ANTHONY EI2KC'S NEW BOOK 'NEWGRANGE - MONUMENT TO IMMORTALITY':
This is Anthony, EI2KC here, author of 'Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers', and I have recently published my second book, 'Newgrange - Monument to Immortality', which was released by The Liffey Press in October 2012. On right is the front of my new QSL celebrating this remarkable ancient monument. I was featured as a Newgrange expert on The History Channel on 'Ancient Aliens' (Series 3, Episode 13) aired in the United States in 2011. It will be broadcast on The History Channel in Europe some time in 2012. See more about the Newgrange book here: newgrangemonument.blogspot.com. In the main image at the top of the page you can see me in my shack with my two books.
Newgrange is a 5,200-year-old Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley near where I live. On the shortest days of the year the sun shines into the chamber of the monument for 17 minutes, marking a truly remarkable triumph of Stone Age engineering. I was lucky to be present in the chamber of Newgrange on Sunday December 19th 2010 to see the illumination for myself. It was a wonderful experience. See more about Newgrange on my website at www.mythicalireland.com
If you wish to buy my books you can get them here:
EI13CLAN - SPECIAL CALLSIGN CELEBRATING 'THE GATHERING':
The Gathering 2013 is a series of events in Ireland and around the world celebrating Irish families at home and abroad. During the year the special callsign EI13CLAN will be on air to celebrate this unique event. I am one of the operators who will be activating this callsign throughout the year. I hope to work you on as many bands as possible. There is a certificate for working EI13CLAN on six band slots or more. For more information see the EI13CLAN QRZ page
ABOUT EI2KC: I have been interested in radio since I was young. My first encounter with radio, apart from the commercial FM band and RTE Radio 1 on medium wave, was listening to the control tower at Dublin Airport in the 1980s. My brother became active on 11 metres and I soon became fascinated by radio propagation and later followed him onto this band. He became licenced as a ham in the early 1990s and due to lack of confidence in my mathematical abilities I never thought I would be able to pass the ham test. In the intervening years I have been an avid short wave listener and have listened to the ham bands and aeronautical HF activity for a long time. Finally I plucked up the courage to study for the licence and got my original callsign (EI8GHB) on October 30th 2009 after passing the HAREC test in Ireland. I am primarily interested in HF DX but also operate on VHF (6m, 4m and 2m, including Echolink), and also 70cm. I run a popular blog about Ham Radio in Ireland -http:/hamradioireland.blogspot.com (Pictured above)
After passing the morse test in February 2010 I upgraded my callsign from a 'B Call' to an 'A call' and was given EI2KC on March 5th, which is much easier to send in CW hi hi !! I am a member of the Dundalk Amateur Radio Society which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009. I am also a member of the club's contest team, EI0W, although I am not hugely interested in contesting. I write the "HF Happenings" column in Echo Ireland, the magazine of the Irish Radio Transmitters' Society which is distributed to all IRTS members in Ireland, and I am a member of the IRTS committee.
Below left is my main shack. On right is the front of my old QSL card for EI2KC showing Mellifont Abbey. See QSL info below.
QSL INFO: I much prefer ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) for QSL over any other method. If you send me a QSL card direct I would appreciate one dollar or one euro for postage to Europe and two dollars or two euro for the rest of the world. Direct cards with no return postage will be sent back via the bureau, sorry. but I have five kids and cannot fund my radio hobby HI HI ! I am snowed under with QSL cards via the bureau and would ask that you should only send me a card if you need EI on a particular band/slot/mode, thanks. I am a big fan of eQSL and would like your AG eQSL if possible.
NEED A SKED?: I am available for a sked if you need one. I'd be glad to help with any request, whether it be CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make a sked. See you on the bands!
THE SHACK:The main HF rigs are the Yaesu FT-1000MP and an Icom IC-756PRO, and my main VHF rig is an Icom IC-746 mostly for 6m 2m multimode. In addition I have an Icom 706MkII which I am currently using for mobile/portable HF and 6m work. I have an Acom 1000 linear also. I also have a CRT 2M-1 for 2 metres, and in my auxiliary shack (bedroom) I use the FT-897 and a 10m attic dipole for HF and I have the Yaesu FT-2500M for 2m and an old Icom IC-735 which belonged to Fr Pat EI5DA which I use for listening. And for portable work I have the Yaesu VX-110 handheld. I also have a Kenwood TM71E in the car for mobile 2m/70cm operation. On HF I am QRV on all bands except top band. I operate 2m multimode, 4m FM and 70cm FM.
