Monthly archives for September, 2014

Jan King W3GEY to be AMSAT 2014 Space Symposium’s Keynote Speaker

amsat-2014-symposium2clrThe AMSAT Space Symposium’s Keynote Speaker will be Jan King, W3GEY, founding member of AMSAT and former member of the Board of Directors & V.P. of Engineering. Jan’s keynote speech, entitled “Never, Never, Never Give Up!” will be presented during the Symposium banquet on Saturday October 11.

The Symposium being held in Baltimore, Maryland at the DoubleTree by Hilton — Baltimore, BWI Airport will give visitors the opportunity to engage in technical presentations, view satellites and equipment as well as meet AMSAT members and board officers with the AGM being held in the afternoon of October 10th.

There will also be several guest presentations over the two day event.

For more information visit AMSAT to find out more about the 2014 Space Symposium.



Ofcoms WRC-15 Consultation Responses

The RSGB’s WRC-15 Special Focus section has just been updated with the responses from the recent ofcom consultation on the WRC-15 preparation by the RSGB and the affiliated groups involved.

In addition to the supprting agenda item for the 5mHz allocation which carries with it much interest from the amateur radio community, the responses within also contain items including VHF and microwave allocations. Also within the WRC-15 preparation by the RSGB are amateur bands which have been affected by other agenda items, plus ITU procedures for nano and pico satellites and preferences for agenda items in the future which might be  presented for WRC-18.

More information can be find in the RSGB’s WRC-15 Special Focus section.

Radio Rallies in September 2014



Towards the end of this month there are still a few radio rallies to enjoy and as the darker and colder evenings are just starting to draw in as Christmas approaches it is a good excuse to get out there and have a look around.

There are just three rallies remaining for the month which are:


NATIONAL HAMFEST – brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club. George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY (close to junction of A1/A46/A17). Free CP, TS, B&B, CB, C, SIG, Morse proficiency tests on demand, RSGB book stall, RSGB Services & Committees, DF, FM. [].


BELGIUM AMATEUR RADIO & COMPUTER RALLY – Hall ‘Louvexpo’, 7 rue du Hocquet, La Louvière. Direct access from the motorway (50km south of Brussels). Repeater TI 145.600MHz, 430.325MHz and DSTAR 439.4375MHz. OT 9am, FM, 4000m², trade stands from many countries. Michel, ON7FI, +32 475 45 45 78, [].


PENCOED AMATEUR RADIO CLUB TABLE TOP SALE – Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables £5, first come first served. OT sellers 8.30am, buyers 9.30am. £2, C, LB. Gerry Day, 01656 860 761. []

That wraps it up for September, if you can’t make any of these and have some time to visit a radio rally in October you are in luck, there are plenty more on the way.

Digital Mode presentation to be given by Stuart G4WCP

One of HERC’s long-standing members who sadly does not visit the club often due to living somewhat further away than most of us has very kindly confirmed that he will be giving a talk next year.

Stuart (G4WCP) has held an amateur radio licence since the 80’s, and has since become an avid fan of digital modes which have as many amateurs know, become very popular in recent times.

Part of the reason for this is that digital modes, much like CW (Morse), are generally able to travel greater distances than voice communications, and can make contacts in very distant countries possible where it would not be able to do so using voice modes. Making contacts two or three thousand miles away using a digital mode such as PSK31 or the very popular JT65 mode can be made easily using just 10 watts, a quarter of the power required to illuminate the average light bulb.

Stuart’s talk “Personal Aspects of Digital Amateur Radio” is scheduled to take place on the 28th January 2015 at the Taplin Centre and will be a presentation given via a Power Point presentation with some interactivity.

This interesting talk from a long time digital mode user will no doubt make for another enjoyable and educational evening.

Live Amateur Radio Demo – 24th September


Phil G3MGQ and Wilf M0GYE operating at Fairlight. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a sociable day out in summer making foreign contacts in far away countries while enjoying a BBQ in the sun!

This month’s meet at the Taplin Centre is open to the general public and will see regular club members offering advice and hands-on experience with a HF radio transmitter allowing everyone to get a taste of what amateur radio is all about.

The evening will start around 7.30pm at the club and is an ideal opportunity for anyone with a passing interest in the hobby, whether they wish to obtain a licence or not, to see how amateurs communicate with local and distant radio stations operated by other amateurs.

This is a perfect opportunity to take a look so if you intend to come why not bring a friend or family members along with you so you can all get a good look at the diverse, exciting and educational hobby which is amateur radio!

Licencing information will be available on the night from the clubs RSGB approved trainer, Phil (G3MGQ) and members will be more than happy to talk to you about electronics, radio and communication subjects and answer any questions that you might have.

The Hastings Electronics and Radio Club has over 60 members with a regular monthly meet attendance of around 20 and holds monthly talks on a variety of radio and electronics subjects including specialised ones on Wartime Spy Radios, CW (Morse) operation from real war-time personel, radio controlled aircraft to name but a few.  The club also holds annual away days during the course of the year and has in the past visited the H.M.S. Belfast’s radio room (where the now permanently docked ship is used partly as an amateur radio station), Bletchley Park (home of the Wartime code-breakers), and even the local Hastings Conquest Radio station which gives an interesting insight into how a small broadcasting station works to serve the local community.

