Summits On The Air (SOTA) in Ireland got off to a good start on Saturday the 15th of March, helped by some of the best weather we have seen for many months. Tonlagee, which is 817 metres above sea level was, we think the first Republic of Ireland SOTA on the air, activated by a team of six, which included Joe EI7GY (Association Manager for the Republic of Ireland) and Colin GI0RQK (Association Manager for Northern Ireland). The Tonlagee operation was on HF and 2 metres. HF conditions were poor, and best DX on the day was Italy, on 15 metres CW. However, contacts on 2 metres were plentiful.
Charlie EI7HG was on Sorrel Hill, 599 metres above sea level, on Saturday, and he was out again on Sunday, operating from Kippure, 757 metres above sea level. Joe EI7GY rounded off the bank holiday weekend by activating Fairy Castle in the Dublin mountains, on Monday 17th of March, on 2 metres FM. No doubt there were other EI summits activated over the weekend, if so it would be great to hear about them.
Joe would like to thank everyone who helped him to launch SOTA in EI, and he promises to be back on the hills again soon.
The Irish Radio Transmitter Society Annual General Meeting will take place on Sun April the 27th at 2.30 p.m. in Jury's Green Isle Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin 22.
Nominations for all trophies must be with the awards committee on or before April the 5th. Entries for the construction trophies must present their equipment to the awards committee before 12 noon on the day. Entries for the Ian Morris Trophy must also be submitted before April the 5th. Enquiries to Sean Donelan EI4GK. There will be no rally or dinner dance associated with this years AGM.
The World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) will be getting under way in a few months in Geneva. Support is growing for two favourable proposals to create a 300 kHz world-wide 40 metre allocation.
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) seek a return to the 300 kHz allocation that existed prior to World War II but that now exists only in the Americas.
Delegates to WRC-03 will attempt to address and possibly eliminate the overlap on 40 meters between amateurs in Region 2 and broadcasters in Regions 1 and 3.
The next general meeting of the club will take place at 8.00 p.m. in the Roanmore Centre on Wednesday the 26th of March. All are welcome to attend.
Please note that the deadline for membership applications is the end of the month. All intending and existing members must be fully paid-up on or before the 31st of March.
A US TV crew with a show called "Insomniac, with Dave Attell" was in Dublin over St. Patricks weekend. As part of the programme for the weekend, the producer requested permission to film an Irish Amateur in QSO with US operators discussing the various St. Patrick's Day activities, with reference to parades.
Frank O'Brien EI2GS agreed to look after the Irish side of the QSO and contact was made with a number of US amateurs to ensure there would be someone on the other end to talk to Frank.
When the crew arrived to commence filming at a time when propagation could almost be guaranteed, the bands were dead and no contact could be made with North America. Despite this, filming continued and Frank participated in a spirited discussion with Dave Attell on various aspects of amateur radio. The interview will form part of the St. Patrick's Day show and will appear on WS screens in May.
Members of South Dublin Radio Club were active for the three days of the St. Patrick's bank holiday weekend. On Saturday, four SDR members were part of the team that helped to launch Summits On The Air in Ireland, as reported in our separate story on this event. On Sunday, they were in Leitrim, near Bencroy, operating on 2 metres and HF, from early in the morning until the evening. The 2 metre rig was kept busy all day, but activity was a little slower on HF. Having said that, the HF log for the day shows several pages of European contacts, and a few African stations also. Although the SDR team called Stateside a number of times, they had no luck in this direction. On their return to Dublin, the SDR team were consoled by the news that many others had difficulty reaching the States on Sunday, due to poor propagation.
Another SDR team was out on Monday, St. Patrick's Day, this time in the Wicklow mountains, and again on 2 metres and HF. Propagation continued to be poor, with just one Stateside station among many Europeans in the log.
To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria, the Balkan Contest Club LZ1KZA will operate with the special event callsign LZ125O until the 31st of March 2003. Activity will be on CW, SSB and RTTY on all the HF bands.
The 22nd Enniskillen Amateur Radio Show, hosted by Lough Erne ARC, will be held in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh on Sunday 6th of April 2003. Information from Herbie, GI6JPO on 028-6638-7761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.