31 May 2009

Great, Free DX Information

I came across this on K2DSL blog!

The Daily DX at http://www.dailydx.com is a fantastic resource. It’s primary offering is a pay service where for a very reasonable fee (6 months or annually) you get a daily (Mon-Fri) newsletter emailed to you that is filled with information on all things related to DXing. Without paying for the subscription (and I highly recommend the paid subscription), there are multiple free resources available.

First is that you can get a two week trial, without any obligation, by filling out the form at http://www.dailydx.com/trial.htm and enjoy 10 days worth of quality DX info.

Second is some info is available on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dailydx, again at no cost to anyone.

Third is there’s a DX calendar available to anyone at http://dailydx.com/Calendar.htm and it is updated frequently with a list of all the DX stations and when/where they are operating from. This page alone is a great resource for any DXer and available free to all.

And last but not least is the Daily DX site now provides a free search of the back issues of the daily newsletter with the exception of the last 6-8 weeks. You can search the back issues right on the Daily DX home page.

I suggest you sign up for the 2 week trial and I’m sure you’ll agree, if you do any DXing, that the newsletter provides valuable information to make your DXing more enjoyable.

Cheers David for the info...


A YouTube video shows how to Twitter using Ham Radio.

In the video Chris Matthieu, N7ICE, demomstates how to Twitter from your ham radio station using APRS and the 73s.org website. Additional information is contained in his blog on the website.

N7ICE Blog


27 May 2009

UPDATE - 27/05/09

History this week

1844 Morse sends his first telegraph message, "What
hath God wrought!" to his associate 40 miles away.

1904 Hulsemeyer, Germany, demonstrates his radio
detection system (now called RADAR).

Stolen Radio

An IC 7000 serial number 1001743 has been reported
stolen, any details on the above radio please pass onto
Derek EI7GLB at +353879049023.

Theory Examination

There are now only three weeks left to the closing date
of 15 June for applications to sit the theory
examination to be held on Tuesday 30 June. This date
will be strictly enforced, as some people connected
with the examination will be attending the
Friedrichshafen Rally towards the end of June. All of
the administrative tasks in relation to the examination
must be completed well before then.

Intending candidates should forward the appropriate fee
to Sean Nolan EI7CD, 12 Little Meadow, Pottery
Road,Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin in order to reserve a
place for the exam. The fee is 50 Euro or 25 Euro for
full-time registered students, repeat candidates and
those who are retired, unemployed or have a disability.

Cheques and Money Orders should be made payable to the
IRTS. When forwarding the exam fee intending candidates
should enclose their postal address as well as phone
and e-mail contact details. Intending candidates should
note that anyone who fails to produce a photo identity
on the day of the examination will not be allowed to
sit the examination. The photo ID can be a driving
licence, a passport, an employment photo identity card
or a student card containing a photograph. A national
Garda photo ID would also be acceptable.

Sean EI7CDs address can also be found in the IRTS call
book or in the call book section of the IRTS website at
http://www.irts.ie/. Sean’s e-mail address for any further
enquiries is"ei7cd@gofree.indigo.ie"

Useful Exam Text

We would like to bring to the attention of those
studying for the theory examination a new revision text
published by the RSGB. The book is titled 'Amateur
Radio Exam Secrets' and is written by Alan Betts G0HIQ
who is also the author of two other exam-oriented
publications - 'Foundation Licence Now' and 'Advance -
The Full Licence Manual'.

The most recent publication is a revision text for
examinations rather than a basic textbook but it would
be very useful for pre exam exercises. The book has 13
Chapters, 10 of which deal with specific aspects of the
exam syllabus.

Each of the Chapters has a brief introduction to the
subject matter covered at each of the three levels of
the UK examinations and a range of sample questions at
the three levels on the subject of the Chapter. There
is also a sample paper at each of the three levels
Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced at the end of the
book. The cost of the publication is £12.99

Lifetime Licences

Most licensees will by now have received letters from
ComReg informing them that the lifetime licences which
will commence to be issued with effect from 1 June will
be Amateur Radio Licences.

These letters came as a surprise to all as the
documentation published by ComReg about the lifetime
licence was in the context of Experimenter Licences.
There was no discussion between ComReg and the Society
on this matter nor was there any indication of an
intention to change to Amateur Licences despite our
meeting with ComReg on 12 February at which the
Lifetime Licence was discussed.

