24 Dec 2016

28 Nov 2016

CQWW CW Contest November 26th & 27th 2016

Call: G2F
Station: G2F
Class: M/S HP
QTH: Wisbech
Operating Time (hrs): 48
Location: Northern Europe

Band   QSOs   Zones    Countries
160:      354      13            64
80:       1031     31          112
40:       1438     37          142
20:       1728     37          136
15:         239     29          104
10:          14       5            15

Total:   4805   152          573        Total Score 6,002,275

Another fantastic weekend. Band conditions were a bit better than CQWW SSB but we knew it was going to be tough. We had the pleasure of hosting new guests Rob ZB2TT, Maciek SQ6MS and Pete G4MJS - thanks to them for making the trip to the station and making a huge contribution to our effort. The Live Contest scoreboard makes for compulsive viewing and added to the weekends craic. This was a weekend that we were located in the wrong place! Once again thanks to everyone for the QSO's and making CQWW the great event it is and Season's Greetings to you and your's.

Cheers from all @ G2F

27 Nov 2016

IRTS - 80m CW Counties Contest Results

Results of the 80m Evening CW Counties Contest have now been published, the Contest Results page at www.irts.ie/results has all the details. Dave Moore EI4BZ was the top-scoring Irish station, while Andy Malbon G8MIA was the top-scoring overseas station. Congratulations to both winners.

In 2017, our Evening Counties Contests will have SSB Only and mixed mode SSB/CW sections, as it is clear that there is insufficient support for a CW-only event. Full details of this and other changes to the contest calendar and rules will be included in the next issue of the members' journal, Echo Ireland.

22 Nov 2016

Silent Key - Gerald EI2CF

The death has occurred of Gerald O'Reilly EI2CF of Monavalley, Tralee, Co Kerry. Gerald passed away on Saturday 19th November, and will be missed by his family and many friends. Gerald worked with the ESB most of his life, but will be best remembered for his involvement in the Rose of Tralee International festival, where he served as President in the 1981 and 1982.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

20 Nov 2016

First EI to get the ARRL Worked All States Award on 144 MHz

Tom EI4DQ has recently worked his last state for the ARRL (WAS) Worked All States award on 144 MHz. This award involves working and confirming each of the 50 states of the United States of America. Tom tells us that the most difficult states to work were Rhode Island, Nebraska and Iowa. Tom EI4DQ has concentrated in recent years on EME (also known as Moonbounce) and achieved DXCC on 144 MHz a few years ago, the first and only EI to achieve that award. Tom is an inspiration to us all and this shows us that with commitment and dedication everything is possible. A Job well done Tom and congrats on this fantastic achievement.  

13 Nov 2016

Silent Key – Bernie EI6AX

It is with great sadness and sincere regret that we inform you of the death of Bernie O'Sullivan EI6AX of Cahermore, Beara, County Cork. Bernie died on 9th November after a relatively short illness and his funeral took place on Friday last.

Bernie was a great supporter of IRTS and understood and appreciated the work of the Society for radio amateurs and amateur radio. Up to the time of his illness Bernie was a regular caller on the Sunday HF Radio News bulletins. His signals were always superb and he was, so to speak, a beacon from the extreme western edge of the Beara peninsula.

Up to a few years ago Bernie and his great friend John EI3BF were regular attendees at the IRTS annual dinners. In the years past Bernie regaled the attendance with his humorous poems and stories. His poem 'Pat and Pete' which was an account of an imaginary conversation between a mythical Irish radio ham Pat and St. Peter at the Pearly Gates is legendary.

Bernie will be very sadly missed by his many friends in amateur radio both at home and further afield.

To his wife Mary, his daughters Rose, Helen and Siobhán and to his sons Donncha and Pádraigh as well as to his extended family and friends we offer our sincerest sympathy.

Bernie was a man of great heart and spirit. That heart is now stilled and the 'Beacon of Beara' is now silent. May he rest in peace. Ní bheidh a leithéad ann arís. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílish

6 Nov 2016

IRTS - 80m CW Counties Contest

On Tuesday 8th November, there is a one-hour 80 metres IRTS Counties Contest, running from 20:00 to 21:00 UTC. This is the CW event: the SSB version of this contest, held earlier this year, was very well supported, with stations active in 23 EI and GI counties. 

See www.irts.ie/contests for full rules, including the power limit and permitted frequency range.

9 Oct 2016

Mayo Radio Experimenters Network - AGM

EI7MRE held it's annual AGM on Wednesday 5th October 2016.

