Summer is well on the way and this month the sparks were flying down at our club’s meeting rooms as you will see in the most shocking pictures below this article.
Our outdoor activities are starting to take off, as those less hardy radio enthusiasts are coming out of their winter hibernation and daring to go mobile and portable once again!
However this years winter period as had very good support by our more hardy members, who have kept up the great attendance at our beachy head site and have facilitated its regular opening; at least twice a week, even through the coldest times.
John G3DQY has kept our Hailsham shack going, throughout the winter period despite the building work and a flood just before the Christmas break, a big THANK YOU goes out to ALL the above that have kept our shack going.
I feel that the food and friendly relaxed nature of those attending, our small shacks, as seen in our many pictures below, has made this all possible and has motivated those attending to keep returning for more good food and more good company.
Our mid week meeting down at the Cafe Continental is expanding out onto several tables with the Liver and Bacon taking the lead over Chilli Con Carne and the Traditional Breakfast within the ham eater side of our club.
Andy M6GND has been going down to the Downlands family butchers at East Dean to buy their truly amazing burgers and sausages! That’s enough about food for now as its lunch time.
Spring brings with it many baby lambs happily playing around, in the sun (as seen below) and the first of our on the air year events. Mills on the air.
Our club’s entry will be taking place on the 9th & 10th May 2015 down at the Polegate Windmill and all club members are invited to attend on the Saturday and guests are invited to attend on Sunday. If you are interested in attending as a guest, please use our websites Contact Form.
I will be adding an archive section to our website over the next fortnight to contain the many pictures and articles of 2014, I will also be cleaning up of the blog post section of the site, reserving it for blog post only. There will also be an extended Clansman Radio section for the green enthusiast with articles from Barry G8DXU.
Our next months club meeting will be A VERY RARE opportunity to meet and listen to a talk by a former member of the Bletchley Park team. As you can imagine as time marches on, fewer and fewer of the original Bletchley team are around, so this meeting is well worth putting in your diary.
Our club consists of a friendly and social group of radio enthusiasts, who have a diverse range of interests across the radio and electronics field.
If you wish to join in with our indoor and outdoor activities and in with our radio sceds, please contact us via our websites Contact Form for more details.
Bary Chuter G8CVV is seen below just before giving his talk on high voltage.
Seen below – Bary Chuter G8CVV explaining to Richard M6EYO how to heat up a lemon meringue pie, with extremely high voltage.
Seen below -The variable, the capacitor and the lower coil.
Seen below - As you see the sparks did fly and the lighting dipped as Bary Chuter G8CVV shorts out the pie dish with Tesla level voltage.
Seen below - Very strange weather up at the Beachy Head site on the day of that massive corona burst.
Seen below – Andy M6GND and Bary G8DXU seen here mobile
Seen below - Out in the Lamb Rover and sheep were detected through Coleman’s antenna on the lamb eater radio. If you need more info a sauce will be provided.
Seen below - No longer feeling sheepish they ganged up by the six baa gate in an attempt to block our exit.
Easter is over and we are coming up to our next club meeting this Monday 13th April 2015 with our very own Mr Tesla show and a demonstration of GENERATING HIGH VOLTAGE by Barry Chuter G8CVV.
So prepare to shocked if you are in the front seats and the sparks will fly in the best possible ways.
Last Saturdays trip up to our Beachy site again was very productive with lots of contacts. And club members going out and about testing the Clansman RB equipment under field conditions. We operated some excellent VHF links and will be adding HF AM / SSB on future occasions.
There are a few pictures below for the Land Rover enthusiasts with Defender 110 FFRs from Henry 2E0IAK (UN, 200TDi) & Barry’s G8DXU (Tithonus, 2.5 NA).
If you are active on the radio and you enjoy a few field trips out to the countryside or you prefer to stay at home and come along to our friendly monthly club meetings, why not join in, for a summer of fun playing with radios and electronics.
We are coming up to our 50th anniversary in two years time and the preparations are under way for bumper packed radio year with all sorts going on.
As usual we will be running our entry for the National Mills Weekend down at the Polegate Windmill, so why not pay us a visit?
See the National Mills Weekend website and our calendar for more details.
A Happy Easter from all at Southdown Amateur Radio
Despite the cold and blustery weather our outside and field events have been busy with great attendance.
I share one of the reports produced by Bary G8DXU.
I have posted a few pictures below as its lambing season once again up on the south downs and they are popping out everywhere.
