sat the exam in June 2016 and had been unsuccessful, but they studied long and hard and put in a great effort over the last few months and both passed this time around. Club members hope they have many hours of DX and look forward to hearing them on the air soon.
The January meeting of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group will take place in the Roanmore Social and Sports Centre, Cleaboy Road, Waterford on Monday the 30th January at 8.00 p.m. New members or anyone interested in learning more about amateur radio are very welcome to attend.
Anyone that wishes to find out more about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and its activities can come along to any of the club’s meetings. Check the website www.searg.ie and follow the club on Facebook and Twitter.
Club meeting resume after the Christmas break on Tuesday next (3rd January). SDR meets every Tuesday at 8.30pm in the Ballyroan Community Centre, Marian Road, Rathfarnham. New members and visitors are always welcome.
A timely reminder that IRTS is offering new personal EI licence holders free membership for a year. Anyone who has been issued with a new EI personal licence since 1st January 2016 can avail of this. Also, existing IRTS members who qualify are entitled to a free one-year extension of their membership. See the “Join Us!” page at www.irts.ie/join for more details of this offer (which expires on 31st March) and to download a free sample copy of the December 2016 issue of the member’s journal, Echo Ireland.
An IOTA expedition will take place from Al Safliyah Island, off the coast of Qatar, from 1st - 7th January. Among the group taking part will be our own Jeremy EI5GM and Dave EI9FBB. The callsign will be A70X. (A Seven Zero X). The island has not been activated since 1995 so large pile-ups are expected from those chasing the IOTA Award. QSL Manager is M0OXO.
Another IOTA expedition on the air at the moment is one by Josep EA3BT and Nuria EA3WL using the callsigns H74B and H74W respectively. The location is Big Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua. The IOTA reference number is NA-013 and they will be there until 6th January. QSLs go via EA3BT.
Rolf DL8AZ will be active as 8Q7AZ from the Maldive Islands until 11th January. Look for him on 40 – 10m SSB. QSL to the home call.
Bruce AA4XR will sign XW4XR from Vientiane, Laos on the HF bands using CW, RTTY and JT65 from 3rd – 21st January. His QSL manager is E21EIC.
K7ADD will be QRV from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands as E51AMF from 5th – 9th January. This will be followed by a move to the North Cook Islands again using the callsign E51AMF from 11th January – 6th February. Then he will return to the South Cook Islands from 8th – 18th February. QSLs go via K7ADD.
Items for inclusion in next week’s Radio News can be submitted via e-mail to “newsteam /at/ irts / dot / ie” for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. Urgent news items for the radio news may be telephoned to the radio news editor, Aidan, EI7JC on 085 7100511.
Please note that items for the radio news should reach the editor no later than midday on Thursday in order to be guaranteed inclusion in the following Sunday’s bulletin.