Vital Spark Articles

Welcome to the Vital Spark article archive where you will find a wide selection of pieces written by Hastings Electronics and Radio Club members over the years including humourous writings from the late Stan Simpson G4ITM along with thought provoking and educational articles from John Heys G3BDQ, Eric Vast and many more.

This archive is in a constant state of being updated so check back often if you wish to find the latest re-published Vital Spark articles from years gone by as they are well worth a good read.

Please note that these articles may not be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

John D. Heys (G3BDQ)

Due to the many articles written by G3BDQ, you can find John Heys’ articles here.

Eric Vast (M1CYF)

My brush with the Atom Bomb – Wartime memories by Eric Vast.

Geissler Tubes

Baird – Another View

The General’s Inspection

The first Hastings Radio Club

The Evolution of the Transistor

Atomic Energy

Interesting Radios of World War 2

Campden Hill Water Tower

The crystals of Abu Zaabal

More on GBR

An Australian Radio Club

TRF Wins

The Royal Signals Chicken Farm

Carbon Microphone Amplifiers

Re-filamenting of Large Transmitting Valves



Push-Pull Variable Density Film

A few volts more

The Big One

Arms and the Man

Dr John Ball of the survey of Egypt

Cast thy bread upon the waters

Rhombic aerials

Even more about Rhombics

Feeding the Royal Corp of Signals

Quartz Crystal Memories

Finding buried objects by Radar

The No. 19 Set

A brush with the Navy

The Air Ministry Laboratory

The communications board


The Secret Tests

My trip home

The Lichtspricht 80

My year in Fleet Street Part 1My year in Fleet Street Part 2

Prisoners of War

Save us from our Friends

Chris Bittan (G1TBO)

Build a hanging dipole for 2m

Dick Bird (G4ZU/F6IDC)

Decibels, Bels and Telephone Bells

David A Pilley (VK2AYD)  RNARS # 0013

The Secret War of Wireless

Guy V. Eves (G4CIT)

Knickebein and Gruppe 100 – v – Oboe and 105/109

Gordon Sweet (M3YXH)

The languages of BASIC

BBC Basic for Windows

Liberty BASIC and Just BASIC

Leon Heller (G1HSM)

dsPIC Audio Filter (Part 1)

dsPIC Audio Filter (Part 2)

Random number generator

Mike (G4UWF)

Off-shore Radio – A brief history

Peter Firmin (G0FUU)

Here or There

Sound mirrors

Phil Parkman (G3MGQ)

Train the Trainer

No stopping these five

Radio Technology Day 2009

Why learn Morse

Why learn Morse (postscript)

Learning the Code

Antennas from scratch – Part 1

Richard (G0ILN)

Getting HERC call sign G6HH on air

G6HH / FISTS CW update

Brian (G4BCO)

SARS v HFRC Foxhunt August 16th 1987

Stan Simpson (G4ITM)

The Tales of Flashover House – Stan’s popular 35 part series.

Doing the Morse

August 1986 Foxhunt

Battle of Hastings 1066 – The Truth?

Great Radio Hams of the Past – Napoleon Bonaparte

The Aerial

Before you were born

Mike Bedford (G4AEE)

Samuel Morse’s Legacy

Jim Harris (G4DRV)

The Secrets of GBR

Stan (VKN)

Big brother is watching you. Thank goodness!

Clive (VK6CSW)

The core of the matter

Reflections on reflections

Global Positioning System

Homodyne Reception

What goes up must come down again

Random thoughts on the Air

John Ridd (G8BQX)

Go ahead the George One Texico Mango Station

The Quintessential HRO

The Best is Enemy of the Good

Steve Stewart (M0SSR)

The Theremin

Rodney King

Pinpointing a break in an insulated cable

Discharger for NICD and NIMH cells

Practical Tesla Coil system

Is Your Sky Digibox Misbehaving?

Jakey (G3JKY)

My First Year with RAYNET (2002)

Getting out on HF

My twenty years with computers – Part 1

My twenty years with computers – Part 2

My twenty years with computers – Part 3

My twenty years with computers – Part 4

I knew I had one somewhere

The locked room mystery

Rex (G4RMS)

Flying in Knots

The Parcels

Tony Selmes (G4KLF)

A letter from Oman

J.A.S.S. and all that

Snippets from here and there

Morse Code

Japanese Morse

Sam Wright (VK6YN)

By a one time Navigator

The horses of war

Mac (G6CCW)

Ohms Law

Rex (G6VLE)

Escape to the Islands

Doug Mepham (G4ERA)

Reminiscences of a Mis-Spent Youth

Inertial Navigation

The Jackson Brother’s Story

John Elgar-Whinney

The World War 2 German Enigma Encryption Machine

John (G0THG)

History ain’t what it used to be

Derrick (G7RWU)

The Balloon

Bob Gornal (G7DME)

Trouble with robots

Computer hints and tips 10

Computer hints and tips 11

Antony Turnbull (G4CUS)

Ramblings from a G4  – July 2007

Ramblings from a G4  – January 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – February 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – March 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – April 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – May 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – June 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – July 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – August 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – September & October 2008

Ramblings from a G4  – January 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – February 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – March 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – April 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – May 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – June 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – July 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – August 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – September 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – October 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – November 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – December 2009

Ramblings from a G4  – January 2010

Ramblings from a G4  – February 2010

Band Conditions

Mike Wade (M0EDU)

John Logie-Baird

Tony Richardson

Who needs all that receiver sensitivity on HF?

How your HF receiver gets its selectivity


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