A complete list of the newly elected officer is available on the club website.
The club holds their monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of every month at 9.30 p.m. at Breaffy House Hotel, Breaffy, Castlebar. 

Anybody interested in amateur radio, short-wave listening, electronics, computers etc. are more than welcome to come along, please check out our website at www.ei7mre.org for more information. The club has an active membership of people involved in the hobby of amateur radio, we hope to enter the next counties contest on new year's day, looking forward to working you all in 2017.

26 Sep 2016

IRTS Contest News

Results of the SSB Field Day Contest, held over the weekend of 3rd & 4th September, have been published. The Contest Results page at www.irts.ie/results has links to these results. Five EI stations participated in the contest, with some reporting reasonable conditions on most bands, except 10 metres, which offered only brief openings towards the end of the contest.

The next IRTS contest is the 40 metres counties contest on Sunday 9th October, at 12:00 UTC, for 3 hours. This contest has fixed and portable sections, for SSB only and for SSB/CW mixed mode entries. See www.irts.ie/contests for more details.

25 Sep 2016

Silent Key - Terry Barnes GI3USS / EI8BH

The death has occurred of Terry Barnes GI3USS & EI8BH, peacefully, in Bangor County Down, in his 85th year. Terry was a Past President of RSGB, and a founder member of the Bangor and District Amateur Radio Society in 1967. He served as treasurer of the Society continuously for some forty-five years.

There will be a Service of Thanksgiving for his life on Tuesday, 27th September, at 1pm in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor - followed by cremation at 4pm in Roselawn Crematorium.

May he rest in peace.

18 Sep 2016

IRTS - 2m Counties Contest Results

Results of the August 2 Metres Counties Contest have been published.

The Contest Results page at www.irts.ie/results has links to these results.

Activity levels were low, 13 station logs were submitted, showing just 23 EI/GI counties active on the day, with the best representation from counties in the northern part of the country.

A diary date for contesters: our first ever Autumn 40 metres counties contest takes place on Sunday 9th October; more details in later news bulletins.

15 Sep 2016

Silent Key - John A.C. Breen EI7BV

The funeral of John Breen EI7BV took place at Terenure College Chapel on Thursday last 15th September. A large number of radio amateurs were present including IRTS President Gerry Gervin EI8CC and Vice-President Jim Holohan EI4HH.

John was a very active member of South Dublin Radio Club and at last Tuesday's meeting the news of his passing was met with shock and sadness. Spontaneous tributes to John were paid by many of the over 20 present in the club.

May he rest in peace

5 Sep 2016

RSGB – 144MHz Trophy Championship Contest September 2016

On September 3rd & 4th the RSGB - 144 MHz Trophy Championship Contest took place from 14:00 UTC. This was a 24 hour event and this year I was active with the Blacksheep Contest and DX Group under the callsign "G8T" from Locator square JO01KJ. 

There was a lot of preparations made for this contest so most of the group arrived on the site Thursday and started to put together our station for the weekend. Wx was reasonable for the time of year.

Antennas: 2x14 + 4x10 + 6x3 + 2x9

The Band conditions this year was more or less Flat with a slight enhancement towards the South West towards Spain. No equipment issues this year for a change - everything worked except our Internet connection which failed from 2300 UTC to 10.30 UTC which prevented us making many skeds via ON4KST Chat facility. 

We finished up this contest this year in 2nd Place with 700 QSO’s 288,644 points and our ODX was OE1W at 1125 Km. Thanks to all for the QSO's I do hope to work you in the next contest. 
GL & 73

1 Aug 2016

RSGB IOTA Contest - July 30th & 31st 2016

Call: G2F
Station: G2F

Class: M/S HP
QTH: Wisbech
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Location: Island Station EU-005

Summary of the weekend

 Antenna's for this contest at G2F


Thanks to all for the QSO's throughout the weekend, hope to catch you in the next one and from all of the G2F Team, 73.

18 Jul 2016

Silent Key – Jim VE3EIA/EI9BD

The sudden and unexpected death has occurred of Jim Naughton VE3EIA / EI9BD in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Monday 18th July 2016. Jim was originally from Ballina in County Mayo.

May he rest in peace.

CQWW VHF 2016 Contest

It was my first time entering CQWW VHF Contest from 1800 UTC Saturday, July 16, 2016 until 2100 UTC Sunday, July 17, 2016, and as I was back at my home QTH in Westport at IO53GT I used the opportunity to take part in this contest, the callsign used for the weekend was EI5IX in IO53 for this contest.

