Monthly archives for February, 2015

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air March 2015

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for February 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.

GB3HE Hastings – Frequency change and upgrades

logo_rilgesDave Williams G8PUO has been busy with the working party and put the frequency change in place on GB3HE along with the installation of a per-amplifier and an increase from low to full operational power.

Remember to re-program your handhelds and base rigs with the new frequencies which are ..

GB3HE new frequencies

Repeater TX: 430.925 MHz  RX: 438.525 MHz  CTCSS 103.5 Hz
(Set your radio receiver to 430.925 with a +7.6 MHz split).

Check the latest status and details for GB3HE Hastings 70cm repeater.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 15th February 2015

“The devil and the deep-blue……………” comes to mind over the choice of band for last Sunday’s net.

Forty meters was lively but crowded to the extreme with European weekender contesting and the occasional exotic DX etc. Whereas eighty meters appeared very quiet with hardly any traffic audible. During previous days 80Mtrs had provided some very fairly reliable inter-G QSOs around 1500 hrs.

It was encouraging therefore when Peter (G3PJB) responded with 59 signals to my early call for “Clifton Club members” at 1455 hrs.

Peter stated that he had been on 80m during a Royal Signals contest during the previous 24 hours and had been plagued with very heavy QSB. The effects of which were still present on the band as my signal was swinging widely from 59+ to barely readable in a matter of seconds. All was not well; we had little choice but to continue.

Peter went on to say he had struggled to make eleven QSOs over 2 hours during the RS contest, mostly due the dire situation from deep fading.

Peter had learned from Denis (G3OKY) had he had lost part of his antenna during the recent bad weather. Denis would not be coming on the net but would try and listen.

I said that I had received a number of apologies that I would be listing later.

Peter said that both he and Doris had been laid low by a winter bronchial infection, Doris has taken nearly three weeks to recover, but was now well on the mend.

I said if it makes you feel any better Peter there was a similar bronchial infection complete with hacking cough on our ship.  It proceeded to seriously waylay most of the 300 passengers during our month on board. Having succumbed they would require regular (and expensive) visits by the ship’s surgeon. Fortunately being a lot fitter than most, Suzanne and I remained immune.

At 1506 hrs Colin ( G0UJK) called in, coincidentally with a deep trough of QSB such that I mistook his call as G3JKY………With apologies to both Colin and Jakey!

Colin stated that he was suffering from the early stages of a head cold and felt disinclined to converse but would remain in listening mode.

Commiserations on feeling ‘under the weather’ Colin possibly a hot drink fortified with your favourite strong liquor may prove beneficial?

Knowing that Peter ( G3PJB) regularly ‘watches’ aircraft both visually and on his SBS virtual radar as they approach the Thames corridor enroute for LHR.

I said that on our recent flight from Singapore Suzanne and I had our first experience of flying in an Airbus 380, one of, if not the largest passenger aircraft today.

Even although we flew economy we found the A380 flown by Singapore Airlines to be a joy; very quiet, stable and comfortable. Even with the detour north towards Moscow to avoid disputed airspace over Ukraine we arrived at LHR a whole 40 minutes early at 05.10hrs.

Unlike our outward flight to Colombo (4S7) on a BA Boeing777 which was 3.5 hrs late……..I think the words “bath and can’t run” apply, a ‘tired’ aircraft and a ‘tired’ cabin crew.

As far as ‘in-flight service’ is concerned Willie Walsh’s team could learn a lot from their far eastern competitors.

The next station to arrive on the net was Lawrie (G4FAA) from Sidcup. Unfortunately I had a little difficulty in hearing Lawrie even although Colin and Peter were good signals at my location in Norfolk.

Lawrie was running 100W from his Icom 7600 to an 8mtr long inverted ‘L’ fed from a remote auto-ATU. Having a high local noise floor Lawrie uses an indoor loop for receive. He stated the 8mtr long wire allowed the auto-ATU to ‘tune’ this antenna from 10m through to 80m. However it would be interesting to establish the actual radiated power on 80m. Both Colin and Peter were close enough to easily receive Lawrie on ground wave.

As the afternoon progressed, the propagation improved somewhat allowing whatever RF was radiating from Lawrie’s electrically short antenna to be heard at my QTH.

