28 Jul 2008

Extra Facilities for Experimenters

Extra Facilities for Experimenters

The 70 MHz band of 70.125 to 70.450 MHz has been
released generally to experimenters. This means that
any licensed experimenter may now use the band without
the need to make an individual application as was the
position previously. The upper power limit is 50 watts
PEP and 25 watts PEP for mobile operation. This change
has been made in Part IV of the licence documentation
in ComReg Document No 02/77R6 of the 17th of July 2008.

ComReg has also made provision for the release of to
licensed experimenters of spot frequencies in the
segment 5.0 to 5.5 MHz on the basis of an individual
application. The upper power limit is 200 watts PEP.

The frequencies which the IRTS agreed with the military
authorities and with ComReg are four 3 kHz channels
centered on 5280, 5290, 5400 and 5405 kHz. These are
the same as four of the channels at present available
in the UK. When permissions are issued, operators
should bear in mind that three time sequenced
propagation beacons operate on 5290 kHz in the UK. The
application form for a licence extension to cover
operation on the 5 MHz frequencies is ComReg Document
No 02/07R2 and is available on the ComReg website under
Latest Publications and through a link to ComReg
'Publications in 2008' on the IRTS homepage at

These facilities are the result of a long period of
negotiation by IRTS with ComReg and in relation to the
frequencies at 5 MHz with the military authorities
also. ComReg has also published an application Form for
an Automatic Station, that is, a Repeater or a Beacon
in ComReg Document No 08/58 and revised Radio
Experimenter Guidelines in ComReg Document No 02/05R6.
These documents are also available through the link to
ComReg 'Publications in 2008' on the IRTS homepage at

Possible 432 MHz Tropo EI Record

During a good tropo opening on the 21st of July, Robbie
Phelan, EI2IP worked several EA8 stations on 144 MHz
using only 50 Watts and a 10 Element DX7ZB.

He also worked EA8AVI on 432.200 MHz both on CW and
SSB. It could potentially be an EI Tropo record on 432
MHz of approximately 2740 kilometres.

Robbies setup for 432 MHz consisted of an FT-847, using
50 Watts and a 19 Element Tonna at a height of 10
metres and 100 metres above sea level situated about
2.5 kilometres from Atlantic Coast. EA8AVI, Peter was
only using 20 Watts. There is a video link available at

A New Website for Radio Amateurs

Mark Mc Nicholas (EI5GYB) is currently looking into
building a website for radio amateurs. There is
currently just a discussion board present but he plans
to have a full site with resources for radio
experimenters in Ireland.

The website is available at www.radioexperments.com.

26 Jul 2008

IOTA Contest

The IOTA Contest takes place from 12:00 UTC on 26th July for 24 hours. Please note that the contest is organised by the RSGB's Contest Committee, not by the IOTA Committee. The contest rules can be found at iotacontest.com.

The following activations have been notified:

