G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – July 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for July 2016 which contains lots of DX information including the big contests to look out for and those to possibly avoid! Enjoy the July edition of Month on the Air.

HERC BBQ Field Day 19th June 2016

It is that time of the year again where HERC members will be visiting Fairlight Country Park for a full day of HF activity.

The clubs call-sign G6HH will be in use, as will members own call-signs.

Everyone in the club is welcome to attend, as are local amateurs who want to stop by and have a chat. The general public are also welcome to pop over and see what amateur radio is all about.

The day will commence at 9am and finish around 9pm. During the day, there will be a BBQ for which members can bring along their own food to cook on the grill.

Rob M0LYD states that it doesn’t matter whether you wish to operate on the day or not, a social visit and support are both equally welcome.

Below, an image of HERC members setting up the equipment at the 2013 field day, and below that, an image of Mike M0EDU and Rob M0LYD getting some food together on the BBQ grill.

Amateur radio done portable. Antennas out of view but running longwires and a G5RV.

HERC members setting up at Fairlight  Country Park. Antennas out of view but running longwires and a G5RV.

Mike M0EDU left and Rob M0LYD right getting lunch together on the grill.

Mike M0EDU left and Rob M0LYD right getting lunch together on the grill.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – June 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for June 2016 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 Country Club Net Sunday 15th May 2016

My hopes were high that conditions would have improved since last month having made a couple of solid inter-G QRP contacts over the previous days on both 40m & 80m.
However these expectations were dashed soon after Mark (G0GQT) had responded at 2.50pm for Clifton following my call for members on 7.125MHz.

Mark was about to describe his experiences on his recent expedition to Lundy Island with the Virtual Radio Group, when his signal strength suddenly fell from and S8 to an S2. Mark suggested we try 7.105MHz where his local noise was less. I moved to this new QRG but soon lost Mark completely as he spiralled down in QSB. I return to the original net frequency and called for other members until 3.10pm without success.  During this time however, I was called by Mark (GB2EM); a windmills on the air special event station from Elstead Mill Surrey.  The signal was also very poor; not a good weekend to run a special event station.

At 3.10pm I moved to 3.690MHz after several calls Peter (G3PJB) replied. Again signals were very unstable and readability poor. Peter and I struggled to maintain a QSO with the occasional few words being lost during the swings in QSB.

It was obviously worse for Peter as his noise floor as hovering around S7.

I agreed with Peter with propagation like this and having to contend high levels of local QRM it was not surprising fewer are joining and some are abandoning the hobby.
Reflecting on these words I recounted a QSO on 40m a few days early between two newly licenced stations discussing the merits of ‘Echolink’……… “It’s wonderful, you don’t have to bother with a rig or an antenna, there is no interference and you get through every time to DX places like VK and ZL………”

Almost like using your mobile phone Eh?  (No comment!).

Needless to say with the prevailing conditions, Peter and I concluded the net at 3.24pm.  Ironically I was then called by Stuart (GB2TM) from Bishopstone Tide Mill, Newhaven. Stuart explained that mill was fairly unique in its use of tidal flow to provide motive power, fascinating! I wished Stuart well and relinquished the frequency to him at 3.30pm.
After the net I received an email from Mark (G0GQT) expanding on his experiences on the Island of Lundy that is posted below and the photos attached. From the pictures it is easy to see why Mark had a wonderful time on this beautifully remote island.

The callsign we were using for HF was MX0VRC.

I used my callsign /p for the 2Mtr UKAC contest on the Tuesday evening and had a superb result. I came sixth out of 169 entries, worked 17 UK squares and six non-UK squares. (This equates to my score multiplied by 40). Scoring is one point per kilometre. I made 98 qso’s and scored just over 1 Million points (best ever from home is just over 200,000). Although once it was adjudicated I finished up with just under 1 million points for the contest. For sixth place I get 970 points out of a possible 1000 for this month’s contest.
This in turn moves my league position from 35th to 29th out of well over 200 stations in the 2Mtr section. The big reason for my popularity was not only being on Lundy but also being in IO71 square which is as rare as rocking horse droppings.

