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 a ton of military gear along for a field day that stretched across the county.
Barry 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.
Our first meeting of the year went very well, with great attendance. It was good again to see new faces.
Barry Chuter’s G8CVV talk on lightening and the electrics within our atmosphere, was most interesting and very thought provoking.
A big thank you goes out to Barry G8CVV for giving this talk at short notice after our speaker for the night cancelled, having gone down with the flu bug that is currently doing the rounds.
Our hobby out of control talk will be re-booked
We will be continuing with our regular trips up to the Beachy Head radio site and those members that are interested and have not yet attended, please contact me via the website Contact Form or Barry G8DXU via the details in air time.
It was good to hear that those members having problems logging on to the members section are now able to access the site, without any problems.
If you are still having problems logging on, or problems reoccur, please use the Contact Form.
Our new pictured and themed membership cards, match the theme of the clubs website. The version handed out on Monday 5th, was MK1 and there will be a laminated MK2 version available by our AGM in March.
If you spot any errors on your new membership card, please can you contact me with any corrections, via the web Contact Form.
Our yearly calendar will be updated over the coming two weeks with our meeting times and some of our yearly events. We have made trips out to Bletchley Park and the Chalk Pits museum in previous years and those interested in visiting these places again or other interesting venues, please contact me or discuss on our clubs forum. More to be posted soon, so stay tuned.
A Happy New to all our club members and all that visit this page.
Just a quick, reminder to all, that our next club meeting is this coming Monday January 5th and that our guest speaker will be talking about a hobby out of control. I am guessing that many radio hams can relate to this.
Full details of our clubs meeting times and our clubs meeting room location with its easy and free local parking e.t.c. can be found on the MONTHLY MEET page in the ABOUT US section.
Please can club members bring their nomination slips, provided in a previous Airtime magazine, with your nominations for the new 2015 clubs committee, as well as your subs for the coming year.
Our subs are still being kept very low, at £20 for the year.
Club membership gives you access to the members area on our clubs website, a monthly magazine and access to our wonderful facilities and equipment as partly seen on this website.
Just another small update, before a very positive and enjoyable year for our club and its members, comes to an end.
Here are a few more pictures from M6GND that were uploaded from his camera phone. There is a rare picture of myself, as I am normally behind the camera and out of camera shot.
Seen below: Dave G4XXM and Barry G8DXU listening to someone working the radio, after one of our mega fry ups.
Seen below: Is it a bird or is it a plane? No its just little old me, the website editor, sitting there under the camo netting and waffling on over the radio.
Seen below: Barry G8DXU repairing one of the cables. Barry is using a soldering iron, that is also useful for making single cups of tea. This could be a rumor, so do not try this at home.
Seen below: The camo netting and one of the holders. Standing under this and keeping very still, I saw several sheep close by.
This December has been fantastic weather wise and the activity up at our X NATO Beachy Site has been buzzing, with many new members joining in with the fun and operating from a noise free and highly elevated location.
Both Richard M6EYO and Tom M6ONX got their new call signs through.
Our trips down to the Cafe Continental, in the Seaside area of the town are becoming very popular and the cafe owner has been very accommodating in allowing us to join up tables for an ever growing number of local and non local radio hams, enjoying their well cooked food at VERY affordable prices.
Hamjoint is now officially launched and you will see a banner on our side panel that has a URL link to the site. We wish Tom M6ONX who has just recently passed his foundation and Dave G4XXM every success with their new dedicated auction platform for amateur radio equipment that has benefits to the radio community as a whole. If you have not yet done so, pop over to their website using link below or the banner on the side panel of this webpage and read all about the Hamjoint project and sign up for free.
Our radio operations up at the beachy site are very diverse, in that most bands are in use and a wide range of equipment is being brought up and plugged in. Often the age range of equipment on site is from old to new. Being a large site there is room for several antennas, meaning that different modes and frequencies can be used at the same time. See pictures below.
