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Calling Ireland


#1

A few weeks ago someone posted an alert that they were going to activate a couple of Irish summits. I have to admit this was the first time I had realised there was an Irish SOTA association. I never heard anything of that particular activation and it wasn’t spotted. Have many of you chased/activated Irish summits? I haven’t chased any or noticed any activations and I have been fairly activate in the last 18 months or so. I notice from the database that a lot of the summits have yet to be activated.

Looking forward to a few GW points over the next 72 hours or so. Also looking foward to completing the IOM set over the weekend, so have a good few days Paul!
Cheers all
Q GW3BV


#2

I have activated several summits in GI, mainly Co. Antrim, both in 2003 and 2005. (The XYL is from Larne originally). The GI association manager Colin GI0RQK has done quite a number of them. There are a few ops that occasionally activate in GI, including some that travel across to do LD summits sometimes.

EI is a quiet association; last major activity was when G3CWI was on holiday over there!


#3

In reply to 2E0HJD:
Hi
Thanks Mick.
I did watch and listen but saw and heard nothing of the activation. I may of course have been asleep. I will keep listening.
Q


#4

In reply to GW3BV: I was waiting to get my break on this activation when some locals started up on the same frequency. How the heck they couldn’t hear 50 odd stations calling him is beyond me?
If people are going to talk to their mate in the next street I wish they would turn their power down or get real antenna instead of a rubber duck or a quarter-wave on a biscuit tin and listen before transmitting.

Steve GW7AAV
http://gw7aav.googlepages.com


#5

Greetings to all from Northern Ireland!

I was very interested to read this thread, and I thought I would call in to prove that there is (some) SOTA-life on this side of the Irish Sea.

Colin (GI0RQK) pioneered SOTA in Northern Ireland, and is still active. I have also been fairly active on 2m FM (4W to 3 ele yagi) from several GI summits since 2004. My most recent expedition (as already mentioned by Mick) was to Slieve Croob on 3 Feb, when I worked quite a few stations in northern England. I had a very enjoyable time, and many thanks to all who called me. Apologies to those who didn’t get through - hopefully we can make contact next time.

I have in the past been cautious about posting my activation plans on SOTA Alerts, as I wasn’t sure how well I could be heard outside GI/EI. However, I have found that when propagation is good I can easily work G/GM/GW/GD stations from the Mourne Mountains (GI/MM-xxx), and also from some of the Antrim Hills (GI/AH-xxx). I hope to be back in the hills during the next few months, and I will post details on SOTA Alerts.

I am planning to get equipped for 2m SSB, which should help put GI summits in the logs of a few more chasers.

I have also very much enjoyed activating summits in the Lake District, and plan to be back over there this year.

Best 73,
Fred
GI4MWA


#6

In reply to GW3BV:
Hi Quentin

I hope to activate some EI/IS summits in May. I have put some initial alerts on SOTAwatch and these will be refined as plans become clearer. The summits will be the lower ones in Co.Cork but are almost certain to be first activations and therefore uniques for you. If there is GSM GPRS coverage I will spot on SOTAwatch. There is no 5MHz so let’s hope conditions are good on 80 & 40.

73 John GW4BVE


#7

In reply to GW4BVE:

John

I found GSM/GPRS coverage in EI was excellent - even in the far west of Kerry. One very remote base station did not have GPRS but generally it was fine.

Expect some very quiet hills.

73

Richard


#8

In reply to G3CWI:

Thanks Richard. I will self spot. I am used to quiet hills in GW/MW on weekdays.

73 John GW4BVE


#9

In reply to GI4MWA:
As an active chaser could I please make a plea for any SOTA activity from EI/GI to be on a band BELOW 144MHz - the Highlands are not an easy place to radiate RF effectively and I consider Ben Nevis on 2m outstanding DX from here!

73 de CRIS
GM4FAM


#10

In reply to GW3BV:

Hi Quentin,

On the 12th August last summer I had a summit to summit into GI, I was on Carnedd y Filiast and Fred GI4MWA/P was on Slieve Meelbeg in the Mourne Mountains. A great thrill for me!

73 Ian G7KXV


#11

In reply to GW3BV:

Hi Quentin,

On the 12th August last summer I had a summit to summit into GI, I was on Carnedd y Filiast and Fred GI4MWA/P was on Slieve Meelbeg in the Mourne Mountains. A great thrill for me!

73 Ian G7KXV


#12

In reply to GM4FAM:
Hi Cris,

I agree that VHF operation is often unsuitable, although I have enjoyed many excellent contacts on 2m FM from GI summits - one of which was the memorable S2S which Ian (G7KXV) has already mentioned.

I have seriously considered HF operation, but at the moment I have no suitable portable equipment (neither radios nor antennas). At the moment I use an Icom IC-T7E for 2m FM, but I am thinking about buying a FT-817, which would give me a lot more options. I would like to try 2m SSB because I already have a SOTA Beam (+ WASP) which works very well, and is easy to carry and set up. I have no experience of HF portable operating, but I suppose I could try 40m SSB with an inverted-V dipole. I would be interested in any comments about how well this band/mode might work.

I realise that CW would be far more effective, but I’m ruling that out because most of my activations are family outings, and if I use CW I effectively exclude them from the fun. Also, I believe that 5MHz can be very useful, but I don’t have the NoV for this band.

73,
Fred
GI4MWA


#13

In reply to GI4MWA:

I have no experience of HF
portable operating, but I suppose I could try 40m SSB with an
inverted-V dipole. I would be interested in any comments about how
well this band/mode might work.

Fred

How QRP 40m SSB will work depends on several factors. It could be rather disappointing unless you get lucky. 40m is very crowded - especially at the weekend. Use of SPOTlite will improve your chances of success quite a lot.

http://www.sota.org.uk/spotlite.htm

Many people are put off HF because they think that it is hard to put up an HF aerial on a hilltop. I find that with a bit of thought and some practice, it is probably easier than VHF. It would be best to try it out in calm conditions on a sunny day - maybe you could train up your family to erect the antenna for you!

5MHz is worth considering - its quiet channels and because it sits around the Optimum Working Frequency for NVIS makes it a great band for SOTA. QRP SSB really does work well there. Sadly it does exclude almost all other European countries but it would make for something interesting for your family to listen to.

73

Richard


#14

In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for your helpful comments. You have confirmed my suspicions about QRP 40m SSB - sounds like it could be a struggle. I have heard a lot of good reports about 5MHz, and your remarks certainly support that. Also, operating on an ‘experimental’ band sounds like fun. I think my next step is to apply for a 5MHz NoV!

I don’t think I’ll be short of volunteers to help with an HF antenna, but we’ll take your advice and practice first somewhere quiet!

Anyway, in the meantime I hope to be active on 2m sometime during the Easter holidays…

73, Fred


#15

In reply to GI4MWA:
Hi Fred

I totally concur with Ric CWI’s comments.

  1. Getting an NoV for 5 MHz is EASY - took me less than a week, and its free! The application form is on Ofcom website and takes about 3 minutes to complete.
  2. If you have a 16 - 20 ft fishing pole, 100 ft of wire and no more than 30ft of lightweight coax you will have the ingredients for a dipole for both 5 and 7 Mhz - of course their are other antennas you could use and right here on the reflector will be no shortage of experienced Dxpeditioners (unlike me!) who I am sure can give great advice and make operating HF a revelation for you.

Good luck es 73
Cris GM4FAM