25 Aug 2011

Increased Power for Contests

Following representations from IRTS, ComReg has agreed
to allow increased power to all licensed amateurs for a
specific list of the major HF and VHF/UHF contests. On
HF, 1500 watts can be used and on VHF 1000 watts for
the duration of the contests concerned. Through an
error the 28 MHz band was omitted from the multiband
contests. This will be taken up with ComReg The list of
contests and other details can be found on the ComReg
website under Radio Spectrum Licensing Licence Types
Radio Amateurs. The society is grateful to ComReg for
granting this additional facility to radio amateurs

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Two Metres Counties Contest

This contest, which takes place on Sunday next, 28th
August, from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm local time, provides a
great opportunity to liven up the two metre band. The
32 counties in EI and GI are multipliers, so the rarer
counties will be in great demand.

Both SSB and FM can be used and a station may be worked
on both modes. The contest rules specify that after any
QSO in which you are called by another station, you
must QSY to another channel (FM), or by at least 3 kHz
(SSB), before soliciting another QSO; when you respond
to a CQ or QRZ from another station, you then have the
right to that frequency for a single additional QSO
before QSYing. See www.irts.ie/contests for more
details about this and other IRTS contests.

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15 Aug 2011


ARISSat-1 low duty cycle mode

The new Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 has been switching into low duty cycle mode, even while in full sun, which has suprised some observers.

When the satellite is in darkness, in order to conserve battery power, it switches into a low duty cycle mode (also known as low power mode) where it transmits for 40 seconds and then shut down for 2 minutes. On Thursday, August 11, a number of Radio Amateurs reported that ARISSat-1 was in low duty cycle mode when the satellite appeared to be fully illuminated by the sun.

On the AMSAT bulletin board Tony AA2TX, ARISSat SDX software and hardware developer. provided an explanation, he wrote:

My analysis indicates that at certain "bad" sun angles, the solar panels may not provide enough power to run the satellite even in full sun.

The power from the panels can actually drop to as low as 2.5 watts at really bad angles but the satellite needs around 8 watts average to run in high power mode. This means that the satellite would have to draw current from the battery to run in high power mode even though it is in the sun.

This discharge would reduce the life of the battery so to minimize the damage and prolong the life of the satellite, it will switch itself to low power mode under these conditions.

I don't know for sure if this is what is happening but this condition is within the predicted nominal operation of the satellite.

ARISSat-1 Reception Certificates (for voice and Slow Scan TV reports)

Free Slow Scan TV Software MMSSTV uses your PCs Soundcard

The IZ8BLY Vox Recoder software enables you to record ARISSat-1 on 145.950 MHz FM while you're at work or asleep

Online Satellite Pass Predictions, select ARISSat-1

ARISSat-1 Website

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)

AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information.

On another note I heard about this on Southgate Amateur Radio News, the ARISSat-1 telemetry being received in Sudan.

Nader ST2NH in Khartoum, Sudan, has posted a video showing reception of the ARISSat-1 BPSK telemetry beacon on 145.920 MHz USB.

The YouTube description reads:
A 6mins movie clip shows a received ARISSat-1 CW and BPSK1000 Telemetry data

Rig is IC-910.
Doppler correction software is HRD.
Antenna is 6 Elements Yagi.

ARISSatTLM is software to be used in conjunction with your computer soundcard to demodulate, decode and display the CW and BPSK-1000 signals.

Watch A 6mins movie clip shows a received ARISSat-1 Telemetry.


Download the Windows and Mac versions of the ARISSatTLM free ground station soundcard demodulator and display software:

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12 Aug 2011

Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 deployed

The Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 has been deployed
from the ISS during EVA-29 on Wednesday, August 3.
First signals have been received by JR8LWY reporting
copy of the telemetry beacon as the satellite passed
over Japan. Full operational capability of
ARISSat-1/KEDR is still under evaluation pending
performance evaluation of the UHF antenna. This amateur
satellite is one of the most dynamic amateur satellites
ever deployed in space and provides us with unique
opportunities to conduct amateur radio experiments.
Please submit your reception signal reports on amsat-bb
and via the mission's e-mail boxes on


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7 Aug 2011

News Update

IRTS 2 Metres Counties Contest

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest will take place Sunday
28th August 2011. The closing date for the submission of the log to the contest manager is 27th
September 2011.

Introduction to Amateur Radio

The Mayo Radio Experimenters Network are holding a
series of practical hands on open days throughout the
summer months. The events will start at 13.00 approx
(weather permitting) and will take place on the
following dates:

Sunday August 14th

Sunday September 11th

Anyone with an interest in radio related matters,
who would like to have the opportunity to
participate or observe the operation of an amateur
radio station, or meet club members, will receive a
warm welcome. Whatever you’re level of interest, the
club will be pleased to help in taking your interest
further, be it a complete novice, shortwave listener
or formal assistance in progressing to a full
amateur radio licence.

The location for all events will be the car park at the
Halfway House on the Castlebar to Westport Road. If you
would like further details please contact: Padraic
Baynes EI9JA on +353 87 695 7154 (email
pbaynes1/at/eircom/dot/net) , email David Hatfield
EI3ECB on ei3ecb/at/gmail/dot/com or text or phone the
club mobile phone number +353 86 208 9777

Limerick 2M Repeater QRV again.

The Limerick 2M repeater on 145.725 is now QRV again
after being off the air due to vandalism at the
repeater site. Limerick Radio Club are grateful for the
many generous donations received from around the
country, which have gone towards installation of a new
security door. A new run of Hardline has also been
installed from the hut to the mast.

Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of

Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest
and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the
universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times
all the water in the world's ocean, surrounds a huge,
feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12
billion light-years away. (Source:www.nasa.gov)

NASA's WISE Mission Finds First Trojan Asteroid Sharing
Earth's Orbit

Astronomers studying observations taken by NASA's
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission have
discovered the first known "Trojan" asteroid orbiting
the sun along with Earth. Scientists had predicted
Earth should have Trojans, but they have been difficult
to find because they are relatively small and appear
near the sun from Earth's point of view. (Source:

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