My First Year with RAYNET (2002) – Jakey G3JKY

Shortly after our move from Lewisham to Hastings, Chris GITBO “invited” me to join RAYNET, the radio amateurs emergency network. One Wednesday evening, I went along to one of the Group’s meetings at the Bexhill Red Cross Centre and met some of the members, who were discussing past and future activities.

At about 10.30 am the following morning, Tony MIBWV called on the GB3ES repeater to say that the Police had requested RAYNET assistance in the Etchingham area, where the heavy rain had led to flooding. The area was known to be difficult for radio communication. While hunting for spare batteries for the 2m handie, I listened to some of the mobiles moving up the All, and it became clear that Etchingham was on the “other side of the pond” from Robertsbridge. So, I made my way via Battle and Burwash, and met up with Garry, G7GHP, at Etchingham Post Office. Just further down the road, the water was covering the railway lines at the level crossing

Seven members maintained communication between Battle Police Station, Robertsbridge, Etchingham and Hurst Green. Most of the operation was on GB3ES, but Garry and I were unable to reach the repeater so worked simplex to GITBO in Robertsbridge. The high spot of the day for me was the unexpected appearance of a Land Rover towing a large sailing boat on a trailer. This was quite unconnected with the flood!

After spending the day by the roadside, we had just erected Garry’s mast and aerial and were preparing to make camp in the Village Hall, when the call came to stand down. Quite a welcome to Raynet, and I still think that if Chris can conjure up heavy rain like that at short notice, there’s a job waiting for him in Saudi Arabia!

The next event was the Battle Bonfire. Police, St John’s Ambulance and Raynet set up their base stations at Battle Abbey. Three members walked with the procession to report on its progress. This was one of the noisiest events I have ever attended. We saw a wonderful firework display, but the mud in the bonfire field had to be walked in to be believed!

Early in January 2001, twelve Raynet members provided back-up communication for the 10km road race. The base station, G7ERC, was at William Parker School and there were some doubts about coverage of a short section of the route to the North of the Ridge. in the event, surprisingly good signals were received from G8OGO/M at the bottom of Chowns Hill.

For the half Marathon in March, the Raynet caravan was parked on a convenient high spot with 2EICGT in control. G4NTB/P was at Hastings Police Station, and nine members covered the checkpoints around the course.

A better control location was needed for the April Charity Bicycle Ride, which went as far west as Pevensey and Hurstmonceux. It had been noted that the Raynet aerial at Fairlight had changed from vertical to horizontal polarisation so Chris and I took on the job of correcting this situation. I suspect that for about half an hour I was the highest person in East Sussex if the wind was anything to go by! The aerial was braced with an extra cross-boom. For the event a week later, 2EICOT and G4NTB were at Control. Because of the altitude, some difficulty was experienced with frequency sharing, notably with the Medway Raynet Group. After a short while we changed to a different channel. Nine members and one welcome visitor from Eastbourne Raynet were at the checkpoints to report progress.

The caravan was out again at the Bexhill Carnival in July, with Control in 144MHz contact with mobiles in the procession and 432MHz contact on the Polegrove ground. About eight members attended. I was only a listener for this event as I was in the procession playing the trombone. (The “ill wind that nobody blows good” as G4ITM once called it!)

For the Hastings Carnival Procession, GITBO and G4NTB were in Control at the Old Town Police Office, while five members reported progress around the course.

In the last year or so, we have enrolled two new members and lost five. New members are always welcome!

Jakey G3JKY.

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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