Posts Tagged ‘activities’

Croi Cycle Race, Galway

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Members of the Galway VHF Group provided Public Service Communications during the annual Croi Cycle on Sunday the 23rd of May. The group assembled at 7:45 am to install mobile equipment into the various vehicles used to control the event. Tom, EI2GP, was Medical officer for the day and doubled as spotter in case or cases of emergency throughout the lengthy convoy of cyclists. Gerry, EI8DRB, Provided Net Control and liaison with the HQ in he Maam Valley.  Steve, EI5DD, and Arthur, EI7GMB, were located in the course organisers vehicles covering the safety of the event. John EI7FAB, and Joe EI3IX were located with the Repair Crews and dealt with any equipment failures or punctures. Enda, EI3IS, was based in the HQ and dealt with messages regarding the location of cyclists and deployment of refreshments. John, EI1EM, and Eamon Lynch were located with the Civil Defence Emergency Crews.

Quite a number of the Cyclists were relative amateurs and participated to the half way point in Maam whilst other more seasoned individuals cycled the complete course around the Corrib which was some 67 miles. The weather was quite hot with only a light breeze and there was quite a call for supplies of water and refreshments to be deployed from one location to another. Much of this was handled via the communications system.

The repair crews were kept busy throughout the event. Many calls were put out to assist cyclists stopped by the side of the road with punctures. Any station spotting a cyclist in trouble would put the call down the line and one of three crews would be dispatched in record time. It was possible to deal with many of the mechanical failures such as gear and chain problems although some had to be brought to base in the trailer as a last resort.

Communications were good and reliable for the duration of the event and operators were quick to pick up and relay messages where necessary. The liaison with the Civil Defence worked well and on two occasions there were calls for medical assistance which were dealt with quickly and efficiently. Civil Defence had two fully trained EMT’s in the Ambulance who demonstrated their expertise with a fast response time and assessment of the situation (a head and neck injury dispatched by ambulance to the Regional Hospital following medical assessment by EI2GP) Time of call to arrival at scene of accident was 4 minutes. The HF link provided excellent cover throughout the course and enabled the Medical Officer to be contacted even when arriving at the Regional Hospital in Galway.

This year is the sixteenth year that the Croi Cycle has been run and the Galway VHF Group has provided the Emergency Communications for each of the events to date. Every year there have been new challenges which have been easily incorporated into the operation and sometimes co-ordinated even whilst the event is in progress. One comment that summed it all up was that “there was comfort in knowing exactly what was happening when a question was asked”. Something that perhaps could not occur when using mobile phones on a one to one basis.

Report compiled by Steve Wright, EI5DD

AREN Wins IRTS Arup Cup.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Last Sunday at the IRTS AGM in Dundalk, AREN were presented with the Arup Cup. The certificate that was also presented read:

“This Award is presented to AREN Communications Volunteers in recognition of their continuous training, operations and achievements for the good of the community.”

Accepting the cup on behalf of AREN volunteers John Ronan, EI7IG said “To be honest, I was caught completely by surprise on the day. That said, I think the award is due recognition for the work being done continuously by various groups country wide, whooperate under the AREN banner. This work includes, not only the operating on the day, but also the public relations aspect, which, although secondary, is of no less importance to the hobby as a whole. I’m delighted on behalf of everyone involved in Emergency Communications throughout the country.”

Arup Cup
The Arup family donated this cup to the Society in memory of their son EI3M who died at an early age.  The cup is beautifully crafted in Danish silver and is awarded for exceptional service to the Society or to Amateur Radio.  The cup was first awarded in 1948 to Howard Coombs EI6J.

AREN will be assisting with communications next Saturday the 8th of May when the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will be bringing their fleet of
boats into Dublin along the Grand Canal. They are looking to recruit some additional operators for the exercise which will give you a flavour of life along the inland waterways as well as an interesting introduction to AREN.

The operation will be from dawn to dusk but even if you can assist for a few hours during the day you will be most welcome. Contact Liam EI3HK 086 2521542 or Paul EI2CA 087 2523908.

IARU Region 1 exhibition

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

From the 26 to 30th of April. the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), Region 1 (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Northern Asia), European Community Sub-Regional Working Group (EUROCOM) is hosting an exhibition in the European Parliment entitled Amateur Radio Benefits Society. The exhibition is sponsored by MEP Mrs Brigit Sippel and was opened by IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T

IRTS and AREN is represented by Seán Nolan, EI7CD, and Séamus McCague, EI8BP (pictured below)

Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Dr. Kristalina Georgieva gives a mention to the exhibition in her Blog and concludes the post nicely with.

The expressions “Humanitarian Aid” and “Crisis Response” often suggest large organisations delivering aid and heavy loads in helicopters or trailers. But, very often, it is about the job of anonymous people that continue to broadcast information and hope from damaged equipment and fallen antennae, as they like to say, “when everything else fails”.

Dunmore East Exercise

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

On the evening of December 9th last, AREN members participated in an exercise with Dunmore East Coast Guard. AREN was able to provide communications into what was otherwise a communications black-spot and had members available for logistical support throughout the county, region and country.  10 Members participated in the exercise and all members enjoyed it and learned something.

