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Welcome to the QRZ.com pages of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group.

We are a radio club in the Southwest of Ireland with interests in a wide range of amateur radio activities including:

  • HF and VHF Portable Operations

  • Antenna and Equipment Construction

  • Public Service Communications

  • Dx'ing

The club hosts regular field days, being well attended and very popular with members. These field days are as much about the social occassion as the operating, with room for all interests in the hobby.

As well as field day operating the club participate in radio contests. The club hold two callsigns, EI-1-K and EI-1-KARG and we look forward to working you on the air.

Anyone interested in amateur or shortwave radio is very welcome to come along to the monthly club meetings, or contact any menber of the KARG for information or assistance on becoming licensed, or even just for a friendly chat. Our door is open to all.

Keep an eye on this page as we'll be adding content to the end of the page from our various events and activities.......

 

Club trip to the Met Eireann Observatory located outside Caherciveen, Co. Kerry.

 

 

 

Satellite working from Knockmoyle, Co. Kerry

 

Field day operating on 80mtrs with a halfwave dipole at Rossbeigh, Co. Kerry.

 

 

 

Operating in the 2014 IRTS 40mtrs contest.

A very successful station was put to air for the first IRTS 40mtrs counties contest.

A 40mtr dipole was mounted with the centre at 10mtrs agl on John's telescoping 10mtr mast and tilt over base. The dipole legs sloped to approx 1mtr agl. The operating position was established in a 3mtr x 3mtr gazebo using a Yaesu FT-897. Power was supplied from a generator sited at a distance from the gazebo.

Billy EI7CQB and John EI9ESB set up and operated the station for the contest using the club callsign EI1KARG (our EI1K callsign had not yet been issued and will be used for future contests).

It was a very enjoyable day with weather conditions generally being good. Typically some rain was experienced during the set up of the station but rapidly cleared as the day went on.

Band conditions were good and a very respectable number of stations in Ireland and further afield were worked. The log was complied and an entry submitted to the IRTS.

The club came 4th place in the SSB portable section of the contest. We are very happy with this result on our first competitive outing a day after a SOTA activation by John EI9ESB and Billa EI7CQB.

 

Club visit to EJK, Valentia Coastal Radio Station (Maritime)

 

 

HF Ventenna used on a club field day operating HF SSB on Knockmoyle, Co. Kerry

 

Club field day in the Black Vally, Co. Kerry

 

Club field day across the border in Barna, Co. Limerick

 

Club members at Cromwell Point Lighthouse, Co. Kerry

15th August 2014

Billy EI7CQB and Declan EI9FVB are currently operating EI1K from Cromwell Point Lighthouse IRE0001 on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

They are operating two stations from the site on different HF bands and intend operating through the night. Additional operators will be on-site tomorrow.

100 Watts output power into a G5RV and a 40mtr delta loop.

This is the operating site: -

 

16th August 2014

Billy EI7CQB and Declan EI9FVB remain on site at Cromwell Point Lighthouse IRE0001 and are to be joined by additional operators today after a very successful night of operating.

A busy day of operating is expected and we look forward to working as many stations as possible after some breakfast that is!!!

Now that we're refuelled for a busy days operating, we're ready to go after a breath of fresh sea air....

... down to the serious business of operating. Here we have John EI9JO on the left operating and Declan EI9FVB on the right logging..

Its time again to feed the hard working troops.

Our kitchen has served us well down the years at ILLW and various field events. Its something we put togther in an army surplus wooden box that Billy fitted removable legs to.

Stew will be cooking on one of our Trangia kits. We look after our members as a well fed member is a happy and productive member.....

After a hearty evening meal, Mark M0UEA and Declan EI9FVB man one of the HF stations for the evening. Billa EI7CQB will man the other on 40mtrs.

 

Sunday 17th August 2014

After operating into the wee small hours of the morning, the guys decided to turn in so some rest could be gotten before a fresh run at the day.

With come coffee and fresh air onboard it will be back inside shortly to commence operations.

After all that hard work and all those stations we worked, it was decided that some ice cream was well deserved. So with that the first club "selfie" was taken!!!!

Over the next week or so, we'll get lots more photos uploaded to this page and we'll get our log uploaded too. We'd like to thank all the stations who worked us and plans are already afoot for an even better station with more operators on more bands next year.

