Posts by Steve (2E0GHX)

HERC on-air and chat meeting July 2017

Richard G0ILN kindly wrote an article for September’s Vital Spark covering his perspective of the on-air and chat night at the Taplin Centre meeting on July 26th. I have added my own comment to his original article along with images taken during the evening.

Richard’s article as below:

Steve 2E0GHX and Phil G3MGQ for several weeks have been struggling to put up a Dipole for our “On Air” club nights. I think it was more a matter of Health and safety that the venture was eventually abandoned ,someone was going to fall out of a tree! It was decided that a portable antenna may be a simpler option. After some discussion and putting aside ideas such as putting a vertical antenna on the chimney of the Taplin Centre (sounds more like Flash Over House to me!).

It was decided a 65ft Endfed Sloper with a 33ft counterpoise which incorporated a 9:1 balun would fit the bill. All we needed to find was a mast, luckily Tony came to the rescue with his 10 meter fishing pole and Ron G4VBK supplied some heavy duty Coax.

On the night Steve and Richard G0ILN lashed the fishing pole to a wooden bench in the garden of the Taplin Centre and a stake was driven into the ground to mount the Balun on.

The wire antenna was then run from the balun to the top of the mast.

The Yaesu FT840 was fired up but we had problems tuning the Z Match ATU which Rob M0LYD had bought along ,Probably because it is not ideally suited to coax operation. Richard had bought along a small TenTec ATU and an external SWR meter so now we were in business.

Mike Hedges G0JHK was on key duty with Richard and Steve Jones G4FYF helping out as required. We tried 80m and 40m but the quietest band was 20m and that is where we stayed and although we only managed three QSO’s the time flew by. We logged RA3BY, HA3FTV and the best DX as we found out later! Was H51KD South Africa. H51KD was not on QRZ.com web page but was found on CQZCQ. So now we are eager to try again. Steve has several antenna ideas for future On Air Operating nights. So next time please come and join us SSB or CW it does not matter.

Steve said “The installation of the sloper antenna went quite well all things considered, and the donation of Tony G0EYE’s vertical to the club was most welcome as we used the telescopic mast to hoist the end of the sloper up to a good 30 foot or so (with a little drop at the top of the flexible mast tip). I was watching Richard as he made the first CW contact with Russia at about 7.40pm which came as something of a surprise given how ’embedded’ the sloper was amidst the Taplin Centre and adjacent residential buildings. Thanks go to Ron, Gordon, Tony and of course the evenings on air operators who made the meeting a success. I should also give a word of thanks to Martin who kindly offered to help us dismantle the antenna at the end of the evening and would have gladly taken him up on it if it was a long winded job, though it only took a few minutes to dismantle and pack away.

I had a good chat with Tony G0EYE on the evening who told me about his forthcoming ‘Railways on the Air’ event which is taking place in September. Apparently Tony has been attending the event for 5 years now, so best of luck to Tony at the RotA.

Richard also mentioned about his activity in the FISTS CW Snake’s and Ladders event where he is currently up in 6th place overall with G6HH which is great going. Well done Richard.”

Article by Richard G0ILN and appended by Steve 2E0GHX.

A special thank you goes to Tony G0EYE for the kind donation of his 30ft telescopic vertical antenna and transformer, both of which will be put to good use at future club events and on-air nights. It was an enjoyable evening and everyone pitched in. Thanks to everyone who came to help make the evening a success on air from the Taplin Centre.

Tony’s (G0EYE) 30ft telescopic mast used at the ‘end’ of the end-fed’s radiator.

Steve’s G-Whip 9:1 UnUn staked into the ground.

Richard G0ILN and Mike G0JHK just before their first contact with Russia at 7.40pm

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – August 2017

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for August 2017 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the August edition of Month on the Air.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – July 2017

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

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 – May 2017

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for May 2017 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the May edition of Month on the Air.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 9th April 2017

Apologies for the delay in the production of this summary, this was primarily as a result of an IT system failure brought about by a Microsoft update for Windows 10. This update apparently corrupted the registry files and required a complete reinstallation of the operating system. Even having backed up our files it still resulted in a few fraught days and even now we have still not regained all facilities that were on the system. It was somewhat less than reassuring when we found that we are not alone in falling foul of these W10 updates.

However, let’s go back to last Sunday’s CC net.

It was the warmest day of the year so far with the spring sunshine raising the temperatures to 22c. Therefore I was not too surprised when we could only muster two other members on Sunday’s net.

