December is Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) activity month. A time when young people all across the world will be talking on amateur radio. Our YOTA coordinator is calling out to anybody who has a young person in their household who might enjoy the chance to operate the EI0YOTA callsign from your station. The YOTA callsigns typically generate a good pileup even with a modest setup and give youngsters the chance to see the exciting parts of amateur radio. If you have a spare few hours over December this may be the perfect chance to share your hobby with your family, especially youngsters. If you are interested in activating the EI0YOTA callsign, please get in contact with the Youth Coordinator, Niall EI6HIB by email at ei6hib /at/ hotmail.com. A special YOTA award scheme will operate for the month of December where you get points for working stations with the YOTA suffix. At the time of writing, 37 stations are listed as participants including our own EI0YOTA. There will be more as time goes on. Every new station you work is worth 2 points plus 1 point per band slot worked with the same station. There are four levels of award. For the Platinum award you need a total of 105 points, Gold is 65 points, Silver is 35 points and bronze is 15 points. All the details are available on the YOTA website at events.ham-yota.com/
The second class being facilitated by the IRTS Training team commenced last Thursday and will run weekly until March the 4th. This together with the Wednesday class has 46 students studying for the HAREC examination in the Spring. Some applicants who could not be accommodated on the current classes are on a waiting list for the next class due to begin in the new year. Places on this class will be allocated on a first come first served basis to IRTS members. If you would like to be part of that class or know somebody who does please email training /at/ irts.ie.
After a wait of over 10 months, the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club has finally taken delivery of a Hex Beam antenna. It is planned that in the coming week, weather permitting, the antenna will be assembled and mounted on the tilt over mast at the Atlantic Air Adventures Museum in Shannon. The weekly IRTS news continues to be read on Mondays at 20:00 on the clubs 70cms repeater followed by a net on Fusion digital mode.
With the end of the Covid Lockdown Net on Wednesday last, The Mayo VHF group net will now move to a Christmas Countdown Net from next Wednesday evening /at/ 2000hrs on 145.375Mhz FM. This new net will run on the following dates 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd December 2020. So, join in and say hello, all welcome including SWL reports.
The ARRL reports a research paper has concluded that Solar Cycle 25 will be stronger than the just-ended Solar Cycle 24 and likely stronger than Solar Cycle 23. A research paper, "Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number: Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude," by Scott W. McIntosh, Deputy Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, has concluded that Solar Cycle 25 could be among the strongest sunspot cycles ever observed, and will almost certainly be stronger than the just-ended Solar Cycle 24 (sunspot number of 116). The scientists say it will also most likely be stronger than Solar 23 (sunspot number of 180). All DXers will hope that Scott McIntosh gets it right.
THE Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence has fascinated amateur radio operators down the years and many are involved worldwide in the search. The SETI institute based in California is a leader in this field and their senior Astronomer Dr. Seth Shostak will deliver a lecture on Zoom to the Cork Astronomy Club on Monday December the 7th at 8pm. Non-members are very welcome and the link to the lecture should be on the Cork Astronomy Club web page, corkastronomyclub.com, nearer the date.
The Shannon Basin Radio Club’s 80m and 2m nets will be swapping nights with immediate effect. The 2 metre net will now be on Wednesdays at 20:00 on the club’s repeater on 145.775MHz and the 80 metre net will be on Thursdays also at 20:00 on 3.720MHz. Monday’s top band net will continue as normal on 1.847 MHz at 2000. Apologies for the changes, please see the club’s Facebook page and website www.sbrc.ie for more information.
Top Band is again the main contest focus next weekend when the ARRL 160 metre contest starts at 2200 on Friday the 4th and runs for 42 hours until 1559 on Sunday. You can only work US or Canadian stations in this one and the exchange is just an RST report for anyone outside North America. US/Canadian stations send signal report plus ARRL or RAC section. Also taking place next weekend is the Romanian Pro CW Club Contest running for 24 hours from 1200 on Saturday. Send RST plus serial number. And now to some DX news. Tom, DL7BO, is expected to be active as 5T7OO from Mauritania soon and plans to be there for a long time. Activity will be on various HF bands. QSL via DJ6TF. A special Cuban callsign T46W will be on the air until December 29 to commemorate the first transmissions 100 years ago by the Cuban radio pioneer Manolin Alvarez. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via LoTW. Erik, LA2US is QRV from Jan Mayen as JX2US until the end of March 2021. Activity is on 160 to 12 meters using CW and FT8 in DXpedition mode. QSL to home call. Look for EA5BJ/P, EA5EL/P, EA5RM/P and EA5BCQ/P to be active from Tabarca Island, EU-093 from December 2nd to the 6th. They will be QRV on 80 to 10 metres; on CW and SSB. They will have two stations on air. QSLs go to individual home calls. Giorgio IU5HWS is still active from Iraq and the good news is that he has received his official license – finally – from local authorities. Look for him now as YI9WS. Nearer home, Dale McWilliams MD/EI7HDB will be QRV from the Point of Ayre Lighthouse on all bands from 80 metres to 6 metres SSB only and 2 metres FM from November 30th to December 14th while self-isolating.
Listeners to shortwave broadcast stations may be interested in a German based shortwave station Shortwave.de. It carries some programmes of interest to radio enthusiasts including the Southgate Amateur Radio News and repeats of old programmes from Radio Netherlands. It broadcasts on 3.975MHz from 1400 to 2300 and on 6.160MHz from 1000 to 2000 daily. The Southgate Amateur Radio News is broadcast on both frequencies at 1400 on Saturdays and at 1000 and 1400 on Sundays. It is broadcast on 3.975MHz on Saturdays at 2000 and at 1600 and 2000 on Sundays. The station is run by shortwave radio enthusiasts on a non-political and non-commercial basis. The transmitting location is in Lower Saxony in Germany in accordance with a licence issued by the German Federal Net Agency. You can get all the details on shortwaveradio.de.
That is the news for this week which was compiled and edited by Dave EI4BZ. 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 087-6290574