Running a Trio TR751E and 85 watts (microwave mod 100w linear) 9ele Tonna on a Racal 40ft mast only up about 27ft. When the contest finished I knew I had done well but could not check claimed scores as no internet on the island and only one bar on the mobile when the wind blew in the right direction.

But I was on the ceiling for hours after the finish. What a buzz!

I also received an email from Ian (G0PDZ) who also operating a ‘windmills on the air’ station and was listening for the CC Net as he explains below:

I was at the White Mill, Sandwich, GB2WM. I did listen & call briefly shortly after 3pm on 7.125, but nothing was heard; like most of the weekend!

When members of the public ventured near, when we would evangelise about the hobby, to the background of hiss & burble of idle HF radios with no signals to activate them. Even the PSK31 screen showed an indecipherable jumble of characters that would not even cause the occasional passing youth to linger! Of course 40m did open 30mins before we closed down!

On the home front, I’m now active on 2m SSB. Taking part in UKAC & the Monday, Wednesday & Friday activity sessions, subject to other demands. I hope to get some other antenna fixings installed very soon to allow VHF & UHF FM activity & the installation of experimental wires to see if I can get on HF.

Thanks for that Ian! Hey, we may even be able to hook up on 2m SSB in future, I look forward to it!

Also Lawrie (G4FAA) was running a station at the Meopham Mill in Kent. The poor conditions took their toll resulting no contact with the net.

John (G3FNZ) also could not hear us, not through want of trying. We are ever hopeful John for an improvement next month.

Brian (G3OYU) is still sans antenna, but is making progress since his recent eye surgery.
Peter (G3RQZ) was attending a christening. Er! You didn’t miss much Peter!
Frank (G3WMR) was in Jersey with his trusty FT817 and dipole, said we would be calling and listening on 40m. I did not hear him but Mark (G0GQT) did, and they had a reasonable QSO. Oh the vagaries wireless! Well done Mark!

As an aside, today I had my Elecraft KX3 back from the service department of W&S. The engineer tells me that they re-calibrated it to be more tolerant of high ambient temperatures. Hopefully this will prevent the set locking up and allow me to switch it back on when the radio has reached temperatures approaching 40c. Unfortunately I will not be able to put this to the test as we have no immediate plans to operate the KX3 in a tropical environment.

Well that’s it folks for the May CC net, thanks to all those who struggled to join the net in vain.

Next Month’s CC Net will be on Sunday 11th June at 1500Hrs (BST) on either 7.125MHz or 3.690MHz depending on the prevailing conditions. It can only get better!

Due to our annual summer recess June’s net will be the last until October.

Catch you on the wireless!

73 es 88s de Tony es Suzanne.

cliftoncc-lundy3 cliftoncc-lundy4 cliftoncc-lundy5 cliftoncc-lundy1 cliftoncc-lundy2

Windmills on the Air 2016 at Stone Cross

Vince Bobin sent this through to announce the Windmills on the Air event taking place this weekend at Stone Cross. Vince’s news as follows ..

Just to let everyone know that Windmills on the Air is going ahead this weekend from Stone Cross Windmill. Call sign being used is GB0SCW. Both Saturday and Sunday from 1000 to 1600 hrs BST. Main operators are Keith M0KIL and myself Vince G1FBH. We will be on site from 0930 hrs BST.

If anyone else would like to turn up over the weekend for an hour or two you would be most welcome, to give Keith and I a break from operating.

I was up at the Thursday afternoon with one of the miller when we put up the antenna pulley and rope from the Fantail for erecting the 1/2 size G5RV Inverted V formation. We also have at the mill a GPA-80 vertical to put up on Saturday and that is also a one man effort (but two man makes it easier Hi Hi). 

Look forward to seeing any visitors from any of the local clubs over the weekend for a spot of operating.

The mill also runs a nice tea/coffee/cakes cafe next to the windmill and prices are really cheap. Cup of coffee for instance just £1.00 (as operators though we rarely have to pay for refreshments). Also available from the cafe is their own freshly milled flour and at very much reduced price that you would pay in any of the local supermarkets, if you into making your own bread.

Hope to see some of you over the weekend or work you on air.