Conditions on 80m were better than expected for inter-G working; Brian (G3OYU) was the first to respond to my initial call at 14.50hrs with 59+10db signals from Crowhurst. He was closely followed by Peter (G3PJB) from Swanley who was also a respectable 59+10db. Brian was benefitting from his new hearing aid system which was interfaced from his transceiver by a ‘magic–box’ that he controlled for level and response from his i-phone. This amazing piece of kit gave him access to his radio again after several months of absence. To learn more about Brains experience with hearing loss I recommend you read his letter in May’s edition of Rad Com (p98).

Peter (G3PJB) told us he had augmented his IC7300 with an Inrad RX7300 ‘gadget’ that gave the facility of a separate receive antenna. These units are available from well-known amateur radio retailers. It is part of Peter’s on-going battle with high levels of local electrical noise; hopefully this will allow him to deploy a receive-only rotatable loop antenna to facilitate nulling out the offending noise source.

Good luck with that Peter, I do however feel that it is a little miserly of Icom not fitting a separate receive capability, I had a dedicated RX antenna socket on an IC751E that I owned over a decade ago.

Peter went on to tell us that he had spoken to Denis (G3OKY) who unfortunately had suffered a couple of falls recently. Denis was still keen to get back on the air and was hoping to invest in a new IC7300. Hello Denis, be careful and we will be listening for you!
Brian (G3OYU) said he was operating on his ‘long-wire’ fed via a 9:1 Unun which he had constructed based on similar item shown January’s Rad Com. He was not too impressed with performance so far, but would give it time before made any decision to alter the set up. Brian, it is certainly radiating well on this band you are still an armchair-copy (59+) at my QTH.

I told the group I had noticed the increased activity on 160m as conditions on the higher frequencies had deteriorated and I missed not having access to 1.8MHz since deploying my full-wave loop for 80m. Therefore I was giving thought to erecting an end fed wire for top-band; fortunately I have the space and the trees to support it.

Peter (G3PJB) had spent last Saturday at a bus enthusiast’s rally held at Detling showground. Where there were over 200 buses on display. He was hoping to see John (G3FNZ) there with his treasured Austin7.

Brian (G3OYU) went on to tell the group that even with his newly found hearing aid interface unit we has still able to utilise his BHI noise cancelling unit. He had also been busy on upgrading his shower room, and was fighting a continuing battle with weeds on his driveway. Oh yes, Brian I have several gallons of agricultural grade glyphosate concentrate in my armoury here.

At this point we were joined by Dave (G8BWR) from near Peterborough. Although not a Clifton member he was made very welcome. Dave had recently fitted a new microphone and requested a report on the quality of the received audio. Not knowing Dave’s voice it was a little difficult to make an objective comment although it was not the clearest I had heard as it seemed to be lacking in the upper response. Peter (G3PJB) who was listening via Hack Green SDR found that Dave’s audio was quite acceptable, although Peter could not resolve Dave’s signal direct ( perchance the filtering network via the SDR system was assisting in ‘lifting’ the audio?).

Dave (G8BWR) then signed with us to seek further reports from other occupants of 80m.
Peter (G3PJB) was in mid-sentence when he disappeared ………..It later transpired that Peter’s IC7300 had taken a scan up the band. On his return to 3.690 MHz Peter thought this self-driven scan could be as a result of excess RF within his shack? Also his internet connection was still apparent affected by his transmissions on HF; as a result he was losing access to the Hack Green SDR.

If you recall in last month’s summary I suggested Peter fitted a VDSL filter plate at the LJU where the phone line enters his property. A VDSL plate had completely solved any RF instigated loss of broadband at my QTH (Also my hard wired extensions still function perfectly with no need of dangly filters!)

Apparently Peter has yet to explore this solution, in the meantime he is hoping that by attaching ferrite rings to his speaker lines and inter connections on the computer will resolve the problems. Good luck OM you will eventually crack it!

Brian (G3OYU) said he was fortunate in that he had two computers in the shack neither suffered from internet loss, but his shack was in the garden away from the router in the bungalow.

At this point in the proceedings (15.44hrs) John (G3FNZ) called in from Rochester to say that he was sorry to be late on parade, but he had been watching the motor racing and then finishing some gardening duties. No problems John, we are only too pleased to have you aboard.

Before the net I received apologies from Mark (G0GQT) who had been scheduled to work this weekend.