Ref. No.FromToCallsign:
AF-004 22 Jul 200829 Jul 2008AM8IL
AF-014 24 Jul 200831 Jul 2008CT3/DF1LON
AF-021 1 May 2008 1 May 2009ZS8T
AF-047 24 Jul 200827 Jul 2008CQ9U
AS-024 22 Jul 200827 Jul 2008JA1YUC
AS-117 26 Jul 200830 Jul 20088J9HGR
EU-001 25 Jul 2008 4 Aug 2008SX5C
EU-003 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008CU1F
EU-003 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008CU1T
EU-006 24 Jul 200830 Jul 2008EJ3GKB
EU-008 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008GM7A
EU-010 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008MM0LSB/P
EU-014 9 Jul 2008 3 Aug 2008TK/F8DZY
EU-028 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008IA5/IV3LZQ
EU-028 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008IA5/IV3PUT
EU-029 20 Jul 200830 Jul 2008OZ/DO2ML
EU-030 18 Jul 2008 4 Aug 2008OZ/DL6MHW
EU-030 21 Jul 200826 Jul 2008OZ1BLO
EU-030 21 Jul 200826 Jul 2008OZ/LA8DW
EU-030 25 Jul 200828 Jul 20085Q2T
EU-038 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008PA0HFT
EU-052 19 Jul 200828 Jul 2008SV8/OT6T/P
EU-052 20 Jul 2008 8 Aug 2008SV8/PH2CV/P
EU-055 19 Jul 2008 3 Aug 2008LA/DL7AT
EU-055 19 Jul 200815 Aug 2008LA9RY
EU-055 26 Jul 200830 Jul 2008LA6Q
EU-067 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008SV8/SV1JG
EU-071 17 Jul 2008 5 Aug 2008TF7/DL3PS
EU-072 21 Jul 200831 Jul 2008J48NL
EU-072 21 Jul 200831 Jul 2008J48JJ
EU-072 21 Jul 200831 Jul 2008J48P
EU-072 21 Jul 200831 Jul 2008J48PS
EU-084 24 Jul 200829 Jul 2008SM/G3LAS
EU-088 23 Jul 200828 Jul 2008OZ8MW/P
EU-097 19 Jul 200810 Aug 2008OH/G4FSU
EU-097 19 Jul 200810 Aug 2008OH/G4FSU
EU-099 21 Jul 200826 Jul 2008GB8LMI
EU-099 23 Jul 200829 Jul 2008MJ0X
EU-109 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008M0OVL/P
EU-123 24 Jul 200828 Jul 2008MM3M
EU-125 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008OZ0FR
EU-127 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008DA0T/P
EU-127 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008DL5XL/P
EU-132 25 Jul 2008 3 Aug 2008SP5XSD/1
EU-132 25 Jul 2008 3 Aug 2008SQ5BB/1
EU-132 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008SP7VC/1
EU-132 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008SP8RX/1
EU-133 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008RI1AA
EU-135 1 Jul 200831 Jul 2008SM5EFX/2
EU-136 22 Jul 200828 Jul 20089A2CY/P
EU-146 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008PE1OPM
EU-146 25 Jul 200827 Jul 2008PD5CW
EU-147 24 Jul 200830 Jul 2008RK3AZY/1
EU-147 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008RI1NU
EU-168 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008TF/DD4B
EU-172 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008OZ7BQ/P
EU-178 23 Jul 200827 Jul 2008ES0/YL2PN
EU-179 22 Jul 200828 Jul 2008UW0G
NA-067 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008N4A
NA-096 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008CO7PH/P
NA-113 24 Jul 200828 Jul 2008C6APR
NA-139 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008N2US
NA-140 26 Jul 200827 Jul 2008K1RY
NA-229 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008KD6WW/VY0
NA-229 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008K9AJ/VY0
NA-234 21 Jul 200827 Jul 2008KL7DX
OC-133 26 Jul 200827 Jul 20089M6DXX/P
SA-023 25 Jul 200828 Jul 2008PY6RA
SA-080 24 Jul 200827 Jul 2008ZW6GK
SA-090 24 Jul 200828 Jul 2008YW6AJ

IOTA Meeting Frequencies

The main meeting frequency is 14.260MHz. Other ones on SSB are 28.560, 28.460, 24.950, 21.260, 18.128, 7.055 and 3.755MHz. The CW frequencies are 28.040, 24.920, 21.040, 18.098, 14.040, 10.115 and 3530MHz. No specific CW frequency has been nominated on 7MHz but it is recommended that operations should include a frequency above 7.025 when the band is open to North America. These frequencies are not reserved for IOTA nets or the making of island QSOs but are shared with other users on a normal non-interference basis.

The IOTA Contest is organised by the RSGB's Contests Committee (formerly the HF Contests Committee), not by the IOTA Committee. Full details of the IOTA Contest, including the rules, can be found at the Contest Committee website.

23 Jul 2008


It's Tuesday night and 80metres is Dead quite, I actually had to check if I had the right antenna in the radio and not the 2 meter beam plugged into the HF rig which can happen so had a look, yep all seemed to be ok, I just couldn't understand why the band was so quite has Amateur Radio turned into a weekend thing???
Anyway I continued tuning around the band that was up until two hours ago.
I was lucky enough to have a really nice QSO with G4BUW Kevin in Alton, Hampshire in the UK.

Our conversation went in many directions but one thing that stood out was Radio's in general, what is the story with the Amateur radio community these days have they forgotten about Radios from the past. I find on-air its almost snobbery in away because people rave on about their FT9000 and their IC7800, rigs that has it all and I have to laugh when they mention their antenna which turns out to be a dummy load.
Have people forgotten the fact that some Amateurs use FT101ZD's and the likes can do just as good of a job if not better than some of these big stations today.

I remember years back an old CB friend John - 29Delta-Echo101(RIP) with a FT101ZD and never in my life have I yet to hear the sweetness of sound from a radios nowadays as I've heard from them older big valve rigs. What is it about them radios that there is such a romance about them its like Vinyl records compared to Cd's, yes I know CD might have this many KHz of sound that is supposed to be better but a record just sounds more real and warmer you know what I mean.

