Jamboree On The Air at Mt. Mellary, the permanent Scout Station, EI5MRC was a huge success this year. Over 250 Scouts, resident at the centre for the weekend, plus a large influx of day visitors showed a great interest in the radio operation. Activity started on the Friday night at midnight with Pat EI9EZ at the mike and the Headquarters station HB9S was in the log shortly afterwards. Bob EI7AF set up a second station on Saturday morning and in all 43 countries were worked. We again remind JOTA participants to submit a report on their activities to the National Organiser at EI5MRC.
Last weekends CQ Worldwide SSB Contest seemed to attract quite a number of EI operators, some making a serious effort to make high QSO totals and others just availing of the opportunity of increasing their DXCC totals. Conditions did not seem great but nevertheless, lots of rare countries were on offer and the bedlam on the bands seemed to be well up to the usual levels.
The CW leg of the Worldwide contest will be on over the weekend of November the 28th and 29th running as usual for 48 hours from midnight Friday to midnight on Sunday. The aim of the contest is to work as many stations in as many DXCC entities and CQ zones as possible.
In the 1997 CQWW CW, the European Single Operator Champion was Andrew GI0NWG operating the station of Robert GI0KOW in County Armagh This was an outstanding achievement by Andrew who made a total score in excess of 6 million points, in the process beating the second placed station G4BUO by almost 2 million points. Andrew's total QSOs in the 48 hours was 4909 and the band breakdown was as follows, 160m - 350, 80m - 824, 40m - 1267, 20m - 1056, 15m - 942, 10 - 470.
EI's who featured in the results were Ken EI4DW an all band entry with 1327 QSOs, Declan EI6FR, a single band 80 metres entry and EI8GP a single band entry on 20 metres.
Our CW Newsreader, Tom EI3HH is presently in Tralee Hospital getting a hip job done. Get well soon Tom and we look forward to your early return on Sunday mornings. In Tom's absence, the CW News will be transmitted by Pat EI9EZ in Cappoquin.
The debate continues on the future of the CW News. The regular callers would all probably welcome an increase in the speed of the transmission while beginners, we assume, would prefer it to remain as is. Unfortunately, there has been very little feedback from listeners and there is no evidence that the bulletin is being listened to by newer licences. If you have any comments on the matter, please contact either Tom EI3HH or Pat EI9EZ.
A recent Wireless Institute of Australia news bulletin reports that amateurs in the Sydney area will be affected by the staging of the Olympics in that city. The Olympic Radio Network will be a trunked system and in an effort to protect it from interference, all operation in the band 421 to 432MHz will be affected. The time period will be from March the 31st to December the 31st in the year 2000. Recent meetings called by the Australian Communications Authority were attended by representatives of the Wireless Institute of Australia Further meetings will be held to discuss the possibility of further restrictions outside the 421 to 432 range and outside the Sydney area.
This is not the first time that amateur radio has been moved aside in recent years and is a worrying trend. You can appreciate that little defence can be mounted to this type of action if the bands concerned are not being used.
A new development in communications is about to be tested in California with the launch of the first of a new generation of unmanned aircraft called HALO (High Altitude Long Operation). These craft will fly in a gentle circle at about 50,000 feet and will be able to stay aloft for about ten hours. This is an advancement on current satellite services and will be able to offer significantly cheaper broadband services to both commercial and private customers. Working at about 28GHz and using ten times the power of conventional satellites, about 40kW, HALO can combat rain absorption without difficulty and in the USA it is considered to be a terrestrial service and so is not subject to ITU regulations for frequency allocations and interference problems. We await developments with interest.
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