He has asked me to remind the group (and our readers) that from Sunday 30th April until 6th May he will be with an expedition to Holy Island and will be QRV on all HF bands and also 2m on the evening of Tuesday 2nd May for the UKAC activity series. For more detailed information about the expedition and Holy Island refer to MC0VRC at QRZ.com.
The experimentation aspect of amateur radio is still alive, never more so than when an individual decides to take that ‘leap of faith’ and totally dismember an expensive commercially made piece of equipment to reconstruct it in an effort to improve the performance. This has recently been the case with Terry (M0TNE) a near neighbour who has ‘upgraded’ and expanded his ‘off the shelf’ mini beam into truly functional antenna.

Well done that man!

Talking of antennas, two days ago my 6m, 2m & 70cms co-linear was bathed in pink light from the setting sun, when I noticed the fibreglass element was shaking in the breeze. It had apparently succumbed to the last 16yrs of weather. On checking the RF performance with my AA600 it appeared to be in order, I must assume that there has not been any significant water ingress. It is obviously time to lower the Versa-tower with a view to replacing the tri-band co-linear.

During the net conditions on 80m were good for inter-G propagation, even John (G3FNZ) he could hear me over his local ‘electrical soup’. Hopefully this will be case for next month.
Food for thought, we have two more CC Nets before we go into recess for the summer, hopefully you can find time to join us, and after all it is your net.

The next Clifton Country Club Net will be at 1500hrs GMT on Sunday 14th May, the frequency will be circulated during week before.

I am now off to try and restore the missing facilities on our main computer; does anyone know how to locate misplaced sub-files in MS Outlook?

Catch you on the wireless!

I can often be found on or around the QRP CW part of 60m on 5.260 MHz

73 es 88 de Tony es Suzanne.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – April 2017

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for April 2017 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the April edition of Month on the Air.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – March 2017

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for March 2017 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the March edition of Month on the Air.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 12th February 2017

The sleet was being driven against the shack window as I tuned across an apparently quiet 80m band. Therefore it was very reassuring when John (G3OGE) responded to my initial call from his Hornsea QTH. He was closely followed by Peter (G3RQZ) from Redhill. Both stations were extremely readable, although Peter’s transmission +20db over. Peter said that all the snow had thawed and his current ambient temperature was 3.8c, he went on to say that he was using his TL922 linear this month just to ‘keep the damp out’ of the unit as he had not used it for several weeks.

John (G3OGE) said he was a little surprised that he was radiating such a good signal as he was using 60ft of wire as an antenna without an earth or counterpoise.
I told John he was a respectable 57 here in Norfolk albeit occasionally his signal took a dive in QSB.

John (G3FNZ) thumped in with a 58 signal from Rochester with the news that he and Beryl had attended the Clifton dinner at the Miller and Carter restaurant in Bexley. John went on to say it was good to meet with other members although he was saddened by the ‘winding up’ the Clifton as he was one of the original founder members from 1946.
He was also a little disappointed that only six club members and their xyl’s attended the dinner also the Clifton diners were split between two tables across an aisle making conversation a little awkward. But all in all it was a good opportunity to reminisce.
Our thanks go out to Lawrie (G4FAA) who was the prime mover in organising the dinner. With our membership spread from the south coast through to Yorkshire, and across as far as Switzerland. It is extremely difficult to find a venue, as well as a time to suit the majority.

The following feed-back was posted by Lawrie on the ‘G3GHN Yahoo Group’.
6 club members and their xyl’s attended – Martin (G0DCG), John (G3 FNZ) with Beryl, Clive (G0PPO/ G8APV), Keith (G4TJE), Steve (G4 RFC) with Liz and Lawrie (G4 FAA) with Maureen.  A number of other  club members were unable to attend due to work commitments etc. but sent best wishes to the gathering namely: Peter (G0 NGP) ,Tony (G0HUZ),Suzanne (G0LUZ) Peter (G7 ULL), Colin (G0UJK) and Bob (G4 DBW).

A hearty meal was enjoyed by all.  John (a founder member of the club) brought along his Clifton club photo archive which dates back to 1946 which was passed around the tables with great interest!

At the end of the dinner it was unanimously agreed by the committee members present that the modest costs of the meal should be met  by the club which led on to a discussion as to what to do with remaining club funds ? Several “Amateur radio charities” proposals were put forward including donations to an appropriate RSGB fund ,the  Wireless for the blind charity or the Radio amateur invalid and blind club but no firm conclusion was reached.

