The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a federation of national associations of certified radio amateurs, representing over 150 countries and separate territories around the world.

The three IARU Regions are organised to broadly mirror the structure of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its related regional telecommunications organisations. The Regions comprise:
- IARU Region 1: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia
- IARU Region 2: The Americas
- IARU Region 3: Asia-Pacific

The IARU represents the interests of the Amateur Radio Service worldwide to relevant international organisations, promoting the interests of amateur radio and seeking to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges.

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Visiting GARS - Gibraltar

While spending their summer holiday in EA7 (Malaga, Spain) in the second part of July 2015,  IARU Region 1 Treasurer HB9FPM – Eva Thiemann and her OM Andy HB9JOE visited the Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society (GARS) in the presence of its Executive Committee and members. Local and regional Amateur Radio related discussions took place. Gibraltar is not part of CEPT and the authorities do not issue reciprocal licences for HF operation. But for some time it is possible to get a licence for operating on 6 and 2 m.

 

Eva, HB9FPM, and Andy, HB9JOE, thank GARS again for their warm hospitality. The participants can be seen on the photo.

 

A day they will long remember

It was a day they will long remember! Learners from the Sol Plaatje Primary School in Mmabatho linked up on Saturday 2 May 2015 with the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, on the International Space Station via a link established by an amateur radio ground station located in Casale Monferrato, in the north of Italy, operated by Claudio Arrotti, IK1SLD. 

While negotiating to secure a slot for a South African school, the Italian Embassy approached the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) to assist with identifying a school for this project. The fact that the Sol Plaat-je Primary School team beat 1 101 other schools to win SAASTA's National As-troQuiz in 2014, secured them this exciting opportunity. 

The original plan was for the learners to talk with Samantha Cristoforetti during a morning pass, but due to work pressure on the ISS, the contact was moved to a late after-noon pass, which resulted in the link to be shared with an Italian school. 

Tensions were running high when it was established that the telephone line ex-tended to the hall could not receive incoming calls. "We frantically arranged with the te-lebridge in the USA that we would be calling them," Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, said.

Prior to the ISS contact, Koos Fick, ZR6KF, who is a learner at the Helpmekaar High School and the South African Radio League's youth coordinator, made a brief presentation about amateur radio and how it is helping him in his school career and how this scientific hobby is providing communica-tion during emergencies, community and sporting events. He said that the link up with the ISS would not have been possible without amateur radio.

As the last few seconds ticked away, the learners were poised to ask their ques-tions and, with the audience, were visibly on tenterhooks, but when the first words "Hi, I am Samatha Cristoforetti" was heard across the speakers, there was a spontaneous ap-plause followed by an intense 10 minutes of silence as Sol Plaatje learners and learners at the Italian school alternately asked the questions. It was an event to remember for a lifetime.

The link to the audio of the contact is available on www.amsatsa.org.za

Special Event Call 9K90IARU

Celebration of 90 years with the International Amateur Radio Union

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the IARU, the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society (KARS) will be active with a special event call, 9K90IARU, in the period from 1st of April until the end of the month.

Hans Berg, DJ6TJ - SK

Hans Berg, DJ6TJ
We have learned the sad news of the death of Hans Berg, DJ6TJ.   Hans was Chairman of the old HF Working Group and the Region 1 HF Committee from 1984 until 1993.   He was also the "international face" of DARC, as Foreign Relations Committee Chairman.   During those years he made many friends around the world and was well respected by those who knew him.

Hans died on 18th February in hospital in Luebeck. He was 72.
 
IARU owes Hans a debt of gratitude for all his work on behalf of amateur radio. RIP Hans.

 

Australian ANZAC Commemoration

Australian ANZAC Commemoration

Australia and New Zealand are commemorating 100 years since the landing of troops at Gallipoli in WWI.  This is a significant commemorative event and Amateur Radio in Australia will have a special event call signs in operation for most of 2015.  These call signs will have the special event prefix VI followed by the State or Territory designator and then the word ANZAC. See   http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/anzaccentenary/about/

More detailed information has been mailed to IARU Member Societies

Yasme Honours IARU Region 1 Youth Programme


The Board of Directors of the Yasme Foundation (www.yasme.org) has announced the recipients of the Yasme Excellence Awards for 2014, and other actions.

IARU Region 1 is delighted to learn that Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, the Chair of the Region 1 Youth Working Group and Florin-Cristian Predescu, YO9CNU have been awarded a Yasme Excellence award for their work in organizing and promoting Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) and amateur radio youth activities.

The Yasme Excellence Award is presented to individuals who, through their own service, creativity, effort and dedication, have made a significant contribution to amateur radio. The contribution may be in recognition of technical, operating or organizational achievement, as all three are necessary for amateur radio to grow and prosper.

Furthermore, the Yasme Foundation has awarded IARU Region 1 a grant of $ 5,000 in support of youth activities in amateur radio.

In a separate action, the Yasme Foundation has awarded IARU Region 1 Member Society, the Egyptian Radio Amateurs Society for Development (ERASD) a grant of $ 2,000 in support of its activities.

In acknowledging the award to IARU Region 1 for its youth programme, the President of IARU Region 1, Don Beattie, G3BJ, said “We are delighted that Yasme has chosen to recognise and support the work we are doing here in IARU Region 1. The future of amateur radio lies in our ability to attract and retain high calibre entrants to our ranks. Whilst the march of communications technology might, to some, seem to cast a question-mark over “traditional” amateur radio, our view is that there is much to attract today’s youth into our ranks. With Yasme’s financial support, we will be able to work even more energetically to help our Member Societies bring focus to attracting the new blood which amateur radio needs so much”

New CEPT recommendation on licence examinations for persons with disabilities

A new recommendation adopted by the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommuncations Administrations (CEPT) seeks to ease the access of persons with disabilities to licence eximations for the Amateur Radio Service.

ECC Recommendation (14)05 was drafted by the IARU Region 1 Regulatory Affairs Coordinator and was adopted by ECC on 10 October 2014 after a consultation process with several administrations providing comments. 

The recommendation observes that «for persons with disabilities, participating in the amateur service […] is not only an important means of technical self-qualification by setting and achieving goals, but also a way of integration into society by communicating with other persons of like interests». However, licence examinations designed for non-disabled candidates «can prove to be a significant impediment in obtaining the necessary qualifications to operate a station».

Several administrations of CEPT member countries have already adopted practices to adapt amateur radio licence examinations to the specific needs of candidates with disabilities. For other administrations ECC Recommendation (14)05 provides a framework for action.  

The document states that the examination syllabus should be identical for all candidates but that testing procedures take into account the individual disability of candidates as confirmed by an official document. Such procedures can include 

Individual testing where appropriate and/or providing reasonable additional examination time.

Diagram-free questions for visually impaired persons which are read out for them and their answers noted by an examiner or an assistant. A possible alternative would be questions provided in Braille.

Examinations conducted in the home of candidates with severely limited mobility.

Link to recommendation in the CEPT database: http://www.erodocdb.dk/Docs/doc98/official/pdf/REC1405.PDF

Handover Executive Committee

The outgoing IARU Region 1 Executive Committee thanks the IARU Region 1 Member Societies for their trust in the past three years. My personal thanks go to my retiring Committee Members for their dedication and hard work done in the interest of amateur radio. We wish the new Executive Committee, taking over on 31 October 2014, all the best for the years ahead.