BSARS and HERC to hold Foundation Licence Training Course

The Hastings Electronics & Radio Club and Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society are pleased to announce that they are holding a weekend course for the Foundation Amateur Radio Licence on 29/30 October at the Brede Scout Hall.

Prospective candidates should contact Steve Stewart on 01424 720815 or 07581 305310 as soon as possible, as enrolment with the exam fee of £27.50 must be completed by 30th September. There will be no charge for tuition but a £5 contribution for the use of the hall will be required on the day.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – September 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for September 2016 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the September edition of Month on the Air.

On air and chat night – Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup Award

On air and chat night – Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup Award

The evening was well attended by regulars of the Taplin Centre’s meetings who enjoyed a good chin-wag as CW operators Mike G0JHK and Richard G0ILN operated on the HF rig, shown below.


Mike G0JHK on the key with Richard G0ILN and Rob M0LYD having a chat with Peter G0FUU in the background canteen area.


Agnes receiving the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup for 2016 from Margaret Gaye, on behalf of John Heyes G3BDQ.

About halfway through the evening, the award of the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup took place. The first years winner of the cup was Phil G3MGQ at the WGMC field day contest which took place at Fairlight Park in 2015.

This year, it was pleasing to see that one of the clubs longest standing members and author of amateur radio articles was recognised for this  prestigious award.  The Cup was donated by Margaret, Wilf’s widow who kindly presented it to Agnes Sharif 2E0MEU, HERC committee member, who received the WGMC on behalf of 2016’s winner, John Heys G3BDQ for his life long contribution to amateur radio. It goes without saying that John Heys is both a highly respected member of the club and active amateur, as much as a notable and well  read author of many amateur radio articles which have been published in countless newsletters and magazines including regular items in the clubs own Vital Spark newsletter. The club wishes to congratulate John Heys for winning the WGMC this year.

John Hey’s was sadly unable to attend and recieve the WGMC trophy in person, but was able to provide the club with a letter which was read to the club members present by Agnes.

John Elgar-Whinney, now sporting a rather nifty badge bearing his new callsign brought along an interesting item with him pictured below which really foxed most of us.


Unusual to say the least! Four Morse Code sending rods on the table, the band spacing on the rods did not reveal the answer straight away!

It took some head scratching and tea drinking to get close to what the item was. The rods in the box are indeed used for sending Morse, note the ‘dit and dah bands’ on the rods, the sending of which was achieved by the use of a metallic fork which was drawn down the rod. Of course one would hope that the senders speed and hand was steady, and that the ‘messaging rods’ had been placed in the correct order prior to transmission! Quite a unique piece that made us smile. Thanks to John Elgar-Whinney for bringing this interesting item along to the club for us to view.

During the evening, Alan showed off a packed album full of self-taken photographs which was packed with interesting items. Alan is known within the club as being an avid photographer and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to take a look as his work. Alan spent some time explaining his self made Proton Magnetometer, a device which he designed and built back in the 1980’s, when commercially made models cost over £80,000. The device was used to help fisherman locate shoals of fish and could easily be used to detect shipwrecks submerged beneath water. The magnetometer took Alan three years to design, construct and test before use, during which time a great deal of time was spent ironing out the bugs and finding ingenious ways to get the magnetometer to function.


Alan presents his Proton Magnetometer along with a large selection of his ‘photographs of all things’.

The evening concluded at around 9.30pm, and as usual, was an enjoyable club meeting.


G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – July 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for July 2016 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the July edition of Month on the Air.

HERC BBQ Field Day 19th June 2016

It is that time of the year again where HERC members will be visiting Fairlight Country Park for a full day of HF activity.

The clubs call-sign G6HH will be in use, as will members own call-signs.

Everyone in the club is welcome to attend, as are local amateurs who want to stop by and have a chat. The general public are also welcome to pop over and see what amateur radio is all about.

The day will commence at 9am and finish around 9pm. During the day, there will be a BBQ for which members can bring along their own food to cook on the grill.

Rob M0LYD states that it doesn’t matter whether you wish to operate on the day or not, a social visit and support are both equally welcome.

Below, an image of HERC members setting up the equipment at the 2013 field day, and below that, an image of Mike M0EDU and Rob M0LYD getting some food together on the BBQ grill.

Amateur radio done portable. Antennas out of view but running longwires and a G5RV.

