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Planning Ireland Activations in September


#1

Hello to all. I am planning to activate a few summits in Ireland toward the first week of September.
I would appreciate any advice on the following:

What to wear (Does it rain as much as I have heard and how cold?)
Any risk of thunderstorms this time of year on the peaks?
Should I plan on most using a SOTA pole for most all peaks? (We have lots of trees in GA, probably not so much in Ireland.)
What is the best way to spot in Ireland? (Is internet sketchy, I also have APRS)
I will be doing mostly SSB Voice HF, but will also have VHF/UHF capability

The peaks I have been considering are:
Tonelagee EI/IE-003
Mount Leinster EI/IE-004
Torc Mountain EI/IS-050
Brandon Mountain EI/IS-003
Brandon Peak EI/IS-007

Any tips, pointers are greatly appreciated.
Cant wait to visit this lovely place.

73-KC4WZB, Joel


#2

Rain - depends where you go. SW - Cork &Kerry get a fair bit of rain anyway but September should just be OK. You could have sun or rain. Localised thunderstorms in their hills./mountains are not too common.

Teperatures aren’t cold - the mountains no more than 3000ft in hight so shirt, fleece + waterproofs will be fine. At sea level you probably have a temperature range of around 60 to 70 deg f. It may well be very, very windy. Strong winds 20 - 40 mph are common in the SW and Atlantic coasts.

Trees. You won’t find any on on near the summits.

Radio Equipment etc., - others are far better qualfiied than me to give advice. (I wasn’t a ham when I lived there).
Irish country roads are small. No! much smaller than that! and twisty. Unlike the UK where many popular routes have decent parking at the foot or a nice verge to park on, it was my experience whilst I lived there that for me, parking could sometimes be an issue.


#3

Hi Joel,

Thunderstorms are unlikely but rain and wind are always on the cards, although September can be good. This year has been exceptionally dry so underfoot conditions should be okay. Temperatures will be fine, but the windchill can make it unpleasant at any time of the year.

You won’t find trees on these summits and the ground will range from deep peat to bare rocks. A guying kit like one of the Sotabeams arrangement is your best bet. Cellphone coverage should be okay on all these summits but data coverage might be patchy in EI/IS, so sms spotting should at least be guaranteed - I rarely fail to self-spot. VHF/UHF is useful in EI/IE - G/GW contacts should be possible. In EI/IS, it will probably be a waste of time.

Of the summits you’ve listed, the two Brandons are definitely the most challenging. They get the full blast of the Atlantic winds and are cloud covered much of the time. Save these for a clear day if possible.

Hope you have a great trip.

73 John EI3KA


#4

Joel, As John says some of the summits are likely to be in cloud. To be on the safe side make sure you know how to navigate using map/compass to make sure you descend into the correct valley!!


#5

Hi Joel

I have activated Torc Mountain, and wrote a few notes on the summit page here:
https://www.sota.org.uk/Article/EI/IS-050/8049

The route I used is very pleasant, and well marked, so poor visibility shouldn’t be much of a problem. Plenty of room at the top for antennas, but no trees!

Tonelagee is even more straightforward, but well worth a visit. Low cloud when I was there, and a compass helped me to remember which way to walk off, as the paths are not so obvious…

73
Adrian
G4AZS


#6

David,

Thanks so much for your reply and the info.
I have heard that about the narrow twisty roads.
Not used to driving on the left side of the road, so things should be interesting.
I enjoyed your QRZ page and am hopeful we may meet on an S2S QSO some day.
Thanks again.
73 - KC4WZB, Joel


#7

Thanks David. I was lucky enough to score a National Geographic map at my local REI this week.
It will be nice to have that as a back-up.


#8

John,
Thanks so much for the tips. I will have to prepare for the wind.
Can’t wait to visit your lovely country.
I enjoyed visiting your QRZ page. Your rigs look pristine.
I see you are in Galway. We plan to stay there on our first night , make a clockwise tour of the South and end the trip likely back in Galway for at least a day or two.
From all I have read it looks like I will probably most enjoy Galway and Dingle.
I was curious if APRS2SOTA will work on any or most peaks in EI/IS?
Just wondering if that could be a back-up to self spotting via cell.
Really looking forward to this trip. Thanks again for your advice.
I hope to possibly work you while I am there.
73 - KC4WZB, Joel


#9

Adrian,

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate the pics and the detailed driving directions on the SOTA page you have posted.
Hope to work you soon!
73 - KC4WZB, Joel


#10

Does anyone know if I can use APRS2SOTA to spot in Ireland?


#11

Hi Joel,

using APRS2SOTA will depend on available I-Gates in the area you are operating. You can easily check if there is an I-Gate and/or Digipeater in the region you are planning your activations.

https://aprs.fi/#!mt=osm&z=8&lat=53.0065&lng=352.7005&timerange=43200&tail=43200

Have a nice stay in Ireland …

73 Martin, OE5REO


#12

Hi Joel,

the Wicklow Hills are my backyard HI. If you want any local info on Tonlagee or other hills in the area please feel fee to email me at ei6fr@gofree.indigo.ie and I’ll pass you my telephone number for when you get over. if you would like company on a set of strange hills and I’m around be glad to help you out.

73

Declan
EI6FR


#13

Joe,

I’m Located on the West Coast of Wales (IO72) overlooking the Irish Sea and I can work into Tonelagee EI/IE-003 & Mount Leinster EI/IE-004 on VHF no problem. It all depends if I’m in work or not as I work 12hr shifts nights & days. But if I hear you I will certainly call for you. Enjoy your visit to Ireland.

73’ Don GW0PLP.