Monthly archives for November, 2014

Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair site launches

serf-logoDave (G8PUO) reports that a exciting new event is currently in the planning but details will be made available during the next couple of weeks. It will feature manufactures, distributors, dealers, clubs, groups and private stands, tables and stalls, complete with a bring and buy area. A talk-in will be operating, together with indoor and planned outdoor events, refreshments and is very much planned to be a wonderful family and friendly atmosphere!

The excellent spacious venue is a recently built hanger-style 1800 metres square sports hall, complete with easy access facilities and diffused roof panels, proving protection from the elements whilst providing good daylight lighting throughout the building.

Adjacent to the main hall is a refreshments area complete with a planned Internet Café. With direct road and easy access, plentiful space, full disabled facilities, close parking, indoor and outdoor events, hard and grassed area standing. It is close to main bus (Eastbourne Hospital), and train routes (walking distance from Hampden Park Railway Station).

Eastbourne Sports Park is just off the main A22 into Eastbourne, then Cross Levels Way A2280, and lies at the back of Eastbourne District General Hospital. The Sports Park is adjacent to Sussex Downs Vocational Sixth Form College. It is clearly marked on Cross Levels Way. A large number of local hotels and lodges are available should you wish to take advantage of the famous South Downs, town centre, seafront, promenade
and pier too.

*Should you wish for further information on stalls, stand and tables, or any other aspect, please visit or find SERF on their official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

AMSAT Celebrates 40th birthday of AO-7

amradiospace2013 AMSAT’s Oscar 7 (AO-7) gets its 40th birthday celebration  on Saturday 15th November and is a reminder of when the satellite was intially launched into launched into Low Earth Orbit on 15th November 1974 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

AO-7 demonstrated several uses of new technologies and operations including being the first satellite-to-satellite relay which it achieved through AO-6 and was the first satellite to use a Battery Charge Regulator.

To commemorate A0-7 the oldest working Amateur Radio satellite, a Special Event station W70 will be on air from November the 15th until the 24th.

Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK is planning to work the satellite passes during the special event in Arizona, including those from AO-7, he is also hopeful to recruit other operators to participate in the celebration to help work other bands including HF. Currently this event is only open to operators who work in areas regulated by the FCC.

AMSAT has published a superb series of images which show the early OSCAR satellite years, including AO-7.

Credit to the AMSAT-NA, AMSAT news service.

RSGB 2nd 1.8MHz Contest (CW)

RSGB_Logo1400pixThe RSGB top-band contest is not only very popular it is also just around the corner, being held on the 15th-16th November 2014 so its time to put the key to work. The RSGB’s 2nd 1.8MHz contest is always held on the 3rd full weekend in November each year and this year promises to be an excellent contest to take part in.

Top-band contests are highly competitive and challenging, with DX often available. 160m contesting is a sure-fire way of testing the skills and limits of any operator and his/her station.

Stations outside Europe are to work European stations only and stations within Europe may work everyone.

Note: Contest Call Signs (SCC) are now allowed in this contest.

Participating operators should note that the score from the RSGB’s 2nd 1.8MHz contest contributes to the RSGB HF Championship for UK entrants.

Bath-based distance learning course enrollment for 2015

Steve Hartley, G0FUW, a name which many amateurs should recognise as the author of the Advanced training manual, is now bringing the current years 2014 training to a close with exams being held throughout the country as several dozen amateurs sit the final exam to gain their M0 call.

With the doors barely closed on this years distance learning course, Steve Hartley is pushing the doors back open again ready for 2015’s enrollment.

The distance learning course is a perfect solution for amateurs who are unable to participate in face-to-face/classroom training who may instead conduct their training through an extremely well conceived website designed to help them pass.


Steve Hartley (GOFUW), Bath-based distance course leader and co-author of the Advanced Licence manual.

The Bath-based distance learning course is in its fourth successful year of operation, conducted by Steve Hartley along with many RSGB approved tutors who provide week-by-week lecture notes, tips and worked answers in a virtual one-on-one environment via the distance learning course’s website.

Despite the course being just four years old, the pass rate for those who stick to the course and complete it is an impressive 90%.

Please bear in mind that enrollment for the next course closes mid-January, ready for a start on the 25th of January.

If you are interested in taking the Bath based distance learning course please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via e-mail to

Future updates about the course can be found on the BBADL page.

GB3JT – Hastings new digital Amateur Radio Television repeater

logo_rilgesDave (G8PUO) sends more good news our way. GB3JT is the call-sign of the newly proposed digital Amateur Radio Television repeater which is destined to share the same site as GB3HE in the not too distant future.

GB3JT will be a 23cm ATV repeater working full-duplex digital TV with audio and talkback audio with further plans to extend its functionality with both digital and analogue input, and  digital output.  Internet streaming onto the BATC website and linking feed from other ATV repeaters to GB3JT are also to be included.

Implementation of the repeater will start with the build of the ATV repeater in the first instance and then lead on to the receivers and transmitters which will be more than a sufficient excuse for many to further expand their shack with new ATV hardware.

With many local amateurs in and around Hastings not having had the opportunity to sample digital amateur radio television before, they need not miss out any more, as Dave and the team at RILGES (The Repeater and Internet Linking Group of East Sussex), are hard at work turning this magnificent project into a reality for everyone to enjoy.