HERC members setting up at Fairlight  Country Park. Antennas out of view but running longwires and a G5RV.

Mike M0EDU left and Rob M0LYD right getting lunch together on the grill.

Mike M0EDU left and Rob M0LYD right getting lunch together on the grill.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – June 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for June 2016 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the June edition of Month on the Air.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 15th May 2016

My hopes were high that conditions would have improved since last month having made a couple of solid inter-G QRP contacts over the previous days on both 40m & 80m.
However these expectations were dashed soon after Mark (G0GQT) had responded at 2.50pm for Clifton following my call for members on 7.125MHz.

Mark was about to describe his experiences on his recent expedition to Lundy Island with the Virtual Radio Group, when his signal strength suddenly fell from and S8 to an S2. Mark suggested we try 7.105MHz where his local noise was less. I moved to this new QRG but soon lost Mark completely as he spiralled down in QSB. I return to the original net frequency and called for other members until 3.10pm without success.  During this time however, I was called by Mark (GB2EM); a windmills on the air special event station from Elstead Mill Surrey.  The signal was also very poor; not a good weekend to run a special event station.

At 3.10pm I moved to 3.690MHz after several calls Peter (G3PJB) replied. Again signals were very unstable and readability poor. Peter and I struggled to maintain a QSO with the occasional few words being lost during the swings in QSB.

It was obviously worse for Peter as his noise floor as hovering around S7.

I agreed with Peter with propagation like this and having to contend high levels of local QRM it was not surprising fewer are joining and some are abandoning the hobby.
Reflecting on these words I recounted a QSO on 40m a few days early between two newly licenced stations discussing the merits of ‘Echolink’……… “It’s wonderful, you don’t have to bother with a rig or an antenna, there is no interference and you get through every time to DX places like VK and ZL………”

Almost like using your mobile phone Eh?  (No comment!).

Needless to say with the prevailing conditions, Peter and I concluded the net at 3.24pm.  Ironically I was then called by Stuart (GB2TM) from Bishopstone Tide Mill, Newhaven. Stuart explained that mill was fairly unique in its use of tidal flow to provide motive power, fascinating! I wished Stuart well and relinquished the frequency to him at 3.30pm.
After the net I received an email from Mark (G0GQT) expanding on his experiences on the Island of Lundy that is posted below and the photos attached. From the pictures it is easy to see why Mark had a wonderful time on this beautifully remote island.

The callsign we were using for HF was MX0VRC.

I used my callsign /p for the 2Mtr UKAC contest on the Tuesday evening and had a superb result. I came sixth out of 169 entries, worked 17 UK squares and six non-UK squares. (This equates to my score multiplied by 40). Scoring is one point per kilometre. I made 98 qso’s and scored just over 1 Million points (best ever from home is just over 200,000). Although once it was adjudicated I finished up with just under 1 million points for the contest. For sixth place I get 970 points out of a possible 1000 for this month’s contest.
This in turn moves my league position from 35th to 29th out of well over 200 stations in the 2Mtr section. The big reason for my popularity was not only being on Lundy but also being in IO71 square which is as rare as rocking horse droppings.

Running a Trio TR751E and 85 watts (microwave mod 100w linear) 9ele Tonna on a Racal 40ft mast only up about 27ft. When the contest finished I knew I had done well but could not check claimed scores as no internet on the island and only one bar on the mobile when the wind blew in the right direction.

But I was on the ceiling for hours after the finish. What a buzz!

I also received an email from Ian (G0PDZ) who also operating a ‘windmills on the air’ station and was listening for the CC Net as he explains below:

I was at the White Mill, Sandwich, GB2WM. I did listen & call briefly shortly after 3pm on 7.125, but nothing was heard; like most of the weekend!

When members of the public ventured near, when we would evangelise about the hobby, to the background of hiss & burble of idle HF radios with no signals to activate them. Even the PSK31 screen showed an indecipherable jumble of characters that would not even cause the occasional passing youth to linger! Of course 40m did open 30mins before we closed down!

On the home front, I’m now active on 2m SSB. Taking part in UKAC & the Monday, Wednesday & Friday activity sessions, subject to other demands. I hope to get some other antenna fixings installed very soon to allow VHF & UHF FM activity & the installation of experimental wires to see if I can get on HF.