For the Land Rover enthusiasts there is a rare photo shoot of Land Rovers in the mist. You can only see the one as the other in the mist.
Bary G8DXU report:
After a few days of reasonable weather Saturday arrived accompanied by rain, mist and high winds!
In keeping with our now established tradition of operating from BHRS whatever the weather we decided to carry on regardless!
As the wind was too high to safely erect the Tennamast we deployed the Ground Mounted Monopole for work on 4m & 6m. The magnetic mount 5/8 wave served as a back-up for 2 metres.
Richard M6EYO and Dr Jon M0JAO were already mobile in their Land Rover 90 with Clansman RT351 and RT320 equipment’s at the ready. They had decided to head east and establish initial contact on 51.60 MHz our favourite calling and working channel.
Steve M6EVM was left in control at BHRS accompanied by Dave G4XXM and Tom M6ONX.
Barry G8DXU went mobile in his Land Rover Defender 110 Tithonus FFR and headed for Warren Hill which has a very good VHF take-off to the East.
Meanwhile Andy M6GND was making for the high ground of South Hill above Cuckmere Haven to operate his RT351 with Ground Spike Antenna (GSA).
Richard and Jon arrived at Pevensey Bay for the scheduled call-in at 1300 using the EVHF (Pineapple) aerial. Their signals were almost fully quieting on the RT353 in my FFR using the standard two metre long whip aerial and wing mounted TUAAM.
Rather cold from the elements, Richard and Jon decided to head for Bexhill seafront and re-establish the station. The call of nearby Sovereign Light Café for a late Breakfast was too mush to resist!
Non-member Ray G6JME called into the net, with Andy M6GND checking in from the Cuckmere area. Located in Eastbourne Ray’s signals were excellent but due to the RF shadow of Beachy Head he could not hear Andy. After refreshments Jon and Richard called in from Bexhill on the secondary frequency of 29.010MHz using the RT320 their signals from the Clansman with 2.5m vertical whip were 5&9. Unfortunately they could not be heard by Ray probably due to his aerial being horizontally polarized. The equipment used on HF in my FFR was the RT321 and TURF 25W with 4 metre vertical whip.
Andy’s signals on 10 metres AM were initially weak and distorted which he quickly found was due to a flat battery on his FT817. Following a change of battery communications were properly established with Andy connecting the GSA to the FT817. Theoretically the frequency limit of the GSA is 30-76MHz but with the correct number of aerial rods added they seem a good aerial for 10m and perhaps CB channels.
We moved frequency up thee kilohertz and changed mode to USB for a very pleasant discussion on all things related to radio,portable and mobile operations.
Finally we all called BHRS on 6m to report our intentions with several of us returning there for a very welcome cup of tea and other refreshments.
Whilst again communications were only established over relatively short distances we are exploring our equipment’s capabilities. Despite the awful weather this just goes to show that we can still be active and have some fun during the process.
Below: The ham eater radio side of our club was busy filling up two double tables down at the Seaside Continental Cafe and the food was up to its usual high standards.
Below: A baby lamb just born and yes s/he is still alive and just resting.
Below: A new born lamb and its anxious mother.
Below: The lessor seen during the day, a Land rover in the mist.
I had to upload these few pictures, and yes, its our radio shack on the hill cunningly disguised as an Indian restaurant with authentic Indian music coming over the shortwave (Clansman RT320) and even the pickle tray!
Now that’s getting curried away!
Even Baxter the dog joined in as you will see below.
If you are interested in radio, electronics or fine cuisine, why not join in with the fun. Nut allergies of course, will need to be disclosed on your membership form.
Prepared by Barry G8DXU….
Baxter enjoyed the food.
And finally a couple of radio related pictures….
If you look closely Andy M6GND is hiding behind the tree on the far right of the picture. You can just see his legs under the branch of the tree.
A Clansman RT320 out in the field, with Binoculars at the ready. FT817 backup visible at right of picture.
Some of the pictures below were taken just before our clubs AGM, so they are a little out of sequence with the date, as our AGM was foremost on my mind.
The latter part of February and the early part of March has kept up the usual pace of activity with our clubs field events and our Beachy Head site has been very active with field operations, spanning across East Sussex.
Again here is a good selection of snap shots taken on site and around the Sussex countryside.
If you are an active radio operator or operate from home, why not consider joining in with the fun.
Our club membership for the coming year is still down at a very reasonable rate £20 and concessions are offered to those who take the exam courses with our club. See our Joining and Membership page.
Andy M6GND seen below climbing out of the inspection hatch.
