29 May 2016

IRTS 40 metres Counties contest Results

The results of the 40 metres counties contest held on 8th May have been published, and can be seen on the society's Contest Results page at www.irts.ie/results An enhanced D-layer, caused by a fairly strong geomagnetic storm, which hit the Earth shortly before the contest, resulted in very poor propagation. Just 15 EI/GI counties were active during the contest, however there was good participation from overseas stations, which accounted for 7 of the 19 logs received.

Fortunately the adverse band conditions experienced on 8th May are fairly rare, and let's hope that propagation is better for the society's next contest - which is CW Field Day, on Saturday & Sunday next, 4th & 5th June. This contest runs for 24 hours from 15:00 UTC, but for those unwilling to operate for the full period, we have a restricted 6-hour section. See www.irts.ie/contests for the full rules.

25 May 2016

GK4LOH received over 3467 km on 144 MHz

Delighted to announce that a reflection from the structure of the International Space Station enabled a 144.175 MHz signal from Tim GK4LOH in Cornwall to cross the Atlantic

At 02:40 UTC May 24th 2016 ISS Flypast. Signal heard 2 minutes 45 into the recording and continued for over a minute. The transmitted message was "GK4LOH GK4LOH T T T T T T T T T T"

I'm delighted for Tim as I know how much work he has put into building his station in Cornwall, Tim is a fellow contester with us at the Blacksheep Contest Group and this is a fantastic achievement by Tim also highlighting that maybe the infamous IRTS Brendan Trophy Award is within touching distance after all :-)

A video can be seen here of the moment Tim's signal was capatured:

GK4LOH IO70jc reception at VO1FN GN37jr 3467km 144.175MHz ISS flypast

GK4LOH at VO1FN Via ISS 24/5/2016 01:49 UTC 144.175MHz

You can find more about Tim GK4LOH activities here: 

In July 2014 the RSGB VHF Manager John Regnault G4SWX received a Canadian station VC1T on 144 MHz which on investigation was also found to be by ISS reflection, The ARRL report a group of Amateur Radio operators from Atlantic Canada are operating from Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, until July 12 in a bid to complete a 2 meter transatlantic contact and claim the Brendan trophy.

The "Brendan Quest" team was on the air as VC1T from grid GN37os on 144.155 MHz. The group activated on July 4th, and a couple of days later, on July 6th at 13:41 UTC, G4SWX John was able to completely decode an FSK441 transmission from VC1T.

“They attempted to complete the QSO for 4 hours, but were not successful,” the team reported. “However, this reception could qualify for the Brendan Plate.” The team said a station in Ireland was able to copy parts of three transmissions. Because of the initial success, the group now will use FSK441 exclusively in its Brendan bid. 

Read the full ARRL story at:

22 May 2016

Silent Key – Rona(Ro) Doyle EI7CXB

The death has occurred of Rona (Ro) Doyle EI7CXB on Saturday last 14th May 2016. Funeral took place last Tuesday and burial took place in Shannon Cemetery.

Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis.

9 May 2016

RSGB – 432MHz Trophy Championship Contest May 2016

On May 7th the RSGB - 432 MHz Trophy Championship Contest took place from 14:00UTC – 22:00UTC. This was an 8 hour event and the contest ran concurrently with the first few hours of an IARU / RSGB 24 hour UHF contest. This year I was out active with The BlackSheep Contest and DX Group under the callsign "G8T" from Locator square JO01KJ. 

There was a lot of preparations made for this contest so we arrived on the site Friday with half the group and started put together our station for the Saturday. Weather conditions was fantastic throughout the weekend on the Isle of Sheppey with temperatures up into the twenties, Matt G0XDI, Bill M0BTZ, Andy M0MUX and Nick G4FAT worked all day Friday and finally got all antenna systems built and Tested by Saturday afternoon just in time for the start of the contest at 14:00UTC.

The Band conditions this year was variable with lot's of QSB and a high noise floor that certainly didn’t help things but all in all it was a good weekend.

We finished up the contest with a claimed score of 109 QSO’s 34,137 points and our ODX was DL7AFB at 824Km.

 G8T Station (4x17ele @ 20m + 2x21ele @ 20m )

Matt G0XDI operating and myself looking on...

Bill M0BTZ & myself in the heat of Battle

Thanks to all for the QSO's hope to work you in the next contest, GL & 73

3 May 2016

Silent Key Raymond McAteer GI4MFM / EI9DQ

Raymond GI4MFM / EI9DQ, of Garvagh, Co. Derry, passed away on 3rd May 2016 after a long illness. May he rest in peace

1 May 2016

IRTS 40m Counties Contest

The IRTS 40 Metres Counties Contest takes place Sunday, 8th May from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC. The objective for EI and GI stations is to make as many contacts as possible during the 3 hour period (work everyone), and for those outside Ireland, to make as many contacts as possible with EI and GI stations. EI and GI counties are multipliers.

The contest has Fixed and Portable sections, with two mode options: SSB Only or SSB/CW. There is also an SWL section. Those planning to operate in the portable sections should familiarise themselves with the "Requirements for Portable Section Entries" in the rules. To encourage more CW operation in the mixed mode sections, there is a final score bonus of 1,000 points for any entry that includes at least 10 valid CW QSOs with EI or GI stations; note also that there is a suggested CW "centre of activity" of 7022.

See www.irts.ie/contests for the full rules, which include specified frequency ranges within the 40 metre band for this contest. Awards are available in each section for the leading Irish station and for the leading station outside Ireland.

Romania on 5 MHz (60m)

The Romanian telecommunications regulator ANCOM has granted YO amateurs access to 5 MHz on a scheduled testing basis, starting on the 8th April 2016 for approximately a year’s duration. At the moment it is limited to the 3 kHz-wide 5363.5 - 5366.5 KHz slot, CW, PSK, RTTY and WSJT, with possibly other digi-modes to follow. Maximum power allowed is 15W e.i.r.p. and only for those YO hams who wish to register for the testing program. Initial testing will take place every Thursday around 16:00 UTC, concomitantly with the YO DX QTC Net on 3750KHz.

Looking forward to hearing them on the band.

73's DE EI5IX / M0XII - Pat