On September 10th 2021 ComReg published in document 21/90 inviting comments on their proposed strategy for managing the spectrum in the years 2022 to 2024. IRTS and a number of clubs as well as individual amateur licensees submitted comments. ComReg published an assessment of these comments on December 17th 2021 in document 21/136a. Highlights of the document are as follows.
Novice/Entry level licence
Probably the biggest news is ComReg’s change of position on the issue of Novice or entry level licences. They say that taking into account the support expressed for entry-level or novice-licensing and the strong justifications given in the submissions, ComReg will seek, in the timeline of this strategy statement and subject to resources, to put in place a framework for novice licensing in Ireland.
Submissions were made for an increase in power levels for all amateurs.
ComReg say that they will consider further the matter of a general increase in permissible power for all licensees and/or individual authorisations for licensees wishing to operate at higher powers. Included in these considerations will be the matters related to compliance with non ionising radiation, spurious emissions and measurement of power.
The IRTS proposes to transfer five specific frequencies between 5280 kHz and 5405 kHz from A1.4 of the guidelines (use requires additional authorisation) to A1.3 of the guidelines (available for general use). The IRTS contends that this would provide more flexibility for amateurs operating on a secondary basis to avoid interfering with primary services. ComReg agrees with this proposal and will adjust the guidelines to make these five spot frequencies available to all licensees.
Other issues raised by IRTS included the amateur services’s status in CEPT, self regulation, representation on the Spectrum Intelligence and Investigation Operators Forum, WARC 79 GHz microwave allocations, the 50 to 54MHz bands, Quiet Zones and WRC-23.
Use the following link to the IRTS website for a more detailed report. www.irts.ie/comreg21136 IRTS welcomes the positive views and new assessments in the ComReg document and will engage with ComReg and members to work on these plans.
Japan's OMOTENASHI, the world's smallest moon lander, will have an X-band and UHF communication system, although it will not carry an amateur band transponder. OMOTENASHI is a 6 Unit sized CubeSat set for launch via a NASA SLS rocket as early as February 2022. It will have a mission period of 4 to 5 days. The name is an acronym for Outstanding Moon Exploration Technologies demonstrated by Nano Semi-Hard Impactor. Wataru Torii of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Ham Radio Club, JQ1ZVI, said radio amateurs can play a role in gathering data from the spacecraft.
The spacecraft is made up of two separable components, both having independent communication systems, an orbiting module and a surface probe. The orbiting module will take the surface probe to the moon. It will transmit beacon or digital telemetry data on 437.31 MHz. The moon lander surface probe will transmit digital telemetry or three-axis acceleration analog-wave with FM modulation on 437.41 MHz. Transmitter power is 1 Watt, enough to be picked up with a high gain yagi.
According to Torii, JQ1ZVI, if they succeed in receiving the UHF signal from the surface probe, one could know the acceleration data of the impact on the moon and the success of the landing sequence. They already have a station for the uplink and downlink at Wakayama in Japan, normally used as an EME station. However, when the moon and satellite is not visible from Japan, help with the receiption of the downlink signal will be needed from ham radio stations worldwide. The orbiting module beacon will transmit on 437.31 MHz using PSK31. The surface probe beacon will transmit on 22.41 MHz using FM, PSK31, and PCM-PSK.
The Belgian IARU society UBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. To celebrate this event, 64 different special event stations will be active until the end of February 2022. Each special event station will be using the prefix ON75 followed by a three letter suffix. UBA will issue Awards for working ON75 on various bands and modes.
Starting 2022, the UBA DX Contest 2022 will have new rules. Instead of giving the province in the report, abbreviation of the UBA sections are now used. This means there are more multipliers for stations outside Belgium. The highest scoring Single Operator High Power and the Single Operator Low Power from a country of the European Union will receive the 35th European Union Trophy. This applies to both the SSB and the CW competition.
By way of exception, the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications allows the use of th ON75 callsigns during the UBA DX SSB Contest in January, and the CW Contest in February. However, this is subject to the condition that these stations do not compete with the ordinary Belgian radio amateur. That is why there will be a separate category for these stations in 2022.
Robbie, Ei2IP sends in a reminder for the 2022 to call into the Irish Net. A number of North American stations with an Irish connection would be delighted hear news and banter from Ireland. Tune in to 14.156Mhz for the daily 20m net, activity usually starts around 5 PM local Irish time.
CAMSAT XW-3, CAS9 for short, was launched on the 26th of December, and is now operational with a CW beacon sending telemetry on 435.575MHz, and with GMSK on 435.725MHz. A 30 kHz wide linear transponder listens on 23.870MHz and sends the inverted spectrum on 435.180MHz with 20 dbm output.
Funcube-1, also known as AO-73 is now in telemetry mode in sunlight and silent during eclipse. This will allow the team to gather valuable measurements, including energy consumption and battery health in current illumination conditions.
The FO-99 NEXUS operation team has announced that the operation schedule has changed. Recently, based on the situation where the operation of other general-purpose transponder satellites has become unstable one after another, the FO-99 NEXUS transponder will temporarily operate. The following 3 passes, with the first pass on Sunday evening, are usually scheduled for digital talker operation, but for now used to give extra linear transponder capacity.
Joining an ever growing list of longwave and mediumwave stations closing down, Czech Radio on 270 kHz switched off Friday night. Their mediumwave transmitters on 639, 954 and 1332 kHz and CRo Plus on 1071 kHz also went QRT.
Sunspot AR2916 is big and quiet, a relatively simple beta-class magnetic field that poses little threat for strong flares, chances for blackouts are low. Solar wind is around 400 km/s with a density of 5 particles per cm3. We're looking at a quiet week, with an undisturbed geomagnetic field, a very low proton flux. This will result in steady, but not spectecular conditions on all HF bands.
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.ie for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. The deadline is midnight on Friday.