We regret to announce the recent death of two amateurs, Eamonn Gilmartin EI8EF of Bundoran in County Donegal and Alex Walsh EI8DDB of Clondalkin in Dublin. Eamonn EI8EF, a native of County Leitrim, developed his interest in radio while serving in the Irish Army and was a very active amateur in most aspects of the hobby, particularly 2 metres SSB where he was well known amongst among the European 2 metre fraternity. He was always a willing teacher to newcomers to the hobby and helped many through the early stages of their development in radio. Alec EI8DDB passed away on June the 27th after a short illness. He was a popular member of the South Dublin Radio Club and well known in the Dublin area. We extend our deepest sympathy to both their families and friends.
The Donegal Rally was held at the usual venue in Jackson's Hotel in Ballybofey on Sunday last June the 27th. This was the first time this rally was held in the summer as its' normal date is in late November. A fine crowd attended but the number of stands was somewhat reduced from previous events. For the first time in Echo India, a major display of computer equipment was on show, being provided by a trader from the UK and many computer bargains were picked up. Six students sat the Morse tests and we look forward to a few more A licences in the Northwest. The rally concluded with the now famous auction where some real bargains were picked up.
The G-QRP Club and the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin have announced Celticon 2000, a QRP convention to take place from the 1st to the 3rd of September in the year 2000. A full programme of events is planned for the Saturday and Sunday with a reception and welcome on the Friday evening. There are 60 residential places available at the Marino Institute and day tickets will also be available. Information about booking can be had from Sile Boylan at the Institute on 01-8335111 or on e-mail from email@example.com.
During the past week, a serious attempt to win the Brendan Trophies for the first 2 metre trans-atlantic contact was scheduled. A Scottish group led by Bill Ward GM0ICF was to operate from Ardnamurchan Lighthouse while at St John's in Newfoundland a group was led by Piercy VO1HE. Operation was to take place on 145.075MHz on CW at 15 to 18 words per minute. Other attempts are scheduled for later this year by different groups. Rumours suggest an attempt next summer from the north-west of EI.
The Lug Walk, which is organised by the Irish Ramblers Club, took place on Saturday June the 19th. The route is 50 kilometres long with a total ascent of 2,400 metres, over 17 peaks. The start point is Stone Cross, Bohernabreena, County Dublin and the finish is in the Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow. More than 200 walkers participated. Emergency radio communications for the walk was provided by about 15 radio experimenters, located at 12 checkpoints, most of which were on mountain tops. The weather was good to start with but deteriorated rapidly in the early afternoon, with driving rain and poor visibility - which was down to a few metres at times. Navigation was difficult in these circumstances and many of the walkers had difficulty in locating checkpoints and often bypassed some of the checkpoints. Radio cover was essential, allowing the organisers to keep track of all the participants despite the deteriorating weather conditions. The walk started at 4.30 in the morning and the final walker did not arrive at the finish until after midnight. One of the checkpoints crews, which included Joe Ryan EI7GY as the AREN operator, were on duty until 11.00pm and decided to stay overnight on the mountain rather than risk a descent in the dark. By early morning, all walkers and checkpoint crews had been accounted for and were safe and well. The exercise was a clear demonstration of the value of radio cover provided by the Amateur Radio Emergency Network.
July is a busy month for contests starting with the VHF/UHF Field Day this weekend. Next weekend we have the mixed mode IARU HF Championship. The SEANET contest will be held on the following weekend, July the 17th and 18th. Also on that weekend will be the North American RTTY QSO party. The Colombian Independence Day Contest will take place on the 18th.
The Islands On The Air Contest will be held on July 24th and 25th together with the Venezuela DX Contest and the Russian RTTY event.
The Telford Rally, popular with East Coast EI's, is on August the 22nd. The Coleraine Rally will be held in the Bohill Hotel, Cloyfin Road in Coleraine on August the 29th. Contact Jonathan GI7TMQ on 01265-822502.
The Counties Contest will be held as usual on Sunday August the 29th and the SSB Field Day will take place on September the 4th and 5th.
The Cork Radio Club annual rally will be held on Sunday September the 19th in the Blarney Park Hotel in Blarney. Enquiries to Con EI7DJB QTHR or on the telephone at 021-270136.
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