A selfie of three of the Cromwell Point 2014 team.

Billy EI7CQB, John EI9JO and Declan EI9FVB

Tuesday 19th August 2014

Here is a link to a video we previously made in 2006 of ILLW operations from the Cromwell Point Lighthouse, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

 

Stay tuned for a new YouTube channel that will feature many of our future operations and activities.

We have uploaded our logbook from ILLW 2014. A total of 509 qso's were acheived with 55 countries being worked by the team. All operations were conducted on SSB.

For ILLW 2015, we will launch DATA and CW operations in addition to SSB, with dedicated stations and aerials for each mode.

 

Billy EI7CQB operating the dedicated 40mtrs station. Note the toilet rolls in the window, used to wipe the sweat from Billy's brow...!

 

Billy EI7CQB, Declan EI9FVB and John EI9JO at the 40mtr station, upstairs in the lightkeepers cottage which is undergoing renovation. The site at Cromwell Point allows our radio club to set up multiple operating stations in different locations on-site allowing excellent audio isolation. A set of good quality bandpass filters and good entenna rigging ensure excellent RF isolation between stations allowing a very enjoyable operating experience.

 

The 20mtr station in the dining area. Icom IC-706MkIIG with a Yaesu FT-857 as a backup radio.

 

3rd September 2014

The Kerry Amateur Radio Club intend to compete in the IRTS HF SSB Field Day on 5th & 6th September from a coastal site in mid-Kerry.

Three operators will be present during the contest, Declan EI9FVB, Billy EI7CQB and John EI9ESB and plenty of detail, photographs and even hopefully some video will be posted after the event along with the log.

We look forward to working you.

11th September 2014

A short video of our HF SSB Field Day station. Attending were Billy EI7CQB, Declan EI9FVB and John EI9ESB.

Photo's and a summary of the weekend will be posted shortly.

The club set up our field day station on Friday 5th Setpember in good weather conditions. The operating shelter and gazebo were set up first, followed by our mast and antenna. Then we populated the operating shelter and gazebo.

Billy, EI7CQB and John, EI9ESB elected to reamin at the station overnight. It allowed a chance to refine the station and ensure everything was in prime working order for the field day.

A Yaesu FT-897 was connected to a battery which in turn was connected to a power supply fed by a portable generator. The battery allows uninterrupted operation in case of generator failure. We brought a backup generator as belt and braces.

While an antenna tuning unit is fitted to the flight case the radio is housed in, it was switched out of circuit as our dipole antenna has a set of quick connect / disconnect legs for each band. The antenna is hoisted aloft on a halyard running through a high quality pulley. As a result, band changes are very quick indeed.

 

 

Billy is checking the station after everything is set up.

 

Cooking facilities were set up in the gazebo giving us a very comfortable and self-sufficient station for the weekend. A gas powered stove and DC powerd cool box aling with a table and seating were located in the gazebo.

We had a good evening trawling the HF bands and chatting about all things radio but we did relax away from the radio for an evening meal. Even so, it was 02:30 before the station was closed down for the night.

 

 

 

On Field Day, Declan EI9FVB joined us to operate for several hours.

 

The station operated reliably for the duration of the field day and we welcomed visitors to our station. It was enjoyable working the many stations we made contact with across the world during a period of some very good weather which ensured short sleeves and shorts were the order of the day.

 

14th December 2014

The results of the IRTS HF SSB Field Day have been released and the Kerry Amateur Radio Group came in 4th place. The contest committee are already planning for the event on 2015 with a site already secured. If we could arrange for weather as good as experienced during the 2014 event we will be very fortunate.

 

The Kerry Amateur Radio Goup have been informed of the death of Jim Carmody NN5O /EI8BK.

Jim passed away on 6th December 2014 after a short illness. He was a regular visitor to Ireland and operated several CQWW contests from Caherciveen in County Kerry where he became good friends with John EI9JO and other members of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group.

May he rest in peace.

 

16th March 2015

The AGM of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group was recently held which was both interesting and enjoyable.

Much club business was discussed and 2015 promises to be a very active year for us with various public event stations and competition stations planned.

A new QSL card was revealed to the members and will be available QSO's with either EI1K or EI1KARG for this year.

We welcomed aboard several new members and are looking forward to having them participate in the various events we have planned.