European Slow Morse Activity Week – 25th to 29th April

CW fists-cw-logo

Richard, eucwflagG0ILN, sends through a heads up on the forthcoming and very exciting  European Slow Morse Activity Week – EuCW/AGCW QRS Activity Week 2016.  The EuCW will take place this coming week Monday 25 April 00:00 – Friday 29 April 23:59 UTC.

The maximum speed is 14 wpm and any band can be used.  QSOs must be at least 5 minutes long.

The EuCW Week has a history dating back to 2001 when it was introduced by FISTS. The EuCW thanks FISTS for having this excellent idea and for doing all the work for an entire decade. Since 2012 the EuCW QRS work is organized by AGCW. Recognitions for the most active participants are issued,

For more information and a list of recommended frequencies visit the EuCW website.

GB3HE update from RILGES

Dave (G8PUO) sends through some news regarding the local repeaters.

The RILGES working party took advantage of the school holidays, and importantly good weather, to spend time up on the tower block roof in order to work on GB3HE, GB7HE and GB3JT.

GB3HE new repeater was taken to site but a low level audio noise was noted from the Echolink PC hard-drive mixing in the radioreference bus, so this was removed, tweaked and now working nicely on the bench, read to go back to site next week.

The RILGES working party plan to install the internet connection hopefully in the next week.

HERC to attend RSGB Build-a-thon at St. Richard’s Catholic College in Bexhill

The Hastings Electronics and Radio Club is delighted to announce that it will be attending the RSGB supported Build-a-thon at St. Richard’s Catholic College in Bexhill,  East Sussex, on Tuesday 12th April. Two, three hour long classes are being held under supervision of St. Richard’s staff, where 7 HERC members will be helping students construct the RSGB Rodway II MW/160m receiver kit. The age range of students is between 9 and 16 years old, with the AM class consisting of Foundation licence students who will be constructing the kit as part of their licence training.


But .. that is not the whole story!

Later in the month, the college will be one of the few selected colleges in the U.K. who will be taking part in the ARISS space contact event with Tim Peake, the now famous British astronaut aboard the International Space Station. The date for the contact will be revealed by the ARISS team on Monday 11th April, and may be as soon as the 15th of April, or as late as 24th April.

The contact day will take place at the college with the assistance of the ARISS team. More to follow!

St. Richard’s will also be holding a two-day STEM space conference at the college, held in the capacious gymnasium where other organisations will be present with outreach activities from University of Sussex, University of Brighton, Herstmonceux Science Centre, QinetiQ, East Sussex Astronomy Society and RSGB and the QRZ Amateur Radio Group. My home club, the Hastings Electronics an Radio Club will be present also, providing an Amateur Radio History presentation given by Mike Wade M0EDU, and a full HF/VHF/UHF Amateur Radio demonstration station, organised by Phil G3MGQ and operated by a selection of HERC members across the two-day STEM conference with G6HH.

It has been a pleasure to work with Joolz, the lead Science Teacher at St. Richard’s Catholic College, and helping to co-ordinate these events will undoubtedly be an exciting, educational and enjoyable experience for the students, staff and organisations involved with these events. Thanks to Mike Senior G4EFO, regional RSGB manager also for his help with the event co-ordination.

Hastings Electronics and Radio Club members attending the above St. Richard’s College events are:

Richard G0ILN
Rodney King
Leon G1HSM
Steve 2E0GHX
Phil G3MGQ
Mike Wade M0EDU
Mike Hedges G0JHK

The STEM space conference dates are yet to be cast in stone, pending the ARISS confirmation date for contact with Tim Peake which will follow in the next day or two. To be updated shortly!

Update April 20th 2016 – We have now attended the college’s events. You can read the reports of the St. Richard’s College RSGB Build-a-thon, STEM space conference and ARISS contact event with Tim Peake here.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air – April 2016

Phil, G3MGQ has sent through his ‘Month on the Air’ for April 2016 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.

Jakey G3JKY Silent Key

It is with a saddened heart that I have to report the passing of long-standing Clifton ARS and HERC member, Jakey, G3JKY. Sadly he passed away a few days ago at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings abd will be remembered by all that knew him; friends and amateur radio operators around the World.

Fellow club member Martin Brown G0DCG has written a eulogy for dear Jakey which can be found here.

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