Propagation for this contest was very bad, 50MHz has not been great in July this year unfortunately and maybe it's a sign of the times who knows, anyway I entered a Single Op entry on 50MHz (6m) and there was very little Sporadic E propagation around on the Saturday evening with just high levels of Tropospheric ducting available on the band into the night, nothing really worked QSO wise but I just kept hearing some distant pings of EU stations come in via Meteor Scatter propagation, then on the Sunday afternoon things began to pick up a small bit on the band with QSO's around EI & GI via Tropo conditions and then at 15:00UTC conditions opened via Troposcatter into Sporadic E towards more southern EU areas with it QSO rates peaking into the late evening around 19-20:00UTC. I would have liked if there was more sporadic E conditions around for that weekend but I think I may have been a bit too far North West for this years conditions on the band as this contest is very well supported within EU I was surprised with the lack of activity in Ireland and the UK. I did hear late into the Sunday night after the contest was over some stations in Canada and the United States on CW via Chordal propagation or multi hop E's but unfortunately didn't get to work them this time around as I was taking the station apart... typical... maybe catch them next time. 

Anyway I did the best I could in the contest but it wasn't great. Thanks to all the stations that persevered into completing QSO's in some very difficult conditions, I'm looking forward to working you in the next contest.


11 Jul 2016

IARU HF Championship July 2016

For this years IARU HF Championship contest on July 9th-10th, 2016, members of the newly formed EI DX Group put on big effort from a green field site with a multi multi station (Multi Radio/ Multi Op) for this contest. The objective for this contest is to contact as many other radio amateurs, especially IARU member society HQ stations, around the world as possible using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. 

We had a 7 station setup for the weekend and were QRV from 10m through 160m bands both on SSB & CW.  The callsign used for the weekend was EI0HQ as the National Irish Headquarter station.

Here was some of the photographs from the weekend thanks to Thos EI2JD.

The EI DX Group operators for the contest

EI0HQ - Multi Multi Station 

 Pete EI4GZB and Declan EI9HQ on SSB 40m

Dave EI4BZ and Myself EI5IX having the craic

 Oleg EI7KD flat out on CW

 Enda EI2II enjoying 10m SSB

Jim EI8GS on 15m SSB

Mark EI6JK in a Pile up on 20m SSB

Thos EI2JD working mults on 40m SSB

Myself EI5IX trying to get serious on 15m CW

Again Myself EI5IX "trying to find a needle in a hay stack" on 20m SSB

One of the HEX Beams in the clear 

Our 80m Vertical

 Pat EI9HX working on the Electrics 

Tri-Bander No. 1 

 The lads working on Tri-Bander No.2

Tri-Bander No.2 up and running with a 40m rotatable Dipole

I really enjoyed the weekend it was a fantastic opportunity to test out some antennas also new equipment and it was a great way to meet new people within our DX group. The weather conditions throughout the weekend could have been better and was quiet variable at times, as on the Friday when setting up the station we had beautiful clear sky's and sunshine but then it rained on the Saturday and Sunday and of course then cleared up for taking everything down at the end of the contest... Typical.... Propagation for this contest was not great this year and activity seemed low at times with the effects of the solar minimum certainly being observed across the bands throughout the weekend and a minor geomagnetic storm was observed during the previous 24 hours of the contest and with a high speed solar wind stream which remained geo-effective, there was some isolated periods of storming which remained throughout the contest unfortunately. Not to worry we all enjoyed the weekend and learned a lot about our EI DX Group including each other. I'm certainly looking forward to meeting up with the guys again and doing some other contests and DXpedition's in the future. The results are still yet to come for this contest hopefully we did alright and my thanks goes to all the EI operators that turned up and made this weekend possible, I really enjoyed myself and I hope you got the opportunity to work us either on SSB or CW and on as many of the bands as you could over the weekend.

If not I hope to catch you in the next contest.


4 Jul 2016

RSGB - VHF/UHF National Field Day 2016

The weekend of 2nd & 3rd of July 2016, I ventured out with the Blacksheep DX & Contest group for the RSGB VHF/UHF National Field Day. This year we were operational on 50MHz (6m), 70MHz (4m), 144MHz (2m) 432MHz (70cm) & 1296MHz (23cm) from Locator Square "JO01KJ" under the call-sign "M0BAA/P".

We arrived on site on the Friday at 15:00BST and began to build our portable stations, weather conditions were patchy on the Friday with the sun beaming down on us one minute then a few showers of rain the next, this hampered us a bit as we were still building the stations right up to the start of the contest on Saturday 14:00UTC. This year we had a few testing challenges with generators and we could have done with some extra manpower but we just put the head down pushed on through then suddenly it was 14:00UTC...CQ Contest!!!

