The story behind the card Series 2 – No.2 Rockall Island

The island of Rockall is so tiny that it hardly qualifies island status. It is a lonely outpost of rock 185 miles West of St. Kilda and sits at the Northern end of the ‘Rockall Bank’, an area of shallower water that is less than 330 ft. in depth. Rockall has precipitous margins which make attempts at landing hazardous and almost impossible unless the sea is very calm. It has no vegetation (sea weed excluded) and little of its surface is flat. The search for oil reserves in the 1960s and 7Os led the British Government to lay claim to the sovereignty of the rock. A special detachment of the Royal Navy Marines actually landed on Rockall and claimed it to be British Territory by planting the Union flag.

g3bdq-rockall-island-qsl-cardThere is a large band of DXers devoted to contacting Islands, and they have a series of awards and certificates for certain numbers of islands contacted and confirmed. Their activities go under the nomenclature ‘Islands on the Air’ (IOTA). I feel that as an absolute rarity Rockall Island must be the pinnacle of difficulty to activate on the air, and many brave souls tried and abandoned the venture of landing, setting up a station and actually making contacts. One brave (foolhardy ?) Scottish group were able to land on Rockall on March 30th 1994 and for a short time operated on 7 MHz SSB Using the call GM4SXU/P. Their QSL card illustrates the rock and this example confirms contact with the IOTA specialist G0MSM. The operation from Rockall fulfilled the rules and parameters of IOTA and their Official rectangular cachet was struck on the lower right-hand corner of the QSL.
Rockall does NOT count as a DX ‘Entity’ but ‘Just another GM QSO’.

By John Heys G3BDQ – Vital Spark October 2011.

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