Before you were born – Stan G4ITM

When I was doing the research for the recent article on Napoleon and Josephine I got to wondering just how far back in history references to amateur radio appeared. I decided to investigate right back to the beginning of time, but drew a complete blank with the book of Genesis. Adam certainly wasn’t a Ham, but being all on his own I didn’t really expect him to be, and when a little later Eve came along I expect they had better things to do with their time. However a little further on in the book of Proverbs there are some very interesting pieces of evidence. In chapter 1 verse 28 we have the first recorded instance of a radio Ham getting the hump. “Then will they call me but I will not answer”. I knew the Sunday morning AM net had been going on for some time, but I had no idea that it was as old as that. But perhaps the real gem from the book of proverbs is in chapter 6 verse 35, “Do not regard any Ransom”. One of Terry’s ancestors must have got right up King Solomon’s nose. Never the less the advice is as good today as it was then.

On the whole, the world of opera does not appear to have been infiltrated by Ham radio although “Tristan and his Solder” does seem to suggest that some home construction was taking place. The humble antenna tuning unit has of course a place in folklore and is celebrated annually. We have all in our time clustered round a cake and sung “Happy Birth ATU”. Naturally most of the quotes come from the works of literature. We have the “Rubber Duck of Omar Khayyam”, “Fanny by Gaas Fet” and of course the famous sleuth Sherlock Ohms and his friend Watts-on.

Shakespeare was obviously trying to give us an insight into the hush hush of a royal ground plane antenna with radials in “The Buried Wires of Windsor” and Thomas Hardie’s decision to stop using his local repeater prompted him to write “Far from the Madding Crowd”. Longfellow gave the hint of a Polar expedition with “A youth who bore midst snow and ice a scanner with the strange device”. Heaven knows what the strange device was, perhaps it was packet.

The tantalising phrase “Childe Rowland to the dark tower came” appears in the works of both Shakespeare and Browning but neither of them shed any light on what the infant Rowland was actually up to. But we know don’t we? The crafty blighter waited for nightfall and then, when no one was looking Quick as a flash, up goes his tribander without so much as a by your leave and entirely without planning permission.

So there we are – I rest my case. I know the evidence is not 100% conclusive, but perhaps one day someone will discover an ancient cave painting with log book entries and signal reports, then we will know for certain. Our eldest daughter who has been to college and should know better has just come up with “A Morse a Morse. my kingdom for a Morse” and “Dipole of the Bailey”. Try to ignore it I think she gets it from her mother’s side of the family.

Stan G4ITM – June 1989.

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

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Vital Spark Archive

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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

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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
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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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