Posts by Steve (2E0GHX)

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.

February 2017 Clifton Country Club Net

February’s Clifton Country Club net is scheduled for this Sunday 12th February, as inter-G conditions have apparently improved on 80m can I suggest we start the net at the earlier time of 14.30 Hrs. This should allow inter G communication before the onset of longer skip and the associated QRM from the near continent.

With UK in the chilly grasp of an easterly wind from Siberia, why not stay in the warm and fire up the wireless and join the gang on or near 3.690 Mhz at 14.30 Hrs this coming Sunday 12th February?

73 de Tony es Suzanne.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – February 2017

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

HERC amateur radio licence training schedule currently full

Phil G3MGQ, the HERC training officer, is fully committed at this time and is unable to take on new students at present. The Distance Learning courses run by the Bath Radio Group: Intermediate course runs October to January, Advanced course January to June and July to December. Contact for BBADL is Steve Hartley g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk
Steve Stewart m0ssr@aol.com of BSARS is still running courses for the Foundation and intermediate levels.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 15th January 2017

At 14.15Hrs the 80m band appeared un-populated with the exception of the sporadic ‘whirrs’ from switch mode powered devices and occasional weak signal from near Europe.
I set up camp on 3.689Mhz to avoid a very weak QSO 3KHz higher and to keep the frequency ‘warm’ I put out the occasional general call both in SSB and CW.

To my pleasant surprise Jeff (GW3UZS) responded from Cardiff, giving me a 59+ report, he was a similar signal here in Norfolk. Jeff was using his ‘homebrew’ SDR system and homebrew 350w linear amplifier. On ‘seeing’ my solid signal on an otherwise vacant band he had given me a call. Things were definitely looking up!

As Jeff signed, Peter (G3RQZ) romped in with 59+ signals from near Redhill, followed closely by Mark (G0GQT) from Rochester and Peter (G3PJB) from Swanley.

It would appear that I had opted for the ‘correct’ band as all stations were extremely readable with me.

Peter (G3RQZ) told the group he was using his IC7300 whilst sitting in his conservatory, this set up had been used by a friend during yesterday’s AFS contest. Peter went on to say most of the laying snow had gone and the air temperature was now 7c.

Mark (G0GQT) said that poor WX and some anti-social working commitments had prevented the deployment of an 80m dipole, so he was still working with a 40m antenna. Mark had been delving further into his recently acquired 811K linear amplifier and had found that an anode choke required rewinding also there were a few other niggling faults. However, he was enjoying the challenge and was awaiting more components to arrive by post.

Peter (G3PJB) was also running his new IC7300, was producing good solid 58 clear signals here in Norfolk. Unfortunately Peter was plagued with an S8 of local noise and had to resort to receiving via the remote SDR at Hack Green in order to hear everyone on the net clearly.

At this point John (G3OGE) called in from his QTH at Hornsea about 20miles north east of Hull. John said he could hear me and Peter (G3RQZ) but was having a little difficulty with Peter (G3PJB) and could not hear Mark (G0GQT). John was also suffering from a high noise floor, even on local 80m nets stations had to be S9+ to be heard. John said that his present long wire aerial was supported by the chimney and drops down as it crosses the rear garden. He still had to identify the noise source before he re-configures his antenna. If you have the space John, do consider a loop they are less prone to noise, or a small receive only loop made of a few-turns of wire on a frame or housed in some plastic pipe, being directional might allow you to null out the QRM and still transmit on your long wire. Food for thought I hope.

Peter (G3PJB) stated that John was 59 via the Hack Green SDR, and that he had known John and Val since 1958 and it was good to hear him again. It was probably the first time that he had worked John from his QTH at Hornsea.

Mark (G0GQT) told the group that he had been very fortunate to be home on 29th December this allowed him to enjoy the ‘opening’ on UHF/VHF. This opening coincided with the ‘VHF/ UHF activity contest’ held daily between 1400 – 1600 hrs between Christmas and the New Year.

I worked Mark on 144MHz before the ‘activity period’; he was a true armchair copy. He then went on to work the most amazing DX from his Rochester QTH. The best being SM7GVF at nearly 1,200km, with many other QSOs via the North Sea path into Northern Europe and Scandinavia. See attached link to view Mark’s impressive pattern of contacts in two hours.

NB. You will have to either move the map or zoom–out to view the truly distant stations. Roll the cursor over each indicator tabs to reveal call-sign and locator.

Mark continues to enter the weekly ‘activity sessions’ held on Tuesday evenings. In the 70cms series Mark holds 20th position. During his last session by switching to CW he secured a DL contact in JN49 square a distance of some 590km. Well done that man!

Mark went on to tell the group that the ‘shine’ was taken  off his success a little as he had leave home at 04.30hrs the following morning and struggle through atrocious WX to work. Even worse, on his return it took him over 3.5hrs to drive from Maidstone to Rochester, snow having closed Bluebell Hill.

