Hello world!

Its January 2011 – Happy New Year everyone. As I write this evening the snow is back again. We are just out of a “big freeze” which lasted from 26th November until 26th December. On Christmas Day the temperature in our neighbourhood was -12degC. We really don’t need more snow but I guess we will just have to take what we get ;-) In 2010 I had the pleasure of visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa in January with my family – http://travel.webshots.com/album/576418606ZmShWK?vhost=travel

and again with my wife in October – http://travel.webshots.com/album/578960716RUnKBm?vhost=travel

I saw and photographed the “big five” on both visits. The visit in October 2010 was also a DXpedition to Mozambique – http://travel.webshots.com/album/578942651QRRqdc?vhost=travel

The visits to South Africa and Mozambique were arranged through CQ DX African Safaris – http://www.3da0ss.net who can arrange ham radio DXpeditions and tour visits to locations in Southern Africa. Contact details are available at the web site above. Our next tentative DXpedition is to Namibia and we are looking for others to join us. Dates are not yet fixed. 73  David GI4FUM/3DA0DJ/C91DJ

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Presentation from Antrim and District Scouts

I was scout District Commissioner for Antrim and District Scouts from 1st April 2000 until 31st December 2006 when I stood down as I felt 7 years in that role was long enough. On 9th December 2008 the District Secretary Edwin Mitchell (former DC) presented me with a cut glass bowl on behalf of the district to mark my time as DC. The Hutchinson family were entertained to supper by the district.
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Swaziland DXpedition, October 2008

Gilli and I are off on our travels again this Tuesday. We fly out of Heathrow Terminal One with South African Airways to Johannesburg and on Thursday morning drive up to Hawane Resort in Swaziland. We will be there for two weeks operating an amateur radio station with Daniel ZS6JR (3DA0JR) of African DX Safaris. The DXpedition has two objectives – to run a Jamboree on the Air Station with the callsign 3DA0SS for 20 Swazi scouts who will be camping with us over 18/19 October – and to enter a station in the CQWW SSB contest the following weekend. The callsign for the contest station is not finalised yet. We will be active on HF bands from 160m to 10m depending on propagation. We also hope to be active on AO51. The HF station is a FT1000 with 1Kw linear. There is a permanent antenna farm at Hawane. On a previous visit to Hawane in March 2007 a team of Irish radio amateurs celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society made over 9 million points in the CQWPX SSB contest operating 3DA0EI. Antennas include a 1/4 wave vertical on 160m, a 4 square on 40m and a 4 element HF beam on 20m/15m/10m at 60ft. There is also a HF log periodic at 60ft.
Callsigns of operators on the DXpedition are
Gillian 3DA0MV (GI8MIV)
Daniel 3DA0JR (ZS6JR)
Andy 3DA0TM
Toni 3DA0GF
Skeds with the station can be arranged through gi4fum@arrl.netSee also http://www.qrz.com/3da0ss
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North American reunion of TCD medical class of 1974

I was invited to attend a reunion of my medical class (TCD medical class of 1974) in Boston, Massacheutts at the end of October. Gilli and I decided to take a holiday in New England in the Fall. As I write we are in our hotel room in Homestead Studios, Peabody – about 20 miles North of Boston. The hotel is great but we are very isolated here. We opted not to hire a car on this occasion. Driving in a city we don’t know would be a nightmare – especially negotiating the one way systems and driving on the right hand side of the road. We have been relying on taxis and on ATMs to replenish our cash supply.
We flew out here by British Airways from Heathrow to Logan on Monday 22nd October. We weren’t expecting to be met so we took a taxi to Peabody – costing $58. Our first outing was to North Shore Mall to Shaws supermarket where we stocked up for several days. Our first sightseeing trip was to Salem on Thursday 25th October. The photographs from that trip are at http://travel.webshots.com/album/561176088iLMTrY On Friday 26th October we took a Jack Mayfield tour to Boston. We set out at 9am and returned to our hotel at 3.30pm. The photographs are included in the selection at http://travel.webshots.com/album/561150864JUzVGA 
On Friday evening we took a taxi back into Boston and joined the class members for the evening at P.F.Chang’s Chinese Bistro. On Saturday evening we joined the class members again at Brassierre Jo in the Collonade Hotel where we had a private room for the evening. The were 18 of us at that meal – class members and their partners. On Sunday we headed back into Cambridge to the Harvard Faculty Club for brunch at 11.30am. After eating there was an opportunity to walk through the Square at Harvard University and take photographs.
I have set up a private Yahoo Group for the TCD Medical Class of 1974 at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tcdmed1974 as a mailing list and news group for the class. We are now looking for new members for the group. My thanks to Declan Quinn, John McLaughlin and Robin Young for setting up the reunion and providing the excuse for a visit to New England in the Fall.
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Jubilee JOTA and GB2AAD

Conditions on HF were very encouraging for JOTA this year. I ran GB50AAD (Antrim And District scouts) singlehanded from my own shack. Notable contacts were made with GB2GP (Gilwell Park), PA0JOTA /Jamboree and ST100J. In total I made 136 contacts – 10 on 80m, 10 on 40m, 114 on 17m and 2 on 2m, including 37 different countries. I will arrange a special QSL card which will be sent to everyone who contacted me. Requests for QSL cards should be made via my own callsign GI4FUM.
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50th Jamboree on the Air

The scout/amateur radio Jamboree on the Air takes place the third full weekend in October each year.
This year I will be operating as GB50AAD (Antrim And District scouts).
The radio-scouting web site has been updated with the latest JOTA info.
A propagation wizzard is now available for download to let your Scouts
calculate the best times to contact another JOTA station elsewhere in the world.

All this and more at:
http://home. tiscali.nl/ worldscout

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21st World Scout Jamboree

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