The Counties Contest was held last weekend, and most of the 32 counties were activated. As usual, a number of clubs and individual operators went portable for the contest. Portable operators heard by the news team included the Shannon Basin Radio Club, operating from a site in Longford, the Tipperary Amateur Radio Group, who crossed the Shannon to Galway, Denis EI6HB in Waterford, Niall EI4CF in Tipperary and John EI6IW also in Tipperary. There were two portable stations in Wicklow - Andrew EI3GSB and Kyle EI2JO, while Joe EI7GY was on the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois. Representation from the northern part of the country seemed lower than usual; maybe the line-up in Croke Park had something to do with this.
For those who took part, the deadline for the submission of logs is the 26th of September.
The 49th JOTA will take place during the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of October 2006. Each year over 500,000 Scouts and Guides from all over the world participate in this event where Scouting experiences are shared and ideas exchanged thus contributing to the world brotherhood of Scouting. While the event lasts from midnight local time Friday night to midnight Sunday night, Stations participating can choose their own operating hours.
Further information including training material can be obtained from Sean EI3IP, Scouting Ireland National JOTA Organiser be emailing jota at scouts dot ie. Training material can be downloaded from the Scouting Ireland Radio Scouting Web page at www.scouts.ie/international/jota Details of participating Groups will follow.
The next meeting of the Tipperary Amateur Radio Group will take place in Raheen House Hotel Clonmel on Thursday next the 7th of September at 8.30 pm.
The Mid-Ulster Amateur Radio clubs’ AGM will be held on Sunday the 10th of September at a new venue. The Galley Café, Kinnego Marina, Oxford Island near Lurgan.
The meeting time has also been changed, it will now be between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. A good attendance is requested as a change to the constitution is being contemplated and can only be done by members voting for the change. The club is now in receipt of an “Awards for All” Lottery Grant, which amounts to £4550 sterling, and the club has to spend this money on Radios, Aerials, and accessories relating to Amateur Radio.
The Galley Café will be the home of Mid-Ulster Amateur Radio Club for the foreseeable future. Queries to GI4NKD at QTHR.
On the 27th of August last, experimenters from Waterford and Cork provided communications for a major road race in Waterford city. This was the first time in eight years that such an event had taken place in the city. The host club Comeragh Cycling Club were anxious to show that they could pull it off and so as to get to host the event annually and hopefully improve the fortunes of the club. Richie, EI9HR a keen cyclist himself, was asked initially to get involved in the stewarding side of things and it became apparent that the most dangerous section of the course a fast down-hill section with a very sharp S bend was also a radio black spot.
Experiments were conducted by Richie and John EI8JA initially on UHF and also on VHF simplex channels. Experiments were then conducted via the East Cork Repeater on Helvick Head and this proved very successful.
Comreg when consulted and then Neil EI3JE the repeater keeper for the Helvick Head East Cork Repeater was consulted and he was most supportive and enthusiastic about the idea and even donated some equipment, which was put to good use on the day. With 4 mobiles and 4 major roundabouts and also a command point to be manned organisers required a minimum of 12 operators 9 local radio amateurs had pledged support then into the breech stepped 3 radio amateurs from Cork, John EI2GN, Declan EI9FVB and Conor EI4JN all experienced AREN operators. A series of meetings were then held leading up to the event.
Overall, all the operators performed brilliantly and were a credit to the hobby. APRS will probably play a greater role next time. In addition to those already mentioned, the following people also helped out on the day; John EI8FRB, Brian EI8JS, Nicky EI3JB, Garreth EI7FZB and Mick EI3IQ.
Everyone enjoyed the event and the organisers were very satisfied with a job well done. Richie would like to thank all who helped on the day.
An Information and Registration night was held by South Eastern Amateur Radio Group last Wednesday for those whishing to sit the Theory Course over the coming winter. The meeting was well attended demonstrating the demand for classes in the area. If you are interested in sitting the course but were unable to attend the information meeting, please contact the club by e-mail to “info at searg dot com” or phone Mark, EI7IS on 087-6302026 as soon as possible. The classes will start later this month and those who registered will be contacted during the coming week.
The next 6-metre SSB net is on Monday the 4th of September 2006 on 50.135 MHz (horizontal polarisation) at 2100 hours local time. The first net on the 5th of June 2006 included stations from all around Ireland. All are encouraged and welcome to participate.
The 4-metre activity night takes place on the first Tuesday of each month between 20:00 and 22:00 local time. The next activity night is Tuesday the 5th of September. Please send reports to “ei3ix at eircom dot net”. Call in frequency is 70.2625 MHz. So if you have any AM/FM/SSB gear, vertically or horizontally polarised, give a call in! Don't forget to have a listen for the 4-metre simplexer on 70.350 MHz.
The MRG VHF/UHF challenge will take place from 1500 hours to 1800 hours local time on Sunday the 10th of September 2006. Any EI/GI operator holding an amateur/experimenters licence can enter the contest. Clubs can also participate. There are two sections. A fixed and portable section in each of which operation can take place on 2 metres and 70 cm SSB only.
A trophy will be awarded to the winners of each section (Fixed & Portable). More information will be available in Echo Ireland. All enquiries to Joe (EI3IX) at “joe_fadden at yahoo dot com”.
We recently reported on a small sunspot which appeared on the surface of the Sun on the 31st of July and vanished again within hours. This particular sunspot was of reverse magnetic polarisation to that which would be expected and this is a possible indication that the next sunspot cycle "Solar Cycle Number 24" is about to begin.
Further evidence continues to mount that the next solar cycle is about to begin. When one solar cycle gives way to another, the magnetic poles of sunspots reverse polarity. For the second time in less than a month, such a "backward sunspot" has appeared and this time it's a big one.
DS4DRE/4 is QRV from Hong Island, Korea IOTA AS-093, until the end of the year. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL direct to home call.
GB1CPB, representing GB One Century Portland Bill, will be QRV until the end of 2006, from Portland Bill Lighthouse in Dorset to commemorate 100 years operation of the lighthouse.
The SSB Field Day will take place on September the 2nd and 3rd at Garbally College in Ballinasloe.
The MRG VHF/UHF challenge will take place from 1500 hours to 1800 hours local time on Sunday the 10th of September.
The Blarney Rally will take place on September the 24th. The Waterford Rally will be held on Sunday the 15th of October and the Mayo Rally will take place on Sunday the 26th of November.
Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News should be forwarded to Mark Wall, EI7IS at QTHR or by phone to 051-853806 or 087-6302026. Items for the radio news can also be faxed to 087 5 6302026. News should be submitted via e-mail to “news at irts dot ie” for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services. Please note that items for the radio news should reach the editor no later than midday on Friday in order to be guaranteed inclusion in the following Sundays bulletin.