Peter (G3RQZ) said he was unable to join in the fun during the ‘opening’ but did hear stations active on 3cms which was indicative of the stunning conditions on VHF and above.

I told the group that last week was the first time there had been no sun spots on the visible solar disc since May 2010. The general consensus is that our nearest star is entering a very ‘quiet state’ much earlier than the predicted minimum in 2020. This does not bode well for HF comms into foreseeable future.

With conditions in the doldrums on the higher frequencies it is good to have access to 60m. This band gives a fairly reliable inter-G (short skip) communications during daylight hours, without much troublesome QRM from adjacent administrations. Fortunately we still have a few frequencies that are almost UK use only. After dusk some interesting mid-range and DX contacts are to be had.  There has been marked increase in activity since 21st December when A class amateur radio operators in Germany gained access to the band between 5.351.5 to 5.366.5 MHz with 15 W EIRP. Even with this surge in use the UK has frequencies both above and below those allocated to German stations with a fairly narrow overlap that allows us to work our DL friends on this band.

On 60m a few days ago I had a very interesting extended conversation with John (OZ4JU) at 1800hrs. He had been calling on 5.403.5 for a long period without a response; he was the only station audible on an apparent ‘dead’ band.  It goes to prove that the lower bands are very rarely totally void of activity and perseverance pays.

At 14.55 we were called by Gary (2E0PCL) near Bridlington; although not a CC member he had been attracted by the activity on the relatively quiet band. Gary’s licence restricts him to 50watts output, when fed to his long wire antenna this moderate power produced a very respectable 58 signal at my QTH. He went on to tell the group that his WX was cloudy with an air temperature of 6c and that he had been listening with interest for some time. We gave Gary a very brief history of the Clifton and background to the CC net.

Colin (G0UJK) announced his presence saying that he had mistaken the time of the net. In part this was due to finding that he had a problem with his Super-loop antenna. In the meantime he had deployed a doublet fed with open wire feeder. Unfortunately the replacement antenna was susceptible local noise, so that like Peter (G3PJB) Colin had to rely on the remote SDR at Hack Green to hear all stations clearly. He certainly did not need the assistance of Hack Green to receive Peter (G3PJB) as they both live in Swanley.

Peter (G3PJB) told the group that he had purchased a 12v car battery in order to use his 300watt solid state linear during the next CC net.

He was a little disappointed that he could not hear more stations on his new IC7300. Peter was planning to improve his reception by resetting the filtering manually from the original factory settings. The very best of luck with that Peter, it sounds like hours of fun.

Colin said his local QRM had increased since a neighbour had installed PV solar panels, particularly on 10 MHz which had become unusable due to an S9 of wideband pulsing QRM that appeared to peak in strong sunlight.

If you are on good terms with your neighbour, one solution may be to retro-fit several clip-on ferrites to the feed lines at inverter end and to the mains outlet; with luck this will suppress most of the QRM.

As a guide, I used Fair-rite split cores (part number 0431176451) on my PV system. These are large cores with sizable apertures but I did have the advantage of fitting them during the installation. The result is a noise free system.

Before the net I received apologies from Brian (G3OYU) who has been prevented from replacing his 80m antenna by the atrocious WX. He is had also learnt that he is in line for ‘pacemaker’. With this event on the horizon Brian has been busy conjuring an effective balun to eliminate stray RF from his shack.

Good luck Brian, I am sure we all wish a speedy recovery from the procedure.

As the time approached 15.30 signals from the near continent were becoming evident, it was timely to close the net.

The next Clifton Country Club Net is scheduled for Sunday 12th February at 1500hrs
Due to the turbulent nature of the bands, the frequency will be confirmed nearer the date.

Catch you on the wireless!

73es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – January 2017

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

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 15th January 2017

Whatho Cliftonaires!

The first Clifton Country Club net of 2017 is scheduled for this Sunday 15th January.  Prevailing conditions in the afternoon on 40m are still producing extended skip, making most inter-G contacts not viable. Unless you wish to communicate with the extremities of Scotland and far west Cornwall.

However, this afternoon 80m was a far better option, with inter-G QSOs involving stations from all areas of the UK.

At 15.25hrs today I had a solid SSB contact with G8MNY in Croydon with 59+10db reports both ways, although European stations were just beginning generate some QRM as we slid into dusk.

Conditions would suggest that we hold this Sunday’s net on or very near 3.690MHz commencing at 14.30hrs  to avoid the developing interference from near Europe.

The WX forecast looks as if winter has us in its icy grip, time to stay in the warm and fire up that wireless!

Catch you on the wireless!

73 de Tony es Suzanne.