50MHz Yagi 

70MHz Yagi

50MHz / 70MHz Station

I was operating on 50 MHz and 70MHz throughout the weekend. Conditions on 50MHz was very tough at times with very little SpEs around this year and what seemed like low activity on 50MHz, I was also dealing with static rain at times which didn't help things and my apologies to those stations I had to ask for the many repeats. It's a pity as I was looking forward to some nice Chordal hop opening to North America on CW but that didn't happen. I finished with 106 QSO's and 19,172 Points and my ODX was GM4ZUK/P at 655km.

Once 50MHz had finished at 22:00UTC we had to dismantle the station and built the 70MHz setup for the next morning at 08:00UTC, Operators were getting tired so we said we would finish the setup on Sunday morning only to find a few issues which delayed my start on the 70MHz band by 15 minutes or so. The joys of Field Day :-) Conditions on 70MHz was pretty bad, slow at times with deep QSB on some distant stations, having CW really helped confirm QSO's but there were No SpEs on the band that I could find during the contest unfortunately. I finished with 75 QSO's and 16,233 points and again my ODX was GM4ZUK/P at 655km.

144MHz Station 

144MHz - 6 x 3ele Yagi's 

144MHz - 4 x 10ele Yagi's 

432MHz - 4 x 17 ele Yagi's

1296MHz - 4 x 44ele Yagi's

1296MHz - 4 x 44ele Yagi's & Station

Blacksheep DX & Contest Team for NFD 2016
L>R Matt G0XDI, Stephen G4SHF, Nick G4FATDave G4FRE, Bill M0BTZBert PE1RKI, Andy M0MUX, Pat EI5IX / M0XII & Mike G8TIC.

Once 14:00UTC on Sunday appeared on the clock some very weary and tired contester's began to disassemble the stations and get ready for the next stage "packing up", we cleared as much as we could before I had to leave to make the journey back to London as I had work the next day but some of the Team decided to stay overnight Sunday go for some beers along with food and then pack up what was left of the stations on Monday morning clear the site in the afternoon.

I have got to thank the Blacksheep DX & Contest group (Mike G8TIC, Stephen G4SHF, Nick G4FAT, Matt G0XDI, Bill M0BTZ, Andy M0MUX Dave G4FRE and Bert PE1RKI) for all the hard work they put in throughout the weekend and especially for making VHF/UHF NFD contest a success for us even though propagation was not great this year the Team stayed positive and pushed on through, I really enjoyed the weekend with the group, it was great craic and a many a good laugh was had and I'm looking forward to the next one.


3 Jul 2016

Silent Key – Raymond MI0VFO

The death occurred on the 30th June of Raymond (Ray) Blythe MI0VFO late of Bready, Strabane Co Tyrone. His funeral took place on Sunday 3rd July.

Ray was one of the founding members of the Foyle and District Amateur Radio Club and remained an active member throughout his long illness until the time of his passing.

May he rest in peace.

IRTS CW National Field Day

Results of CW Field Day, held over the weekend of 4th/5th June, have now been published and can be seen at www.irts.ie/results

Four contest logs were submitted - two stations from Cork, Gerard EI5KF/P and Cork Radio Club EI1C/P, and two stations situated in the Midlands, Jim EI4HH/P and Joe EI7GY/P.

Most stations reported reasonably good band conditions over the weekend, although there was only a brief opening on 10 metres on Sunday morning.

3 Jun 2016

CQWW WPX Contest CW, May 28th & 29th 2016

Call: EI5IX
Operator: EI5IX
Station: EI5IX

Class: SO(A)AB(TS) LP
QTH: Westport, Co. Mayo
Operating Time (hrs): 32hr

Band  QSOs

160:    0
80:     102
40:     322
20:     440
15:     171
10:     25

Total: 1060 Prefixes = 606
Total Score = 1,373,196

EI5IX Shack 

Cushcraft X7 Tri Bander

40m Vertical

20m/15m/10m Vertical

40m Dipole

80m Dipole


I arrived in Ireland just 2 days before the contest where I had to build the station from scratch, a massive thank's goes out to my Dad EI9JA for helping me build the station for the weekend, I must say this was a difficult contest with only 100w as band conditions were hard at the best of times and unfortunately there was bad propagation on high bands too with low activity from North America. Thanks to all for the QSO's over the weekend and I hope to see you in the next contest. 

Vy 73!