Posts tagged taplin centre

Live amateur radio evening and chat at the Taplin Centre

Live amateur radio evening and chat at the Taplin Centre

On 27th January at 7.30pm, the club will hold the first of two annual Live Amateur Radio evenings at the Taplin Centre club room in St. Leonards. The general public is welcome to visit and explore the world of amateur radio, with members offering a wealth of radio and electronics experience on the night. Live operating will be conducted on HF transceivers as well as UHF handheld radios connecting through nearby repeaters which enable contact with other amateur radio operators further afield.


Phil G3MGQ the clubs RSGB approved licence trainer shown centre, adjuticating the Construction Evening event at the Taplin Centre in 2015.


Leon G1HSM setting up his Yaesu FT-817 and handhelf dual bander for operation from the Taplin Centre in 2015. Leon had a good evening and made several contacts using an end-fed wire run into the garden area.

The public is welcome to ask any questions they may have to the club members on the night, and make enquiries about taking their amateur radio licence through the clubs RSGB approved trainer, Phil G3MGQ. If you haven’t visited the Taplin  Centre before, directions can be found here. All will be made most welcome.

Club AGM at the Taplin Centre – Wednesday 25th February

Just a quick reminder that the clubs AGM is being held at the Taplin Centre on Wednesday 25th February with the doors opening at 7.30pm.

Please send any committee nominations to Terry (G4FET). After the AGM, the evening will continue with “Bring your Thing” until close.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Stuart G4WCP to give talk on Digital Amateur Radio

One of the clubs Brighton based members, Stuart (G4WCP) is going to give the club an interesting talk on the subject of “Personal Aspects of Digital Amateur Radio” on the 28th January 2015 at the  Taplin Centre. Doors will be opening at 7.30pm and should prove to be both an interesting and education evening as Stuart has been an avid digital radio operator for some years, operating QRP from his Brighton-based QTH using a selection of antennas including a 25m sloper T2FD.

According to Stuart the evening will also have some ‘hands-on’ for members and will no doubt be an enjoyable evening. See you there!

Update:  Read the report for Stuarts fine presentation on Digital Amateur Radio.

Live Amateur Radio Demo at the Taplin Centre a success

Wednesday the 24th December saw the club open its doors at 7pm for its monthly meet at the Taplin Centre where a live amateur radio demonstration was given with hands-on experience to visitors who are considering taking their amateur radio licence at the entry “Foundation” level.

As usual, visitors were given a warm welcome to the club and members gave those present insights into the hobby with live radio transmitting experience through Jakey’s TenTec radio transmitter which sent its signals through the recently upgraded dipole antenna situated in the Taplin Centre’s gardens.

The ever-cheerful Jakey (G3JKY) is a long-time member of the Hastings Electronics and Radio club and is a strong advocate of Morse code. It wasn’t long before he made a contact in Spain and shortly after, followed this with succession of contacts in several other European countries.

Phil (G3MGQ) made an announcement regarding the important forthcoming changes which the regulatory body, Ofcom, will be making to the terms of the amateur radio licence in the coming months. One of the exciting changes being made is that amateur radio enthusiasts will have access to a new 5 MHz band.

Phil iterated the importance of amateurs signing the regulatory document to convey the importance of these changes to Ofcom and it is HIGHLY recommended that ALL amateurs download, read and ‘sign’ the proposal. This is to ensure that Ofcom sees amateur radio licencees as being interested in the AR spectrum and will help to ensure that the community is both heard and understood. Amateurs are also encouraged to offer their comments in the consultation form, but this is completely optional. The correct form to use can be found here and only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

With Phil’s announcement made, later in the evening members used a selection of radio equipment at the club and assisted visitors with their questions while providing an amateurs-eye view of the hobby. It is encouraging to see a trend of increased interest from the general public. The clubs dedicated committee and members are working hard to foster a new generation of young and older licencees who will enjoy the hobby with around 3 million other amateur enthusiasts World-Wide.