Clifton Country Club Net Sunday 6th November 2016

At 14.55 John (G3FNZ) responded immediately to my first tentative call, stunningly he was romping into Norfolk with a solid 59+ signal. John reported that I was a very readable signal with him, unlike previous occasions where he and others had to abandon the net due lack of propagation.

For the first time in three months the ‘radio gods’ appeared to be smiling on us.

Therefore when Peter (G3PJB) and Peter (G3RQZ) announced their presence minutes later it was good reports all round! It was only later that Peter (G3RQZ) mentioned he was running 50watts instead of his normal QRO output, the linear amplifier was on stand-by should it be necessary later.

John (G3FNZ) thanked me for the information on re-validation of his licence. He had phoned Ofcom and found them very helpful, more so when realised that the new validation date applied all the radio licences held by him, both amateur and marine. John re-iterated, that it was such a pleasure to be able to hear all those on the net, over the previous months he had become convinced that the overwhelming QRM combined with the lack of good propagation might force him to off the air.

Peter (G3PJB) in Swanley was still suffering from local noise had had taken the option to listen via the remote SDR site at Hack Green. Using this method he found all those currently on the net very readable. Although he had discovered he lost his internet connection when in transmit, causing the ‘waterfall’ display to freeze or disappear (whoops!). Peter strongly suspected RF in the shack due to standing waves on the feeder for his G5RV doublet, more of this later.

Colin (G0UJK) a fellow resident of Swanley called in at 1501hrs having just returned from the radio rally at Kempton Park. Colin went on to tell the group that the rally was a true social occasion as he had met Clifton members namely Lawrie (G4FAA), Phil (G3BSN) and Terry (G0GTO), together with many other amateurs who he has ‘worked’ over recent months. During his conversation with Lawrie (G4FAA), Lawrie had said he was hoping hold a “Clifton ‘delayed’ Christmas dinner”.

Over the past twenty five years or so these ‘delayed Christmas dinners’ have been held during the first weeks of January. The club often benefitted from the post festive season by having a choice of venues that were not overcrowded and were keen to attract custom.

Good on you Lawrie, what a good idea!  If you want me to circulate any proposed dates or venues I will be only too pleased to do so. Please contact me Lawrie!

Mark (G0GQT) put his head above the parapet at 15.04 he also having just returned from Kempton Park. Mark was not the strongest signal in the group as he was using a 40m dipole for this band. Mark said he had been a little disappointed with rally in that the range of ‘hardware’ on offer was a little limited, as it seemed to be dominated by the bigger traders.  Mark was looking for suitable bits of kit for his next DX trip, wherever it will be is not finally fixed yet. However Mark confirmed it will be an ‘island operation’.

Peter (G3PJB) had just purchased an early Christmas present, namely an Icom 7300. He had read widely on this new radio, also he noted that Peter (G3RQZ) was using one last month.  Now having had a chance to use an IC7300 on air he was impressed and could understand why this new SDR self-contained transceiver was proving so popular.

I told Peter (G3PJB) that I had worked several stations using the IC7300 and heard nothing but good reports on this new ‘rig’ from Icom. They have obviously formulated a true ‘winner’; a fairly compact 100watt HF transceiver with both 6m and 4m on board, together with the versatility of firmware upgrades being available into the future. By today’s standards it is priced fairly competitively.

Peter (G3PJB) went on to say that he had traded in his fifteen year old Kenwood TS 2000 against the new IC7300.

Golly Peter, I have got a TS2000, I would have never though that particular Kenwood radio would still be in production sixteen years after introduction, but it is!

John (G3FNZ) thanked Colin for the information regarding the probably ‘Clifton late Christmas do’. He hoped it was not to be the last such function, as John and the Clifton club go back a very long way, to the beginning in fact. John said he would make every effort to attend the event should it be organised.

The net was being held this weekend as next week is Remembrance Sunday, John told the group he would be at a Remembrance Service to be held at Royal Navy National Destroyer memorial at Chatham Dockyard.

At this point, Peter (G3PJB) said that he was having difficulty hearing John (G3FNZ) and Mark (G0GQT) via the Hack Green remote receiver. Strange business this wireless Peter! He went on to say that he had spoken to Denis (G3OKY) on the telephone and that Denis would try and listen using a temporary wire antenna hung out of the window.

I told the group that here in Norfolk continuing strong northerly winds were bringing heavy rain in from the North Sea the ambient temperature was 4.8c with wind chill making it feel like 0c. Yesterday the high winds and rain had caused a substantial branch to fall from one of our ash trees and crash through my 80m loop. Fortunately as it is supported by 8mm rope attached to industrial bungees via pulleys, the antenna gave way and was pinned to the ground but remained intact.

As the show (net) must go on! Suzanne and I braved the pouring rain and gales to dismantle the branch (18ft long and 8ins diameter) and clear it. On release the 286ft long loop just flew back into position.