Andy M6GND seen here just about to do a wind up.
It turned out to be an insurance salesman. We need to get a caller display for the clansman.
An inside view of G8DXU’s Land Rover military radio set up, that is all functional and working.
Land Rovers in the sunset! Sounds like the name of an old 78 record that my parents used to play.
Dr Jon and Andy M6GND enjoying a curry cooked on site by Barry G8DXU. We listened to Indian music over the shortwave radio, to set the atmosphere.
Dr Jon before the camouflager netting and you can still see him very close down to the ground by the stub of an old windmill.
Dr Jon after the camouflager netting and now he blends stealthily into the environment. You can just see the antenna if you look closely.
Richard M6EYO and baxter by the Land Rover. Out and about around Sussex with Dr Jon testing out the radio equipment. Richard could see our Beachy site through the field glasses.
More from the base of an old windmill.
Finally back to the excellent curry that Barry G8DXU prepared on site that was totally up market from last years meals ready to eat mega mince meal, as seen in our blog.
Our clubs AGM on the 02/02/2015 went very well and the evening was more social than it was formal. The formalities of the meeting were swiftly over and during the rest of the evening we had a general chat about the running of our club.
We have many new members on our committee.
Geoff Ellis G3LFZ remains as our clubs president.
Tony G3ZQB is our new chairman
Richard M6EYO is our new treasurer.
Andy M6GND is our new secretary.
Jane 2E1PJJ has rejoined for another year and Mike M6PDI and Tom M6ONX are newcomers to our very proactive management team.
Barry G8DXU has rejoined as our Air Time editor and shacks manager for the Beachy Head site. A big thanks goes out to Barry G8DXU for his revitalization of our Beachy Head radio site, making it a social and fun place to experiment with all types radio equipment. Last years on site fry ups, certainly put the ham back into ham eater radio.
Peter G6GVM and Iris G6ZNO have stood down after many years of service on clubs our committee and our club wishes to thank them for their many years of service.
Not forgetting John G3DQY for his help with teas and coffee’s at our monthly meetings and the opening up Monthly of our Hailsham shack.
I have taken a back ground role on the committee as the vice chairman and will be there to assist when needed.
More will be added over the next few days, with some pictures from our recent trips up on the hill and our radio field trips, out and about around Sussex. See our BLOG section.
The month of February is off to a great start with a bumper turn out for our club meeting, with its guest speaker speaking on a hobby out of control and the tables were filled again down at our weekly meeting at the cafe continental.
We have had a great attendance, despite the cold weather, up at our Beachy camp x site, with the noise free radio conditions and the amazing fry ups, its not rocket science to see why that ham eater radio and amateur radio go hand in hand or is that hammed in ham?
Vegetarians are of course welcome!
Here is last Saturdays report and objectives and as you will see Barry G8DXU literally brought along a ton of military gear for our field day that stretched across the county.
Barry G8DXU has created an excellent blog that is open to read from public perspective. Club members can share comments in the members forum.
The theme for the day was for members to depart to some distant high ground and establish comms with BHRS using Military Clansman portable PRC351 radios. These radios normally run 4W RF into a 1.2 metre whip aerial.
The manufactures published working range for the PRC351 in rolling countryside is approximately 13km.
We wished to set up a small net and prove the working range under field conditions.
Andy departed to Firle Beacon with Richard and his brother Dr Jon (M0JAO) heading for Crowborough (Kingstanding)
Dave and Tom were to go to the Rickney area of Pevensey levels.
Distances from BHRS were M6GND 16km, M0JAO 36km , G4XXM 12km.
Stations were established at the designated locations and the operators called into BHRS where we were using an RT353 capable of over 50 Watts, if needed, into an Elevated VHF (Pineapple) Antenna at 5 metres above the ground.
In most cases the mobile stations received good signals from BHRS running only 1Watt into the EVHF antenna.
Richard and Jon deployed an EVHF aerial at low level from Jon’s Series One Land Rover. Whilst their signals were workable at BHRS the return path signal using a 1.2m whip proved inadequate.
All stations could easily be worked from BHRS with in most case good fully quieting signals (In Army terms “OK”)
The only direct path that did not work was M0JAO to G4XXM probably due to attenuation by Windmill Hill at Herstmonceux.
Thus in these tests the published ranges were easily exceeded and with radios that were nearly 40 years old.
There will be a comprehensive report on the afternoons tests together with some more photographs on the BLOG section.