The Committee at its meeting on 16 May had a lengthy,
open and wide ranging discussion on the matter to which
virtually all present contributed. In the course of the
discussion it became clear that while two Clubs were
fundamentally opposed to the change, the
representatives of other clubs present and the great
majority of the Committee members agreed that on
balance the change was at worst neutral and at best
beneficial in terms of frequency allocation and

There was general agreement that it would have been
more satisfactory had the Society been consulted or at
least given notice of the intended change. This would
have been more in keeping with the spirit of
partnership and cooperation that the Society has been
seeking to cultivate with ComReg for some time and
demonstrated by the recent agreements on 5 MHz and 500
kHz licences. It would seem that the commercially
sensitive nature of some ComReg regulations militated
against discussing with the Society draft regulations
that had no commercial sensitivity whatsoever.

At the conclusion of the discussion the consensus was
that a letter should be sent to ComReg expressing
disappointment at the lack of consultation or even
notification of the change and pointing out that all of
the frequency bands in the European Common Allocations
Table and ComReg’s Radio Frequency Plan for Ireland
which are allocated to the Amateur Service should be
automatically made available under the new Amateur
Radio lifetime licences. This would result in
considerable extra spectrum particularly in the
microwave region. The letter should also request ComReg
to publish on its website the definition of Amateur
Radio as contained in the ITU Radio Regulations as this
definition highlights the self training and technical
investigations aspects of amateur radio which by their
very nature involve experimentation.

I'd like to thank the IRTS for the above information.

Educational website - Design a Satellite

Eduweb have designed an interactive education game for young people called 'Design a Satellite'

It is in the Engineering and Technology section of their website and can be seen at

Engineering and Technology

There is also at Earth & Space Science section at

French APRS balloon launch

A French balloon carrying an Amateur Radio APRS payload on 144.650 MHz is planned to launch around 12:30 CET on Wednesday May 27.

The balloon will be launched from Espins, Calvados.

The telemetry transmitter, Kiwi, will operate on 137.950 MHz and the APRS payload will use 144.650 MHz.

22 May 2009

Three Amateur Radio Cubesats launched

At 19:55 EDT on Tuesday May 19 three CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads were successdully launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The CubeSats are:
PHARMASAT-1 - Santa Clara University on 437.465 MHz AX.25 1200 bps
HAWKSAT-I - Hawk Institute for Space Sciences on 437.345 MHz
POLYSAT CP6 - California Polytechnic State University on 437.365 MHz1200bps AX.25
Initial reports on the web indicate that signals have been received from Pharmasat-1 and Polysat CP6.

A 'High Quality' video of the launch titled 'Minotaur 1 (TacSat 3)' can be seen below (click on player's HQ icon)

PharmaSat launch and beacon alert http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2009/pharmasat_launch.htm

Calpoly CubeSat Page http://cubesat.calpoly.edu/

AMSAT Bulletin Board AMSAT-BB http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/

21 May 2009

CW operators needed

The HARAOA Group are organizing a DXpedition to Norfolk Island (OC-005, QRV from 22nd July - 29th July 2009.

They are looking for 2 more CW operators, that would like to join the group in July, please contact them at vk9aaa@haraoa.com.

More information check their website http://vk9aaa.blogspot.com.

UPDATE - 21/05/09

Poor Sunspot Activity

Scientists predict that Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May
2013 with 90 sunspots per day on average. At the annual
Space Weather Workshop held in Boulder, Colorado last
month, an international panel of experts led by NOAA's
Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) predicted that
Solar Cycle 24 would peak in May 2013 with 90 sunspots
per day on average.

If the prediction proves true, Solar Cycle 24 will be
the weakest cycle since Solar Cycle 16 which peaked
with 78 daily sunspots in 1928, and ninth weakest since
the 1750s, when numbered cycles began.

70MHz for Slovak Stations

Since May 1st, 2009 Slovak stations have an access to
70 MHz band, in the segment 70,250 – 70,350 MHz Max. 10
W ERP Each Slovak station must apply for special
permission for 70 MHz.

Recession hits again

To follow on from a recent closure of a publishing
magazine associated with out hobby, there is yet
another Magazine closure.

Monitoring Monthly magazine ceases publication. The
current economic recession has seen many businesses
go-under in recent weeks, and one of the most recent of
these are related to our hobby.