Lawrie went on to tell the group that the Clifton ARS ‘contest group’ has secured the use of the Detling showground for the three main RSGB Field Days in June, July and September. Also the recent Clifton Dinner had been well supported by 12 members and their xyl’s.

It is nice to hear the Clifton contest team still thrives. This is a direct result of the drive and determination of small energetic core of stalwarts.

Well done chaps and may it continue!

If you feel you can offer any assistance in the forthcoming field days this year, even if it’s only just being there and making the tea, or giving some moral support to those who are operating. Please contact Lawrie:

Peter (G3RQZ) romped in with 59+20 signals at 15.40hrs, he was running 50watts to a dipole antenna; quite remarkable propagation. Peter went on to state all stations were very good signals, with the exception of Lawrie who was weaker than the rest.

Peter explained his late arrival was due to learning that his 20 year old son who lived in north Essex had suddenly collapsed for no apparent reason.

Needless to say Peter’s xyl had driven up to Essex to be with their son who was now under observation in hospital. Peter we trust that it is nothing untoward and your son is soon up and about and taking things in his stride.

During our recent nautical meanderings from Sri Lanka through the Bay of Bengal onto Indonesia and the Flores Sea, Suzanne and I were antenna spotting at each port of call. We did identify a number of HF antennas mostly folded & terminated dipoles for all band use, together with the occasional three element beams, or more rarely a log periodic.

Most of these HF antennas were sited at military, police or quasi-government establishments, the more directional antennas were seen in the more remote areas of Thailand and Indonesia.

There was no obvious evidence of that any of these antennas were associated with radio amateurs.

Peter (G3PJB) said that he had been suffering from regular ‘drop-out’ of his internet connection. He believes that this will soon be a thing of the past, as his internet provider is ‘up-grading’ to fibre-optic line and a new router. This means that the unsightly filters dangling from the LJU sockets were to be a thing of the past.

Peter, we banished those ‘dangly filters’ from our QTH some time ago, when we fitted a new master VDSL filtered socket where our underground line (Belden cable) enters our property.  This enabled us to feed our wireless router directly whilst the remainder of the telephone cables within the house are totally isolated from the incoming digital signal. This resulted in a greatly improved internet speed and no more ‘drop out’ or breakthrough from our HF transmissions.

How many of us noticed a slight slip of the bureaucratic pen in the recent notification from Ofcom, such that our call signs nearly gained an “E” (presumably for England).

Hence ‘G’ calls would become ‘GE’, similar to GW for Wales, GJ for Jersey etc.

Fortunately this un-necessary addition was spotted by the RSGB and many others. As a result the ‘powers that be’ admitted it was an oversight and the offending “E” would be expunged from the documentation.

Hoorah for common sense!

At 1555 hrs Peter (G7ULL) called in from Chislehurst he was a readable 58/59 here in Norfolk. However others nearer gave much lower reports. Peter told the group that he had been listening for some time and had come on to say how much he had enjoyed the Clifton dinner, and was looking forward to joining in with this year’s field days.

Just before the end of the net, I posed a question for the gathered company regarding the benefits of current baluns over voltage baluns?

To be more specific, at this QTH I have an 80m full wave loop fed with 300ohm slotted feeder which in turn is fed from a 4 to 1 voltage balun.

Question would there be any benefit in using a 4 to 1 current  balun (also known as Guanella Balun) in lieu of the voltage balun?

I would be interested in your comments. Answers on a post card please………OK an e-mail if you insist!

As mentioned earlier I had received a number of apologies, they were from:

Steve (M0PBQ) who was in Japan on business.

Jon (G8CCL) who is without an antenna for 80m

Steve (G0STE) who is also without an antenna for 80m as he is preparing to move QTH.

Frank (G3WMR) who was in Scarborough, Tobago (9Y) enjoying the WX.

John (G3FNZ) who was unable to locate the group, due both our new QRG and poor local conditions.

Sadly, following the net I received an e-mail from Rick Brown stating that his father Ron (G3GZH) had gone silent key on 8th October last. Rick was asking if the RSGB would be interested in Ron’s passing. I sent Rick our belated condolences and said we would all be saddened by the news.

The net was brought to a close at 16.05hrs.

Food for thought!  This net exists for your benefit and without your support there will be little reason for it to continue!

