Brendan Trophy Attempts 1999

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The Brendan Trophies   by IRTS, the Irish Radio Transmitters Society
. . . will be awarded to the operators of the two amateur radio stations which
first establish two-way communication between the continents of Europe & America
within the Two Metre Amateur Band, man-made reflectors (aircraft, satellites, etc.)
as well as EME are excluded

VHF TransAtlantic Beacons

2SØICF/p   Brendan Trophy Attempt Results           Top · Bottom
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 11:06:49 +0000
To: "Shelby Ennis, W8WN"  
From: Bill Ward 
Subject: Re: brendan trophy

Hi Shelby,
Well, unfortunately I was let down by people so this curtailed the
activities slighty in as much as the weather was bad on arrival at the site
and we could only get one antenna up in the air.The lighthouse fog horn
sounded for around 12 hours through the night so I didn't get any sleep.
Things improved weather wise but we didn't hear a thing except one possible
partial call which we think might have come from an English station also
calling on the frequency but nothing from across the atlantic. The weather
got REALLY bad on Wednesday and I took down the HF antennae for safety, the
rain was so heavy and the wind was very strong, the water was actually
being blown through the fabric of the tent like an aerosol!, it was not
very pleasant. Thursday was better and Friday not too bad but the forecast
didn't sound to good so I decided to pack up early and head home on
Saturday morning. My collegue on HF certainly faired better working several
hundred stations. I logged just over 55 hours of listening to white noise
over the 6 days. Given the weather and the fact that I was running the VHF
entirely on my own some of the operation got a little ragged but especially
with limited sleep.
A learning experience if nothing else however if nobody does it this year
I'll be back next year to have another go BUT only if the other station can
run the same power and length of time as me.
I have to thank Dave Ferguson who is the lighthouse local manager who
helped us out tremendously and I personally wouldn't have stayed passed
Wednesday if it hadn't been for his very kind offer of a bath and a bed in
one of the dissused lighthouse keepers' cottages. This was a life saver!!!
A bit dissapointing all round but I'll be back!
cheers, Bill. 

2SØICF/p   Brendan Trophy Bulletin Number one           Top · Bottom
From : Bill Ward, GMØICF aurora@elec.gla.ac.uk
Date : May 13th, 1999

With site approval obtained the final plan is to operate from Ardnamurchan
Point, IO66VR from Saturday 26th June to Sunday 4th July 1999. The team
will be Graeme GM4KHE, Jim GM0NAI, Drew GM3YOR and myself, Bill GM0ICF.
We will be using 2*17ele yagis, on 30 ft tower, GaAsFet pre amp, and a
3CX800 amp, rig will be a Trio TS790. Beam heading will be fixed at around
270 degrees
We will have an HF radio on site as well and will put up antennae for 20m
(VHF net frequency) and 80m.
Once the station is up and running Graeme and myself will be there for the
9 day run using the callsign 2S0ICF/P. 
We will be using CW only around 15/18 wpm and will call
CQ CQ CQ de 2S0ICF/P 2S0ICF/P 2S0ICF/P K, listen and repeat for the given
period.
exact timings will depend on information I'm awaiting from other stations.
I'll get this info to you ASAP.
Let's hope the propagation treats us kindly. Six weeks to go.....

Date : May 17th, 1999
We plan to TX  our cq on the hour and on the half hour for 5 minutes with a
short listen between the individual calls and will listen at all other
times for any other stations but we ask other stations to call specifically
at 15 mins past and 45 mins past the hour. We will be using 144.075MHz.
We will start at 18.00 UTC on Saturday 26th June 1999. Due to numbers we
will be limiting our operation period from between 12.00 UTC and 00.00 UTC
each day through to Sunday 4th July when we will be listening between 09.00
UTC and 16.00 UTC before we finally shut down. (but the radio will be ON
ALL the time during our rest (this is our holidays over here HI!) periods.)
However we will come on at ANY time ie hours outwith those above if other
stations want to arrange a specific sked.
This is our final plan and will go ahead barring any disasters!
Best of luck.