Monitoring Monthly magazine appears to be the latest
casualty of the economic downturn. Its web site will
stay active for the immediate future to allow its
electronic issue subscribers a chance to download



Bangor and District ARS - Radio and Computer Rally

The 2009 rally is to be held on Sunday 14st June
2009,At 12 Noon in "The Country Club", Crawfordsburn.
RSGB GB4FUN ! Trade Stands ,Bring and Buy ,BDARS Slide
Show A good selection of radio and computer traders
will be in attendance Special interest groups will have
their own stands .The ever popular FREE bring and buy
will be running as normal Contact Bill GI4AAM for
further details: Tel: 028 9181 6707 Email:
bill.langtry /at/ btinternet.com Website www.bdars.com

History This Week

1885 Edison patents ship-to-shore wireless telegraphy
system, by induction.

1896 Edison patents first fluorescent electric lamp.

1897 Marconi transmits 14.5 Kms across Bristol Channel.

1897 Braun displays his cathode ray tube, Boston

I'd like to thank the IRTS for the above infromation.

15 May 2009

VHF propagation alerter

I came across this very interesting article on:

With the Sporadic-E season started, I've been looking for ways to be alerted whenever there is an opening. It's all very well to say "real amateurs tune the bands" but although I'm at home most of the time and well placed to take advantage of band openings, I'm usually busy working or doing something else and don't have time to spend endlessly tuning the receiver.

So I was pleased to discover DX Sherlock, a system operated by VHFDX.net. This is a set of maps for each of the bands, 10m and up, that shows contacts which have been reported to its DX Cluster. These contacts are plotted on the map, and easily show the position of any Sporadic-E clouds, as you can see in the example.

Another nice thing about this site is that you can have email alerts of Sporadic-E, tropo and other propagation events on the bands you are interested in sent to your mailbox. If you are interested in the higher frequency bands, this site is well worth a visit

12 May 2009

UPDATE - 12 / 05 / 09

Theory Examination

The next Theory Examination for the Experimenters
licence will be held on Tuesday the 30th of June at
2p.m. in the ComReg Offices in Dublin and in
Carrigtwohill Co. Cork.

An exam could be held at another centre at the same
time and date should the numbers warrant it. Places for
the examination will be allocated on a first come first
served basis and will only be reserved on receipt of
the examination fee.

Intending candidates should forward the appropriate fee
to Sean Nolan EI7CD, 12 Little Meadow, Pottery
Road,Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin in order to reserve a
place for the exam. The fee is 50 Euro or 25 Euro for
full-time registered students, repeat candidates and
those who are retired, unemployed or have a disability.
Cheques and Money Orders should be made payable to the
IRTS. When forwarding the exam fee intending candidates
should enclose their postal address as well as phone
and e-mail contact details.

The closing date for applications to sit the
examination, which will be strictly enforced, is Monday
the 15th of June. Intending candidates should note that
anyone who fails to produce a photo identity on day of
the examination would not be allowed to sit the

The photo ID can be a driving licence, a passport, an
employment photo identity card or a student card
containing a photograph. A national Gardai photo ID
would also be acceptable. Sean EI7CD’s address can also
be found in the IRTS call book or in the call book
section of the IRTS website at www.irts.ie

Sean's e-mail address for any further enquiries
is"ei7cd at gofree dot indigo dot ie" Also available on
the 'Where Do I Start' section of the IRTS website are
Examination Notes with a sample examination paper as
well as a link to the ComReg's Experimenter Pages which
contain some very useful data under Licensing

Also in the Radio Theory Links section on the website
is some very useful information for those studying for
the examination.

The examination consists of a question paper of
60multiple-choice questions divided into three main
sections A, B and C and the time allowed is two hours.

The pass mark is 60% and a pass is required in each of
the three main sections of the paper. We wish all
intending candidates the best of luck in the

Lifetime Licences

We understand that letters in relation to the lifetime
licence are being issued to licensees by ComReg. The
lifetime licence will be an Amateur Radio Licence and
will be valid for the lifetime of the licensee.

Current licences which have a renewal date on or after
1 June of this year will receive a lifetime licence on
payment of a once off fee of €30 on receipt of an
invoice. Licences with a renewal date before 1 June
must be renewed under the existing process by payment
of the €10 fee on receipt of the usual invoice. These
licensees will become eligible for a lifetime licence
at the renewal date in 2010.

