I have occasion to be visiting County Clare today and had the pleasure of some 2m activity from the car on the way down. I have been to Limerick on lots of occasions in the past, but not since the M7 motorway was completed. Basically there is motorway all the way from the home QTH in Drogheda to where I am currently based, in Shannon in Co. Clare. The total journey time on the road, excluding an hour break for food, was two hours and 15 minutes. That's incredible. The last time I visited Limerick for work purposes about a year and a half ago, it took me three and a half hours! The new motorway has slashed over an hour off the journey. Granted, we were travelling during off-peak times, but it really was great to get here so quickly.
I had a chat with Tom EI9CJ and Mike EI2DJ on the Kippure Repeater (Dublin) for a while on my way around Dublin city, and was able to work Tom all the way to Portlaoise, where we stopped for food. I lost Kippure (EI2KPR) the far side of Portlaoise but it wasn't long before I was able to open the Limerick repeater, EI2TAG. Unfortunately, the Ridge of Capard repeater (EI2RCR) in the Slieve Bloom Mountains is off air. It would have provided a nice link between east and west.
To my surprise I suddenly heard Tom EI9CJ calling me through the Limerick repeater. Tom lives in North Louth. Total approximate distance from his QTH to the EI2TAG repeater is 135 miles. So his 10 element beam and 50 watts is going him a great trip. He was quite patchy though and it was a difficult copy but a great contact all the same.
In other news, I worked ZD8D on Ascension Island last night on 30m CW after just a few calls. But, to my disappointment, I find that my call is not in their log today for that band slot. However, EA2KC is, and I have a feeling they busted my call. Me being away from home now, I doubt I will get another chance. But they should give me the QSO if indeed they did get my call wrong.
We took a quick spin from Shannon up to Ennis earlier and passed Ballygireen, which many radio fans will know is the base for the Shanwick HF aeronautical radio controllers. I clapped eyes on some of their antennas. Looked like a bunch of huge inverted Vs from the M18 motorway. Might try to get a closer look in the next few days.
Anyway, I'm in my hotel room here and the XYL and harmonics want to watch a DVD on this laptop, so who am I to argue? LOL