Thanks for that Ian! Hey, we may even be able to hook up on 2m SSB in future, I look forward to it!

Also Lawrie (G4FAA) was running a station at the Meopham Mill in Kent. The poor conditions took their toll resulting no contact with the net.

John (G3FNZ) also could not hear us, not through want of trying. We are ever hopeful John for an improvement next month.

Brian (G3OYU) is still sans antenna, but is making progress since his recent eye surgery.
Peter (G3RQZ) was attending a christening. Er! You didn’t miss much Peter!
Frank (G3WMR) was in Jersey with his trusty FT817 and dipole, said we would be calling and listening on 40m. I did not hear him but Mark (G0GQT) did, and they had a reasonable QSO. Oh the vagaries wireless! Well done Mark!

As an aside, today I had my Elecraft KX3 back from the service department of W&S. The engineer tells me that they re-calibrated it to be more tolerant of high ambient temperatures. Hopefully this will prevent the set locking up and allow me to switch it back on when the radio has reached temperatures approaching 40c. Unfortunately I will not be able to put this to the test as we have no immediate plans to operate the KX3 in a tropical environment.

Well that’s it folks for the May CC net, thanks to all those who struggled to join the net in vain.

Next Month’s CC Net will be on Sunday 11th June at 1500Hrs (BST) on either 7.125MHz or 3.690MHz depending on the prevailing conditions. It can only get better!

Due to our annual summer recess June’s net will be the last until October.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

cliftoncc-lundy3 cliftoncc-lundy4 cliftoncc-lundy5 cliftoncc-lundy1 cliftoncc-lundy2

Windmills on the Air 2016 at Stone Cross

Vince Bobin sent this through to announce the Windmills on the Air event taking place this weekend at Stone Cross. Vince’s news as follows ..

Just to let everyone know that Windmills on the Air is going ahead this weekend from Stone Cross Windmill. Call sign being used is GB0SCW. Both Saturday and Sunday from 1000 to 1600 hrs BST. Main operators are Keith M0KIL and myself Vince G1FBH. We will be on site from 0930 hrs BST.

If anyone else would like to turn up over the weekend for an hour or two you would be most welcome, to give Keith and I a break from operating.

I was up at the Thursday afternoon with one of the miller when we put up the antenna pulley and rope from the Fantail for erecting the 1/2 size G5RV Inverted V formation. We also have at the mill a GPA-80 vertical to put up on Saturday and that is also a one man effort (but two man makes it easier Hi Hi). 

Look forward to seeing any visitors from any of the local clubs over the weekend for a spot of operating.

The mill also runs a nice tea/coffee/cakes cafe next to the windmill and prices are really cheap. Cup of coffee for instance just £1.00 (as operators though we rarely have to pay for refreshments). Also available from the cafe is their own freshly milled flour and at very much reduced price that you would pay in any of the local supermarkets, if you into making your own bread.

Hope to see some of you over the weekend or work you on air.


European Slow Morse Activity Week – 25th to 29th April

CW fists-cw-logo

Richard, eucwflagG0ILN, sends through a heads up on the forthcoming and very exciting  European Slow Morse Activity Week – EuCW/AGCW QRS Activity Week 2016.  The EuCW will take place this coming week Monday 25 April 00:00 – Friday 29 April 23:59 UTC.

The maximum speed is 14 wpm and any band can be used.  QSOs must be at least 5 minutes long.

The EuCW Week has a history dating back to 2001 when it was introduced by FISTS. The EuCW thanks FISTS for having this excellent idea and for doing all the work for an entire decade. Since 2012 the EuCW QRS work is organized by AGCW. Recognitions for the most active participants are issued,

For more information and a list of recommended frequencies visit the EuCW website.

GB3HE update from RILGES

Dave (G8PUO) sends through some news regarding the local repeaters.

The RILGES working party took advantage of the school holidays, and importantly good weather, to spend time up on the tower block roof in order to work on GB3HE, GB7HE and GB3JT.

GB3HE new repeater was taken to site but a low level audio noise was noted from the Echolink PC hard-drive mixing in the radioreference bus, so this was removed, tweaked and now working nicely on the bench, read to go back to site next week.

The RILGES working party plan to install the internet connection hopefully in the next week.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

Why not join one of the largest and most established Radio clubs in the South East of England? Very low joining cost, and free for a year to new licencees.

Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa