Monthly archives for May, 2017

Clifton Club Net Summary for Sunday 14th May 2017

The seemingly persistent grey skies that had plagued the Eastern coastal regions over the proceeding days had given way to brilliant blue skies and sunshine. The temperatures were moderated by a steady north easterly breeze.

Conditions on the bands in recent days had been anything but certain, with no visible spots on the solar disc. Therefore it was a pleasant surprise to receive an immediate 59 response to my call on 80m at 14.50GMT from Brian (G3OYU) near Lingfield.
Brian reported that I was a S9+ signal, well above his noise floor that was currently running at S8.

Brian went on to say that his new hearing aid was functioning perfectly with his radio gear, allowing him to enjoy the hobby. Brian had noticed an increase in local noise at his QTH. However he had traced some QRM back to a couple of BT Dect cordless phones. When these devices were disconnected from the mains supply the background noise fell by two to three ‘S points’. At least it is in your control Brian and not some neighbour.

At this point Peter (G3RQZ) called in with 59+20db signals from near Gatwick. He said it was good to hear Brian who was a totally end stop, in fact he could probably hear him on a piece of wet string.  Peter went on to say he was still fortunate that he had very little QRM at his location although but he had noticed increasing noise on 70Mhz especially when his 4m beam was pointing south-west in the general direction of an industrial estate. Peter told us that he had Siemens Dect cordless phones and these were apparently very quiet.
Brian (G3OYU) stated that just prior to the net he had been helping Geraldine weed the garden, where they had extracted a four foot tall thistle. Now that is a weed!

I said that I had been contemplating installing a new extensive CCTV system at my QTH. I had taken delivery of a new a DVR, monitor, switcher unit, IP cameras and reels of Cat5 cabling. It all looked very good; to give the system a ‘dry-run’ before fixing the cameras to the exterior walls and running the cabling through the loft I laid the system out on the ground floor of the QTH.

All appeared fine, the cameras gave excellent images, the DVR and switcher unit allowed various images to be recorded and /or shown in sequence on the monitor etc.
We now we come to the crux of the matter; on scanning the lower HF bands I found a large increase in background noise from S2 to S8 when the new CCTV system was switched on. This QRM was in the form of both a wideband ‘hiss’ on 10 MHz, 7 MHz and 5 MHz and loud clicking on 3.5 MHz and 1.8 MHz.

I treasure my fairly electrically quiet situation here and I am not going to compromise it.  Therefore all this new kit would be packed away and sent back to the suppliers, but not before I had carried out some serious ‘sniffing’ with my HF scanner which confirmed my suspicions that QRM was being radiated from the Cat5 cabling.

The IP cameras are powered via the Cat5 cabling using ‘POE’ facility on both the DVR and the four-way switcher.  This was main source of the noise and is apparently caused by poor decoupling of the switching regulators when the power was ‘injecting into the network’
It is of great concern as there must be many of these CCTV systems using Cat5 cabling with power injection radiating this atrocious QRM.

As a final experiment I decided to run the cameras on a 12v linear PSU, disabling the POE on the DVR, this resulted in almost no radiated QRM from the cabling.

At this point we were called John operating GB2MGM a special event station at Mill Green Museum, he had been attracted to our QSO as we were one of the strongest signals on the band. He went on say conditions had not been ideal as most signals were very weak and suffered from deep QSB. GB2MGM was run as part of ‘museums on the air’ by members of the Southgate Radio Club. The station was running 100w into a full-wave delta loop for 80m, producing a very acceptable 57/59 signal here in Norfolk, albeit with fairly deep QSB.

After exchanging reports John bade us farewell, and went in search of more custom for his special call. That in itself shows how unsettled conditions were.

I strongly suspect that due to the prevailing conditions and their high levels of electronic soup that a number of our ‘regulars’ were unable to hear or find the group
Brian (G3OYU) who was still suffering an S8 of mush, signed saying he looked forward to the next season’s CC Nets following the ‘summer recess’.

As we had not been joined by any further CC members, it left Peter (G3RQZ) and I to ‘tie the ribbons’, but not before Peter related story about a recent visit to his GP that involved a general health check. When it came to Peter’s blood pressure the doctor looked askance at her electronic BP sensor and immediately reverted to a hand pumped analogue device. Peter was displaying a rather higher score, which resulted in words of advice from the medical professional as to future diet and exercise. The extremely high level came as a complete shock to Peter who maintains and fairly healthy lifestyle. The doctor sent Peter away to consider the situation and take action to ameliorate the situation.

On refection, Peter had arrived at the doctor’s surgery at 8am to gain an appointment that day, usually by taking a cancellation. On being allocated an appointment at 10.30am Peter decided before his health check to treat himself to a full English breakfast washed down with two or three cups of very strong espresso coffee. I don’t think anything further needs to be said!

Peter went on to say he had been listening in the early afternoon to 17m when he heard an H44 station calling CQ without a response. H44 is of course the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. Just going to show an apparent ‘dead’ band can hold some surprises. And as I have found on my nautical meanderings they are not all on the dreaded DX cluster.
Before the net I received apologies from Lawrie (G4FAA) who away in his caravan.
We closed the net at 15.25hrs. Being but a few in number and the propagation predictions being poor, it seems appropriate that the Clifton Country Club now goes into summer recess until the autumn.

The next Clifton net is scheduled for Sunday 15th October at 14.00hrs GMT the frequency will be confirmed nearer the date, when hopefully conditions will have improved.
Thanks to all those that have made the effort to join the net since last October. I look forward to working some of you during the summer months especially if you are lurking near the QRP allocation on 5.262MHz.

Meanwhile before the expected summer heat, it is time to lower the Versatower, replace the tri-band co-linear and renew the rubber boots on the 3ele Steppir.
Have a great summer and catch you on the wireless!

73es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – June 2017

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for June 2017 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.

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

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