I had this discussion with many Amateur radio enthusiasts and I know the side of the argument that these rigs have better this and better that but at the end of the day it is all about communication such as exchange Call sign, Report and "HAVE A CHAT" which most Amateurs forget to do anymore it seems to me it is 59 report 73's QRZ, another one in the log. Slow down people its not a race.

To continue my experiments on 80 meters to my surprise was a QRP station using 3 watts - M3XUH -GLYN for 3 watts I admired his optimism on amateur radio, Glyn has been licenced one month and is really enjoying the Hobby as we talked it made me think of a question I have answered to many discussions on air that is:

Is Ham Radio Still Dying?

I have been away from Hamming now and then so to make sure I'm on the right side of the argument I have been wondering if Ham Radio is still dying?

I feel like Amateur Radio is "WHAT WE EACH - MAKE OF IT"
I think the hobby is fine, some will agree, some wont. Yes, it is a matter of perspective...if you are expecting ham radio to be the saviour of yesteryear, you will be disappointed. If you simply want to have fun, enjoy your time playing with radios and not freak out about things out of your control...you will find ham radio just as you left it, but with more up to date toys. To me, its just fine and I just don't have any reason to believe otherwise...Ive been a ham for 10 years and the only negativity Ive seen has been a few old geezers on 80 meters ssb, and 20m ssb giving out about practices of new operators but I think the biggest violator of negativity in ham radio is right here online. Fortunately, the Internet is NOT ham radio.

Yes, there is a shifting of focus among the Amateur Radio community but, I don't feel the cold hand of death just yet. I've tried to change with the times and the technology and find it challenging and rewarding. There are so many hobbies within this great hobby that I can't imagine why anyone would complain. There's always been something for everyone and I believe there always will be. So, jump in again full steam ahead and enjoy is what I say to any amateurs on and off the air.
I hope this answers the Question to people who have ran out of new stations to talk to.




19 Jul 2008


This is taken from world's tallest building 'Burj Dubai' at 2,620 ft!

Look at the edge (uppermost right corner) of the picture, you can see the turn of the earth

Imagine a VHF/UHF Array Antenna up !!! HELLO DX :)

Slow-Scan Television (SSTV)

SSTV is something I'm interested in lately basicly it is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.

These image types could be GIF, JPG, BMP or similar depending on the computer software used for the SSTV transmissions. It works similar to Facsimile transmissions. Each colour has it's own frequency in SSTV mode and the software simply codes the colour into an audible frequency tone that can be interfaced into the microphone system of the radio. The receiving end software simply decodes the frequency tone back into the colour.

A technical term for SSTV is narrowband television. Broadcast television requires huge 5, 6 or 8 MHz wide channels, because it transmits 25 or 30 pictures per second (in the NTSC, PAL or SECAM systems), but SSTV usually takes up to only 3 kHz of bandwidth. It is a much slower method of still picture transmission, usually lasting from about eight seconds to a couple of minutes.

Since SSTV systems operate on voice frequiencies, amateurs use it on shortwave (also known as HF by amateur radio operators),VHF and UHF radio.

Anyone can receive SSTV, you don't need a ham licence. All you need is a receiver, software for your PC (FREE HERE) Digital Master 780 & MMSSTV are excelent, and you connect the audio out from the receiver to the sound card on your PC, Interface infomation HERE.You will then be able to pick up SSTV from all over the world.

Dx stations like to send pictures as a sign of making the contact. Because the images are easily stored, the picture itself becomes the QSL "card". They generally send a picture of the operator and the station, often with the call of the contacted station being type onto the image. I find foreign stations generally very interesting, as they often have neat scenery shots from around their country.

Experimenters use SSTV to send pictures of the latest project. They can then describe what they are doing and send closeups of the unit. A technical discussion then results in several picture interchanges and everything is stored for future reference. The amateur SSTV differs from an Internet technical discussion as a dialog differs from a monolog.

The most interesting SSTV contacts occur when amateurs have a QSO about common interests. I like antenna experimentation, flying R/C airplanes and Astronomy.

"Local" SSTV QSOs are the most common QSOs, just like in the rest of amateur radio activities. I define "Local QSO" as a conversation with an amateur that is one of many conversations. A great number of pictures are required to keep local QSOs interesting. The pictures must be personally interesting or others will not find them interesting either.

Roundtable QSOs and SSTV Nets are particularly difficult to maintain an interesting chain of audio and visual intercommunication. A good unifying topic goes a long way towards maintaining an interesting multi-party QSO.

