Joe Ryan EI7GY, Séamus McCague EI8BP and Seán Donelan EI4GK undertook a mountain of work and responsibility during their long term of office on the IRTS Examination Board and every credit is due to them for bringing the question pool, examination papers, conduct and management of the whole process to such a high standard. They deserve our sincere thanks. The new Licence Examination Board members are Chairman Gerry Gervin EI8CC, Dermot Gleeson EI2GT and John Ronan EI7IG, supported by a small group of volunteers. The renewal of the Experimenter’s Licence Examination contract with ComReg is due in December 2021.
The Autumn Edition of Echo Ireland is being distributed to members at the moment and the 40 page issue carries all the regular columns plus a wide range of feature articles including IARU World Championships by EI5KF, FT Entertainment by EI9KF, IRTS QSL Bureau by EI6AL, passing the Morse test by EI8KW, building a hex beam by EI4CKB, Rosslare Wireless Station 1901 to 1913 by EI3KO, the joy of fault finding by EI4HH, Summits on the Air by EI6FR, ISS update by EI4HH and Portishead Radio by EI3KO. Included also is club news from the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group, Galway digital repeaters, Dundalk Amateur Radio Society and Shannon Basin Radio Club. If you have an article or news for Echo Ireland, please send it to newsteam /at/ irts.ie.
A recent edition of CQ Magazine carried details of the IRTS Worked EI Counties Award. The original Worked All EI Counties Award was launched fifty years ago in 1970 by Region One of IRTS and the first award manager was Peter Ball EI7CC. Fifty years later, Peter is still involved in Society affairs in the role of trustee. Also active in the Society at that time and still involved today are Ger EI8CC as PRO and Chair of the Exam board and Paul EI2CA who looks after the Brendan Trophies.
The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club Tuesday night lecture series continues this coming Tuesday the 22nd with Jon from SDR Dongles giving a talk on Software Defined Radios For further information and the zoom details please contact Dave 2i0SJV on dcparkinson /at/ icloud.com All the previous Tuesday night lectures can now be found at www.youtube.com/muarcmedia
Irelands biggest radio club, the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group continues to meet weekly on the zoom platform on Monday nights, with great numbers logging in. The IRTS radio news is read on the Southern Ireland Repeater Network by Seany Byrne EI2HZB on Tuesday evenings at 2000 and continues to attract a large call-in with up to fifty callers every week. It is simultaneously transmitted on DMR Talkgroup 27240, Echolink Node 225431, IRLP Node 5883 and also on the Southern Ireland Repeater Network channel on the Zello app. The club caravan was in use for two socially distanced events recently. The Hook Head lighthouse was activated for the Lighthouses on the air weekend and an overnight was spent operating HF at Kilmurrin Cove on the Copper Coast followed by the IRTS counties contests the following afternoon. Next weekend is the Railways on the Air and if regulations allow, the club will be active from the Waterford and Suir Valley railway at Kilmeaden for the event. For information on the group, log on to searg.ie.
The IRTS 70cms and 2 metres Counties Contests, held on Sunday 13th September, were well supported by both fixed and portable stations. Band conditions were generally good, so activity remained high for the duration of the two contests. More than 20 logs have already been submitted, and the Contest Manager asks that those who have not yet submitted their logs should send them to him as soon as possible. Logs should be sent to irts/dot/contests/at/gmail/dot/com
Solar Cycle 25 is officially underway. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA made the announcement during a media teleconference on September 15th. According to an international panel of experts, the sunspot numbers hit rock bottom in December 2019, bringing an end to old Solar Cycle 24. Since then, sunspot counts have been slowly increasing, heralding new Solar Cycle 25. The panel believes that new Solar Cycle 25 will be a weak one, peaking in 2025 at levels similar to old Solar Cycle 24. If their prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 25 (like Solar Cycle 24 before it) will be one of the weakest since record-keeping began in 1755. On the air, next weekend is the big one for RTTY operators with the CQWW RTTY DX Contest running for forty-eight hours from midnight Friday. This contest usually attracts well over three thousand entries with EI always very well represented. Next Wednesday week, the 30th, is the last Wednesday of the month and that means the UKEICC 80m CW contest runs for one hour from 2100 local time. The exchange is your six character grid square and the RST report is not sent. Logs must be submitted within one hour of the contest end and results will be published one hour later. See ukeicc.com for all the details.
While DXpeditions are non-existent, here are a few rarer countries to look out for: EI DX Group member Norbert DJ7JC will be operating from his camper van in TF, Iceland until October 18th. DL4APJ and Dl2AQI are active from OY, Faroe Islands until next Wednesday and OJ0JR will be on from OJ0, Market Reef until next Saturday the 26th. Look out for DL5TL and DL5YM from HB0, Liechtenstein until October 3rd. Erwann JW/LB1QI will be active from September 24th to the 27th. Activity is from the JW5E Radio Club from 160 to 6 meter using CW and SSB. QSL via home call, bureau, direct or LoTW.
The upcoming International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 General Conference will be split in two parts. Part 1 dealing with "business as usual" elements will be held as a virtual conference and will take place from October 11th to the 16th 2020. Much preparatory work for this event is currently being carried out by the Society whose representatives at the conference will be President Jim EI4HH, PRO Gerry EI8CC, VHF/UHF Manager Joe EI3IX, EMC Manager Liam EI4GB and Youth Officer Aaron EI6HTB. Dave EI3IO and Séamus EI8BP will be actively involved in their roles as committee chairmen. Dave is chairman of the spectrum and regulatory liaison committee and Séamus is chairman of the political relations committee.
Items for inclusion in next weeks 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.