We regret to announce the death of Billy Wigham EI2DUB from Blarney, Co. Cork on Monday July 13th. While not active of late, Billy was a pioneer in microwave operation in the Cork area. We extend our sympathy to his wife Judy, sons Cian and Simon, brother, sisters and a wide circle of friends.
Congratulations to John Tubbritt EI4HQB who was awarded the Folan Shield for 2020 for home construction built to the highest standards. Congratulations to the Mayo VHF Group who get the Kevin Freeney Shield which is awarded for significant experimentation and innovation in any field of amateur radio. All award winners are listed in the Summer Edition of Echo Ireland.
Another reminder that you still have time to apply to sit the HAREC examination being held in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Little Island, Cork on Saturday August 8th. The closing date for this is Wednesday July 29th. Places for exams are limited, are allocated on a first come first served basis and are only reserved on receipt of an application form and exam fee. Log on to www.irts.ie/exam A further exam will be held in Galway on August 15th.
The International Amateur Radio Union HF World Championship contest took place last weekend. This contest has the stated aim of supporting amateur self-training in radiocommunications including improving amateur operating skills, and intercommunicating with other amateurs around the world, especially IARU IARU member society headquarters stations. Operators for the IRTS headquarters station EI0HQ this year were Gerard EI5KF, Oleg EI7KD, Thos EI2JD and Ralph EI2KU. With almost 3,000 QSOs and more than 70 DXCC entities in the log, they reported good band conditions over the weekend.
The annual RSGB Islands On The Air contest takes place next weekend, for 24 hours starting at 12:00 UTC on Saturday 25th July. This year, in line with “Stay at Home” guidance, to minimise the impact of Covid-19, the contest is exclusively for single operators using their home stations. The contest is on 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m & 10m, CW and/or SSB and the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA Reference. For EI and GI stations, the IOTA Reference for the main island of Ireland is EU-115.
The Mid Ulster ARC continues its run of Tuesday Night Lectures via zoom on Tuesday the 21st of July with M0JAV John Rogers. The topic will be EMC and locating RFI in the shack. For the zoom details please contact Dave 2i0SJV on dcparkinson /at/ icloud.com
Following last week’s well attended Zoom presentation on the Galway Digital Radio Network by Steve EI5DD, a repeat showing will be held on Wednesday next July 22nd at 8pm due to demand. This is a non-technical presentation about the Network and how to get the best from it. If you w ant to join in please email Steve EI5DD at wright14 /at/ gmail.com
The Galway Digital Radio Group completed their DMR Repeater Network on the 11th of July with the installation of a Hytera RD985 Repeater at Kilnadeema, Loughrea Co. Galway. The DMR network consists of a Repeater located on Inishbofin Island beaming towards the mainland, a Repeater overlooking Galway City, one at Abbeknockmoy, almost in the Centre of Co. Galway, and the more recent Repeater in Loughrea. This has resulted in almost 90% coverage of the County plus spill over into adjacent counties such as Mayo, Roscommon, Westmeath and Co. Clare. The Repeaters are linked together via the Brandmeister Server located in Waterford. As these Repeaters are linked by IP-Multi-site connect, it is possible to “Roam” the Galway DMR Network similar to the way a cellular phone remains connected whilst mobile. In addition to the DMR network there is a Yaesu Fusion Repeater located in Loughrea, a D-STAR/Analog Repeater in Galway City, a 2m Multimode Digital Gateway Overlooking Galway City and a 2m Wires-X Gateway located in Salthill, Galway. The Network may be extended further next year. The work was completed in just over two years. The Galway Digital Radio Group are indebted to the site owners, Airwire and Lightnet who kindly accommodated the equipment on their sites and special thanks to Aengus EI4ABB, and Steve EI5DD, who procured the equipment and spent many long hours preparing the equipment for installation. If you are planning a “stay-cation” in the Galway area, be sure to bring your digital equipment with you. Full details of all projects may be found on https://galwayvhfgroup.blogspot.com/ also check out the “Galway Digital Radio Group” and the “EI Digital Repeater Network” Facebook pages for daily updates and information about our services.
Operators on HF have been suffering poor propagation conditions for some time and this is borne out by the lack of sunspots both last year and this year. It has been the worst period for sunspots for 87 years. However, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA tells us that we are now exiting solar cycle 24 and entering cycle 25. So far, in 2020, the sun has produced a dozen sunspots. Nine of them or 75% have the magnetic polarity of Solar Cycle 25. This compares to only 17% in 2019 and 0% in 2018. The sun is clearly moving from one solar cycle to the next. There should be lots of IOTA activity on the bands later in the week as contest stations set up for the weekend’s IOTA Contest. Watch out this week for A60EMM with multiple stations, celebrating the launch of The Emirates Mars Mission probe. V84SPU will be active until July 31st celebrating the Sultan of Brunei’s birthday. (Sunday only) Sunday listeners still have a chance until 2100z this evening to have a listen for stations on 2 and 6 metres taking part in the CQWW VHF Contest.
Finally, this week, we would like to extend congratulations and happy birthday wishes to Leo McHugh EI9BR of Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin who celebrates his 90th birthday this weekend. Leo is licenced since the sixties and we wish him many more years on the radio from his many friends and fellow amateurs.
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 radio news may be telephoned to 087-6290574.