EI VHF News. Jan - Dec 2003

The purpose of this page is to act like a notice board for what is happening around EI on the VHF bands. I hope to keep it updated with news of repeaters, beacons, news of future expeditions, etc. I may also include some non-EI VHF news items as well.....de John, EI7GL.




December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
  • Results of the 4 Metre Activity Evening in October - "Tipperary Amateur Radio Group - A number of Group members are QRV on 4 metres and those heard operating on 70.2625 MHz on the first Tuesday of October, the 7th of October were Tommy EI2IT, Hugh EI2HI, John EI3DIB and Paul EI3ENB, other stations heard were John EI7GL, John EI3BF and Jeremy EI5GM all from Cork. It is hoped to continue to have a sked on 4 metres on the first Tuesday of each month from 8 to 10 p.m., so if you have 4 Metre gear you should listen on 70.2625 MHz and see who you can work or hear. Further information on the Group and its activities are available on the groups website at www.ei7trg.org. "...................from the IRTS News


September 2003
  • New 2m Trans-Atlantic beacon in Newfoundland proposed - "The Marconi Radio Club of St John's and the Baccalieu Amateur Radio Club of Carbonear are currently in the process of placing such a beacon on the air. ... The transmitter 250W PA is the same one previously used by VE1SMU beacon. The VHF exciter board and the CW ID board have been built by Joe Craig VO1NA. The 11 element Cushcraft yagi, 1/2 inch hard line and 35 amp power supply to run the beacon have been donated by Frank VO1HP. The yagi and hardline were installed by Boyd VO1CBS, Roy VO1XP and Joe VO1NA on August 30, 2003. Frank Davis, VO1HP.
    And this are the beacon's details: Callsign to be decided, 144.400 MHz, 250 W, 11el Yagi at 11m AGL and 90m ASL, 63 deg az, location 47-45-24 N and 53-12-59 E corresponding to GN37JS. Many thanks to VO1HP, VO1NA, VO1CBS, VO1XP and all fellow hams having contributed to the setup. "...................from DF5AI's Web Site

  • First US-Czech Republic EME QSO on 24-GHz - "Amateur Radio moonbounce (Earth-Moon-Earth, or EME) and microwave history was made September 24 at 1400 UTC when Josef Sveceny, OK1UWA, and Al Ward, W5LUA, completed the first-ever 24-GHz EME QSO between the Czech Republic and the US. "This was Josef's first 24-GHz EME QSO, and he was my third initial on 24 GHz," said Ward. He noted the successful effort marked the second scheduled attempt during September. OK1UWA has a 3-meter Prime Focus dish with 35 W at the feed, vertically polarized. W5LUA's station is a 3-meter Prime Focus dish with 70 W at the feed, horizontally polarized to account for the spatial offset between NA and Europe. Previous international 24 GHz EME QSOs have take place between the US and Canada, the US and Russia and Canada and Russia."...................from the ARRL News

  • EI "B" calls now allowed on HF - "Removal of the compulsory requirement for an examination in Morse Code Signals for the Irish Experimenters Licence."
    The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is pleased to announce that in line with the outcome of WRC 2003 (World Radio Conference), we have removed the compulsory requirement for an examination in Morse Code Signals. As of today's date (September 15th 2003), there is no longer a need to pass a Morse code test to operate on the High Frequency Bands as listed in Part IV Particulars of Experimenters Station 02/77R3. All Class B Licences now have Full Licence Privileges.

    Announcement- 15th September 2003"............Comreg Web Site.

    "Removal of Morse Requirement
    ComReg have announced that with effect from the 15th of September 2003 a Morse Test is no longer required for access to the HF Bands. Accordingly, B licensees may now operate freely on all the HF Bands subject to the same power limits applicable to A licensees. No formal application is required to avail of this concession.
    Because not all countries operating under the CEPT agreement have yet removed the mandatory Morse requirement, operation by B licensees on the HF Bands abroad is confined to those countries that have done so.
    At this point there will be no change to existing callsigns. B licensees who wish to do so may apply for an A callsign but will be required to pass a Morse test. New licence applicants who have passed the Theory Test will continue to be issued with a callsign having a three letter suffix ending in B, unless they also pass a Morse Test."
    ............from the IRTS News.

  • IRTS VHF/UHF Field Day - Possible Rule Changes - The IRTS Committee are looking at the rules governing scoring in the IRTS VHF/UHF Field Day with a view to making some changes.
    Interested individuals or groups are invited to make submissions to the IRTS Contest Manager, Noel Walsh , EI2JC. Noel's e-amil address is nwalshATeircom.net (Replace the AT with @).


