This Week’s News

IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday 18 September 2022


Club News

The IRTS Treasurer David Gardiner (EI3IXB) has emailed all members who pay their membership fees by using Direct Debit from their Ulster Bank and KBC accounts. Because Ulster Bank and KBC are ending their operations in Ireland those Direct Debit mandates will soon stop working. David asks the affected members to inform him of their new bank details, when available, thus helping to avoid bounced Direct Debit payments. David's email address is ei3ixb /at/ gmail.com

The National Short Wave Listeners Club (NSWLC) would like to announce a new HAREC online training course. Class Foxtrot will start on the 3rd of November 2022. Class Foxtrot will consist of 24 classes ending on the 4th of May 2023. The course is free but membership of the NSWLC is compulsory. There are no prerequisites for this course, other than a genuine desire to study for an amateur radio licence, and to take and pass the Irish HAREC exam. The upcoming course is based on the new Irish exam syllabus, introduced earlier this year. The course uses the upcoming IRTS Study Guide, an almost 300-page learning resource. Members of Class Echo have significantly contributed to the new guide. As a result of their valuable feedback, Class Foxtrot contains 6 more sessions than its predecessor in order to better focus on the areas that are new to the current syllabus. The course will be held via the Zoom platform and sessions must be attended live. Classes will be held each Thursday from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time. For more information about The National Short Wave Listeners Club (NSWLC), or to join please see www.swl.ie

Just a gentle reminder that the next HAREC examination will be held on Saturday, the 15th of October 2022 at both the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, Dublin, and the Clayton Silversprings Hotel, Cork at 11.30 a.m. Registration will begin from 11 a.m. Candidates will be contacted directly regarding venue preference and registration requirements, but if any candidates have not been contacted already or have any further queries regarding the exam, please contact irts.exams /at/ gmail.com for more details. Please also note that the closing date for receipt of applications is the 30th of September 2022. No applications for the 15th of October examination can be accepted beyond this date.

On Tuesday, the 4th of October at 19.30, the South Dublin Radio Club will host a talk by Tony EI5EM relating to QRP construction and operation. Tony’s talk was very well received at this year's GI-QRP convention, so this is a great opportunity for attendees to ask questions and get information from someone who is very experienced in this area. The talk will be held in the downstairs conference room of Ballyroan Community Centre. There is limited capacity at the venue. Any non-club members wishing to attend are asked to contact southdublinradioclub /at/ gmail.com . Alternatively, the talk will be live streamed via Zoom. Should you wish joins us via Zoom, please email us for login details.

The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group (EI2WRC) will be active from The Waterford and Suir Valley Railway station Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford for the "Railways On The Air" event on Sunday, the 25th of September. WSVR is a community heritage project. The project has enabled the magic of rails golden age to be brought to life in Kilmeaden. A heritage narrow gauge railway runs along 17 kilometres of the abandoned Waterford to Dungarvan line. The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group would like to thank the manager Maria Kyte and all the staff of The Waterford and Suir Valley Railway for all their help and allowing us access to the station to do this event again this year. For more information about the WSVR please see www.wsvrailway.ie . The September meeting of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group EI2WRC will take place on Monday, the 26th of September 2022 at 8.00 p.m. sharp at The Sweep Bar, Adamstown, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford, Eircode X91 H588. New members or anyone interested in learning more about amateur radio or the group are as always very welcome to attend. For anyone that wishes to find out more about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and their activities you can drop them an email to southeasternarg /at/ gmail.com or please feel free to go along to any of their meetings. You can check their website www.searg.ie and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

The Shannon Basin Radio Club announce that their weekly SSB nets will recommence at the end of September. The hugely popular nets draw in stations from all across Ireland, the UK, and further afield. The 80m net will restart on Thursday, the 29th of September, starting at 9 p.m. local time in the upper end of the 80m band. The exact frequency will be posted on Shannon Basin Radio Club's Facebook page and Twitter account before the net starts. All are very welcome to join, especially newly licensed amateurs, QRP stations, and portable operators. Information about the restart of the 160m topband weekly net will be advised at a later date. Anyone wishing to learn more, submit SWL reports, or interested about the wide range of club activities are welcome to contact Shannon Basin Radio Club by email at admin /at/ sbrc.ie or via the club's social media channels.


