Sunday, February 20, 2011

Great morning at the Phoenix rally

Yours truly with Dave EI9FBB and Mark EI6JK in Coolmine.
I had a great morning at the Phoenix Amateur Radio Club annual rally in Coolmine, Dublin. It was a great social occasion even if I didn't buy or sell anything. I traveled with Tony EI4DIB and Brian EI4KC. We arrived at 10.40am and the place was already packed. There were lots of stands and tables with a whole range of amateur radio and some non radio gear for sale. There was everything from antique straight morse keys and valve radios from the 30s and 50s to the latest transceivers and antennas and power supplies and all manner of "bits and bobs" as we refer to small items in Ireland.

The rally is a good opportunity to meet other hams as much as it is an opportunity to sell and buy equipment. I met up with some familiar faces and some not so familiar. One man said "hello Anthony" and I didn't recognise him. So I asked him to keep talking and then I recognised the voice!! It was MI0VKO, Dave, who I speak to regularly on 2 metres but whom I had never met face to face.

I had a good chat with Dave Deane EI9FBB, Ireland's first and only 10 band DXCCer. Needless to say we found ourselves in good company because we both share a fondness for DXing. EI0Z portable group members John EI6GHB and David EI7GEB were there too and we had a bit of a chat. Seamus EI3KE had an eye for a couple of bargains, and he got them, and I was talking to Oleg EI7KD who I hadn't seen in ages. He was singing the praises of his old Icom IC-735 which he uses as his main radio. I have an old 735 which I use purely for listening so I was interested in the conversation from the point of view of maybe restoring it to a transmitter at some stage. Oleg said he had compared the receive on the 735 with two other radios - the Kenwood TS-2000 and the Icom 746 and found it to be superior to both. So maybe the old 735 will find a place in the main shack at some stage!

Ben EI4IN was helping sell some equipment, and had a bargain on some amalgamating tape (1 roll for 1 euro, or 4 rolls for 5 euro!) Pat EI2HX was manning the IRTS stand and Thos EI2JD was wandering about the place with his camera and generally looking busy. No doubt the next issue of Echo Ireland will have lots of photos from the rally in it, HI! I briefly clapped eyes on MI6ETE, Billy from Coleraine, who I hear regularly on the Dundalk repeater, and I also saw Ronnie EI9ED, who runs the Cavan repeater, for the first time. Some other familiar faces around the place were Mike EI2DJ, Tony EI5EM and Sean EI7CD.

The new IRTS news editor Aidan EI7JC was also there and putting in an appearance on behalf of the ATV crowd was Mark EI9FX. I met Mark EI6JK for the first time, although I had spoken to him on the air on numerous occasions.

I congratulated Ark EI9KC on working TJ9PF on 12 band slots, being the fourth highest number of slots for an EI behind EI7BA, EI6IL and EI2JD. He was in great form, as usual. Jim 2I0SBI and Ivan EI1166 were there too, and Tony EI6IK was there also. Of course there were many more, whose names and callsigns are unfamiliar to me. I hope you all had a great morning.

There were a few big boxes spotted leaving under the arms of happy hams and short wave listeners. I know one in particular, Brian EI9GTB, who left with a Kenwood TS-2000 under his arm. Now there's a happy chap! Enjoy it Brian.

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