August 2003
  • New 70cms repeaters in EI? - Rumour has it that there are 2 new 70cms repeaters in the Dublin area. One is near Cellbridge, Co. Kildare. Its output frequency is 433.000 MHz, input is 1.6 MHz higher with a 88.5 CTCSS tone required.
    The other repeater is in North County Dublin and is on the unusual frequency of 431.000 MHz with an input 7.6 MHz higher.

  • 4m Activity Period - "A 70 MHz activity afternoon is planned for Saturday the 30th of August. The event is being organised by Rob Mannion G3XFD/EI5IW and he hopes to work many EI's over the afternoon from his QTH in Dorset. Those interest in taking part are asked to e-mail Rob at rob_AT_pwpublishing.ltd.uk and he will return an e-mail detailing a list of those planning to be active and proposed frequencies etc. ".......from the IRTS News.

    70 MHz Activity Afternoon Update
    "Phil Cadman G4JCP who has prepared the 70 MHz projects for the Radio Basics column in Practical Wireless Magazine is planning to join in on the air from his home in Dudley, Worcestershire for the 70 MHz Activity Afternoon on Saturday the 30th of August. Phil has vertical polarisation only for 70 MHz and Rob Mannion G3XFD will be operating on vertical polarisation for some of the time during the afternoon from his QTH in Dorset.
    The numbers of interested operators are steadily increasing. Ten EI stations have pledged support, two GI stations, three GMs. Wales has two supporters and the rest are spread about England. Most seem to be coming up on FM.".......from the IRTS News.

  • Brendan Trophy Press Release - Award Application Rejected. "The Brendan Trophies called after Brendan the Navigator were instituted in 1995 under the auspices of the Irish Radio Transmitters' Society when a group of amateurs from EI, GW and G secured the agreement of Waterford Glass to donate two inscribed Waterford Crystal Cut Glass Vases. The trophies are to be awarded to the first two stations to establish two-way communication across the Atlantic on the two-metre band.
    An application was made by e-mail on 17 June 2002 by Alexander Dutkewych N2PIG and Debra Dutkewych VA3PIG for the award of the trophies on the basis of "a full two-way exchange, across the Atlantic Ocean, on the Two Metre Amateur Radio Band". The applicants indicated that the claimed contact had taken place on 19 March 2002. The time was subsequently confirmed as being between 2215 and 2246 UTC.
    Alex's station was located at the Captain's Inn, Old Perlican, Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland in QRA GN38lC. The station comprised an Icom 970A transceiver and a Command Technologies Linear running about 700 watts PEP to a nine-element yagi at an azimuth of 066 degrees true.
    Debra's station was located at Allaghee Mor, Ballinskelligs, Iveragh Peninsula, Co Kerry, Ireland in QRA IO41UT. The station comprised an Icom 910 H transceiver and a Linear Amp UK Discovery amplifier running 400 watts PEP to a nine-element yagi at an azimuth of 269 degrees true. The mode used was FSK441 (WSJT).
    The Irish Radio Transmitters' Society immediately set up an Awards Panel under the relevant Rules comprising Sean Nolan EI7CD, Chairman, Paul Martin EI2CA and Joe Fadden EI3IX. On 26 June the Awards Panel wrote to the applicants by e-mail indicating that while the application was received just within the three month time period prescribed by the Rules it did not set out clearly the evidence of a valid contact which was relied on to substantiate their claim nor did it contain precise details of the claimed contact or include the signed Declaration of Honesty required by the Rules.
    However, in the true spirit of amateur radio and since the applicants e-mail indicated that they were prepared to substantiate the claim by full elaboration of the events, the Awards Panel decided, as an exceptional matter, to accept the e-mail of 17 June as a provisional application. This was subject to the submission of a fully detailed claim, including all necessary evidence and the required signed Declaration of Honesty within six weeks of our letter of 26 June 2002. Despite two further e-mails from the Awards Panel nothing further was heard from the applicants by the time the six-week period expired on 6 August 2002. The full extensive documentation relating to the claim was finally received on 22 August 2002.
    The Awards Panel, having fully considered the matter decided thatThe application did not comply with the provisions of Rule 6 of the relevant Rules even as exceptionally applied in this case and accordingly could not be accepted as a valid application. Even if this were not the case the level of proof being provided was not sufficient. The awards panel had sympathy with the difficulties that the applicants indicated they had encountered with computer files and even allowed ample time for any possible recovery. The Panel, however, had to come to its decision objectively, based on the merits of the application as submitted.
    The Panel also appreciates the efforts that the applicants put into their experiments and realise the disappointment that the decision must have been to Debra and Alex.
    The Panel is also aware of a number of attempts by other experimenters and appreciates their efforts also. Many of these efforts are ongoing and we feel sure that before long the Brendan Trophies will find a home. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • New 2m Repeater in EI - "A new 2 metre repeater has been brought in to service in EI. On Sunday August the 10th, the East Cork Repeater EI2ECR was installed at Helvick Head near Dungarvan. The East Cork crew of Neil EI3JE, Jerry EI6BT and Jim EI8GS met on site with John EI8JA, Eoin EI7FXB, Nicky EI3JB and Jim EI8IG from the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and they jointly carried out a successful installation. Special mention is due to Nicky EI3JB who spent many hours up the tower installing the aerials and cables. The repeater is fitted in its own cabinet with separate receive and transmit aerials fed with LDF500 and mounted at 100 and 90 feet on the tower. Congratulations to Neil EI3JE who was responsible for the whole project. It operates on 145.675 MHz and requires 2 seconds of audio to latch open. Timeout is 4 minutes. It is providing good coverage, particularly to the east and into the UK and is also very strong to the west along the coast. Reception reports to Neil EI3JE via e-mail to neilpowell1ATeircom.net (Replace the AT with @). ".......from the IRTS News.