The club elected the following officers for 2015 :-

  • Declan Horan EI9FVB as Chairman, QSL manager and Webmaster.
  • Billy O'Conor EI7CQB as Vice-Chairman and Treasurer.
  • John Costello EI9ESB as Club Secretary and PRO.

 

 

5th April 2015

The first outing of the year seen the Kerry Amateur Radio Group exhibit a station to the public at the Arfert Vintage Vehicle Show in Ardfert, Co. Kerry.

Two radios were set up on HF with a Cobwebb and a sloping wire for antennas.

The public showed much interest in the station and many visitors expressed an interest in what Amateur Radio was about. Club members were more than happy to explain about the hobby and demonstrate communications with many stations around the world.

Both club callsigns were aired during the day, EI1K and EI1KARG.

 

 

 

 

 

25th April 2015

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group are today operating a registered International Marconi Day station from Ballybunnion Co. Kerry. See http://www.gb4imd.com for details of the Internation Marconi Day event and to see registered stations.

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group are operating from Coláiste Bhréanainn in Ballybunnion by kind permission of the committee.The Coláiste is located on the site of the original Marconi Radio Station in Ballybunnion Co. Kerry.

It is over a decade since radio amateurs in County Kerry last activated the site and the club has made a concerted effort to put a station on the air this year and in the coming years. The radio amateurs of County Kerry previously put a lot of effort into getting a station on the air in the past and many fond memories are with us of those years. Alas, not all are still with us but those of us who have previously activated this station are very thankful of the kindness shown to us by our fellow radio amateurs. A special mention must be made of the late John O'Carroll EI6AH who treated us all like royalty in his efforts in establishing a very successful event at this location in times gone by.

This is what stands on the site of the original radio station and the following pictures show its former glory.

 

This Coláiste is an Irish Summer College providing residential courses or camps to enable young people to improve their fluency in Gaeilge through the use of Irish in all daily activities, classes, meals, games, swimming, singing, sketches, ceili dancing etc...

The station is operating multiple stations since the start of the event at 00:00 UTC with at least two stations on the air at any one time.

For more information on Marconi Wireless Station YQX at this site see the following link http://www.kerryamateurradiogroup.com/marconi-station.php

 

Maidenhead locator IO52DM

WAI Gridsquare Q84

 

 

 

 

26th April 2015

Many thanks to all the 578 stations in 68 countries who worked our station for International Marconi Day 2015 at Ballybunnion, Co. Kerry.

The station stayed on the air for the full 24 hour period thanks to the many club members who attended and participated in the operating.

We look forward to a bigger event next year now that we have reestablished the event from this old Marconi site.

 

 

Billy, EI7CQB operates the 40mtr station. This station used a G5RV and Billy did sterling work in manning this station for a considerable number of hours. In fact, Billy only managed to nab 2 hours sleep over the course of the event.

 

 

Declan, EI9FVB and Billy, EI7CQB at the plaque commemorating the former Marconi wireless station in Ballybunnion, Co. Kerry.

 

 

John EI3JR operating the 40mtr station

 

 

Irish Coast Guard present a certificate to the Kerry Amateur Radio Group

 

 

19th May 2015

On Sunday 17th May, the Kerry Amateur Radio Group participated in the IRTS 40mtrs counties contest as a portable station.

The event was hosted in County Limerick by kind permission of a local landowner who after visiting the station wished us well in the contest.

The antenna was a resonant 40mtr halfwave dipole supported in the centre by a 7mtr pole with the legs sloping to around 2.5mtrs above ground level. This is the same stainless steel wire antenna that Billy, EI7CQB and John, EI9ESB made last year the night before the event. It's lightweight and very, very rugged.

We operated from a 3mtr x 3mtr gazebo with equipment supplied by John, EI9ESB, namely a Yaesu FT-897 at 100 Watts powered by a 4 stroke petrol generator and PSU.

As usual, John EI9ESB brough a generous supply of his fresh ground coffee which kept the troops well hydrated and alert.

An improvement on last year was realised with more calls in the log book. It was great for our club to work so many stations and judging by the serial numbers heard the contest was very successful.

