During the first weekend of July 2001 members of the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network operated a number of VHF/UHF stations from a bog road on Toormakeady, using the call sign of Padraic (Pat) Baynes, EI5IX.
Photograph of 2001 VHF Field Day
Copyright Terry Ebdon, 2001.
Joe Fadden, EI3IX, provided a Land Rover Discovery which was used as a rather luxurious 6m shack. The bulk of Saturday's 2m, 4m, and 70cm activity was from the back of a VW Transporter belonging to John Brown, EI7FAB, with my car being used on the Sunday.
Arriving rather late, our first priority was to assemble a 6m station as there was a huge opening in progress. A 6m vertical was erected, with Ollie's help, and held in place by parking my car on the base plate. This was quickly hooked up to Joe's FT-100 and Pat, EI5IX, started working the DX. The six metre band remained open throughout the weekend, which effectively made this a 6m contest. The scoring for all bands was based on points per kilometre, so with DX stations being worked across Europe and beyond the other bands were the icing on the cake.
There was a very good turn out, and every one seemed to bring equipment with them; with the result that we had at least two antennae for most bands. At one point there were four masts erected, so we were spoilt for choice. During the day we managed to keep two or three stations on the air most of the time, with Joe being the overnight caretaker. One welcome surprise was the return of Padraic, EI9JA, late on Saturday evening with a huge container full of sausages and chips! Padraic also supplied the breakfast on Sunday, so needless to say he was "man of the contest".
Dermot, EI7IX, originally suggested the site, and a superb one it is. Despite being blocked by a peak to the North East we managed to put a good signal out to most of the country, with both Dublin and Cork being worked on 2m and 70cm. Unfortunately there was some interaction between the 4m transverter and the 2m and 6m rigs which prevented EI7FAB, our main 4m operator, from calling CQ as often as he would have liked. So band pass filters would seem to be a good idea for future IRTS VHF Field Days.
In February 2002 John McDonnell, EI6IR, the IRTS contest manager announced that the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network had won the 2001 event.
We scored 370,646 points from 243 QSO's.
A breakdown of the score was as follows:
6m - 200 QSO's and 353,257 Points ,
2m - 33 QSO's and 16,482 Points
70cms - 10 QSO's and 907 Points.
Thomond Trophy Winning station in the Open section of the IRTS VHF/UHF Field Day
Just 7,000 behind in 2nd place were EI9E, the East Cork and Wexford Groups with 386 QSO's and 363,453 Points.
A breakdown of their score was as follows:
6m - 170 QSO's and 217,349 Points ,
2m - 95 QSO's and 138,488 Points
70cms - 21 QSO's and 7,616 Points.
Congratulations to all involved, and a big thank you to everyone who lent their support.