Under an agreement with ComReg, IRTS is responsible for setting and organising the Amateur Station Licence Exam. 25 candidates sat the exam in Dublin last Saturday, 25th July, and no doubt are now anxiously awaiting their results. A further 14 candidates have entered for the exam in Cork on 8th August, applications have now closed for this exam. The final exam in the current series will be in Galway on Saturday 15th August, with 12 candidates already registered: The latest date for receipt of applications for this exam is next Wednesday, 5th August. See www.irts.ie/exam for details about this exam.
The Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club plans on providing a working HF station at the upcoming Atlantic Air Adventure Museum summer camps for school students. As previously, the focus will be on HF communications and construction - but aspects of physics, electrical generation and meteorological measurements will also be covered. Two summer camps are planned for August.
Over the past 8 years, the IL&LW at Loop Head was a highlight of club activities - with up to 14 members attending over that weekend. Due to Covid – 19 the lighthouse compound remains closed for the duration of 2020. However, the club plans on being on air, from the Shannon Aviation Museum, for the IIL&LW on the 22nd and 23rd August 2020 and to work as many IL&LWs as possible.
With the IRTS announcement of the dates for the next HAREC Exam, LCARC club members are available to help anyone preparing for the exam. Club members are also available to run the HAREC course - anyone interested should contact LCARC Chairman, Dermot Gleeson (via e mail) ei2gt at eircom.net.
This week the Mid Ulster ARC will have Victor Mitchell GI4ONL on the topic of “The History and Appreciation of Morse” This again will be via zoom on our Tuesday Night Lecture series gathering at 7pm. For further details please contact Dave 2i0SJV at dcparkinson /at/ icloud.com, Everyone is welcome”
One of the roles of the International Amateur Radio Union is the monitoring of our bands for unauthorised users. The IARU Monitoring System in Region One was set up in 1972 and has a coordinator in many countries and we are very grateful to Michael Foertig EI3GYB who carries out this role for us in Ireland. Michael monitors the bands and sends a monthly report to the Region One coordinator who processes all the information submitted. These reports can be viewed on www.iaru-r1.org The primary objective of the IARU Monitoring System is the search, classification, identification and initiation of steps leading to the removal from amateur bands of radio signals of non-amateur stations causing harmful interference to the amateur services, contrary to ITU International Telecommunications Union and national radio regulations. Typical intruders include Broadcasters, Over the Horizon Radars, illegal operators on the bands including taxicabs and fishermen on various bands, various military modes and many more types of unwanted signals.
The Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio was set up in the Martello Tower at Abbey Street in Howth, Co. Dublin by the late Pat Herbert in 2003. Pat started his wonderful collection in London in the 1950s and continued until his death on June 18th 2020. An amateur radio station EI0MAR was set up in the tower, facilitated by Tony EI5EM. We are delighted to announce that the great work will be continued by Pat’s son Simon. The museum is currently closed due to Covid-19 but will reopen as soon as possible. You can contact the museum by email at hgmovr at gmail.com or by phone on 086-3818865. You can visit the website at https://sites.google.com/site/hurdygurdymuseum/home
Another good example of radio amateur’s involvement in emergency communication happened on July 9, when an air ambulance en route from Santiago, Chile, to Easter Island lost communications while they were more than 1,000 nautical miles away from the mainland. The pilot resorted to the frequency of the Peruvian Relief Net on 7,100 kHz to ask for help. Luckily, Guillermo, OA4DTU, and Giancarlo, OA4DSN, were on frequency. Guillermo answered the call and then called Oceanic Air Control in Chile, the official entity in charge, who were already on alert after they lost contact with the air ambulance. The HF radio at Easter Island was not in operation at that time, which complicated the situation. After several phone calls to that entity to let them know about the airplane's position and route, the pilot reported that he had made VHF contact with the tower at Easter Island and he had received descent and landing instructions.
ComReg, the Commission for Communications Regulation recently published their response on the management of radio spectrum interference complaints. The document is a response to a consultation document published in December 2019 which invited comments from interested parties. IRTS made a submission and amateurs will be disappointed with the new classification and response times. Complaints are in three categories: - Class A get an immediate response, Class B gets a 5 working day response and Class C does not get a response time. Amateur Radio complaints fall into the class C category. Unfortunately, IRTS has been excluded from ComReg’s Spectrum Intelligence and Investigations Operators Forum. More on this subject when the document is studied in more detail. The reference number is 20/62 and it can be found on www.comreg.ie Everyone should read it.
Meteor scatter operators should be busy this week with the Perseids meteor shower which peaks on August 11th and 12th. These operations are made easier using the newer digital modes. On Wednesday next the 5th, 2 metre FT8 operators have a European contest running from 1700 to 2000 zulu. The exchange and multiplier is your 4 character grid square. Next weekend, CW operators have the Worked All Europe contest where the aim is to work stations outside Europe. This is a scoring contest for the World Radio Team Championships in Italy in 2022. Congratulations to Mark EI6JK who is currently the leading EI on the table and is in 5th place overall in our section, which leaves him in a strong position to represent Ireland in Italy
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.