IRLP, which stands for Internet radio linking project, was started in Canada back in 1997. It's a system that links amateur radio systems using the Internet rather than RF links. The hardware required to set up a node is a PC running a specially adapted version of Linux and an interface board to interface the radio to the computer.
IRLP differs from EchoLink in that IRLP doesn't allow users interface with the system using a computer and the audio quality far superior.
Each node on the IRLP network has a unique four-digit number, which the user can dial using DTMF tones to connect to another node on the system, users can simply select the frequency of their local node and dial the number of the node to which they want to connect and the local node should transmit a message stating if the node is connecting or already connected to another node. The most important thing of all is to disconnect when finished QSO, this can be done by sending DTMF tones 73. There are also reflectors in operation and the difference is that a node will only allow one to one connection where a reflector will allow multiple connections.
There are 1400 nodes in different parts of the world and a list nodes and reflectors and any other information regarding IRLP can be obtained from the IRLP website at www.irlp.net
The first IRLP node in EI came on air on Monday the 21st of June last. It was set up by the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and operates on a trial basis from the QTH of John EI8JA in Waterford city. The node is linked to the Waterford 70cm repeater (EI7MLR) on Mount Leinster, Co. Carlow. Like all IRLP nodes it has a unique four-digit code which is used to access it using DTMF tomes. The node numberis 5883.
The group would request that any station wishing to use the node identify themselves before sending tones to connect to another node, i.e., please give your callsign, then dial the node to which you wish to connect. Do NOT randomly connect and disconnect nodes.
Visit the IRLP website at www.irlp.net for more information about the system.
The Waterford 2 meter repeater EI2WRC on 145.650 MHz which was located on Mount Leinster for many years and taken off site last year due to intermod problems is now back on air from the Ridge of Capard in Co. Laois. Neil EI3JE, John EI8JA, Nicky EI3JB, Noel EI2JC and Eoin EI7FXB were involved in the installation on Saturday the 19th of June last. Reception reports can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A committee meeting of the group will take place on Wednesday the 7th of July next.
Paddy EI7GK will be QRV from his daughters house in Mexico in July, using the callsign XE1/EI7GK. He will be on 14.268 MHz and 21.317 MHz beaming towards Ireland.
When he was there in 2002 he found the best time to get propagation to EI was early morning from 0600 to 0800 Irish time. He will be keen to work any EI, GI or MI stations. Beidh Fáilte riomh QSO as Gaeilge.
The Islands On The Air Contest, organised by the Radio Society of Great Britain and held on the last weekend of July each year is probably the best supported international contest by EI operators. There are three IRTS trophies to be competed for in this event.
The IRTS IOTA Trophy is awarded to the leading island DX-pedition station, the IRTS DX Cup is for the leading EI operator and the Hal Hodgens Key is won by the highest scoring EI entrant in the 12 Hour CW section.
The announced DX-peditions at this stage are the trip to Bere Island in West Cork which will be a joint venture between the East Cork Group and the Bristol Contest Group. They will operate from the recently renovated Martello Tower on the island and will use the callsign EJ2MT.
Another international group will operate from the Saltee Islands. This will be a Belgian-Irish team and the Irish contingent will include Sean EI4GK, Ian EI7CX, Joe EI7GY and Declan EI9HQ. There are suggestions that there might be activity from the Aran Islands, the Blaskets and from Inishboffin Island off County Donegal.
DL8HCZ is active as Special Event station CQ14HZE for the European Football Championships in Portugal until the 3rd of July. Operation is on HF and VHF bands, SSB and CW. IZ3EFL is QRV from the Seychelles as S79DF. Operation is mainly on 20 metres SSB.
ZS100FLY is active from various Airports, Historical Monuments and Air shows in South Africa until the end of 2004 to celebrate 100 years of powered flight.
The annual IARU HF Championships will take place over 24 hours on July 10th and 11th. EI0HQ will be operated as the IRTS Headquarters station and plans are to have a station on every band on both CW and SSB. Any one interested in getting involved either by providing a station or as a travelling operator should contact EI4BZ as soon as possible. Anyone willing to operate CW will be especially welcome.
Tony EI5EM has an article published in the July issue of Practical Wireless called "The 10 Cent Euro Paddle". It describes the making of a twin iambic paddle using micro-switches.
The first weekend in July is again the time for the IRTS VHF/UHF Field Day. Please look at page 22 of the March/April issue of Echo Ireland for the new point scoring system for this competition. The new scoring should encourage more activity in the Open section and provide for more competition on individual bands.
Listeners are reminded that the leading station on each band is awarded 1000 points with other entrants getting pro-rata points for their score. This means that entrants in the open section should make every effort to have as good a station as possible on every band. To date, the only entry we know of is the Wexford/East Cork combination and preparations are well advanced to have a competitive station on all bands.
International Space Station astronaut Mike Fincke KE5AIT, and his wife Renita became parents on Friday, June the 18th last. KE5AIT, while aboard the ISS as his daughter was born altered the beacon message on the spacecrafts RS0ISS Amateur packet station to transmit the text; "It's a girl! Tarali Fincke" about once every minute as the ISS orbited the Earth.
Frequencies used for ARISS are; Voice Downlink: 145.80 (Worldwide), Voice Uplink: 144.49 (Regions 2&3) and 145.20 (Region 1). Packet Uplink is on 145.99 (Worldwide). For details of how to use the ISS packet system, visit www.rac.ca/ariss/arisspak.htm
Summer has arrived, and along with it noctilucent clouds. On some summer nights, following sunset these clouds appearing in the sky and have a distinctive blue-white glow. The clouds hover about 80 km above Earth. Some scientists believe they're a sign of global warming, others say they're caused by space dust and rocket exhaust. For more information go to www.spaceweather.com
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