HF Activities

The RSGB IOTA contest was again very popular in 2022, with over 2300 entries. Most Island and Island-Dxpedition entries were made by European Stations, followed by Asia and Oceania. Band conditions on Saturday were good on 20m, but poor otherwise. It was much better on Sunday, with 10m opening up in Europe. The results published on www.rsgbcc.org show the operators at EI7M achieving 4th place overall. An outstanding result, confirming EI7M as one of international top contest stations. Numerous entries from teams and single ops who put EI and EJ call-signs on the air for IOTA is proof of the rising level of amateur radio activity in Ireland.

After this Sunday's News Bulletin, switch on the SSB and FM VHF and UHF transceivers at home, in the car, or on foot, maybe on a hilltop, and participate in today's 70cm and 2m Counties Contest. First on 70cm for half an hour starting at 14.00 local time, and then for another 90 minutes on 2m, starting at 14.30 local time. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. EI and GI stations also give their county identifier. The entry rules and frequencies in use can be found on www.irts.ie .

The next major international contest is the CQWW RTTY Contest, taking place next weekend, running for 48 hours. There are rule differences from the CQWW SSB/CW Contest. Identical wording is used for both the RTTY and CW/SSB rules where the intent is the same. However, there are some key differences for RTTY: There is no 1.8 MHz operation, country contacts within any continent get 2 points, eight band-changes per clock hour, rather than the 10-minute rule, a third multiplier for QSOs with US/VE stations. Last year, from a field of 12 entrants from Ireland, EI7M came in at 10th place in the final results.

Ukrainian refugee, radio amateur Alex (UT5UY) has published the NGU certificate, which stands for "Never Give Up". The NGU certificate can be obtained by contacting him from OH, OH0 and OJ0 countries. Alex operates CW under the call-sign OJ/UT5UY from Market Reef for the next week. Stian (LB5SH) operates the SSB station, and Henri, (OH3JR/OJ0JR) uses FT8. They landed on Market Reef in very difficult weather conditions Friday afternoon, and were already heard on 40m in the evening. They hope to be able to stay for about a week.


AM Broadcast Recordings

COHIRADIA is an acronym for COnservation of HIstorical RAdiofrequency bands by DIgital Archiving. It's a project at radiomuseum.org aiming to conserve whole AM broadcasting bands and their raw broadcast signals by means of SDR receivers, containing all stations active at a certain time. It's growing since 2006 when, among others, German, Dutch, Swiss and French MW and LW transmitters were still active. The Archive's indexed files can be downloaded and played back on a PC with SDR software. The website at www.radiomuseum.org is an important source of information for all things vintage radio, with listings of suppliers for hard to find parts and help with restoration projects.


IARU Monitoring System

The monthly IARUMS report by Michael (EI3GYB) and other national coordinators shows that the Over The Horizon radars were the most numerous transmissions that caused harm to our amateur radio bands on HF. The Russian "Contayner" on all bands from 40 to 12m and the Chinese OTHRs on 20m and 15m were joined by AM signals from broadcasters and various data modes, mostly on 40m. All HF operators should make themselves familiar with the detailed and informative Spectrum Monitoring reports on www.iaru-r1.org .


The Propagation Horoscope

Sunspot AR3098 left a parting gift as it disappears over the western limb of the solar disc. The X-rays and UV radiation from a strong M8-class flare on Friday morning caused a deep shortwave radio blackout over most of Africa and the Middle East. After coming into view again, the previously very active region 3088 is now active as region 3102. A pair of coronal holes will strengthen the solar wind well into the new week, adding to the geomagnetic disturbances. Barring further strong flares, one can expect the MUF to dip below the 30m band late at night, and climb above the 15m band during daylight. The propagation conditions on 40 and 30m will yield good DX early and late in the day, 20 to 12m will remain good all around, 80m and topband may give good greyline conditions, but all lower bands will continue to suffer from high QRN, thanks to the stronger than usual lightning storms in the western Mediterranean.

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 Friday noon.

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