Posts tagged field day

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.

2015 HERC Field Day & BBQ

Rob M0LYD kindly sent a report of the recent BBQ field day event which took place on Sunday 21st June.

Phil G3MGQ and I arrived at the Hastings Country Park around 9am, just in time to watch the early morning dog walkers depart. One of them told me that in the early days of CB, there would be many Cbers in the Park working the ships in the channel. We were soon joined by Peter G0FUU with his Generator. The Generator was hidden in the undergrowth to muffle the noise and the G5RV antenna was then strung between two trees. Easier said than done because the trees had many new growths of twigs and leaves. Much throwing of lead weights and poking with fibreglass poles meant that by 11am the first antenna was up, followed by the Gazebo and an 8m fibreglass guyed mast to support a 7Mhz half wave end fed antenna. We were hoping to start the Wilf Gaye Memorial Competition at 10am!!

The weather was fine and dry but the 7Mhz band was not good, signals were coming through from Scotland and the continent but local stations were heard at a less than normal strength. A further complication was that this was ‘Museums on the Air’ weekend. Everyone was trying to work them and my ILLER40 transceiver with an output of 5w was in competition with 100w plus stations. No one seemed interested in calling CQ or working stations calling CQ. Jakey G3JKY was heard working a SES but considering he was only on the Ridge, his signal was rather weak and he didn’t hear us at all. The Log Sheet filled up very slowly. Phil found 80m absolutely dead, despite the IRTS Counties Contest being on that afternoon, so started on 20m where there was the All Asia DX CW contest in full swing but no phone contests for a pleasant change. The first few contacts started to check off the numbers and letters for the Wilf Gaye competition at an encouraging rate but soon it was a struggle to find, let alone contact, a station with one of the outstanding letters or numbers. After waiting patiently for 20 minutes for YO2KC to finally sign off with a station, Phil then found he could not get in while a stream of other stations worked him and so never completed the bonus for all the letters HERC. Still the competition made this Club event interesting and kept members on the bands until the competition ended at 8pm.

Barbeque time came at last and was the usual culinary disaster, so burnt sausages and burgers were on the menu, but no problem when hungry.      Time to pack up, the antennas coming down quicker than they went up and another Field Day drew to a close.

Thanks to Phil who organised the event and to Peter who supplied the generator and his gazebo, and also to those that supported the event by operating or visiting.



Images of the HERC BBQ Field Day 2015


Martin M0EDU with his dog center, Phil G3MGQ in dark blue top, and Peter G0FUU in the foreground.


Rigs and antennas set up and ready to go.


Phil G3MGQ.


Peter’s gazebo being put to good effect on what turned out to be a very fine day at the Hastings Country Park.

HERC annual BBQ Field Day today – 21st June 2015


Phil G3MGQ and Wilf (now sadly SK), operating at HERC’s BBQ Field Day in 2013. Sadly Wilf is no longer with us, and the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup event is now being held annually in his memory.

Each year HERC attends the Fairlight Country Park in Fairlight, near Hastings, and members operate throughout the day from 9am to 9pm on the HF bands using their own portable stations.

This social event is often well-attended, as members using the clubs Golf Six Happy Hastings (G6HH) call-sign make contacts near and afar as best they can band conditions permitting.

New Event at the HERC BBQ Field Day

2015 however marks a new occasion within the field day event which has been developed with the help of HERC members Rob M0LYD, Antony G4CUS and others. While the event is members only, please listen on HF and call in. You will be very well received, and help members score according to the rule set which can be read on the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup page.

Wishing everyone a great day on the air, good DX and good health.

HERC’s BBQ Field Day and Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup event


The Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup, awaiting to bear the name of the first winner of the event.j

The event is just around the corner now on Sunday 21st June, and members from the club are greatly looking forward to another day operating at the Fairlight Country Park.

The day will start at approximately 9am and finish around 9pm. Don’t forget to bring the suncream, hats, sunglasses and plenty of food and drink!

This year marks the first event being held, called the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup, which will be held during the day for participatng club members who wish to enter the competition. More details can be found via the link above along with the rules for the Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup event.

There is plenty of car parking space at the event if you haven’t been before, and a decent sized gazebo to help keep the good and bad elements at bay while using your rigs.

Local Google Map of the area around Fairlight Country Park

Catch you there, or on air!

Field Day Memories of G3JKY – Taplin Centre July 23rd 2014

At the July meeting, G3JKY spoke about some of his experiences on radio club field days, starting with an introduction to the hobby on a Boy Scouts bike ride in 1951, outings with the Bromley club in the 1950s and many years up to the present with the Clifton Amateur Radio Society of South East London.