 

19th June 2015

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group were the leading station in the SSB/CW portable section of the IRTS 40mtrs counties contest this year. Congratulations to the committee and operators who made this event such a success. This has been our second year entering and we had a very enjoyable time. We're looking forward to next year already.

Next on our radar is the IRTS VHF UHF Field Day which coincides with the RSGB NFD. We're looking forward to this event and have secured a high operating site from a landowner in County Kerry. Its our first time entering this event and are looking forward to learning from our experience as well as having a good weekend with friends playing radio.

We'll be camping at the site for the weekend with at least three operators overnight in addition to the visiting operators during the daytime.

The club have also featured in an article in the Kerry's Eye newspaper with a description of the club, our activities, a short explanation of what amateur radio is about and a photograph of some of our members.

 

24th June 2015

On Sunday 21st June, members of the club set up a portable station in Brosna, Co. Kerry to participate in the IRTS 80mtrs counties contest.

Conditions on the air were difficult but the operating team persevered and a respectable number of contacts were made during a very enjoyable Sunday.

Preparations are continuing in earnest for the VHF / UHF Field Day with as much attention being paid to the social aspect of the weekend as to the competitive element.

 

24th June 2015

Over the weekend of 4th & 5th July, the Kerry Amateur Radio Group participated in the IRTS VHF / UHF Field Day.

 

The following is a selection of photographs from the event.

 

First order of the day after erecting the operating tent was to assemble the mast and 5 element 50MHz Yagi.

 

The Yagi is 6mtrs long with the longest element at 3mtrs.

 

"Right, that's the antenna aloft. We'd better not admire it for too long, there's still alot to be done..."

 

Billy EI7CQB setting up the 70cms station.

 

The station build is nicely progressing.

 

The Mess hall has been erected. Its a vital part of our field station. This year we elected to put out kitchen in the Mess hall rather than a seperate structure. Its 3mtrs x 3 mtrs and catered nicely for those of us staying on site for the full duration of the event. For larger events we erect two 3mtr x 3mtr gazebos serving as seperate Galley and Mess hall.

 

The mast for the 70cms antenna can be seen to the left of the Mess hall. The Yagi is fitted and we'll raise the mast next.

 

 

Due to our site location we elected to use an Armstrong rotator. The mast was rigged to allow use of this system.

 

Declan EI9FVB (in the foreground) sets up the 50MHz station.

 

 

 

 

Billy takes a well deserved rest in the Mess hall after the sterling effort he has put in on site. We were departing our homes at 0500 for an 0600 arrival on site.

John EI9ESB brought his traditional supply of coffee which was fresh ground from beans on site. This trip espresso was the order of the day with milk being heated and frothed on-site to make a generous supply of Cappuccino for the troops. This was particlarly welcome at sunset when a new phrase was coined .......!!!!!

 

The trailer with the club banner is sitting on the tilt over mast base. Billy is justifiably proud of his trailer.

 

The completed station which will be home until Sunday evening.

 

The light is fading and we're well into the event.

 

A quick chat after the evening meal of Striploin steak, baby potatoes, Petit Pois, mushrooms and onions. We have a competent catering Corps in our club which we are proud of. A well fed operator is a happy operator. A happy operator is a productive operator.....

 

A nice sunset at the operating site.

 

 

14th August 2015

This weekend members of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group will once again undertake the annual pilgrimage to Cromwell Point Lighthouse located on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland for the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. More details on http://www.illw.net

Two stations will operate from the site, IE0001 for the duration of the event using the callsign EI1K on SSB.

Rigging of the antennas is currently underway at 1548GMT by the KARG Expeditionary Team, with station set up to commence after the evening meal.

Declan EI9FVB and Billa EI7CQB will be operating the callsign throughout the night and are looking forward to filling the logbook with contacts. Other club members will be in attendance to operate during the daylight hours.

The lighthouse is open to the general public with guided tours and the weekend is an ideal showcase to highlight the hobby.

17th August 2015

The ILLW event at which our club participated in went well and was enjoyed by attendees and visitors alike.

On air conditions were variable with bursts of good activity followed by periods of poor propagation, despite this a very respectable log was filled. Many visitors on guided tours passed through over the weekend and much interest was shown towards the station offering a perfect opportunity to demonstrate our hobby. John EI9JO engaged with the visitors, often if many different languages.

