Over the past three years IECRO Ireland has been very active in terms of attempting to improve/expand automated service coverage throughout the Republic of Ireland.
The first automated system to be granted authorisation was a UHF dual-mode repeater. Subsequent to this, work then began for the provision of Packet AX.25 communications for the same geographical coverage area as the above repeater.
UHF Developments: The area which IECRO Ireland has been focusing most attention on with regards to UHF has been the region located between Roscommon-Navan and Cavan-Mountmellick, as this area has largely lacked any such automated services to date. Other areas are predicted to receive strong signals outside of this core region, however theoretical predictions do not always equal real life coverage, so we will be depending on signal reports being supplied by the community when the time comes for final testing/deployment.
VHF and Beyond…
Further applications were made to the national regulatory body for the establishment of a number of additional systems. One of these was for a multi-network FM gateway for portable, mobile, maritime mobile and portable user service provision.
The gateway is being developed around the barebones of an old Yaesu Model FTR-2410, which in its day was a very solid, robust and reliable unit. A vast array of modifications are being applied to this base unit to adapt it to fit the required modern functionality of this gateway.
It is anticipated that this gateway will provide a number of very exciting services to the IECRO community. For example, as its use is authorized for Maritime Mobile usage, this means that operators across a wide coverage area will be able to connect to it while they are operating on/near the various canals, rivers and lakes in its region.
Furthermore, the system will be linked on a regular basis to an additional FM simplexer on a second band, thus enabling dual band VHF operations.
Somewhat even more impressively, it will be linked also to the IECRO Irelands HF parrot.
In summary this overall mini-network will on occasion act as a triple cross-band automated FM service, resulting in VHF users on two different bands to talk to each other and also have the ability to operate voice communications on the High Frequency end of the spectrum while using low powered output portable transceivers.
Further details will follow later regarding the designated callsigns, frequencies of operation and access methods for each of the above stations, once the installation and full testing process periods have been completed in each case.