We will be following the progress of  GB3JT closely and with great interest and should mention that Dave (G8PUO) is looking for any assistance from local amateurs that they are capable of mustering. If you can assist in the project, please get in touch with him via the RILGES website and find out how you can help shape the future of amateur radio television in the area.

When the repeater hits the air, you can find out the status of GB3JT here.

Proposals for 70cm digital repeaters put on hold

UK repeaters reports that there is a long list of 70cms requests and are working with Ofcom to ensure that they are dealt with as soon as possible. When making proposals for wide spaced channels amateurs are required to submit a choice of frequencies and because of the large number of outstanding requests have simply run out of choices in many areas. As a consequence until some of these requests are cleared proposals for new 70cms digital repeaters will be put on hold.

Repeater updates

Reported: G1LPS
Repeater 13cm TX power supply repaired. Repeater now full operational

Reported: G0EVW
Currently using Colour Code 1 and Talk Group 1 on both slots. Not Network connected.

Reported: G8PUO
Aerial replaced.

ARRL website down for maintenance 7th November

ARRL-logoThe ARRL website is scheduled to be offline on Friday, November 7, starting at 2100 UTC. The length of the outage may last several hours and potentially extend into, November 8th. There is nothing to be concerned about as the techs at the ARRL’s IT department are simply carrying out scheduled maintenance and carrying out a series of tests to ensure a smooth transition of the ARRL’s website to a new server.

A “Down for Maintenance” message will appear for the duration of the outage whenever someone attempts to access It should be noted that during the downtime, ARRL email accounts will still function normally.

ARRL launches Kindle format Ham Radio License Manual

ARRL-logoSome interesting news from the ARRL. This month they have released a Kindle-friendly digital edition of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, which provides readers with its highly popular introduction to Amateur Radio.

Clearly leading the way in this area by providing potential licencees and anyone with a remote interest in Amateur Radio, the ARRL has clearly made a very positive step in the right direction by providing a real alternative to paperback books for those who do not, or infrequently read paper books.

It is interesting to know that the number of people in the US who actively use a Kindle fire exceeded 17 million earlier this year, compared to 30.5 million active users for the iPad, with 6.5 million using both devices. In total there are 59 million active tablet users in the US alone.

ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said. “Finding the next generation of radio amateurs requires meeting prospective hams where they are reading and consuming content.”

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the RSGB will follow suit and begin to offer key learning resources in Kindle format, especially the training materials at some point in the near future. This quantum leap into the digital publishing arena would bridge the gap between the paper and web-based world and vastly enhance the availability of amateur radio to what will be a much larger audience than is currently possible.

Released in the Kindle e-Store on the 27th October, the ARRL’s Ham Radio License Manual joins around just 100-200 other Kindle format books for Amateurs and those interested in the subject. There are many electronics and communications books available in Kindle format, though Kindle at this time still only offers a fairly limited selection of reading materials which are AR focussed. Perhaps this move by the ARRL will inspire and encourage other amateurs to release their own publications to draw attention to the hobby.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air November 2014

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for November which contains lots of DX information including contests to look out for and some to avoid. Enjoy this months edition of Month on the Air.

The 2-metre Amateur Radio Band Extension NoV

The following item kindly sent through by Phil (G3MGQ) regarding the change to the 2m amateur radio band.

Following consultation in March 2014 on the use of 5.875MHz in the 143-169MHz section of the VHF Band vacated by the UK Emergency and Search & Rescue Services, Ofcom have made 146-147MHz available to UK amateurs. Full Licensees, including Clubs, can apply for a NoV to use this extra 1MHz above the present 2m Band from 31 October 2014. This NoV is valid for one year and is only obtainable on-line via the RSGB website;

Unlike Region 2 (America), the 2MHz above the present 2m Band has not yet been allocated to the Amateur Service in ITU Region 1 (Europe). This 1 MHz extension tour 2m band is then a UK only privilege on the strict basis of non-interference with other users, particularly to those on the near continent where these frequencies are still used by Emergency Services.

To avoid potential interference with the Continent, quite restrictive conditions are attached. Operation is prohibited in a number of National Grid squares, including almost all of Kent and East Sussex south of Shearness and as far west as Dartford & Uckfield, and also including the coastal strip west to Portslade and as far north as Haywards Heath, so all the North & South Downs are included. There is another prohibited area from the Solent westwards to Lyme Regis which includes the whole of the Isle of Wight. Other prohibited areas include most of the Welsh & southwest Scottish coastlines, and all but the northeast of Northern Ireland. The Channel Isles & Isle of Man are also precluded, as is operation on the high seas and outside the UK. Power is limited to 25W e.r.p and the antenna must be less than 20m above ground level.

So why then should our members bother to get this NoV? Although operation from their home station is precluded for practically all our members, operation outside the prohibited areas is permitted mobile, portable and from an alternative address. An important additional reason is that every application indicates to Ofcom that radio amateurs value this prized VHF sector of the spectrum. Some respondents to the March consultation opposed the release of additional spectrum to amateurs on the basis the 2m amateur band was already underutilised but Ofcom accepted the representations by the RSGB & others for an extension to the 2m band to accommodate use of new digital modes. The additional spectrum has been made available on a temporary basis to encourage amateurs to experiment and test new communications schemes and systems, rather than to provide for ‘more of the same’ although the NoV makes no stipulation on the mode or use. Use it or lose it!

73 Phil, G3MGQ


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!

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