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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday August 24th 2003

Worked All Ireland

Condolences to Vince Vallely (2EOVEV) on the death of his wife Mary on the 24th of July 2003.

New Repeater in EI

On Sunday August the 10th last, the East Cork Repeater EI2ECR was installed at Helvick Head near Dungarvan. The repeater is fitted in its own cabinet with separate receive and transmit aerials fed with LDF500 and mounted at 100 and 90 feet on the tower.

The repeater operates on 145.675 MHz and requires 2 seconds of audio to latch open. Timeout is 4 minutes. It is providing good coverage, particularly to the east and into the UK and is also very strong to the west along the coast. Reception reports to Neil EI3JE via e-mail to

Transatlantic Model Plane attempt

Two new world records were set on Monday the 11th of August 2003 when a model aircraft landed in Mannin Beach, Clifden, Co. Galway after taking off from St. John's Newfoundland. It flew a total of 1888 miles over a period of 38.75 hours.

The model plane was built by retired NASA engineer Maynard Hill. The aircraft called "The Spirit of Butt's Farm" left Cape Spear on Saturday August 9th and landed 38.75 hours later. The ultra light 11lb model plane equipped with a 10cc engine completed the flight using just under one gallon of fuel. The plane had a built in GPS transmitter which bounced messages off a constellation of satellites in order to keep the team up to date.

In early 2002 the Galway Radio Experimenters Club were contacted by Maynard and his team to help with the record attempt. After launching three unsuccessful planes in August 2002, the team decided to end the attempt and retry in the August 2003. Equipped with five models Maynard and the team began the long journey to Newfoundland. As all previous attempts ended in failure the team were prepared to go home without a victory.

TAM (Transatlantic Model) 4 was the first to be launched in 2003. After travelling only a short distance, it lost communication with the GPS system. Spirits were down but the team's confidence launched TAM 5. Every hour of the journey the team received data from the plane. This data was crucial for the successful landing on Mannin Beach.

The plane was contacted using on-site antennas set up by the GRC and information such as speed, height, and distance were passed on to the pilot Dave Brown. Using this information Mr. Brown landed the plane within 35 feet of the designated landing spot. The plane began to transmit encrypted messages within 25 miles of the Irish coast. Using a directional antenna connected to a Laptop this information was decoded and passed on. The GRC was critical to the successful landing of the model plane. Once the place landed, its position was recorded using GPS. It was weighed and the remaining fuel was extracted. There was just under 2 ounces of fuel left which could of kept the plane over head for approximately 45 minutes to 1 Hour. Maynard has submitted two records to the FAI. One record for distance by a model plane and the other for duration of flight. These achievements will become World Records when the FAI obtains suitable evidence.

Members of the Galway Radio Club involved in the flight were Aengus Cullinane EI4ABB, Dave Glynn EI4GRC, Richard Glynn EI5GC, Tom Frawley EI3ER, Enda Broderick EI2II, Ronan Coyne EI8HJ. For more information and photographs, visit

Counties Contest

The Autumn leg of the EI Counties Contest will take place on Sunday the 31st August 2003.

Fingal Radio Club Trip to Telford

Due to unforeseen circumstances one traveller on the Fingal Radio Club trip to Telford on Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 31st of August has had to cancel. Due to this there is now one place left on this trip of the year for Radio Amateurs and computer buffs alike. The cost all in is €160 Euro for a really worthwhile weekend.

If you are interested in travelling, please contact Liam EI3HK at home on 01-8316266 or mobile at 087-2521542.

Great Blasket Island

Sean EI4GK hopes to activate the Great Blasket Island (EU-007) during the coming week. If wind and tide conditions are favourable he hopes to travel to the island on Monday evening the 25th of August and be QRV sometime on Tuesday. He will remain on the island until Thursday or Friday the 28th and 29th of August. Watch for him on the usual IOTA or WAI frequencies.

70 MHz Activity Afternoon Update

Phil Cadman G4JCP who has prepared the 70 MHz projects for the Radio Basics column in Practical Wireless Magazine is planning to join in on the air from his home in Dudley, Worcestershire for the 70 MHz Activity Afternoon on Saturday the 30th of August. Phil has vertical polarisation only for 70 MHz and Rob Mannion G3XFD will be operating on vertical polarisation for some of the time during the afternoon from his QTH in Dorset.

The numbers of interested operators are steadily increasing. Ten EI stations have pledged support, two GI stations, three GMs. Wales has two supporters and the rest are spread about England. Most seem to be coming up on FM.

Anyone wanting to contact Rob during the afternoon (and unable to do so on 70Mhz) can call his mobile number 07973-745430.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The 2 metre voice repeater EI2WRC at Mt. Leinster will be off air for the next couple of weeks for essential maintenance and upgrade. In the meantime, the IRTS Radio news from Waterford each Tuesday night will be read on 145.575 MHz. Updates will be announced in coming weeks.

The EI2WRB Beacon is operational from Donnells Hill, Portlaw, Co. Waterford on 144.403 MHz. The UHF frequency 432.870 is not yet operational. Reports are welcome to or to John EI8JA at QTHR.

The next general meeting of the group will take place this coming Wednesday at 8.00 p.m. in the Roanmore Social and Sports Club, Cleaboy Road, Waterford. All are welcome.

Contest Rule Changes

At a recent meeting of the IRTS committee, some important rule changes were approved. These changes will allow for non-members of the Society to participate in multi-operator stations in IRTS contests. Any such station must be representing an affiliated club or society. The amended rules are in the May/June issue of Echo Ireland.

Shannon Basin Radio Club Challenge.

The Shannon Basin Radio club is running a one day Open, Fixed, Challenge for EI residence. This challenge is open to all licenced operators and short wave listeners, and will be held annually on the First Sunday of November. The purpose of the challenge is to encourage radio operators and short wave listeners to be active on the H.F bands.

The challenge will have three modes of operation, and the winner in each mode will be awarded with the following;

The Lough Allen Shield will be awarded to the highest score in SSB. The Lough Ree Shield will be awarded to the highest score in CW (A1A). The Lough Derg Shield will be awarded to the highest score for SWL. The above winners will also receive a personal trophy.

To receive a copy of the rules for the above challenge, please send a stamped address envelope to the contest manager EI6HW, Noel Mulvihill, Hillquarter, Coosan, Athlone, Co. Westmeath or e-mail

It is very important that persons intending to compete must send notification 10-days prior to the contest date, so get a copy of the rules early.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded Mark Wall EI7IS. He can be contacted on 087-6302026. News can also be submitted via e-mail to for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.


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