ON7WP Brendan Trophy Bulletin Number five           Top · Bottom
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 08:11:18 +0200
Subject: delayed attempt
Reply-to: on4aob@mail.dma.be
Priority: normal

Hi all,
I received yesterday a message from ON7WP Pedro 
(pedro.wyns@emmaus.be) concerning our attempt to make the first 
transatlantic qso on VHF. 
Because we have a problem with the engine of our generator we 
can't get any electric power. (It consumes mainly oil and not diesel)
And the H frame to support the antennas is not ready, there was a 
new alu pipe ordered, but it isn't delivered on time.
So this means that our attempt is delayed. Normally this weekend 
was a test weekend in France, near Brest. If I get more info, I 'll let 
you all know.

ON2BBP, Joost ---
73's de OT9D Brendan Crew

ON7WP Brendan Trophy Bulletin Number four           Top · Bottom
From:	Pedro M.J. Wyns ON7WP-AA9HX
Date:	19990510  
Here we are again.  we got kind of disappointed after the shortwave sked 
last saturday where nobody showed up, but we got some email afterwards
to re-motivate us...

Where are we?  Well on 5 and 6 june (during the belgian VHF-UHF fieldday)
we are going to set up the equipment to be used for the first time at our 
home QTH.  Unfortunately I am leaving for EA6 the next day so the 
spare time I'll get from my XYL (vicky, definately a NON-HAM) 
will be limited.  
Just to check if all equipment is there.  The first real PRE-TRIAL and 
also 'PERHAPS-ATTEMPT' test will be 3 and 4 juli.  We would like 
to set up our station in IN77 or IN78 id est the upper most western part 
of France, operating as F / OT9D.  We would participate simultanously 
in the IARU Region 1 SUB REGIONAL CONTEST but will direct our 
antennas towards the ocean every 1/2 hour.  
The final set up would be in Portugal as choice number one (we got a nice 
offer from CT1FOH but according to my opinion too far away from the ocean.  
Scaled 10 GHz testing between UK and europe showed the dunes close to 
the ocean (= within a mile) being ideal with a 20 meter tower 
for VHF-2 meters.  Else we found a nice spot on the North coast of spain 
or we would return to IN77-IN78 France.  This depends on the offers 
we get (electricity would be nice, as it is not so easy to drive 25oo km 
with our 25 kW diesel generator...) If any French operator near Brest 
might read this, we are looking for local support there as well...
To react on some comment we got, we are definately going for the 
Troposperic Ducting propagation.  Es would be possible as well but 
this asks for too much luck...  We choose the time in juli not only 
because of our holiday period but because of the higher temperatures 
over the atlantic ocean creating thermal layers needed 
for this type of propagation.  
I would like to fall back on some experience we had on 1000+ km trajects 
over the mediterranean sea, as well as some Morocco-experience enabling 
handheld communication with the canary islands last year.  
Sporadic E would be nice but we are still waiting for the first big opening 
to the states on 6 this year...  Predictions on solar activity appear 
very low the last months and the whole predicted cycle is being put in 
doubt by some people.
So we would like to know who will be present during our first single 
weekend trial (the real trial-week would be one week later 10-18 juli 
if all goes OK).  We will be QRV on 10/15/20 meter from our site 
and expect the same from competitors.  It is a nice way of checking 
our equipment and to see if we can depend on our correspondents 
at the other end of the ocean and participants at this end.
Please check in ...  

pedro.wyns@emmaus.be
fax +32 15 303115     
packet radio ON7WP@ONØRTB.#BR.BEL.EU

ON7WP Brendan Trophy Bulletin Number three           Top · Bottom
dated 19990412 by Pedro M.J. Wyns ON7WP-AA9HX
For those who missed the rest:
Purpose: to cross the atlantic ocean on 144 Mhz using tropo-ducting or other 
propagation means. We got some response to our bulletins calling 
for participants in this trans-atlantic effort, but mainly from the US-side.  
We would like to see this being the first multi-station effort in order 
to maximalise the chances of succeeding in this trans atlantic VHF-experiment.
Being until now the only european participant, we would like to inform 
all interested parties about our timing schedule.  We would start transmitting 
on 5 juli 1999 until 13 juli, the first two dates for testing and setting up 
the equipment as this is also a major european contest weekend.  
24 hours a day operation is provided.

We would like to operate from the west coast of portugal near to the 
city of Porto.  
The gentle Irish offer we had to refuse because of huge transportation 
expenses for crossing the channel with two cars and trailers.  
The canary islands issue is out of the question because of the impossibility 
to use airplanes for carrying huge antenna systems. We are now waiting 
for clearance to use a private property with 230 Volts supply.  

The mode of operation will be PSK or CW.  PSK looks nice but requests 
a perfect transmitting/receiving frequency knowledge, not so obvious 
for todays VHF transceivers.  We have access to reference frequencies 
but not everybody does.  We would like to put our signal 
close (+/- 5 kHz) to the european calling frequency 144.300.

We would like to use 4 pieces of F9FT 16 element yagis on a 20 meter 
telescopic tower on the coast line and a kilowatt.  
We think about transmit/receive in a 30 second rythm 
as used in EME-practise.

As long as we are alone at the European side of the scene, 
this operation is in doubt.  We would appreciate help from Irish and EA-8 
collegues if possible, so let us hear of you please.

All info and feedback appreciated ...
pedro.wyns@emmaus.be
or packet radio ON7WP@ONØRTB.#BR.BEL.EU

We would like to organise a 20 meter round table QSO to meet the other parties 
saturday 24/4/1999 at 18:00 UTC on 14.180 MHz.  Be there...

ON7WP Bulletin number two           Top · Bottom
date : 19990106.
By ON7WP-AA9HX, OT9D Brendan co-ordinator.
Pedro M.J. Wyns, Moutstreet 7, B-2220 Hallaar, Belgium, Europe.

After my initial bulletin dated 16 December 1998 and repeated a few days
later through Packet-Radio, we got some replies.

For those missing the first bulletin, a small but enthusiastic group of 
well-known European UHF contesters (OT5D-OT6D-OT7D-OT8D-OT9D) are 
considering an attempt to obtain part of the Brendan Trophy, a trophy 
given by the Irish radio society for the first two hams able to cross the 
Atlantic on VHF.  More info on  http://www.irts.ie/brendan.htm .
 
A few already tried to make a qso, but all made the same mistake: only one 
way efforts were done, but who says that at the other end of the ocean
people are listening with their antennas directed to only water ???

So our main intention is to get people active on both ends of the ocean.  
We would like to choose a full week in July or August, possibly with
several teams on both continents.
We first only thought about CW operation, with 30 second intervals like 
formerly used on EME, but got suggestions on recent Canadian ‘coherent’ 
and ‘Africa’ BPSK software by VE2IQ (we never heard of it before here???) 
that might be better.  On this point, we are waiting for more info on the 
equipment to be used.

A few stations already showed their interest, Maarten W1FIG in RI, 
Stan WA1ECF in FN, Lou N2QNX in New Jersey, and a single European 
Augustin EA1YV in IN.  In order to be successful, this is not yet enough 
participation for us.  Bernie DK3XT/AB7IY offered some publicity-assistance 
by putting all info on his website “make more miles on VHF”.  I hope we 
can get some more interested HAM’s or contest groups.  

As a reminder, this is not a simple experiment, but DX-ing on the edge. 
You really need more than a single yagi and a 100 watts brick amplifier
to participate.  So we are looking for contest-grade stations pouring out 
a kilowatt or more into at least 4 decent antennas.

Our station is mobile located in a bus so we could drive where we want, 
but we are still looking for possible connections with French, Spanish or
Portuguese Authorities in order to get the necessary permits to put up a 
station close to one of their beaches.  Offers from Hams in these locations
would solve also the legal issue, if we could put up our station in the 
garden of a friendly HAM or on his property somewhere close to the coast ?  

If you are interested in participating, please E-mail ON7WP-AA9HX at   
on7wp@planetinternet.be

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