Monday, April 16, 2018

The IRTS Weekend Hosted by the Galway VHF Group 2018

It was very much by accident that the Galway hosted this, the 86th Annual General Meeting Weekend of the IRTS. It was to be held in Cork but they decided against it and passed it over. The Galway VHF Group put their name forward at the last minute following a brief call to the Galway Bay Hotel. This is, in fact, the 4th IRTS Function organised by Steve EI5DD. The first was in 1985 in the Warwick Hotel, Galway (sadly the Warwick closed in 2008), the Second was 1992 in  the Royal Hoey Hotel, Athlone, the Third in the Galway Bay Hotel 2014 and this one in the Galway Bay Hotel for 2018. The service and facilities were excellent as on the previous occasion.

On Saturday the 14th at 2pm a series of talks were given on the Following topics. "Getting Started with Digital Radio" by Steve Wright, "The 7Q7EI Dxpedition", by Enda Broderick EI2II, "The FT8 Digital Mode" by Keith Wallace EI5KO, and "Having fun in Space" by Graham Shirville, G3VZV. The talks were of 45 minutes duration and saw a good attendance and great interest. Special thanks to all of the lectures who presented their specialist subjects.

 Steve EI5DD lecturing on DMR

 Enda EI2II and Pat O'Connor EI9HX lecturing on the 7Q7EI  Dxpedition

 Keith Wallace EI5KO lecturing on the FT8 Digital Mode

 Graham Shirville G3VZV lecturing on Satellite Operation

The Annual Dinner took place at 7:30 pm and this was attended by 69 people. The food and service was excellent. It was a shame that a number had booked tickets and didn't show which placed a burden on our group given that we had to book for 75 and naturally the Hotel held us to this number.

Steve, EI5DD, welcoming the guests

Steve & Hilary Wright

John Anderson, MI0AAZ,  and Mary 

Joe Fadden, EI3IX

Tom Rea, EI2GP, and Loretta
A view of the function room

IRTS President Gerry Gervin EI8CC

A really great night was enjoyed by all following the excellent meal. A quick draw for spot prizes took place which added to the fun of the evening.
The following day was devoted to the Rally and AGM so it was an early start to ensure that the tables were marked and ready for their traders. One had to ensure that nobody encroached on the allocation for a neighbouring trader.
Early Morning and the traders just arriving. Mike EI0CL was the first in and had a huge stand 

 Joe EI3IX at the Mayo VHF Group Stand

Steve EI5DD and John Anderson MI0AAZ at the Brandmeister Digital Radio Stand

Mark Bannon and John Anderson in deep discussion about DMR Repeaters
 Raymond Long - Long Communications

Philip Hosey and the Region 8 RSGB team manning the RSGB stand

Jimmy Kelly, running the Mayo Radio Experimenters Club Stand

Jimmy Kelly and Padraig Baynes 

Two rogues Mike EI0CL and Steve EI5DD
This and the next 7 Pictures show a sample of Mike, EI0CL's, goodies

Peter Green EI2IU

  Arek, EI9GWB, selling customised shack accesssories see items below

A handmade Shack Sign made for EI5DD

Sean with his 2nd hand commercial radio products

 The IRTS Stand manned by Pat Fitzpatrick

Silent Key Equipment at the end of the IRTS Stand

During the Rally CW tests were run by Dave Moore, EI4BZ, and there were two applicants who passed with ease. The Annual General Meeting of the IRTS took place at 2pm and the rally closed shortly after this time. It would be appropriate to thank all of the traders and Radio Clubs who were kind enough to attend and make this rally so successful. There was an excellent turn out for this rally. The proceeds of the weekend will be going towards our new DMR Repeater, antenna and feeders.

 The AGM in full swing

 John Brown EI7FAB receiving his trophy for the 1296 MHz contest

Steve EI5DD receiving the Kevin Freeney Trophy for Experimentation and Innovation. This was for time devoted to the promotion of Digital Radio both locally and Nationally.

This was a really enjoyable weekend and we thank the Galway Bay Hotel for their excellent service through out he weekend and during the organisation of the event. Special thanks to all those who attended the lectures, the AGM dinner and the large crowd from far and wide who attended the rally. We also thank the traders who put on a great show and contributed to the huge success of the Rally.

We thank Joe EI3IX and Joe EI7GY for their pictures shown above.