If your interested in this you can find more information here:



18 Jul 2008



Solar activity is expected to be very low.No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels during 13 - 16 July and again 19 - 21 July.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet levels on 09 July. A co-rotating interaction region is expected to influence the geomagnetic field on 10 July increasing activity levels to quiet to unsettled conditions. A recurrent coronal hole high speed stream is expected to become geoeffective beginning 11 July and persist through 13 July. During this timeframe the geomagnetic field is expected to be at unsettled to active levels with a chance for minor storm periods possible on 12 July.

On 14 to 17 July activity levels are expected to decrease to quiet to unsettled levels as the coronal hole high speed stream rotates out of a geoeffective position. The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet levels 18 to 21 July. Another recurrent coronal hole high speed stream is expected 22 to 23 July increasing activity levels to quiet to unsettled levels with a chance for isolated active conditions possible on 23 July.

On 24 July activity levels are expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels as the coronal hole high speed stream rotates out of a geoeffective position. Mostly quiet levels are expected 25 July through 04 August.

Auroral Activity Extrapolated from NOAA POES

Most recent polar pass: NOAA-16
Center time 2008 Jul 18 1522 UT
Activity level 1
n = 0.77
Estimated time of new data: Not available


Breaking News: NA-234. (IOTA NEW ONE!)


The KL7DX IOTA-expedition to Chuginadak Island (Aleutians islands, Alaska) is under feasibility review by team members – Yuri Sushkin N3QQ, Sergey Morozov RA3NAN and Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA.

Okmok Volcano, located 75 miles away from our destination continues to erupt. The volcano is currently at aviation color code RED and alert level WARNING. All areas immediately around the volcano are considered hazardous. Airborne ash and gas continues to drift with the wind and pose a hazard to aviation in the area. Satellite data continue to show a long (~250km) plume moving east, the height of the plume is approximately 9,100m (30,000 ft) above sea level. Cleveland Volcano on Chuginadak island have current aviation color code YELLOW and volcano alert level ADVISORY. Please see http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Okmok.php for more information.

Team of Russian Robinson Club is planning to land on the island by boat and start operation between July 19th and July 21st with participation in IOTA Contest July 26-27th weather and seismic conditions permitting. QSL via AC7DX. Please look for us on usual IOTA frequencies and on-line tracking of KL7DX’s position via GPS/SPOT Messenger is available on www.NA-234.com


What a view Clare Island (EU121)!!!
View towards the other side!
VHF/UHF Contest station EI7MRE/P
EI9JA Padraic (Dad) Erecting our antennas
EI9JA Padraic, EI7FAB John, & Myself EI5IX
EI2GCB Jimmy, EI7FAB John & EI5IX Me
EI7FAB working 23cm DX

ComReg Spectrum Strategy & European Common Allocations Table

ComReg Spectrum Strategy

On the 1st of July ComReg Published its Spectrum
Management Strategy Statement for 2008 to 2010. It is
available as document No 08/50 on the ComReg website at
www.comreg.ie. In March last a draft of this strategy
was published was published and public responses were
sought. The IRTS submitted a detailed response at the
time. As a result of this, the final version just
published now includes mention of the self-training and
technical investigations aspects of experimental and
amateur radio. We also succeeded in having included in
the Strategy the upgrading of the amateur allocation at
7100 to 7200 kHz from secondary to primary status from
March 2009 as agreed at WRC'03 as well as the general
release of the 70 MHz band and access to channels in
the region of 5 MHz. These latter two issues were
agreed between ComReg and the Society quite some time
ago and have been held up pending the settling ofsome
administrative details by ComReg. We hope these
facilities will be made available in the near future.

European Common Allocations Table

In February last as a result of an initiative by IRTS,
ComReg raised at the CEPT Working Group on Frequency
Management WGFM, the question of the inclusion of a
mention of allocations to the amateur service in the
region of 70 MHz in the European Common Allocations
table ECA. There had been no mention of these despite
the fact that an increasing number of countries were
giving operating facilities to the amateur service in
that part of the spectrum.

This initiative has now yielded results as the revised
ECA published by the European Radiocommunications
Office ERO which is open for consultation until the
16th of August includes a new footnote EU9 which reads
as follows "In a growing number of CEPT countries,
parts of the band 70.0 to 70.5 MHz is also allocated to
the Amateur service on a secondary basis". The IRTS has
sent a detailed submission to the ERO urging that this
footnote be retained. This footnote will assist
Societies in CEPT countries, which are reluctant to
grant allocations at 70 MHz because there is no mention
of it either in the ITU Radio Regulations or the
European Common Allocations Table.

