Last weekend’s Islands On The Air Contest was notable once again for the big numbers of EI stations on the air. Several DX stations commented on the high level of activity for the event.
We had three groups that travelled specifically to activate islands for the contest.
Thirteen members of the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network used the club callsign EJ7MRE from Clare Island in Clew Bay and they all enjoyed the experience while putting up an outstanding score for their first effort in an international contest.
A bit further South, Sean EI4GK together with Joe EI7GY, Declan EI9HQ and two visitors from GI operated from the highest point on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, using a disused lighthouse a support for their tri-band beam. They amassed a fine score and should be well up the results table.
The Blasket Island Group were put on the air by Anthony EI2HY and Mike EI2IB, using the callsign EJ2HY. This was a difficult assignment as all the gear had to be hauled by hand from the boat to a high point on Great Blasket Island. They achieved their best ever score over the weekend.
The planned trip by the East Cork Group to Bere Island had to be cancelled due to new insurance requirements by the Minister of Defence. It looks like future access to all military property will be impossible due to high insurance cover now required.
However, three group members entered from their home stations in the single operator category. Jim EI8GS and John EI8IR entered the 24-hour SSB section while Dave EI4BZ entered the mixed mode 24-hour section.
The Wexford Radio Group, some of whose members were also due to travel to Bere Island, entered the multi-operator section from the station of EI6GF and EI7FJ.
Enda EI3IS from County Galway was also heard during the contest with a very good score.
The Dalkey Island Group put up a fine performance from St. Croix using the call WP2Z and should be very near the top of the leader board.
IRTS President Paul O’Kane EI5DI, holder of the IRTS DX Trophy as the leading EI single operator last year, defended his position and finished with what is probably a winning score again this year.
There were many more EI station active but we had no information from them at the time of writing.
The Hal Hodgens Trophy will be awarded to the leading EI in the single operator 12 hour CW section.
A feature of the weekend was that all the senior society officers were serious entrants in the contest, This included the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, plus several other office holders.
History was made in Mayo during June when two sets of father and son teams were successful in the radio theory exam and are currently awaiting their call signs.
Padraic Baynes and his son Pat from Westport and Joe Diskin and his son John from Ballyhaunis were successful in the examination that was held in Kiltimagh.
Four others were also successful making a total of eight new callsigns due in county Mayo in the next week.
Instructors for the classes were John Corless EI7IQ and John McDonnell EI6IR. Congratulations to all involved.
Classes are due to commence again in September to keep up with the rapid growth of the hobby in the county.
The Mayo Radio Experimenters Network enjoyed their very first contest experience recently when three members of the club made the journey to Croagh Moyle for the IRTS VHF Field Day.
A much larger group made their way to Clare Island (EU121) for the annual IOTA event, using the club callsign EJ7MRE.
The July meeting of the MREN were treated to a demonstration of Computer logging by John Corless EI7IQ. John displayed the latest version of Log EQF (Version 9) with the RAC Callbook on CD, linked to a Yaesu FT920. Twenty-five members attended for the demonstration.
The club meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 9pm in The Wishing Well, Ballyvary on the N5, and all are welcome.
Well known Island activists, Declan EI9HQ and Paddy EI7GK will be very active during the coming week.
They will travel to Innishmore on Wednesday next and will activate all four squares on the Island on Thursday.
They will move on to Inishturk Island on Friday and plan to activate a few of the nearby islands on Saturday.
On Sunday morning they will activate the two squares on Inishturk.
The main activity will be on 7.068MHz.
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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