Peter (G3RQZ) said that as conditions were apparently changing he had fired up his 400w linear to help those who may be struggling. Peter had guests staying therefore he was going to sign out of the group but before he did he passed his best wishes to Denis (G3OKY) who he hoped was listening.

Before Peter closed I took the opportunity to forward apologies from Brian (G3OYU) who was still indisposed due to surgical treatment to re-establish his hearing. Brian hoped to be available next month if all went well. He did say that he would make an attempt to listen but under the circumstances this may prove difficult.

Brian, the gathered company wish you the very best of good fortune on your road to recovery.

Colin (G0UJK) told the group that he had been assisting install new antennas at Peter’s (G7ULL) QTH in Chislehurst including a three element Cushcraft HF Yagi together with a ZS6BKW doublet which is a form of modified G5RV. If I recall correctly the ZS6BWK presents better (or different) matching to the feed line. Like the original G5RV design it is akin to the curate’s egg; good in places!

As time edged towards 15.45hrs John (G3FNZ) signed out as he and Beryl were being taken to tea at their grandson’s new house. See you next month John and here is hoping that these good conditions continue.

Peter (G3PJB) said that he and Doris were planning to spend Christmas away to let someone else worry about the catering etc. Sounds highly sensible Peter!

Peter, thinking about your problem with RF affecting your internet connection and hopefully not telling you something you already know.

At this location RF does not affect my internet, primarily because I use an ADSL line junction unit where the line enters the house. This means all telephone wiring with in the house is decoupled at this point and does not act as an antenna. My BT hub is fed directly from the ADSL socket. Previously I used to use the supplied plug-in ‘dangly filters’, these are dreadful as the telephone wiring within the house is still connected to the internet line, our internet used drop out at the slightest sniff of HF (1.8 to 10MHz).

If perchance you are still using the dreaded ‘dangly filters’ it may be very beneficial to fit an ADSL socket where you telephone enters your property, this will make the ‘dangly filters’ redundant. These units(and fitting instructions) are available from the following supplier:

https://www.run-it-direct.co.uk/BTNTE5ADSLfaceplate6way.html

Hopefully there is not much exposed telephone line ‘up-stream’ of the point where it enters your QTH. I am very fortunate here in that the house is fed by underground armoured cable (Belden) which runs from a telegraph pole some 75mtrs away which we insisted upon when we built the house.

Of course you are fully aware that is illegal for any unauthorised work to be carried out on the BT network………..Heaven forbid that you would even think about installing your own ADSL box!

As I was closing the net at 16.04, I just heard Denis (G3OKY) breaching the background hiss. Denis said he had been listening and he was using a very temporary wire antenna dangled over a chair and out of a near-by window.

Denis, you could be heard in deepest Norfolk with 45 signals and heavy QSB. It was jolly nice to know that you had been keeping us company.

Well done that man!

Unfortunately Peter (G3PJB) said that Denis was just detectable on Hack Green but Peter was unable to resolve his signal.

Being ever hopeful, we look forward to a further improvement in conditions next month.

Finally, I received a number of comments from those who viewed the TV programme concerning antennas and neighbours etc. I whole heartedly agree with the majority who kindly understated that the radio amateur in question was not the best  ambassador for our hobby. Fortunately it was screened on a minority TV channel that apparently caters for the lowest common denominator within its audience base. To quote, their shallowness runs deep!

To more important matters:

Our next Clifton Country Club Net is scheduled for Sunday 11th December at 1500hrs on or near 3.690MHz

Catch you on the wireless!  Especially if you are part of the increasing band of QRP desperados that can be found on 5.262 MH

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

October 2016 Auction report by Rob M0LYD

The final HERC Auction was held on Saturday 29 October at the Holy Redeemer Church Hall. Unfortunately, this will be the last auction for the forseeable future as attendances are low and the profit to the club barely covers the cost of hiring the hall.

Items on sale consisted of a wide range of equipment, VHF transceivers, several HF vertical antennas, a storage ‘scope, power supplies, spectrum analyser, assorted test meters and various pieces of test equipment.

Peter G0FUU acted as auctioneer and had to withdraw several items to stop them being sold at very low prices. The items that were sold went for rather small amounts, however, those that attended seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event judging by various comments.

Thanks are due to Ron G4VBK for collecting, storing the sale items and dealing with the financial side, Phil G3MGQ and Peter G0FUU for being auctioneers (and simultaneously providing entertainment!) and to all the club members who have acted as porters over the years.

Rob (M0LYD)

Images of the final HERC auction held on October 29th 2016

herc-auction-oct2016-1 herc-auction-oct2016-2 herc-auction-oct2016-3 herc-auction-oct2016-4 herc-auction-oct2016-5

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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