Digital Mode presentation to be given by Stuart G4WCP

One of HERC’s long-standing members who sadly does not visit the club often due to living somewhat further away than most of us has very kindly confirmed that he will be giving a talk next year.

Stuart (G4WCP) has held an amateur radio licence since the 80’s, and has since become an avid fan of digital modes which have as many amateurs know, become very popular in recent times.

Part of the reason for this is that digital modes, much like CW (Morse), are generally able to travel greater distances than voice communications, and can make contacts in very distant countries possible where it would not be able to do so using voice modes. Making contacts two or three thousand miles away using a digital mode such as PSK31 or the very popular JT65 mode can be made easily using just 10 watts, a quarter of the power required to illuminate the average light bulb.

Stuart’s talk “Personal Aspects of Digital Amateur Radio” is scheduled to take place on the 28th January 2015 at the Taplin Centre and will be a presentation given via a Power Point presentation with some interactivity.

This interesting talk from a long time digital mode user will no doubt make for another enjoyable and educational evening.

Live Amateur Radio Demo – 24th September


Phil G3MGQ and Wilf M0GYE operating at Fairlight. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a sociable day out in summer making foreign contacts in far away countries while enjoying a BBQ in the sun!

This month’s meet at the Taplin Centre is open to the general public and will see regular club members offering advice and hands-on experience with a HF radio transmitter allowing everyone to get a taste of what amateur radio is all about.

The evening will start around 7.30pm at the club and is an ideal opportunity for anyone with a passing interest in the hobby, whether they wish to obtain a licence or not, to see how amateurs communicate with local and distant radio stations operated by other amateurs.

This is a perfect opportunity to take a look so if you intend to come why not bring a friend or family members along with you so you can all get a good look at the diverse, exciting and educational hobby which is amateur radio!

Licencing information will be available on the night from the clubs RSGB approved trainer, Phil (G3MGQ) and members will be more than happy to talk to you about electronics, radio and communication subjects and answer any questions that you might have.

The Hastings Electronics and Radio Club has over 60 members with a regular monthly meet attendance of around 20 and holds monthly talks on a variety of radio and electronics subjects including specialised ones on Wartime Spy Radios, CW (Morse) operation from real war-time personel, radio controlled aircraft to name but a few.  The club also holds annual away days during the course of the year and has in the past visited the H.M.S. Belfast’s radio room (where the now permanently docked ship is used partly as an amateur radio station), Bletchley Park (home of the Wartime code-breakers), and even the local Hastings Conquest Radio station which gives an interesting insight into how a small broadcasting station works to serve the local community.

All visitors will be made welcome and the centre has easy access, plenty of parking on the main road outside and more than enough comfortable seats to go around. For more information please contact the clubs secretary Gordon (M3YXH) via email to gordonsweet2000 @

Rodney’s talk on Electronics at the Taplin Centre 27th August

August’s meeting was a talk by Rodney reminiscing on over 25 years service at some large laboratories near Redhill (Surrey), formerly Mullard but later taken over by electronics giant Philips. It was a multidisciplinary establishment also employing specialists in chemistry, metallurgy and mechanical engineering.

The presentation focused on a wide range of specialised scientific measurements used in the assessment of novel components, circuits and systems stretching far beyond those regularly used by radio amateurs. Numerous interesting questions from the audience rounded off a very enjoyable evening by highlighting occupational experiences of some other club members.


TeledyneTac semiconductor wafer probing machine.


Fully wired probe ring for connecting to individual chips on the slice.


A set of fixed probes mounted on a card connecting to a chip.


Full probing measurement SYSTEM controlled by an “hp 1000 A–Series” computer programmed in Fortran language. Voltage PSUs, current source, DVM, radio controlled clock, DC matrix & AC matrix.


DC crossbar switching matrix (under DVM) for configuring a test by connecting probes to the equipment in thetwo left hand racks.