Equipment on show included a transmitter used on the Clifton’s first field day, in 1959, a generator used to charge batteries in the early days, a 70cm transmitter built in two weeks in 1965 and an ex-RAF receiver of the type mentioned in last month’s talk, seen in several of his photographs which showed field day station down the ages.

The installations had varied through the years. The smallest had just one tent with a home-made  CW (Morse) set powered by three bell batteries. This set fed a wire aerial slung between the trees. At the other end of the scale was a four-station set-up with caravans, crank-up mobile towers for the aerials and a 7.5kVa generator.

In 1995, the club converted its generators from petrol to propane gas operation, which permitted 24 hours uninterrupted working.  This did away with having to stop to “top up” by the light of a torch in the middle of the night and then having to restart the generator. Jakey confessed to a life-long distrust of the “infernal confusion” engine, probably brought about by the unreliable machines used in the 1950s.

Jakey also mentioned taking part in field days in New Zealand. A highlight was working a string of 35 JA (Japanese) stations on the key on the 50MHz band and then having to stop for dinner.  Ruthless contest operators these Kiwis !

Probably the best ever performance by the Clifton was working 340 stations in the USA without a break on 28 MHz SSB without having to change frequency!  It goes to show how a good location can help!

HERC Annual BBQ Field Day – 19th June 2014

Following the increased attendance at this event on a Saturday last year, this year’s event was held on a Sunday so that hopefully even more members would be able to participate and that seemed to be the case. So Peter, G0FUU, was able to spend some time with us, again kindly lending us his generator to power the gear in the gazebo which he also provided this year. With his help, Rob M0LYD, Dan M0HOW & I soon had the gazebo up and the G5RV lent by Paul M6PWD strung at about 20ft between a couple of trees. Rob set up his ILER40, which had won him the construction trophy in May, with a Direct Digital Synthesiser, 7MHz end-fed wire via a matching unit and powered by a 12v jell lead-acid battery, purchased for only £1 at a Club auction. Fortunately it was “Museums on the Air” weekend on what was otherwise a rather flat 40m band. Using the Club callsign G6HH with only 5W, he worked 13 stations, including one each from Scotland, Holland & Belgium, although very few signal reports exceeded S5 in either direction.

Meanwhile I had set up the Club’s FT980 through my ATU to the G5RV. After locating a break in the braid connection in one of my patch-leads, which was replaced by one Paul M6PWD kindly popped home to get, we started listening on 80m for the Museum stations but conditions were poor and we were unable to raise anyone. While Rex G3ROC & Mike M0EDU checked the FT980, I’d put up my tri-band co-linear and, with only 5W from my Quansheng handie, called into the Sunday morning Hastings & district net on 2m. In the afternoon, we tried 15m where US & Canadian stations were heard but again no contacts were made. As we were not getting any joy with the FT980, I made some contacts using the Quansheng through the repeaters in Kent & Sussex, both on 2m and 70cm, but had no takers on simplex on either band. Mike, M0EDU, also set up on VHF with his FT817 & a 30W solid-state linear, but only make a few contacts with the vertical he set up beside his car.

As we had set up by 10am, there was no problem with other users of the Country Park, and even attracted some enquiries from dog-walkers & families holding birthday parties & enjoying their BBQ. Visiting amateurs included some of my Intermediate class featured on the cover of Vital Spark in July 2011; Dan 2E0FRT, Hollie 2E0HOZ & Jamie 2E0JBS, who I hadn’t seen for quite a while. Martin 2E0EAO, who’d helped me with that course, came up with his XYL and expressed an interest in going on to get his Full licence. Our Chairman, Wilf M0GYE, came up in the morning to see how we were getting on, and came back with his XYL for the BBQ in the evening. Steve, G7KMA, came with his Yaesu handie and stopped for the BBQ with his XYL. Whilst not very productive radio-wise, everyone enjoyed the day in the sunshine & gentle breeze.

73 Phil, G3MGQ.


Steve’s XYL with Rob & Mike at the BBQ.


Rob and Rex with Mike on the rigs, with Jamie & Paul looking on, and Steve with his XYL seated, enjoying the sunshine.


G6HH at Fairlight 2014.

Annual BBQ Field Day – Fairlight 22nd June 2014

This weekend members of the club will be attending Fairlight Country Park where they will be operating together and making distant (and local) amateur radio contacts on HF. The clubs callsign G6HH (Happy Hastings) will be used.

Setup will begin at 9am and a gazebo will be erected to protect the operators from the elements should the weather sway either side of fair which it most likely will and the operators will be there until around 9pm in the evening.