If you are interesting in the ‘doing’ part of the radio hobby or would just like to see amateur radio in action, why not sign up for membership and come along. The social side of our club is very relaxed and the door stop bacon, sausage egg sandwiches, cooked most weeks are an added bonus.
If you are new to radio and what to explore taking the Foundation Exam that is a very accessible exam, even for the non technical. Use our websites Contact Form to make inquiries. We have three registered trainers in our club and all stages of radio the exam are catered for.
Here again are a few pictures showing a little of what is going on up at this very picturesque location, that has stunning views of the local countryside and most importantly, great operating conditions.
Seen below: Dr Jon and Dave G4XXM standing by Jon’s Land Rover, with some x military equipment plugged in and ready to go. Several contacts were made from this external/mobile set up and as you can see the weather on this day was glorious for this time of year.
Seen below: Myself M3EVM, Dave G4XXM and Tom M6ONX Inside our radio shack after one our mega fry ups. Note the OK sauce bottle under the dray power supply!
Having a heater, a regular supply of tea, plus cooking facilities is great, especially at this time of year, when the temperatures outside are often close to the minus point.
Seen below: The sun sets from the beachy site are amazing and below you see Land Rovers in the sun set. That reminds me of a an old song or was that red sails?
Seen below: Barry G8CVV next to Henry’s 2E0IAK UN Land Rover.
Seen below: Barry G8DXU in a cunning disguise, wearing non military clothing and hiding behind a pint of Harveys. These field operations away from the radio set, have to be done.
Andy M6GND had some great results using one of those fishing poles antennas on the beachy site and a radio set in data mode.
Report: One’s the JT65 contact with RN5AA in Russia and the other is the Pskreporter report showing which monitoring stations received our JT65 signals. You’ll notice that our 5W signal was heard in Washington State almost 5,000 miles away, that equates to almost a thousand miles per Watt!
Here are just a FEW contacts from this years log book…. 11-06-2014 2m ssb F2FP France 05-08-2014 2m ssb ON4WY Holland 30-08-2014 20m ssb YO50BA Romania 22-10-2014 2m ssb EI3KD Ireland 06-12-2014 20m ssb YT2ISM Serbia 06-12-2014 20m ssb W1AW1 USA 06-12-2014 20m jy65 RN5AA Russia
155 confirmed and logged QSO’s since April plus
There have been numerous local test contacts mainly using clansman
equipment and through the local repeaters.
Roll up Roll up Stage two of our silent key sale is under-way on the Auctions page. Its another tender type sale and this one is open to non members too.
Please read our terms and conditions of sale BEFORE placing any bids.
Winter draws on and our clubs end of year meeting turned out to be a bumper turn out, being full of Christmas cheer and a good time was had by all.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to those that took the time to prepare food and those like myself that brought food along already prepared.
Again food and alcohol was in abundance, although I stuck to the savory side and a small glass of wine and coffee as I was driving.
It certainly makes it much easier for transport, now that our club room is situated very close to the town centre; being close to buses and trains. This year more members were able to enjoy a Christmas bevy.
On going through our clubs archives, I have found a pile of old Devonshire Awards. These were presented to club members that managed to make radio contact with six other southdown members, over the Christmas period. These are old certificates and a small piece of our clubs history, so why not give it a go. Register your results through our websites contact form.
I wish all a very happy Christmas and happy New Year.
Well done to both Richard and Tom, seen in the pictures below for passing their Foundation License first time. There will be two new call signs in the call book very shortly.
Here is Part One of a bumper update of a very busy month within the Southdown radio club community.
Our weekly meetings up at our X NATO Beachy Head Shack average around 6 to 8 club members in attendance, however some meetings well exceed this number as did this week’s Wednesday Radio Extravaganza!
If there was one word to describe the atmosphere this Wednesday, I would say it would be BUZZING.
The day started off with a meet down at the Cafe Continental and for high standards, consistency of food and great service I would give this small family run cafe a FIVE STAR rating. More often than not we fill up a table and the owner moves another table over to accommodate us.