Once again our 40mtr Delta Loop antenna performed very well at this location. It's our antenna of choice for this event and is quick to erect in this often hostile environment. This antenna was built specifically for operations from this site about 4 years ago. Custom corner "clamshell" type insulators were manufactured and the antenna is very easy to erect as a result of this custom feature.

Two stations were established for the event with one located in the generator room and the other in the lightkeepers house which is currently under restoration.

 

Catering was provided by Billa with his now famous kitchen and was up to its usual high quality standard with a steady supply of hot grub to the operators. True multitasking was demonstrated by a steady flow of contacts into the log and the steady supply of grub.

 

Later on the usual evening meal of Striploin steak, boiled potatoes, Petis Pois, sauteed onions and mushrooms, all smothered in creamy peppercorn sauce was served on Saturday evening. The now famous "Valentia Island Sandwhich" was in place for breakfast offering a hearty start to the day.

Each year the lighthouse keepers house undergoes work and this year our sleeping arrangements were much improved on previous years.

 

As well as being chief cook and bottle washer, Billa also operated for extended periods building a steady log of contacts. Declan put in a sterling effort also and it was rumoured that he even took his meals whilst operating. Tom operated tirelessly through the night pounding on the key. A fantastic effort was put in by our operators who made sure that the lighthouse was on the air for as long as practically possible over a very enjoyable weekend.

 

13th April 2016

The ERT (Expeditionary Radio Team) of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group are currently engaged in preperation to mount an operation for International Marconi Day from the site of the former Marconi Station YXQ at Ballybunnion, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

It is planned to have at least two HF SSB and a data station on the air for the event manned for as many hours as possible by members of the radio group.

The special event callsign EI6YXQ will be used for the event and a QRZ.com page has been created at http://www.qrz.com/db/ei6yxq for the callsign which has more details of the event.

 

 

 

16th July 2016

The club held a field day at the Kerry Bog Village at Red Fox Inn on the Ring of Kerry near Killorglin, Co. Kerry.

 

 

Three stations were QRV as EI1K on Phone, CW and Data modes, mostly 40M and 20M as propagation was poor on other bands. Thanks to Stevie, EI8FBH, for the 2M simplex QSO around the edge of the Slieve Mish mountains to WAI Square V79, Maidenhead Square IO52bb 

 

The crew from left to right - 
Declan EI9FVB, Donie EI8CS, Christian EI3KK, Holger EI3KM, Billy EI7CQB, Eoin EI8HC and John EI9JO.

 

 

Our "Shack" for the operation. Cosy and warm.

 

A Cobweb and a 40mtr dipole were the antennas erected on the day by two members of the clubs Expeditionary Radio Team.

 

An enjoyable day was had despite the damp weather with the many visitors (including HAM's) expressing an interest in the station.

 

 

Thanks also to our visitor Christian EI3KK for helping out on the CW key and Megan for helping out with the photos.
 

 

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group would like to extend a special thanks to the propritors of The Red Fox Inn for hosting us once again at the Kerry Bog Village http://www.kerrybogvillage.ie/

 

 

28th July 2016

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group have become active on DMR.

We intend to use the mode at our meetings and field days, with ILLW 2016 being the next event we'll be participating in.

We have the use of a TYT MD-380 handheld and a DVMega with Bluestack as our hotspot.

 

19th August 2016

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group Expeditionary Radio Team will this afternoon travel to the Cromwell Point Lighthouse on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry to install the radio and antenna systems for the clubs ILLW 2016 operation.

 

 

With a weather advisory issued by the Irish Weather Service (Met Eireann) for winds of up to Storm Force 10 and up to 2 inches heavy rain with thunder at times, the rigging team will face interesting conditions in establishing the stations at this exposed location. However the Expeditionary Radio Team are not adverse to or inexperienced in poor weather conditions, in fact its when they undertake some of their best work with a smile on their faces.

Planned are 3 SSB staions on HF, 2 Data stations on HF, SSB station on 6mtrs, FM station on 4mtrs, FM station on 2mtrs and DMR on UHF.

The club look forward to a busy weekend of radio and to working as many stations as possible. This year sees one of our largest team of operators at the station.

We'll be on the air from midnight operating as EI1K, so until then we will wish you best 73'3 and good DX...