Thus please forward any support for or alternative suggestions on this subject to Martin who is both club secretary and treasurer—.

And finally a tentative idea was put forward for a future barbecue style get together one weekend in the summer so watch this space!

Best 73’s all

Lawrie (G4FAA)

I have reproduced Lawrie’s circulation as unfortunately not all “Cliftonaires” are members of the G3GHN Yahoo Group. As a result some were unaware of the function and have stated that they would have attended if they had known. I will be passing the details of the G3GHN Yahoo Group to those concerned.

At this point Peter (G3PJB) announced his presence from Swanley with 58 signals at my QTH. Although this was not reciprocated in Peter’s report. Unfortunately he was still plagued with the high levels of noise and gave me a 54 at best, with my transmissions occasionally submerging below his local QRM, this made life very difficult. However Peter (G3RQZ) was an easy copy, although John (G3OGE) was not audible due to noise. Peter (G3PJB) had to utilise Hack Green remote SDR to stay in touch with the group. He also had intended to use his solid state linear, but unfortunately his computer or router would shut-down if he exceeded 100w output; leading to the loss of reception via the Hack Green SDR. Don’t worry Peter you were very readable here without the linear.

John (G3OGE) stated that Peter (G3RQZ) was an ‘armchair copy’, being strong enough to override John’s local noise. Unfortunately the noise was having a detrimental effect on my signals such that John could only give me a 54 report. To receive Peter (G3PJB) he too had to resort to Hack Green.

John went on to say he had joined the local radio club at Hornsea. This was so close to his QTH that he could walk to the meetings. Although they were looking for new premises as the owner of their old venue had suddenly decided to increase the rent.

It was quite an active club with about 30 members (Err! that sounds like the Clifton in 80’s & 90s). John stated how pleasing it was to be able join the CC Nets now that he was back in the UK, unlike being ‘continental QRM’ when he was in France. John went on to say there was a fair level of activity locally; he often joined nets with club members as far away as Scarborough.

Peter (G3RQZ) said that all stations were a solid copy at his QTH, again this due his low noise environment. This confirmed that John (G3OGE)’s random 60ft wire sans counterpoise or earth was certainly radiating.

Peter went on to say it was his intention this year to get out and about during the ‘contest season’ with his portable micro-wave kit. He had in the past been involved with G4ALE in contests and is still custodian of the G0ALE call.

With John (G3OGE) mentioning Scarborough, it linked nicely to an e-mail I received before the net from Frank (G3WMR) who sent his apologies as he would not be available as he was currently in Scarborough?………..The only difference is that he was some 5000miles west of Yorkshire in Tobago (9Y). However Frank said he hoped to be listening on-line via Hack Green.

In my reply e-mailed to Frank I said Suzanne and I had visited Tobago on 20th January 2016; a lovely island with wonderful people.  During our visit we cycled from Scarborough to Pigeon Pt and back along the coast roads and over Mason’s Hill dropping down past Fort King George to the port, a distance of some 60 miles of stunning tropical scenery in temperatures of 28C.

After the net I received confirmation from Frank that he had listened to the net whist sitting in café on the beach. He had copied everyone involved via Hack Green until his laptop batteries died. Frank passed on his best 73s to all.

I hope you managed to receive the greetings sent by the group before your batteries failed Frank?

Staying on this theme of increasing local QRM, I received an interesting e-mail from Bob (HB9BDJ ex-G3OAW), which I am sure he won’t mind sharing with you:

Greetings Tony,

I shall be listening on 12th Feb with the hope of hearing something on 80 m.
During the interval between the Feb. net and that which should take place in March, I hope to become QRV with 1kW from a shack belonging to HB9ADJ. At my home location, persistent (and overwhelming) QRM makes it now impossible to continue on anything other than VHF/UHF, EME or repeater operation.

HB9ADJ’s shack is a caravan in the middle of wide open agricultural land with a good take-off path towards the north and excellent ground conduction thanks to underlying water. (Lake Geneva is quite close). Antenna will be a long wire of some kind – details still to be worked out. If we manage to hear the Clifton gang in March, we shall give you a call. Of course, lately, propagation on 80 and 40 has been very unpredictable and so we shall be in the hands of the gods.

In any event, please rest assured that I read your monthly summary which always arrives without a blemish and it is a great pleasure to know that the Clifton spirit is still alive.