Can you ensure that I have your latest current e-mail address, as there are a couple of addresses that ‘bounce’ Also please check your spam trap if you have not received a ‘net summary’ or  ‘net reminder’ recently.

So as to avoid Mothering Sunday the next Clifton Country Club Net will be on Sunday 22nd March at 15.30hrs.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Club AGM at the Taplin Centre – Wednesday 25th February

Just a quick reminder that the clubs AGM is being held at the Taplin Centre on Wednesday 25th February with the doors opening at 7.30pm.

Please send any committee nominations to Terry (G4FET). After the AGM, the evening will continue with “Bring your Thing” until close.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Clifton Country Club Net – Sunday 15th February

Tony sent this through about the forthcoming Clifton Country Club Net coming up on Sunday 17th February.

Whatho Gang!

The memsahib and I having now returned from our nautical meanderings from the Bay of Bengal to the Flores Sea and the former Dutch East Indies are just in time for the next Clifton Country Club net this Sunday 15th February at 1500 hrs.

I suggest we try 3.690 Mhz as a primary ( the band was in excellent shape for inter G contacts at 1500hrs today). With 7.125 Mhz as secondary frequency, should 80m prove unsuitable.

Hope to catch you on the wireless this Sunday.

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

Update from Tony sent this morning 14th Feb 2015.

Whatho Gang!

Peter G3RQZ advises that we move CC Net frequency up to 3.693 Mhz and further HF if required to avoid a group that holds a regular net on 3.687 Mhz………Evidently Peter has experienced a few difficulties with this group who apparently have taken ‘ownership’ of this part of the spectrum.

Anything for a quiet life!

See you on 3.693 Mhz on Sunday at 1500Hrs.

Many thanks to those who have sent their apologies.

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne

Silent Key – Fred Pickard (G3KNI)

Yesterday, sadly, Fred Pickard (G3KNI) died. We were informed by John Heys (G3BDQ) who passed along this sad news to Gordon (M3YXH) and Rob (M0LYD).

Our thoughts go to his friends and family at this difficult time.

GB3JT – Digital ATV Repeater gets NoV approval

logo_rilgesDave Williams G8PUO has just excitedly mentioned that the NoV for the forthcoming Hastings based digital ATV repeater GB3ET has just had its NoV approved by Ofcom.

GB3ET will bring along with it a great deal of interest from amateurs who will be able to get involved with quite modest hardware including DVB-S receivers which cost as little as £15, or even recycled satellite receivers which can be bought for just a few pounds.

While this interesting and popular repeater project is coming together, you might like to get involved and visit the Eastbourne Electronics and Radio Clubs forum where you will be able to share your thoughts and have a chat with the working party who will be bringing this exciting repeater project together for the local amateur radio communities.

When the repeater goes live, you will be able to find out the status of GB3JT here.

New RSGB Band Plans now available

RSGB_Logo1400pixThe RSGB has just released new band plans which are now available for viewing online or to download to your computer in Excel or Adobe PDF format.

For queries about the Band Plan please contact the relevant spectrum manager.

For other background – see the RSGB’s Spectrum Forum pages.

Find out further information on the new January 2015 RSGB Band Plans.

GB3HE 70cm Hastings Repeater – Change of frequency

logo_rilgesPaul, M0LRE has been in touch to let us know that GB3HE, the local 70cm repeater in Hastings which is managed by RILGES, will be changing frequencies soon.

Dave G8PUO informs us that following the recent issue of GB3HE wide spacing NoV, moves the project forwards and is now in the process of  procuring the new parts which include the repeater itself, a power supply, filters, logic, Echolink PC (although this will not be enabled from day one), Preamp and GSM control.

In the very near future, Dave and the RILGES working party will be putting these items into place resulting in what will surely be a superbly featured repeater which as many already know, has become a bit of a favourite amongst local users.

Arguably the most important bit of news it that there will be a frequency change, so don’t forget to jot the details down and get the memory programmed in your handy or base rig ready for the switchover. See you on HE!

GB3HE New Frequencies

Channel RU74 (spacing 7.6 MHz)
Output 430.9250 MHz
Input: 438.5250 MHz
CTCSS 103.5 Hz (same as current)

Check the status and details for GB3HE Hastings 70cm repeater.

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