 

23rd August 2016

A very, very successful and enjoyable ILLW 2016 was had by the Kerry Amateur Radio Group. The weather was a major feature of our weekend and added significently to the atmosphere. For some club members it was their first time experiencing real weather at an exposed coastal location.

It started with the Expeditionary Radio Team (E.R.T.) members departing their homes and travelling to site, arriving approximately at 1900.

With a Weather Warning issued by the national met service, Met Eireann, a decision was made to transport all the radio equipment from the vehicles and trailer into the operating locations while it was somewhat dry and then work on the antenna systems.

By the time the radio equipment, kitchen and bedding were hauled into their locations it was dark and sure enough the rain arrived as did the forecast wind.

There's no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothing, rigging materials and work methods.

Foul Weather clothing and P.P.E. (personal Protective Equipment) was donned and the rigging commenced for the Western HF10 antenna. A pulley was erected on the lighthouse and a halyard dropped to almost ground level. A full body harness was worn by each member of the E.R.T. aloft and lanyards with hooks were used for safety along with suitable climbing helmets. With this task completed attention turned to the support for the other end of the antenna. This consisted of a 6mtr guyed pole, again with a pulley and halyard. By the time brackets were installed and the guy points fitted to the pole the wind had started to gust very severely and considerable difficulty was encountered in raising the pole due to the gusts. It was a matter of waiting for a suitable brief lull to get the pole vertical. Guying it was interesting to say the least as wind conditions were rapidly deteoriating and the torrential rain was now horizontal with the addition of considerable amounts of sea spray. Nevertheless the ERT persevered and successfully completed the task. With halyards at each end it was a relatively simple matter of attaching the HF10 antenna and hoisting it despite extreme wind gusts and high sustained winds.

Attention was turned to a sloping dipole that ran from the lighthouse to the sea wall. Again, full P.P.E. was worn by E.R.T. members who remained tethered to the lighhouse at all times while aloft and on the sea wall. The erection of the sloping dipole was a little more challenging and a heavy weight was required to enable a ground based E.R.T. member to be able to grab a hold of the antenna as the wind done its best to lure him into a game of catch! The sturdy construction of the antenna made from stainless steel was more than capable of withstanding the strain required to keep it taut in the conditions.

 

With that task completed it was time to run the antenna for the data station operated by Holger, EI3KM. This consisted on a 12.5mtr wire and suitable counterpoise ran from a suitable matching unit. Again, the end of this antenna was ran to the lighthouse in pretty horrendous wind conditions. At one stage we had to come back into the lighthouse tower for a brief period such were the conditions. Whilst we were safely secured with lanyards and full body harnesses, the wind driven rain was making it too difficult to see properly. When the particularly heavy shower and violent squall had passed the operation recommenced and the antenna was successfully rigged.

The final antenna erected was the EI9FVB foldable Cobbweb. This was erected on another 5mtr pole and guyed. Again the weather made the task take a little longer than in good conditions, but regardless the experienced team work well together under all conditions and the task was achieved without mishap.

 

The determined effort and team work by a very experienced E.R.T. got the station on the air for the start of ILLW 2016 and while the non-rigging members of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group began operating the main station the rigging materials were stowed away.

A quick change of clothes later followed by a hot mug of cappuccino conclued the outdoor activities for the evening apart from a periodic check of the rigging. Nothing required adjustment throughout the night and by first light the wind had abated a little as had the rain. Billy, EI7CQB and John, EI9ESB expressed satisfaction at the way the rigging had gone for them and most definately enjoyed the hot cappuccino at around 0230 at the conclusion of all rigging activities.

Declan, EI9FVB, was very lucky this year and joined the group of our members who got to sleep in the actual lighthouse itself. He reported a very restful sleep with the thick walls making him feel very secure in the conditions on site.

Holger operated the data staion tirelessly and it is rumored that he went without any sleep such was his enjoyment at the event.

Donie, EI8CS, opertated the voice station until he was too tired to continue. He turned in for the night and expressed amazment at the conditions encountered during station set up.

Good planning, proper materials and team work are the essential elements in getting a successful station on the air in any conditions encountered.

The thick walls of all the buildings on the site provided admirable shelter from the weather and a restful night was had by all.

Breakfast was on good and early by Billy, the head chef of the clubs Catering Corps. A feed of hot fresh ground coffee along with lashing of rashers, sausages and toast were had by all prior to commencing operations for the day.