I believe that everyone involved had a good time in the cold but bright weather and are eager to make a future network larger and more adventurous. The two rounds of Sausage, Onion, Bacon and Egg sandwiches consumed before the start of the trials helped set the mood and fortify us from the winter elements!
Tom M6ONX seen here below constructing one of our door step rolls out of home laid eggs, bacon, sausages and of course the Special Stuff, bottled in Royston Vasey and sold down at their local shop.
Note: the TON ( almost literally) of radio equipment brought along by Barry G8DXU for this occasion.
Here is Dr Jon M0JAO up at the Crowborough location operating from the back of his Land Rover.
Our next club meeting is our AGM where club members will to be voting in their new committee for the coming year. Our is a friendly and very active radio club with MUCH going on, so why not join in with the fun.
For membership and exam details, please use the contact form on this website.
The new year is underway and the Hobby out of control talk that was booked for our last meeting will be this coming Monday 2nd February at our clubs meeting venue.
Please remember to bring your rejoining fee of £20, so that you can have your say at next months AGM.
We have had a good uptake on this years membership, moving our club from strength to strength. Our club is moving closer to its 50th anniversary and the plans for the 50th year are already being worked on.
On the activity side we have been as busy as ever and our Beachy site has average six to eight visitors throughout some of the coldest days of the year.
There is lots planned for the year ahead and you can have your say on the clubs forum.
Here are a few photos taken from inside our cabin, that heated by a small heater kindly donated by Tony G0EYE that brings the room temperature up to around 24 degrees after a while. With many cups of tea and occasional fry ups, our operators and visitors soon warm up and can enjoy playing radio in summer like conditions. These pictures were taken on a phone, so they are a little grainy.
Do not forget to check your Airtime Magazine for the auction items and details. The privacy selection was lost on the Airtime reader and I am working on an alternative. The clubs magazine is still available in the members sections under Airtime.
Below: Andy M6GND and Tony G3ZQB
Below: Andy M6GND, Barry G8DXU, Richard M6EYO and Tony G3ZQB working a pile up on the radio.
Below: Andy M6GND sitting by his data mode setup and Tony G3ZQB swinging the beam around to work our regular contact in the south wales Cardiff area.
Below: Last Wednesday up at the site with the door tightly shut as it was blowing gale outside. The temperature inside was 24 degrees. Mike M6PDI and John G4JHD are in the picture below.
Below: Not many outside pictures this month as its cold outside!
However our contacts have been both local and far afield on many modes and bands, as the Beachy site is noise free and this makes a LOT of difference on the DX contacts.
If you are interested in finding out more why not come along to our club meeting this Monday 2nd February and find out more.
Our club now has four qualified trainers and we cater for ALL stages of the radio exam.
The Foundation License is the easiest exam, being passed with ease by many all over the country. This exam gives a WIDE range of legal radio usage and is an excellent introduction to the radio and electronics hobby.
If you have any questions please use our websites contact form.
Our weekly trip down to the Cafe Continental was well attended for the start of the new year and we extended out three tables.
The food again was of the usual high standard.
We then went up to our X Nato site and the weather on the hill was very mild for this time of the year. Our shack has its own heating and plenty of space to set up the radio equipment.
With ten members in attendance our site was soon buzzing with radio activity using many different modes of communication. It was good to see new faces again joining in with the fun.
Seen below: Tom M6ONX, Tony G3ZQB, A SWL, Richard M6EYO and John G4JHD speaking to a Welsh radio operator on 2m SSB.
Our Saturday meeting started off early in time to join the VMARS net on 3.615mhz AM, working with some x military radios. Most stations gave us a 5&9 working a Clansman RT320 running 12 watts into an inverted V dipole from our excellent location that has great elevation and zero noise.
See below: Richard M6EYO on the Clansman RT320 working M3XBZ in Reading on 3.615mhz AM with a 5&9 signal both ways.
Also worked on 60 Meters AM 5.317 MHz, was G3YJ0 using his Wireless Set No.19, our best contact of the day over the short range skip, was GM8AGM 25 miles north of Aberdeen, again being a 5&9 at the peaks of the QSB. All in a very good start for the first radio active week of the new year, with plenty of interesting contacts being made.
If you are interested in electronics and/or the radio communications side, why not join up and come along. Hamjoint is starting to take off, so check out there new website, for bargains, using the link on the side panel of this page.
Seen below: Tony G3ZQB talking with with one of regular linkups on 2m sideband.
Seen below: One of our other regular visitors up on the hill, looking rather sheepish and out for a barrr gain.