Many thanks to those who participated, have a good Christmas, and we look forward to meeting everyone early in 2010.

Coast Guard Exercise

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Dunmore East Coast Guard have indicated that they could be having a night exercise at some stage in the next few weeks. The location is in an area where they traditionally experience difficult communications.  Hopefully we will be able to assist.

GlobalSet – report

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Conditions on the day on HF were very difficult and very challenging for all participants.   Little or no stations were worked on CW or Digital modes, with all the traffic being handled on SSB.  Thanks to all that participated.

Sean Kelly Tour

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

The Sean Kelly Tour took place last Sunday August 30th, and from all unofficial accounts it was quite successful with roughly 2700 hardy cyclists taking to the roads.

Saturday evening, AREN was requested to assist Waterford County Civil Defence in maintaining an accurate location of as many of the three different sub-events (50k, 100k and 160k) as possible. The intention was to allow Civil Defence them to more efficiently deploy their own medical resources around the course and to keep the event organisers more informed. Extensive use was made of the APRS protocol and of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group’s APRS digital repeater network. It definitely proved it’s usefulness on the day as it allowed AREN members in Net Control to keep both the the Civil Defence and event organisers updated as to the locations of various vehicles almost in real-time through out the day

Many thanks to EI2KA, EI8FDB, EI5GOB, EI2GN, EI3IQ, EI2JP, EI7IG, EI8EPB and EI8JA for their assistance on the day.

Bernard, EI8FDB diligently logging at Net Control:
P1030384

IRTS AGM

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

IRTS AGM
Photo by Brendan Nutley (EI1429)

The 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) took place on Sunday 26th April in Athlone in the centre of Ireland. The outgoing President Father Finbarr Buckley EI1CS reported a successful year with an increase in membership to 974. This represents a good proportion of the estimated 1,500 radio amateurs licensed in Ireland.

The incoming President, Paul Martin EI2CA, expressed his wish, that during his term in office that he can hopefully increase the profile of AREN in the country amongst both experimenters and members of the public.

Several AREN members were present and some got a look at the MCP for the first time. All agreed that AREN has a basis on which to build a very functional mobile command post.

Galtee Walking Club Marathon Challenge

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Last Sunday 11 AREN members assisted at the Galtee Walking Club‘s inaugural marathon challenge. Operations commenced at approximately 08:45 where a base of operations (manned by EI7IG and EI2GN) was set up to the left of the ‘start line’ at the entrance to the carpark. This was the first outing for the freshly painted “Mobile Command Post”. Once operational radio checks were completed and EI8FDB headed out with a SEMRA member to follow the walkers on the course. Shortly therafter, EI3FFB, EI2IT and EI3ENB headed out to man the first checkpoint at Moorabbey, at which time EI2JB headed out to begin setting up the second checkpoint. After the walkers completed the half marathon at base and some hardy souls headed off for the second loop. EI8JA and EI9HR accompanied SEMRA to a strategic location on the course, while EI5GPB and EI4GXB followed the walkers on foot as far as EI2JB’s location.

Many thanks to SEMRA and Galtee Walking Club for extending the invitation to participate and their hospitality.

Global Simulated Emergency Test (GlobalSET)

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

This April 18, 2009, is the Amateur Radio International Day, with the theme “Radio Amateur, Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communications”.

Also, on this day, IARU Region 1 invites the HQ-Stations of all IARU member societies and stations of Emergency Communications Groups to participate in a Global Simulated Emergency Test (GlobalSET).

The operation will take place on and near the emergency
Centre-of-Activity (CoA) frequencies on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres (+-
QRM ).

The objectives of the test are;

  1. increase the common interest in emergency communications.
  2. test how usable the CoA frequencies are across ITU regions.
  3. create practices for international emergency communication and
  4. practice the relaying of messages using all modes.

The exercise will build on earlier GlobalSET exercises by starting to pass messages in a format which we may have to use for the agencies we may serve. The message exchange will take longer than in previous exercises and stations will have to be patient to transmit their messages across country and language boundaries.

Please remember that this is not a contest, it is an emergency communications exercise to develop the skills we will need to provide an international emergency network.

Messages may be passed on voice (SSB), Data or CW modes as detailed below.
Voice mode
Each IARU Region will have a HQ station operating on voice as follows:
Region 1 – GB4NRC
Region 2 – TG0AA
Region 3 – TBA

HQ stations will be QRV simultaneously on all CoA frequencies
appropriate to their region +- QRM as shown below.

Region 1

3760, 7060 or 7110, 14300, 18160, 21360
Stations intending to participate are requested to register through
their IARU Regional/National Emergency Communications Co-Ordinators as
follows;
Region 1 – http://www.iaru-r1.org/EMERCOM%20Coords.htm

A list of participating stations will also be available at www.raynet-hf.net
Participating stations should call ‘CQ GLOBALSET’ giving their callsign
and organisation ( AREN,RAYNET, DARC etc. ).