 

A secondary station was operational on 40mtrs and 17mtrs but deep and prolonged QSB was a feature of the weekend. The main station was very busy with operators taking shifts although it must be said that the majority of operating was done by Declan who was barely able to talk by the end of the event.

The food kept coming from the Catering Corps (below is a quick meal of fillet steak whipped up by the head chef) as did the contacts over the air although Holger had to depart early on Saturday afternoon due to prior commitments. This concluded our data operations and we are very grateful that he was able to come. His company and buoyant mood was much appreciated.

We had several visitors including HAMS and they were shown all operations and invited to sit at the mic of any station they wished. We demonstrated DMR also. For many visiting HAMS it was their first experience of the mode.

As traditional, a post event meeting was held on the way back from the event and the now obligatory Ice Cream was consumed. This helped sooth poor Declans tired and worn vocal chords....

Looking forward to ILLW 2017.

 

19th September 2016

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Transatlantic Cable from Valentia Island, County Kerry, Ireland to Hearts Content, Newfoundland, Canada, the Kerry Amateur Radio Group undertook a HF linkup with the Radio Amateurs of Canada, operating as VO1TAC, as part of their AGM on Saturday 10th Sept.

The Radio Amateurs of Canada AGM was held in conjunction with the Hearts Content cable station 150th anniversary Hamfest. The Hearts Content cable station is the site of the first permanent transatlantic cable coming ashore from Europe in 1866.

Barry, VO1NC made the first SSB QSO from the AGM with EI1K at the Valentia Cable Station on the 17mtr HF band, to mark this historic event.

The Expeditionary Radio Team of the Kerry Amateur Radio Group undertook rigging duties for the the antenna system for two stations covering 40m to 10m on SSB and CW from 1100UTC until 1900UTC. The antennas deployed for this operation were a Hexbeam and a Cobwebb.

The event was a resounding success, with several QSO's being made with VO1TAC (TransAtlantic Cable) operating from Hearts Content cable station on the 17M band. This proved to be the best choice due to contest activity on other bands.

Many other QSO's were also made during the event stretching from Indonesia to west coast USA. We even worked a visiting US op John, all the way from California, operating from his car on Inch beach which was just the other side on Dingle Bay, on the Dingle peninsula.

We would like to extend our thanks to Valentia Island Development Group for allowing us to use the cable station for this event, and we look forward to making the anniversary of the transatlantic cable an annual event. County Kerry also had two other cable stations, which came after the Valentia station, one in Waterville and one in Ballinskelligs, which makes this region very significant in communication history.

A new page has been added to the Kerry Amateur Radio Group website http://www.kerryamateurradiogroup.com/valentia-transatlantic-cable.php for Valentia Transatlantic Cable, where the history of the station can be seen.

 

14th April 2017

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group will be holding a public display of our club and the amateur radio hobby at the Maurice Collins Memorial Vintage Day on Sunday 16th April 2017 at Banna, Co. Kerry.

We plan one HF station on-air to demonstrate to the public with club members on hand to explain about the hobby to visitors and even sit them down at the microphone if they wish.

This vintage day is a very busy one and we hope we will have a good many visitors to the club tent.

We plan on operating as part of the Worked All Ireland Award and our grid square for the event is Q72 with a Maidenhead locator of IO52CI.

On Monday 17th April the club plan to operate from County Kerry in the IRTS 2mtr counties contest. A high site in mid-Kerry has been chosen with Billa, EI7CQB, and Stevie EI8FHB, setting up and operating.

We are also very busy preparing for the International Marconi Day event at which we will participate as an award station operating from the actual site of where the Marconi station EI6YXQ existed. This is a big event for us and is important as part of the rich history the Southwest of Ireland has in Transatlantic communications.

See our QRZ page for EI6YXQ HERE for futher details and updates.

 

26th April 2017

Billy, EI7CQB and Stevie EI8FHB took part in a Counties contest recently as a portable station. The short video below shows some operating:

 

13th August 2017

Preperations by the Expeditionary Radio Team  (ERT) are at an advanced stage for participation in International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend 2017.