ANTENNAS: The antenna array at my QTH is restricted due to the fact that my garden is just over 10m long and about 7m wide. Plus there is an extension which takes up a good portion of that space! My random wire for 80m has been taken down for the summer and in its place are nested inverted Vs for 30 metres and 40 metres. My main HF antenna until recently was a 6-band Butternut vertical for 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m and I also have an Antron 99 which I use for 15m, 12m and 10m also. The 6m antenna is a resonant dipole.
NEW: I have just installed (September 2012) a secondhand hexbeam antenna covering the five bands from 20m through 10m. It replaced an old Cushcraft MA5M minibeam which had performed wonderfully for me but which had limited gain. There is no rotator on the hexbeam just yet - my previous rotator broke, so I am using the Armstrong method right now HI HI! I hope to enjoy working you with the hexbeam, which is only 10 metres off the ground.
80m note: The Butternut is my sole antenna for 80m now, but it's not a brilliant on that band on RX. If I have trouble hearing you, please excuse me. It gets out very well, but is only 26ft tall so does not hear very well. So apologies if you get a poor RST from me!
Above is the latest addition to the shack, an Icom IC-756PRO. On right is my antenna farm beneath the stars of the Milky Way. Below left is my antenna farm! On the very upper left of the photo is the back wall of my house, on top of which you can just about make out the 6m beam. The extension contains my shack, above which sits the hexbeam attached to the end wall. Beyond that, on the back wall of the garden, is the Butternut vertical, and in the right hand rear corner of the garden is the pole supporting my 30m and 40m inverted Vees, the legs of which are perpendicular to each other due to lack of space! The garden is just 10m (35ft) long. That hasn't stopped me working some great DX and that's one of the great challenges of working from such confined space. As of May 2013 I have worked 291 DXCC (licenced Oct 29th 2009). Below right is a photo of me in the shack in 2010 working a pile-up on 6m which is a band I enjoy working on during the summer months. (Hence the short-sleeve shirt HI)
Pictures above show: (Left): The shack in 2011; (centre) me operating EI7DAR special event, June 2009; (right): The shack in 2010.
(Left): Tony EI4DIB and Jim EI2HJB installing my 6m and 2m beams; (centre) me fixing the MA5B, my first beam!; (right) The shack in 2010.
(Left): My inverted vees for 30m and 40m. (centre): The Icom IC-746; (right): The VHF array.
(Left):I'd be lost without these guys (and others), who help put up my antennas, Thos EI2JD, Pat EI2HX and Tony EI4DIB;
(Left):The shack in 2011 before the shelving went in; (centre): my old MA5B under the stars; (right) my first shack in October 2009 when first licenced as EI8GHB;
EJ7NET DXPEDITION TO INIS MÓR (ARAN ISLANDS) IOTA EU-006:
In May 2013 I was invited to activate Inis Mór on the Aran Islands with the EJ7NET Westnet DX Group. It was a great pleasure to take part in myvery first IOTA activation and dxpedition. Above left is the QSL card and the group shot, taken at the end of the activation. In centre is me operatingCW, while on right you can see our ground plane antennas and the lovely QTH we worked from. QSL via HB9ASZ. Thanks to Declan EI6FR for the invite!
VIDEO AND FILMS:
Above is a short film made by Tony Flynn called "Radio Waves". It's a film about amateur radio in Ireland, featuring Thos EI2JD and me. I have made a number of videos featuring aspects of amateur radio which can be found among lots of other stuff on my YouTube channel.