73 QRO de Bob HB9BDJ (ex G3OAW)

Thank you Bob, it is a little perverse to say, but it is reassuring to learn that we are not alone in the UK in suffering the growing menace of local noise.

Looking back in the archive of Country Club net summaries, it can be seen that the topic of disruptive local noise levels was first raised in 2014.Then it only affected a few of our members in specific locations for limited periods, annoying but tolerable. However, since the widespread introduction of high speed broadband via VDSL the scourge of wide-band noise on the lower HF frequencies (top band and 80m) has spread to the majority of the HF spectrum making HF reception impossible in many areas. In the March edition of Rad Com (p.56) Dr. John Rogers examines the issue of local noise from VDSL installations and what if anything we can do to mitigate the situation.

At this point in the afternoon Colin (G0UJK) called in from Swanley saying that I was only a 45 signal, again Colin was victim of a similar ‘noise floor’ as fellow Swanley resident Peter (G3PJB). Colin went on to say he was very disappointed that he could not attend the Clifton dinner because he was unable to take time away from work. He felt that some consideration should have been given to those members who were not retired. On this point Colin, I know that Lawrie (G4FAA) strived to strike a balance with the venue, availability and the date of the event. Having organised these functions myself in the past, I can assure you that there is a lot more involved than it first appears and it is almost impossible to please everyone. I am sure any advice and assistance you can give with regard to the proposed ‘summer barbeque’ will be greatly appreciated.

As Colin finished his over I just caught a weak station calling. This was Ed (PE1IQC) although not a Clifton member, he had been listening to our group for some time. Ironically he also was suffering from local noise that meant most of the group were very difficult to copy, with the exception of Peter (G3RQZ) and myself.  Ed was located in the medieval town of Schoonhoven, he was running 50w from an old FT107 that he had recently repaired. His antenna was an off-centre fed dipole at 15m above the ground. This set up was producing a fairly good signal here in Norfolk 55/57 with rolling QSB. Peter (G3RQZ) could also copy Ed well, although unfortunately Ed was not readable with the others, even via Hack Green.

We explained the background of the Clifton ARS to Ed and said that he was welcome to join our merry band.

John (G3FNZ) stated that his local QRM was so high that he was unable to hear what was being said. Therefore, regretfully he was going to sign out.  Thanks for coming on John and hopefully we will hear you next month!

John (G3OGE) said that he was sorry to have missed the dinner, and that he was willing to travel to meet with old radio pals providing he was given sufficient notice. He went on to say that he had not seen Peter (G3PJB) for at least 40years and the last time he had met with Peter (G3RQZ) was when he was domiciled in France. Because John was now experiencing increasing QRM from the near continent he was signing too.

Just before contemplating the closure of the net, Peter (G7ULL) put in an appearance from his elevated QTH in Chislehurst. Peter was his typical 59+ signal and said that I was likewise with him. During the last month he had been enjoying the weekday evening 2m and 70cm activity sessions giving him the chance to work several new squares. Meanwhile even with the HF bands in the doldrums Peter had made several contacts on 20m to the Far East including Papua New Guinea (P29). Just going to prove even quiet bands can produce surprises.

As the time approached 15.30 the skip on 80m was lengthening; European stations were just beginning to become intrusive. This was to the benefit of Ed (PE1IQC) whose  signals had improved to a clear 59. He went on say he enjoyed servicing and refurbishing old radios such as the FT107. Because he was retired he did not have the money to spend on new SDR and state of the art rigs. It had be very interesting listening to our net, especially how we were being affected by the burgeoning sources of local noise.

I told Ed that he was very welcome to join our next net scheduled for Sunday 19th March at 1500 Hrs. Hopefully this date should avoid most major contests.

Before the net I received an e-mail from Brian (G3OYU) with not only apologies but also some good news, in that he has been fitted with an ‘implant’ to correct his hearing loss. Since the procedure he has found the improvement in his hearing quite amazing. The technology of these modern devices is also quite stunning, in that all the functions of level, sensitivity etc. are controlled from Brian’s smart-phone via a Bluetooth link. All being well Brian hopes to be on the next Country Club net. We all look forward to that Brian!
As the clock reached 15.35 hrs most had signed, just leaving me to tie the ribbons on the CC Net until next month.

Hopefully we will hear as many of you as possible on Sunday 19th March at 1500hrs.
Until then, ‘catch you on the wireless’, especially if you happen to be in the ‘long grass’ near 5.262 Mhz.

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

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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