Great food, great prices and a great service….
Above: The chips are down and there is no need to spill the beans here as the plates have plenty of capacity.
Above: On reflection I seem to be in this photo and behind Mike M6PDI, stands the cafe owner. I would well recommend giving the 5 star Cafe Continental a visit, when you are down the Seaside area and sample their excellent food.
Moving along on from the HAM EATER radio side of our club to the social side.
Our club’s ethos is to come along and follow your interests; not at the expense and detriment but to the enjoyment of others. This ideology works very well, and our Care and Share approach helps greatly with our club’s feelgood factor as seen in many of the photos.
Above: Amateurs in the mist and they are more often spotted after feeding times and when the YL (young lady) is preoccupied with her favorite pastime which is shopping for clothes.
Yet another great turn out above, on a very mild but misty afternoon towards the end of November. From left to right Barry Chuter, Barry G8DXU, Richard SWL, John G4JHD, Mike M6PDI, Tony G3ZQB, Henry 2E0IAK, Tom SWL, Dave G4XXM and Graham G6MAR, not forgetting Baxter G4AWALK.
Being an extremely mild November day our Beachy Head shack was packed to the rafters and it put a whole new meaning to the words Tuna Tin Radio!
There was a veritable fleet of LandRovers and off-road vehicles parked up, giving the site a very rustic and countryside feel.
Mike M6PDI and his off road 4×4. Makes the trips over the muddy fields with ease.
Some of our trips have involved cooking onsite and there has been a wide range of food that has been cooked from the military meals ready-to-eat rations that have been kindly provided by Barry G8DXU and Henry 2E1IAK, as well as some very naughty mega-doorstep bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches.
Above: A food extravaganza and a mega pack of meals ready to eat consumed early this year with a large dash of Coconut milk and a Can of Baked Beans added. Like in Oliver Twist, many came back with their bowls for more.
The setting up process of moving the radios and equipment from the cars onto the empty benches takes around 20 minutes, along with the winding up of the more than a tenner mast, the clansman dipole, the J beam and other antennas.
This Wednesday Graham G6MAR, Andy M6GND and Henry 2E1IAK busied themselves exploring and setting up data on all modes including SSTV using Laptops, Android devices and some very impressive transceivers. Barry G8DXU and Dave G4XXM set up some test equipment and provided some invaluable technical advice on rig alignment. Barry G8DXU, Henry 2E1IAK and Andy M6GND also brought along the regular array of military clansman radios.
Above: Barry G8DXU brought up some more very impressive test gear and some military radios, mixing the old with the new.
Tony G3ZQB and John G4JHD operated on 2m through the J-Beam and as usual got some great contacts running less than 25W!
Tom, currently a SWL and soon to take his Foundation Exam, helped us set up one of the club’s PCs with a Linux OS, the open-source ethos goes along well with the running of our club which also provides facilities for those interested in enjoying the wide diversity of both the Amateur Radio and Electronics hobbies.
Above: Tom and Dave G4XXM are launching Hamjoint very shortly and its launch will be advertised here when it goes live.
Above: The radio and electrical interference in towns is often S5 and above and in some areas amateur radio is being drowned out by the non regulation of an ever growing number of cheaply built devices.
Our Beachy Head hill site is GREAT for VHF/UHF and above due to its height elevation, and is also GREAT for HF contacts due to the exceptionally low background noise, the site being well away from all those noise producing modems and the electrical equipment etc found down in the towns.
If you are active in either the Radio or Electronics hobbies and wish to join in with the fun and share your interests with others, and learn from others, why not join up and come along? Our club is forward thinking with much diversity, including the full integration of computing and amateur radio. There is also a strong Mobile, QRP, Vintage and Military/specialist radio side to the club. Two words sum up the atmosphere within the club and they are “VERY SOCIAL” and another word I would also add would be FUN!
Signing clear webmaster…. seen below on a good day.