MY BOOKS: A lot of hams have asked me to say a little about my books. Well, here goes. They've got nothing to do with amateur radio by the way!! In 1999 I met the artist Richard Moore and we soon discovered we shared a huge interest in the 5,000-year-old Stone Age monuments of the Boyne Valley (including Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth). We spent the next eight years together researching the apparent complex cosmology underlying the construction of these huge monuments, some of which were built long before Stonehenge and the Pyramids. The resulting publication, entitled 'Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers', became an instant hit with everyone and anyone who had an interest in archaeology, astronomy, mythology, etymology, Irish culture and lots more, and sold out in a year. It has since been republished as a revised, expanded edition in 2008. We have been featured on many TV films and documentaries and radio shows. The book is available to buy on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Second-hand first editions have been fetching 200 euros and more.
While the prevailing view among academics holds that Newgrange is merely a tomb, used to bury the dead, it is clear that the monument, and many of the other monuments from that period, represent a grand endeavour to unite heaven and earth, as if they were the expression of some cosmic ideal which held that everything that happened on the earth was governed by everything that happened in the sky. Some monuments are aligned precisely on the solstices and equinoxes, others on the old pre-Celtic "cross-quarter" dates. Others still commemorate some significant star or constellation rising. Ultimately, the people who built them believed in an afterlife among the stars, in an ancient Irish heaven which was known under different names - Tír na nÓg (Land of Youth), Mag Mell (The Plain of Happiness) and Tír na mBeo (Land of the Ever Living Ones). In time, I hope to write a novel which would incorporate much of this cosmology, which is really a happy union of science and spirituality. Here is a quote from the preface to the second edition of Island of the Setting Sun:
Today, we who are the descendants of these people have only the barest understanding of their knowledge and capabilities. Our own cosmic view is concealed by the trappings of modern life, and by the pollution which obscures the heavens from our eyes. Now, only in our dreams is it possible to envision their wonderfully dark skies. Despite our apparent technological mastery, we are still reduced to humility by their achievements.
My second book, called 'Newgrange - Monument to Immortality', was published by The Liffey Press in November 2012 and is currently selling well. It is available on Amazon.com and in all good bookshops. Many people who visit the ancient and magnificent Newgrange monument in the Boyne Valley are driven by some deep longing to connect with their most distant roots. The giant 5,000-year-old megalithic construction evokes awe and wonderment, and a keen sense of melancholy for the community of people who created and fashioned it from stone and earth in the remote past, a people now lost to time. For the past three centuries, archaeologists, antiquarians, writers and researchers have been probing Newgrange in the hope of revealing something about its purpose, and something about the mysterious people of the New Stone Age who created giant structures using primitive technology. What has become clear from these investigations is that Newgrange is a uniquely special place, and that its construction was carried out not by a grizzly mob of grunting barbarians, but rather by an advanced agrarian community who had developed keen skills in the sciences of astronomy, engineering and architecture. In Newgrange: Monument to Immortality, writer and researcher Anthony Murphy goes deep into the mind and soul of his neolithic ancestors to attempt to draw forth some answers to these questions. In a deeply moving, poetic and philosophical exploration, he looks beyond the archaeology and the astronomy to reveal a much more profound and sacred vision of the very spirit of the people who were driven to such marvellous and wondrous efforts.
MY WEBSITES:On left is a photo of the world-famous Stone Age monument Newgrange, which is located about 5 miles from my QTH. This photo shows a faint green aurora borealis behind Newgrange so I like to think that this image combines my interest in ancient Ireland with my interest in radio. That was the image that was used on the cover of my Newgrange book.I also run some popular websites about ancient Ireland:
My hobbies include: Writing (I am author of Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers) and I'm currently writing my first novel, internet/computers, photography, video and film making, astronomy, music (I am the solo euphonium player with Drogheda Brass Band,champions of Ireland SIX years running 2007-2012!), and I have a huge interest in ancient Ireland. Below is a video of the Drogheda Brass Band playing 'Penlee' at the National Band Championships in Cork, April 2012:
WORK / FAMILY: In my professional life I was recently made redundant from my job as a newspaper editor, having worked full time in newspapers for 20 years. I am currently unemployed and looking for a new job! I am married to Ann, who has shown great forebearance in accepting my multiple hobbies!! We have five beautiful children, Amy, Luke, Josh, Tara and Finn, who are all remarkable in their own individual way, and great fun to be around!
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