Fellow amateurs and members of the general public are more than welcome to visit us near the car park which sits at the North end of Fairlight Country Park near to the rangers office and entrance to the park.

If any public visitors are interested in amateur radio then please stop by to find out more as an RSGB approved trainer, Phil Parkman (G3MGQ), will be only to pleased to discuss AR licencing and provide advice for anyone who is interested in this fantastic diverse hobby.

Pop on your hats, pack your sun cream and see you there on Sunday!

Parking fee increase for BBQ Field Day

Rob M0LYD the Vice Chairman has just brought it to my attention that there is a price rise at Fairlight where the club holds its annual Field Day BBQ. The new car parking fee is £2 for the day, a rise of £1 over the previous charge which while a substantial increase also means that it has been very reasonable in years gone by.

So cram as many people as you can in your car along with your radio gear and don’t let the increase put you off. It will be a great day up at Fairlight this year and we hope to see as many of you there as possible for an enjoyable time on the air amongst fellow enthusiasts.

Here are a few pictures taken at the 2013 Field Day BBQ below where fine Summer WX stood up for the entire day. Suncream, caps and shade were certainly required!


The BBQ at work with Phil G3MGQ just out of shot working at the grill.


A variety of wire antennas which are unfortunately just out of shot worked well for the operators during the afternoon.


Wilf M0GYE on his Flex 500 SDR TX operating QRP with Phil G3MGQ. In the background Jakey G3JKY relaxes in the sun with his lovely wife.


Field Day & Club BBQ, 2013

Although it was a bit grey when I set out for Fairlight, by 10am the sun had broken through and, for a welcome change, we were blessed with fine weather for the Club BBQ & Field Day this year. In fact the wind was so light that it was insufficient for Mike M0EDU to fly the kite he’d bought from Roger G4ROG when he came over two years ago to demonstrate kite aerials. Held this year on a Saturday, the Field Day was attended by more members and, despite the good weather, we were not overrun by other members of the public, although we did get a few enquiries about what we were up to!

In all there were 6 stations on the air. I took up the Club’s FT980 for HF using the doublet antenna, kindly donated by Paul M6DEP, which we managed to hang between two trees at about 15ft, using my roach pole to get it up after our abysmal attempts to throw a line up there failed. In the event, operation with that rig was rather limited by what appeared to be RF feedback into the desk mic possibly due to only having a single earth stake. Due to work at home which required the shack to be emptied, I’ve not yet had time to try the rig out to confirm that was the problem. As usual I also took my tri-band VHF/UHF vertical and, not having my IC706 multi-band radio, used my Quansheng handie with only 5W to operate on 2m & 70cm. Wilf M0GYE set up his Flex1500 in the gazebo and tried out a 20m choked dipole with a matching section of 70 Ohm coax supported by a tripod at the feed-end & suspended from a bush at the far end. Also in the gazebo was Ian M0URN with his Flex5000 working 40m PSK using a Buddiepole and Rob M0LYD with his Flex1500 with his own version of the Buddiepole constructed from a whirligig washing line. Paul M0LRE tried 23cm with a 17el yagi on top of a 12ft pole using his TS2000X in his car, but couldn’t hear anything, not even the beacon on the Isle of Wight. So he then switched to 4m, using the unmarked halo he’d bought “on spec” at the last Auction, and managed to work a couple of stations in Essex.

Jakey G3JKY & Joyce joined us for a picnic lunch. Graham G6MAR & Agnes M6MEU came over from Eastbourne and were QRV using Graham’s FT817 with a Miracle Whip. It was particularly nice to see our President, Terry G4FET, who came in to see how we were getting on but couldn’t stop for long. Visitors included Mike Stevens G0GKL, a former Chairman of the Club, who was out walking his dog, and Dan Adkin M0HOW from the Brede Club who was collecting the generator for their Armed Forces Day station in Alexandra Park the following day. It was good that, being a Saturday, Peter G0FUU and Paul M6DEP both managed to grab some time off work to come up to join us. In the evening, we had two BBQs on the go. Dave G8PUO had brought his family over from Eastbourne and was busy on one with Paul while Mike, Rob & I  tested our culinary skills on the other.

In general, except for 40m which was pretty noisy, the bands were rather dead as they have been lately so radio-wise it was a bit disappointing. Nevertheless it was a good turnout and everyone enjoyed the day. Our thanks go to Peter G0FUU for providing his generator again this year to power the stations in the gazebo.

Looking forward to it next year.
73 Phil, G3MGQ

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