See http://www.illw.net for details of this annual event which coincides with the International Lighthouse Weekend http://www.alk.org.uk/events/ilhw.html

This year will see over 13 years of activation of the Cromwell Point Lighthouse on Valentia Island by the Kerry Amateur Radio Group which is as much about the social aspect of the hobby as the operating. The ERT undertake the logistics of setting up the station and other club members and visitors are able to relax and operate at their leisure. Its a great opportunity to promote our hobby to visitors.

Good food and beverages will once again be served by Billa EI7CQB and John EI9ESB will be rolling out the now traditional "Valentia Island Sandwich" on Sunday morning for those wo are on site early enough Sunday morning or who stay overnight..

The club look forward to welcoming the many visitors to our station and anybody is welcome to sit down at one of our stations and operate for as long or or short a time as they wish. We will have QSL cards on hand.

See our press release on various Ham Radio news services for details e.g. http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2017/august/kerry-amateur-radio-group-in-illw-2017.htm#.WZIRSUkzVXI

 

14th August 2017

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group send our press releases to various news media organisations preceeding certain events in which we partake.

Our attendance in ILLW 2017 has been publicised in both national and international amateur radio press and national non-amateur radio press.

All media organisations excepting the Irish Radio Transmitters Society have published an unedited copy of our press release. e.g. http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2017/august/kerry-amateur-radio-group-in-illw-2017.htm#.WZIRSUkzVXI

The IRTS instead published (without the courtesy of informing us prior to publication) the following which lacks information that we wished to be published and removed a paragraph and inserted it into another article : -

In light of this development it is probable that our club will find it hard to submit further articles to the IRTS news service.

 

On a more positive note, plans for the upcoming weekend are progressing nicely. We're prepared for a wet and blustry day on Friday and what our national weather service, Met Eireann, interestingly describes beyond Friday as "Mobile Atlantic conditions" which "are expected to dominate, with temperatures likely to remain slightly below the seasonal average." We always rise to a challenge and our Expeditionary Radio Team motto " “Non adversa quoque valetudo” (No condition too adverse) has never stood truer.

The Cromwell Point Lighthouse has the potential to provide us with the most challenging conditions we can encounter in setting up a station but occassionally surprises us with calm seas and brilliant sunshine under cloudless skies.

This is always an interesting weekend for our club and over the many years we have had the privilage to operate from the lighthouse we have seen many changes take place. The event holds an important place in our club history and indeed we beleive in radio communications history of County Kerry.

In the early days we had the entire site to ourselves, courtesy of permission from the Commissioners of Irish Lights and over the years the site has been opened as a tourist attraction which allows us to meet many visitors from around the world and introduce them to our wonderful hobby. Its amazing how interested people are in the hobby in such a "connected" world and the location provides for an impressive introduction from what is still a relatively remote location perched on the fringes of Western Europe, especially when one gazes out over the vast expanse of the North Atlantic ocean.

A rumour has been heard that the head of our Catering Corps, Billa EI7CQB, has a new apron for this year and we're certainly looking forward to the lashings of grub that he serves up to us from the club portable kitchen that he has put together and refined over the years. Its a long way from the early years of cooking over a BBQ in what we affectionately refer to as "the dungeon"

 

15th August 2017

Preperations continue for ILLW 2017 with some antenna equipment packed.

In all there is 100mtrs of coaxial cable, 50mtrs of 3mm cord, 2 marine pulleys (up to 10mm rope), a handful of shackels, stainless steel wire diople elements, dipole centre and coax, heavy duty canvas bag, box of RF adaptors and a box of bungee ties.

You can see the bungee ties on everything that needs to be tied. Real easy to remove, can be used in the rigging and then real easy to put on the various items when breaking down a station. You can never have enough bungee ties. The club probably have several hundred of them and we're still finding new uses for them...

Everything packs neatly away as seen in the picture below.

18th August 2017

With the arrival of the Expeditionary Radio Team on the Cromwell Point Lighthouse, station set up and rigging has begun in earnest.

Its showery and very blustry but what a setting to be working in.

Club members will be arriving through the course of this evening and through the night and are looking forward to operating during the event.

 

At 2133UTC, Tom is currently QRV on CW on the 20mtr band. Rigging works continues after a quick cup of coffee and a sandwhich while Tom enjoys some relaxed operating indoors.

8280614 Last modified: 2017-08-18 21:47:31, 58246 bytes

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