The IRTS - VHF/UHF Field Day Contest.

From 14:00 UTC Saturday to 14:00 UTC Sunday on the 5th and 6th of July 2008

The VHF/UHF 24 hr Contest is around again, and not a thing planned for a good weekend on radio out in the wild!
It had been a number of years since we took part in the VHF/UHF 24hr Contest. Being as there is a little bit of enthusiasm in the club this year, it would be nice to go on a 24hr contest again I heard them saying, or was I hearing things? I must say this was when we had fine weather! What am I talking about fine weather? Go back to sleep I hear you say. Well we organised it anyway.

Some of us went mad and bought a mobile windup tower. Then we had to have a radio, an Icom IC-7800 would do the job! Gosh! No not for Field Days! Well maybe if someone sponsored it! We would be assured of a good turn out the first Field Day and that’s for sure. What about the Yaesu FT-2000 D 200W? As Waters and Stanson in PW August 2008 says “it is almost having a 2 el. Yagie for FREE”.

 Ah yes we could do with that! Well we settled for a second hand Yaesu 897 HF + 6m, 2m, 70cm, CW, SSB, AM, FMN and FMW. An ideal base portable radio and bomb proof! “We will see!” We are well away now I can hear you say. Will we hold it on the site where we won “The Thomond Shield” in 2001? Or is it going to be our usual place on the top of the mountain overlooking Kiltamagh and nearly level with the tower at Knock Airport….I mean I.W.A.K!? I checked out the site we used in 2001. It all came flooding back to me now, not much changed there only there is less turf cut and harvested and the road has deeper potholes. I know because I was through the most of them! The site is wonderful for radio, not an electric wire or radio mast in sight or for miles around. The only high ground is to the West and North of this site and with great take off out over Lough Mask to the South and East, I was pleased with the location. There would be a lot of travelling to get there, but it would be worth the effort.

News broke that the Hollymount Vintage Rally was on that Sunday 6th July. We are regulars at the Show for a number of years, so we would have to attend to keep our place (competition is great)!

Saturday 5th July arrived; in the morning it was raining so heavy you could not let out your dog! Some lads had work commitments and other problems that came up that had to be attended too. And then there was only three. Will we or wont we? That was the question at 1.o clock? We decided to give it a go, and opted for our usual site overlooking Kiltamach (IO53LU). 

We knew that the ground would be wet and we may not get to our highest point with the automobiles, but with a push from John EI7FAB, I got into position alongside Jimmy EI2GCB and John EI7FAB, let’s not worry about getting out!. It was the first time putting the entire jigsaw together. Thank God it was dry with little or no wind. It was after 16.00 before we were ready to put a station in the log. First call on 50.150 for a radio check got SK2AT with a report and serial number 59001. YES! 6 meters was open! Forgot the clamp for the 70 cm aerial…. I know how the person that invented the cable tie felt once! At about 18.00, Padraic Jnr EI5IX arrived, with help from Jimmy EI2GCB giving the directions. A lot of stations worked on 6 meters and 2 meters into Europe, with Scotland and England on 70 cm. There were good conditions for radio for the few hours we were operating and I only wished we could wait for longer. “The bug has bitten” we will be back! We dismantled and packed away all again, it would have to be put up again the next day at the Vintage Show in Hollymount.
Ready for leaving or so I thought? SUGAR” my battery was flat and my wheels were sinking into the soft ground! A lonesome place without jump leads! I wondered why Jimmy EI2GCB kept starting his jeep and leaving it running every so often!! It only happens on Field Days! Hi Hi. After having an interesting day in the VHF/UHF Contest, the beautiful evening sun was setting in the northwest when we started to move off the top of the mountain. Would we have time for a PINT??!!.... Better eat first though!
Many thanks to the lads who took part; Jimmy EI2GCB, John EI7FAB, ,Padraic EI9JA and Padraic EI5IX, who made up the EI7MRE/P team for the Contest.

Roll on the next Field Day
Maybe IOTA 2008? Sure there is not an island in sight! Forgot! I am inside and it’s dark out there. How about going to Jamaica? 6Y/EI7MRE! http://www.6y1v.com Just bring your toothbrush! any takers?

I think we are late for this years contest!! There are a few enquires ahead of us! Ah well sure there is always next year, I am sure it’s not going to go away.
“dah di dah”

Padraic EI9JA

Courtesy of EI9JA
Well I resisted Having a blog for a good number of years now, Finally it’s time to give in and follow the herd....