A new C4FM Wires-X Gateway with the call sign, EI2PMD, located in Portmarnock, Dublin, became active on the 19th of January 2021. The Gateway is operating on 144.825 MHz and is linked to the CQ-IRELAND Room along with systems from Galway, Limerick, and Northern Ireland. YSF-Ireland, DMR TG 2724, and the Peanut App. This is the first Digital System to be placed on the air in Dublin and it will cover a wide area. Congratulations to Ger EI4HOB and the North Dublin Radio Club for placing the first Digital system on air in the Dublin area. Reports on reception are always welcomed by Ger EI4HOB.
Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station are planning to transmit slow scan TV images on 145.800MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120. On Thursday next, the 28th of January, the transmissions will be between 1210z and 1715z. On Friday the 29th they will broadcast between 1310z and 1805z. Please note that these times could vary depending on activity on board the ISS.
Peanut is an app for Android or Windows developed by PA7LIM that allows VOIP communication on unique Rooms of which some are connected to D-Star, C4FM or DMR and output via Gateways or Repeaters. This is an excellent system for those who do not have VHF/UHF, DMR, C4FM or D-Star radio equipment. Firstly, it is necessary to register your callsign with D-Star and DMR so that the system will recognise you. It is wise to have a PDF or snapshot of the first page of you licence handy as this will be requested for the DMR registration. Full information is available on galwayvhfgroup.blogspot.com
In 2020, the Polish Amateur Radio Union (PZK) celebrated its 90th anniversary and to mark the occasion they ran an award scheme "90 years of the PZK and 95 years of the IARU" which proved very popular with operators all over the world. They ran 14 special calls for the event and they made 97,843 QSOs and worked 171 DXCC entities. Many EI amateurs have qualified for the award and the closing date for downloading the certificates has been extended to April 30th 2021. Log on to 90.pzk.org.pl where you can search their online log to see your award status.
The UKEICC was formed in 2014 to promote the development of HF contesting in the UK and Ireland and to encourage newcomers into HF contesting. The UKEICC is run by a small but enthusiastic group of keen British and Irish contesters. The club promotes two 24 hour DX contests annually, the CW one in January and the SSB one in October. The club also run one hour 80 metre contests both on SSB and CW every month from September to April. The contests run from 2000 to 2100 and logs must be submitted by 2200. The logs are then adjudicated and final scores are published by 2300. The UKEICC monthly 80 metres CW contest will be held on Wednesday next the 27th from 2000 to 2100. The exchange is your 6-character Grid Locator and no signal report should be sent. Operation is confined to the band segment 3.510 to 3.560MHz. Please join in and support the effort. See ukeicc.com for further information.
WSJT-X version 2.4.0 has introduced a new digital protocol called Q65, which is designed for minimal two-way QSOs over especially difficult propagation paths. On paths with Doppler spread more than a few hertz, the weak-signal performance of Q65 is the best among all WSJT-X modes. Q65 is particularly effective for tropospheric scatter, ionospheric scatter, and EME on VHF and higher bands, as well as other types of fast-fading signals.
The Mid Ulster ARC Tuesday Night Lecture Series on the Zoom platform is on this coming Tuesday the 26th. Steve Shorey, G3ZPS will talk on the topic of 999 emergency public safety communications past and present. Steve was a senior systems engineer in the Metropolitan Police Service and will be talking about the origins of emergency communications to the present day. Everyone is welcome to stream the lecture. For further information, and the meeting details, contact Dave, 2I0SJV via email to dcparkinson /at/ icloud.com.
The biggest event of the year for top band CW operators is the CQ World Wide 160 metre contest which begins on Friday next the 29th at 2200 and finishes at 2200 on Sunday night. Everybody works everybody in this one and the multipliers are DXCC and WAE countries plus US state and Canadian provinces. The French REF CW contest runs from 0600 on Saturday next until 1800 on Sunday and the exchange is RST plus serial number for non-French stations. The Belgian UBA DX Contest on SSB starts at 1300 on Saturday next and runs for 24 hours. Work everybody and the exchange is RST and serial number. Oscar Nancy stations will give RST, serial number and province.
Now some DX news: If you still need Alaska for DXCC or Worked All States, keep a listen out for several KL7 stations operating in the Alaska “RST” QSO Party until February 15th. Felix, DL5XL, will be active as DP1POL from the German research station "Neumayer III" in Antarctica (Antarctica-016). He is part of the wintering team and will be there until mid-March. Activity will be on various HF bands, possibly QO-100 satellite, using CW and the Digital modes. QSL via DL1ZBO, direct, by the Bureau or LoTW. Also in Antarctica, Ramon, LU3HRS is QRV as LU1ZG from Base Belgrano II while on work assignment. He is usually active on 20 meters using FT8 between 1900 and 2300z. QSL via LU4DXU. The GB75ISWL callsign celebrates the 75th anniversary of the International Short Wave League (ISWL) which was founded in 1946. It will be on the air throughout 2021. Activity will be on most bands and modes using CW, SSB and the Digital modes (FT8/FT4 and PSK31/63/125). QSL via the RSGB Bureau. Operator Tev, TA1HZ, is now active as ZD8HZ on Ascension Island (Africa-003) and is there on a working assignment for all of 2021. He will be on the air during his free time using a Yaesu FT991 running 100w to a Windom wire antenna on 80 to 10 metres. QSL via LoTW, ClubLog or eQSL. Wayne, 5Z4WH is QRV from Molo, Kenya. He is generally active on 40, 20, 15 and 12 meters using SSB and FT8. QSL via operator's instructions.
And finally, a reminder of some EI nets on during the coming week. South Dublin Radio Club run a net on 144.330MHz USB from 8 to 9pm every evening except Tuesdays when they run a net on 7.123MHz from 8 to 10pm. On Mondays at 2000, the Shannon Basin Club hold their top band net on 1.847MHz plus or minus QRM, On Tuesday, the Cork VHF/UHF Group hold their net. This week its Digital on DMR Talk Group 2723 with CH3 as the backup and it starts at 2100. On Wednesdays, the Shannon Basin Club 80 metre net is held on the club’s repeater EI2CAR on 145.775MHz. On Thursdays. the Shannon Basin 80 metre net is on at 2000 on 3.720MHz plus or minus QRM at 20:00, On Saturdays, the North Dublin Radio Club - EI0NDR hold a net at 2000 on 145.575MHz. On Sunday mornings, South Dublin Radio Club hold their 40m net on 7.123MHz from 0830 until IRTS news time with Joe EI6EG at 1100. The Irish hour is on daily on 14.156MHz at 1700 with a special emphasis on the Sunday net.
That is the news for this week. 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 news may be telephoned to News Editor, Dave EI4BZ on 087-6290574.