he Limerick Radio Club's annual rally will this year be held on Sunday March the 21st in the usual venue at the Limerick Inn Hotel on the Ennis Road in Limerick. Doors will open at 12 noon and among the attractions will be a display of both modern and older military communications equipment by the 3rd Field Signals from Sarsfield Barracks. A wide variety of equipment should be on offer and there will be a free raffle on the door tickets for a television, kindly sponsored by Irish Multichannel. Further information from Paul EI6FE on 061-360122.
The Internet introduction night held by the club last week, was very successful and thanks are extended to Dave Tocher EI2AMB for doing the demo and the staff at The University of Limerick for the use of the facilities. A committee meeting will be held on February the 18th at 8pm at the QTH of EI2AW and the club's annual general meeting will take place on March the 11th at 8pm sharp in the Regional College in Moylish. All members are urged to attend.
The Tir Conaill Amateur Radio Society have changed their traditional date for their annual Radio and Computer Fair from November to June the 27th. The venue remains unchanged in Jackson's Hotel in Ballybofey and all enquiries should be directed to the Secretary Gerry EI8HO on 072-52598 at home in the evenings or on 086-8391305 anytime. The Tir Conaill gang meet on the last Wednesday of every month at Jackson's Hotel in Ballybofey and visitors and new members are always welcome.
Amateur Radio's first Microsat satellites celebrated their 9th birthday recently. AMSAT-Oscar-16, DOVE-Oscar-17, WEBERSAT-Oscar-18 and LUSAT-Oscar-19 were all launched together in January 1990 from Kourou, French Guiana. AO-16 is the only satellite of the group that continues to perform well, operating for over 1590 days since it's last on-board computer re-load. The remaining satellites are not in full operation. DOVE experienced a hardware malfunction after launch that has made it nearly impossible for controllers to upload operating software. WEBERSAT's primary function was to take digital colour images of the earth, but it also contains all the electronics necessary to function as a store-and-forward digital communications transponder. LUSAT also contains a digital transponder, however it has not been active since the satellite experienced an OBC software crash last year.
Last Sunday January the 31st was a nostalgic day for anyone associated with marine radio in this country. The end of an era was reached when Morse Code was finally withdrawn from use in Valentia and Malin Head Radio stations as well as coast stations in Belgium, Denmark and Iceland. All stations sent farewell messages on 500kHz just before midnight on Sunday night and no doubt a large listenership tuned in for the final transmissions. Valentia Radio is at it's present location since 1914 having been relocated from Crookhaven in West Cork. The phasing out of Morse will be marked by a series of special event stations in April.
The rare WAI square T37 Co. Wicklow was activated last Sunday 31st. January 1999 by two local amateurs Paddy EI7GK and Charlie EI7IP. The only land in the square is 400 metres of beach with no access by road. The sole access is across a private golf course. The owner not only gave permission but kindly made a golf cart available to Paddy and Charlie to carry the radio gear from the clubhouse to the square. The equipment used was a Yaesu FT707, powered by a car battery and fed into an 80m dipole antenna. Conditions were very good with all signals 5.9 plus. Many WAI hunters were delighted to get their only outstanding square in Co. Wicklow. Counties worked included Armagh, Cork, Donegal, Down, Dublin, Leitrim, Louth, Mayo, Tyrone, Westmeath as well as G-land. The Worked All Ireland net frequency is 3.680MHz and is usually very active on Sunday mornings.
The Annual General Meeting of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group will be held on Wednesday the 24th of February at 8.30pm in Egan's lounge Bar, Barronstrand Street, Waterford. All members are requested to attend The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group wishes to announce that they have changed the frequency of their Tuesday night news bulletin to their repeater which is on R2 (145.650MHz) and located on Mt. Leinster, Co. Carlow. The time remains the same at 9.30pm and users are asked to keep the frequency clear for the duration of the news. As usual, anyone listening is welcome to call in after the bulletin.
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