AC 50 ohms switching for connecting high frequency instruments (not shown).


Separately configured test system (with prober outside clean air cabinet) for measuring charge recovery of on-slice diodes.


Old low frequency network analyser(left) and high frequency network analyser (right) together with their driving computers and shared floppy disk unit & plotter in the centre.


A more modern low frequency network analyser (left) and spectrum analyser(right).


High frequency network analyser with more modern plotter and printer.


Talk on Electronic Components and Circuit Assessment

Rodney has been busy preparing his talk for the monthly Taplin meet being held on Wednesday 27th on the subject of Electronic Components and Circuit Assessment which will no doubt prove to be an interesting and educational evening.

The doors open around 7.30pm as usual and given the Wx’s turn for the worst in recent days you may want to leave that little bit earlier and ensure that your drive to the club is a safe one. The roads are particularly wet at the moment so be careful.

See you on Wednesday!

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!

Mike Hedges G0JHK gives a talk on WW2 Wireless Operators


Mike Hedges G0JHK gives a fascinating talk about his life as a WW2 wireless operator at the Taplin Centre.

An enjoyable evening was had at the Taplin Centre on June 26th, as Mike Hedges, gave a interesting and insightful presentation about his experiences after joining the RAF on a 3 year short commission in the early 1950’s to become a fully-fledged wireless operator.

After being sent to Cardington and then on to 8 weeks of basic training known as ‘square bashing’, Mike was entered into the number three radio training centre at Compton Bassett which is located a short way North-West of R.A.F. Yatesbury; the number 2 radio school.

Trained in both Morse and radio theory during a course that lasted a not inconsiderable 30 weeks and trained up to 30 words per minute in CW, Mike was then moved on to Lytham-St-Annes where he was kitted out before heading down to Southampton by train to embark on The Empire Trooper, a former German passenger vessel. Capable of carrying a hefty 300 military personnel and 200 civilians, this ship had been captured by the HMS Belfast in 1939, whilst en-route from the U.S via Iceland trying on its way back to Germany, and was then used as a personnel carrier for our military.

The Empire Trooper tested Mikes sea legs and after a queasy time on board, arrived at his first station in Gibraltar before going on to Suez where he initially performed a guard duty role with a .303 rifle while the country was under the presidency of Nassau.

He was then flown on through the blistering heat of Khartoum and onwards to his final destination In Aden. Located at the southern end of the Red Sea, there he finally got to work as a radio operator in the airfield control centre using a variety of radios, including 1154’s, 1155’s and AR88’s. For the ground to air work Mike was using around 100w, and Jakey also pointed out that some of the TX’s were using up to a whopping 8Kw.

Mike went on to explain his CW work with the military planes including Vickers Valetta’s and Bristol Brigands, the Brigands being equipped with heavy armour on the front and rocket launchers to help fight off any ground attacks from the tribal fighters in Yemen.

As Mike recounted various stories of his CW operation from the control tower on his day and night shifts, he noted that on some occasions in particularly poor weather, the buffeting planes made the flying operators produce extended CW ‘dahhs’ as the key was inadvertently held down which made communications interesting if not slightly longer than usual!

It wasn’t uncommon either for the personnel stationed at the base to be sitting in an open air cinema in the evenings to find themselves being deafened by low level planes as they tried to enjoy watching a film.

Finally Mike wrapped his presentation up with an original picture of Kharmaksar in 1951 where his billet was located amidst the encampment which housed the control tower, runway, antenna masts and the rest of the facilities at his post. Apparently today the area is little more than an arid dual carriageway in the desert.

One thing is for certain, after the very enjoyable presentation by Mike it became clear that his passion for amateur radio and Morse code are matched only by his enviable and interesting experiences as an RAF radio operator.


The ‘Sparks’ badge as worn by Mike G0JHK in the British Royal Signals.

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