All new licences will be subject to a once off fee of
€100 with a reduction to €30 for those who are 65 years
or over on the date of application and for those in
receipt of a disability pension.

Licensees need not take any action on foot of these
letters until an invoice, which should be paid within
the normal time limit, is received from ComReg.

Radio News From Mayo

The IRTS news Bulletin is transmitted each Sunday
evening from County Mayo, on four frequencies
simultaneously. Listeners can tune it at 8.00pm local
time to the Mayo 2mt repeater on 145.600. The
broadcast is also available on the following simplex
frequencies: 51.450 FM on the 6mt. band, 70.375 FM on
the four mt. band and on 433.450 on the 70cms. band.
Call-ins are handled on a band by band basis at the
end of the news bulletin.

The newsreaders are John, EI7IQ, Padraic EI9JA and
Jimmy Ei2GCB. The technical manager for the project is
Dominic, EI9JS.

500 kHz Permissions

In the Radio News on 19th and 26th April we sought
expressions of interest in a limited number of
permissions to operate in the region of 500 kHz under a
licence to be issued to IRTS.

The expressions of interest which we have received
together with and application by IRTS for the necessary
licence have been submitted to ComReg. We would hope to
have a decision on this matter in the near future.

Some form of access to frequencies around 500 kHz has
been granted to amateur stations in the UK, USA,
Canada, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the Czech
Republic. With the exception of Belgium all of the
other administrations have issued a limited number of
licences. We have sought the frequency band 501 to 504
kHz with a power of 10 dBW ERP (10 Watts0 which is the
same as is available in the UK.

IARU Societies worldwide are seeking some access to 500
kHz in support of Agenda item 1.23 on the provisional
agenda for WRC-11 which is to consider an allocation of
bout 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the
Amateur service on a secondary basis, taking into
account the need to protect existing services.


Brendan Nutley EI1429 has uploaded a great selection of
photos from our recent AGM. These photos can be viewed
on Brendan’s site which is www.mayoprintlab.com

Thanks to the IRTS for all the Information above .

9 May 2009

UPDATE - 09/05/09

Rado Rallies

Sunday 09th May 2009

Mid-Ulster Amateur Radio Club Rally which is being
held at Drumgor Youth Centre, Drumgor Heights,
Craigavon, Co Armagh for more details or contact Bobby
2I0ULL on 0774 701 9438.

More information on Rallies can be found on the IRTS
website www.irts.ie/rallies

History this week

1791 Birthday of Samuel F.B Morse

SOTA Amateur Radio and Hill walking

Those who want to combine amateur radio with hill
walking can get involved in the Summits On The Air
("SOTA") programme. SOTA is a bit like IOTA, with hills
and mountains replacing islands. It is designed to
encourage portable operation in mountainous areas, and
there are awards for activators, who ascend to the
summits, and chasers, who either operate from home, a
local hilltop or are activators on other summits.

More than 20 countries are currently involved in the
SOTA programme, including Ireland - North and South.
There are 387 eligible summits in EI (of which more
than 50 have been activated) and 66 eligible summits in
GI (of which 36 have been activated). More details,
including a list of eligible summits and a lot more,
can be found at www.qsl.net/sotaei and at

With a view to encouraging more SOTA activity, an
International SOTA Weekend is to be held this
weekend.It is hoped that this event will see many
summit-to-summit contacts between different SOTA
associations, and give chasers the chance to work
activators from several different DXCC entities.

A New IOTA Directory

A new edition of the IOTA Directory celebrating 45 years of IOTA has been published and is available from RSGB HQ (see www.rsgbshop.org or telephone Sales at +44 (0)1234 832700). This 128 page edition features an historical review, the current year's Honour Roll and other performance tables, the latest IOTA island listings, DXpedition stories, the Most Wanted List, and articles on how to get started in IOTA. It is a 'must have' for anyone seriously interested in the programme.
Thanks to G3KMA for the above information.

2-metre DX contact video

Reg, G8VHI spotted this YouTube video of a QSO that took place on the 5th May.

The video, from Jose, CU3EQ in the Azores, shows his
2-metre contact with Tim, G4LOH in Cornwall.

The contact was first established in CW, after which they switched to SSB.