Is Your Sky Digibox Misbehaving by Rodney King

Sky Digiboxes have recently been unexpectedly going into standby after a long period on the same channel.

Don’t worry, this is not a fault but a so-called “green” enhancement from Sky intended to save energy. Its function can be likened to a computer screen saver. The software update is automatically and secretly downloaded from the satellite and its presence easily identified by an extra option ENABLE AUTO-STANDBY in the SERVICES menu.

Luckily operation of this annoying facility can be cancelled as follows:

Press the SERVICES button

Select AUTO-STANDBY (new option 5) from the menu

Change ENABLE AUTO-STANDBY to OFF by pressing the “>” or “<” button

Move cursor down to next line using “V” (down) button

Save the chosen setting by pressing SELECT button

Return to normal operation by repeatedly pressing the BACKUP button

Test Card (W) on Freeview

Details for finding this page recently appeared in Radio Times but, unfortunately, attempts proved rather unpredictable. It soon became apparent that timing was critical. Following reference to numerous Internet sites and all-important experimentation, the following routine proved very reliable on a modern terrestrial digibox:

Select the BBCi channel (currently 105)
Wait for the “Welcome to BBCi” page to appear
IMMEDIATELY press the YELLOW button
Wait for at least 2 seconds
Press CH+ to move to another channel
Wait for at least 5 seconds
Press CH- to return to BBCi
Wait for the “Welcome to BBCi” page to re-appear
IMMEDIATELY press the GREEN button
Wait for the “Status Page” to appear. Press the GREEN button again (no hurry)
PATIENTLY wait for Test Card (W) to appear  (N.B. This may take over 30 seconds)

The Test Card will occupy the full screen height giving an oval circle on older televisions with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This, unfortunately, overrides any picture size settings (e.g. Letter Box) used for normal broadcasts.

Nobody appears to have given details how to return to normal programmes but the following works:

Press TEXT to exit BBCi   Type in the number of the channel you want to watch.

Rodney King from Vital Spark March 2009.

Return to the index of Vital Spark articles.

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