As part of the North Cork Radio Group I was allowed the opportunity to operate the callsign EI13CLAN, which is a special callsign of the IRTS to celebrate the Gathering. NCRG had exclusive use of the call from 28th March to the 7th April and this turned out to be quite a week.
In my determination to get as much exposure as possible for the call, I decided to take my somewhat relaxed radio activity out of hibernation. Other than NCRG activations, I had hardly worked any stations under my own call recently with the exception of the CQ contest in October. What fun I had!
The first few days were slow for me as I steadied myself into the familiar rhythm of giving the call and waiting for the responses. The contest on the 30 & 31st March didn't appeal to me much this time as I found the bands were very crowded and splatter was completely at home dancing throughout all frequencies, so much so that I felt the call couldn't get the recognition it deserved.
Then the magic began to happen. From the 1st April the bands opened up and consistent calls began to flow in return to my call. I found myself glued to the chair for hours, with 120 replies on first pile up, followed by 150 the following day and 120 after that. I was in my element. I loved the attention and demand for the call and once I saw the call spotted on the clusters I knew it was plain sailing.
I decided to help Tony re-erect the mini beam antenna last Wed and what a difference this made! I found myself operating on 20m being shouted at and called from all parts of the world, 4 hours I sat there and netted a total of 320 QSOs! I was hearing much "88" and "73" from lots of operators, and was even requested a number of times for my personal call. In saying that I did take advantage and worked a few new DXCCs also for myself when the chance arose.
I loved working the special call and although I'm all radioed out today, I'm sure ill be back at it with my own call in no time. I will have my DX century soon
So bye bye CLAN it's be emotional and I look forward to meeting you again