All visitors will be made welcome and the centre has easy access, plenty of parking on the main road outside and more than enough comfortable seats to go around. For more information please contact the clubs secretary Gordon (M3YXH) via email to gordonsweet2000 @

Ofcom – Proposed changes to the Amateur Radio licence

Ofcom issued the following notice on 9 September.

“Ofcom has today published a consultation setting out proposals for updating the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence. These proposals include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences.

The consultation follows changes announced in our April statement on Public Sector Spectrum Release, where we set out our decision to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400 MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the Ministry of Defence.

This consultation, which is likely to be of interest to those in the amateur radio community, closes on 20 October 2014.”

Members may wish to take the opportunity to comment on these proposals, due to be implemented in April 2015, which may be found here.

Download the Ofcom Amateur Radio Licencing Conditions document with proposed changes in PDF format.

West Kent Radio & Electronics Fair Update


John G3YOU, a member of WKARS operating at the HF SSB Field day, Sept. 2012.

Keith (G4JED) from the  has let us know that they, as you may already know hosting the West Kent Radio & Electronics Fair in Tunbridge Wells TN4 9XB, this Sunday 14th Sept. doors open at 10am.

This coming Sunday on the 14th of September sees the West Kent Amateur Radio Society holding their annual Electronics Fair which is being held in Tunbridge Wells with the doors due to open at 10am.

Keith (G4JED) said that ALL tables have now been sold out but of course there are plenty of visitor tickets on sale at just £2.50p, with the site having excellent car parking and catering facilities for visitors to enjoy along with a talk-in station on offer.

WKARS is looking forward to the event as no doubt are many amateurs and Keith is hoping for a good turnout this year. If you have a free Sunday and fancy a good nose around the fair why not head over there for an enjoyable afternoon.

The latest details are posted at

Thanks to M0SSR for passing WKARS event update along to us.

Conquest Hospital Away Day – August 30th 2014

Conquest Hospital Radio

This year the club enjoyed an away day visit to the Conquest Hospital radio station where Antony, G4CUS, operates away from his usual radio shack at home during the week to act as a voluntary broadcaster in the Hospital’s broadcast studio.

Antony gave visitors from the club the red carpet treatment and gave a talk on how he conducts ‘business’ from the studio along with explanations of the equipment used to deliver the Hospitals radio schedule.

The Conquests broadcasting studio has a slew of equipment as one might expect and is driven using a software based schedule programming which is displayed through dual monitors making it easy to see exactly what is going on when you need to.

Members from the club thoroughly enjoyed the day out and a big thanks goes to both the Conquest Hospital Radio staff who permitted the visit and put up with us while we were eager to find out how things tick behind the scenes.

Antony has kindly provided the images below which it has to be said came out rather well!


Antony, G4CUS, amateur radio enthusiast, voluntary Conquest Hospital Radio broadcaster, RAYNET operative. There is surely no end to his talents!


A closer shot of the business-end of the studio showing the mixing desk along with the dual monitor setup as Antony prepares to give a talk about the studios operation.


Antony’s lovely wife Linda, shown helping in the studio. Note the additional PC setup and one large section of media on the shelves above.


Yet more media to use! Everywhere you look there is another stack of music CD’s and DVD’s!


A wider shot of the mixing desk showing the overhead microphones, minitors and playback equipment. Not for the feint hearted!


As strange as this may sound, does the mixing desk not look just a little bit like K9 from Doctor Who? The mixing desk shown head-on reveals the many sliders as well as just enough space to squeeze a mouse into to operate the studios main PC.


Another section of the studios media. This stack is considerable to say the least. You really could lose bearings in there and not find your way out again.

The club wishes to thank Antony and Linda for hosting a very enjoyable and educational day at the Conquest Hospitals Radio station and looks forward to another visit in the near future.

Update: The radio station now has a new website with new features including the ability to make online music requests to the radio presenters during live shows. Take a look at the new Conquest Hospital Radio websites features.

Rodney’s talk on Electronics at the Taplin Centre 27th August

August’s meeting was a talk by Rodney reminiscing on over 25 years service at some large laboratories near Redhill (Surrey), formerly Mullard but later taken over by electronics giant Philips. It was a multidisciplinary establishment also employing specialists in chemistry, metallurgy and mechanical engineering.

The presentation focused on a wide range of specialised scientific measurements used in the assessment of novel components, circuits and systems stretching far beyond those regularly used by radio amateurs. Numerous interesting questions from the audience rounded off a very enjoyable evening by highlighting occupational experiences of some other club members.


TeledyneTac semiconductor wafer probing machine.


Fully wired probe ring for connecting to individual chips on the slice.


A set of fixed probes mounted on a card connecting to a chip.


Full probing measurement SYSTEM controlled by an “hp 1000 A–Series” computer programmed in Fortran language. Voltage PSUs, current source, DVM, radio controlled clock, DC matrix & AC matrix.


DC crossbar switching matrix (under DVM) for configuring a test by connecting probes to the equipment in thetwo left hand racks.


AC 50 ohms switching for connecting high frequency instruments (not shown).


Separately configured test system (with prober outside clean air cabinet) for measuring charge recovery of on-slice diodes.


Old low frequency network analyser(left) and high frequency network analyser (right) together with their driving computers and shared floppy disk unit & plotter in the centre.


A more modern low frequency network analyser (left) and spectrum analyser(right).


High frequency network analyser with more modern plotter and printer.


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