  • 70mhz activity in Dublin (IO63) - "Do you have 70mhz gear and want to use it. Myself and another ham are trying to get some activity on this band in Dublin. Activity is planned every tuesday night from 8.30 on 70.2625fm/am or ssb. If you need help help email met at ei2jfATqsl.net (Replace the AT with @) or phone 087-2756320".......from EI8IC's web site.

  • Croatia (9A) to get 70 MHz allocation - "Recently, we reported that Denmark had been allocated the 3 spot frequencies on the 4 metre band. It has now been reported that Croatian amateurs will also soon gain access to the 4-metre band. An announcement is to be made in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia, and it is expected that the first licences will be issued at the end of September next. The proposed band is 70.000 to 70.450 MHz with Secondary Allocation Status. A number of modes will be permitted at a maximum power of 10 watts ERP. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • Waterford 2m Repeater off air - "The 2 metre voice repeater EI2WRC at Mt. Leinster will be off air for the next couple of weeks for essential maintenance and upgrade. In the meantime, the IRTS Radio news from Waterford each Tuesday night will be read on 145.575 MHz. Updates will be announced in coming weeks. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • EI 2m Beacon is back!!! - "The EI2WRB Beacon is operational from Donnells Hill, Portlaw, Co. Waterford. It was set up on Sunday the 20th of July last. It can be heard on 144.403 MHz. The UHF frequency 432.870 is not yet operational. Reports are welcome to seargATangelfire.com (Replace the AT with @) or to John EI8JA at QTHR. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • New 70cm Tropo Distance Record Claimed - "On the 31st of July last, Reg G8VHI, worked EB8AYA on 70cm at a distance of 2966 kilometres and Reg is claiming this as a new IARU Region 1 tropo DX record. The record was made using a TS-2000 transceiver with 100 watt amplifier to two 23-element Yagis.".......from the IRTS News.

  • The 70-centimetre Tropo DX Record is Broken Again!!! - "The 70-centimetre tropo distance record has been broken again. Last week Reg Woolley, G8VHI, claimed a new record having worked EB8AYA at a distance of 2966 kilometres. Now, Ian McCabe, G0FYD, reports that on Friday the 8th of August he worked EA8BPX on 70-centimetres at a distance of 3021 kilometres. Gordon Curry, GI6ATZ, says that GI4SNA also worked EA8BPX but this distance was just over a kilometre less. Unless there were any QSOs between GM and EA8 during the opening, the contact between G0FYD and EA8BPX would appear to be a new Region 1 record.".......from the RSGB News.

  • More on the Trans-Atlantic Opening on 97 MHz!!! - "In a previous GB2RS news bulletin, we reported the extraordinary VHF propagation on the 26th of June, when two VHF-FM DXers received broadcast stations from Newfoundland and Bangor, Maine, in North America. One of them, Paul Logan, from County Fermanagh, has contacted GB2RS to say that he also logged radio station WFRY in Watertown, New York, on 97.5MHz at 2015UTC on the 26th of June. The station has since confirmed his reception report. Paul says the distance is 3049 miles, which breaks the previous Band 2 Sporadic E distance record, held by Todd Emslie in Australia, who had received a station in American Samoa at 2739 miles. ".......from the RSGB News.

  • UHF openings in EI - "Tony EI8JK made a CW and an SSB contact into Spain on 1296 MHz from IO51 to IO53 recently using a home-made antenna and running about 10 watts. Contact was made initially on 144 and 432 MHz. Well done to Tony who lives in West Cork, this is probably another first on 1296 MHz. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • 4 Metres in Denmark - "As of the 19th of July 2003, Denmark (OZ) became the latest country to gain access to the 4 Metre / 70 MHz band. They have been allocated the 3 spot frequencies of 70.025, 70.050 and 70.100 MHz. The only mode allowed is CW. Note that these 3 frequencies are below the 4 metre band here in Ireland (EI) which starts at 70.125 MHz. Outside of the UK and Ireland, Denmark is only the second European country to have issued 4 metre licences. Slovenia (S5) issued their first 4 metre licences back in 1998.
    On the 21st of July at 19:17 UTC, John Desmond, EI7GL worked OZ3ZW for the first EI to OZ QSO on 4 metres. EI7GL operated spilt by transmitting on 70.200 MHz and listening to OZ3ZW on 70.100 MHz. Mode used was CW of course. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • Opening between EI and CT on 70cms - "EI5FK, Charles worked Portugal on 432 MHz CW and SSB on the 11th of July last using 50 watts and a 21 element Tonna via tropo propagation. The contact was made with Pedro CT1DYX after making an initial contact on 144 MHz. ".......from the IRTS News.


July 2003
  • Trans-Atlantic Opening on 97 MHz!!! - "Now news of some extraordinary VHF propagation. Last Thursday, the 26th of June, at 1900UTC VHF-FM DXer Paul Logan in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, recorded a station identification from WHCF in Bangor, Maine, on 88.5MHz. On the same day, David Hamilton in Ayrshire, Scotland, made a recording of CBTB-FM from Baie Verte, Newfoundland, at 1950 - 2010UTC, on 97.1MHz. The propagation mode was multi-hop Sporadic E. Mark Hattam has started a webpage covering trans-Atlantic FM reception and the site includes audio clips of the two recordings made last Thursday.".......from the RSGB News.



April 2003
  • Summer Sporadic-E season starts - This item appeared in this weeks RSGB news. "The bright spot of the week was the appearance of Sporadic E at HF and 50MHz. There were reasonably good openings to south-east Europe on 'Six' on several days, and on the 16th there were even reports of contacts with the Middle East.".......from the RSGB News.

  • F8SH 2m Sporadic-E Challange - "In 2002 took place the F8SH challenge devoted to the Sporadic-E propagation on the 2 metre band. The collected logs are sent to Mr Jim Bacon, G3YLA, IARU research co-ordinator and serve to feed a database for the study of this type of propagation. No less than 20 stations (F, ON, OZ, PA, I) had sent a log and that was Alessandro, IW0GPN, who won the challenge with 91 QSOs and 34 locators. The best distance was achieved by Bernard, F1CKB, who realised the best DX with 2542 KM (QSO with EA8BTV in IL18QI from IN97SL).
    This year, the promoters decide to renew the challenge and hope more participants. To take part, nothing more simpler. You have just to send a certified copy of your log with all the established contacts via Es between 1st May and 30th September 2003 to one of the promoters. Rules of the challenge and results of last year can be seen on the website : F8SH Challenge Website. For the people who do not have Internet, a copy of the rules can be obtained on request from the organisers : Christophe Auzzino (F8ACF), Résidence les Korrigans BAT 3 N° 9, F-56170 Quiberon (France) or Daniel Vandewalle (ON7VZ), Mazenque 25, B-7866 Ollignies (Belgium). .".......E-Mail from Joe, EI3IX.

  • EI 2m SOTA Activity - "With the Counties Contest (Spring) coming up on the 21st April its an ideal opportunity to combine the Counties Contest with the newly launched Summits On The Air (SOTA). I (EI3IX) hope to be active from Croagh Patrick (2,510ft) grid reference L906802 or Nephin Mor (2,642ft) grid reference G103079 weather depending !!!. Hope to give out points straight after the Counties Contest before I switch over to 4 metres. I will be using the frequency 145.350Mhz for the SOTA activity.".......E-Mail from Joe, EI3IX.

  • EI 4m Activity Period - "Straight after the Counties contest on Monday, the 21st of April, there will be a 4 metre activity period (1600hrs onwards). As quite a number of experimenters use portable locations (high ground etc) for the Counties contest bringing along an extra rig and antenna should not present too much extra burden! The 4 metre activity period will also be a good opportunity to work a few EI squares.
    70.262.5 MHz will be the calling frequency for the activity period. Vertical or horizontal polarisation. Modes of operation to be AM, FM or SSB. Talk back on 145.225 MHz FM. ".......from the IRTS News.

  • SSB Activity from GI - I recently recieved an e-mail from Peter, MI0APE. He wrote "I have just become active on two metres again. I am using 2 X 12 ele zl specials spaced 0.75 landa apart, horizontally polarized with 200w.I am looking for stations in EI, in Dublin and beyond on SSB. My qth is near Bushmills. - Peter, MI0APE."

  • New Award Scheme called Summits on the Air launched - "Summits On The Air (SOTA) in Ireland got off to a good start on Saturday the 15th of March, helped by some of the best weather we have seen for many months. Tonlagee, which is 817 metres above sea level was, we think the first Republic of Ireland SOTA on the air, activated by a team of six, which included Joe EI7GY (Association Manager for the Republic of Ireland) and Colin GI0RQK (Association Manager for Northern Ireland). The Tonlagee operation was on HF and 2 metres. HF conditions were poor, and best DX on the day was Italy, on 15 metres CW. However, contacts on 2 metres were plentiful.
    Charlie EI7HG was on Sorrel Hill, 599 metres above sea level, on Saturday, and he was out again on Sunday, operating from Kippure, 757 metres above sea level. Joe EI7GY rounded off the bank holiday weekend by activating Fairy Castle in the Dublin mountains, on Monday 17th of March, on 2 metres FM. No doubt there were other EI summits activated over the weekend, if so it would be great to hear about them.
    Joe would like to thank everyone who helped him to launch SOTA in EI, and he promises to be back on the hills again soon.".......from the IRTS News.

  • SOTA Activation on 2 Metres - "Members of the Tipperary Amateur Radio Group will provide emergency communications support for up to 300 walkers expected to take part in the Aherlow Hillwalking Festival over the Galty Mountains next weekend, the 5th and 6th of April. Members will activate Galtymore SOTA reference no IS004 from time to time on s18 (145.450 MHz FM) on both days.".......from the IRTS News. Galtymore is in Locator Square IO52



February 2003
  • Theft Puts Cornish Beacon and Repeater Off Air - "The GB3MCB 1296MHz beacon and the GB3NC 2-metre repeater, both located near St Austell in Cornwall, are off the air following the theft of equipment at the transmitter site. It is not known when the two services will be resumed. If anyone has any information on the theft, please contact the repeater keeper, Mr J W Birkbeck, G3IGV, whose address is correct in the RSGB Yearbook".......from the RSGB News.


January 2003
  • New 145 GHz record - "Four amateurs from the Lynchburg, Virginia, area celebrated the new year January 12 by breaking their own distance record on 145 GHz and by confirming a fifth grid for VUCC on yet another microwave band. Brian Justin, WA1ZMS; Pete Lascell, W4WWQ; Hal DeVuyst, KA4YNO; and G. P. "Geep" Howell, WA4RTS, spanned a nearly 80-km path to set a new North American and world DX record. "This claim should be the very first VUCC for that band, and it took two years of hard work to make it happen," said Justin. Both stations exchanged contact information using FSK-CW. All participants are members of the Lynchburg Amateur Radio Club (K4CQ), of which Justin is president. The group already has earned the first-issued VUCC awards on the 47 and 76 GHz bands.
    Justin, who designed and built all of the equipment, set up his station in grid square EM96wx in Southwest Virginia. On the other end of the circuit was the W2SZ/4 station, with Howell, Lascell and De Vuyst. W2SZ/4 was at approximately 4000 feet above sea level in Virginia's Bedford County in grid square FM07fm. Lascell said while the team was setting up, he was able to snag a 20-meter contact with KM1CC, the Marconi special event station on Cape Cod. "A neat way to tie the bottom of the spectrum and the beginning of radio to a new frontier 100 years later," he said. Weather conditions were just right for the QSO to take place with little wind and an extremely low dew point and no haze. Both stations ran about 4 mW of power and used one-foot dish antennas, which must be precisely aimed.
    Additional information is available on the Mt Greylock Expeditionary Force Web site http://www.mgef.org "...........from the ARRL News.

  • Quadrantids Meteor Shower -
    "EI5FK reports working S51AT, I4XCC, DD1JN, DK4NJ and EA4LU on 144mhz during the recent Quadrantids meteor shower which peaked on the third and fourth of January, he was using WSJT or FSK441, EI4DQ was also heard working meteor scatter during this shower. The Quadrantids is one of the more reliable showers during the year. Activity drops off from now until May due to the fall off in meteor debris that the Earth encounters at this time of the year." .............from the IRTS News.





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