The Southdown Amateur Radio Society is a club for anybody interested in amateur radio, with members across the South Downs and even other countries.
We meet on a weekly basis at one of our two radio sites, as well as once a month in our Eastbourne-based club rooms.
We have members interested in everything from CW to modern data mode and participate in many contests each year – you can read more about what we get up to on the blog, or below.
Having endured some sixteen or so weeks of the lock-down the gradual return to normality started from the 6th of July was very welcome news. Radio amateurs have been fortunate to be able to continue with their hobby, keeping in contact with their fellows over the air waves aided by the connectivity of the internet for those without access to space for aerials.
Southdown A.R.S. are incredibly fortunate to have a radio site at Beachy Head where we can pursue our radio interests away from the radio noise and interference caused by Broadband and electrical equipment. And on a hill at an altitude of 480 feet near open fields with some great views!
Wishing to enjoy these facilities as soon as possible a small group of members planned a radio camp at the site. With numbers being strictly limited to six attendees outside family groups. The event was posted on our Forum and Calendar awaiting responses on first come first served basis.
Initially there were responses from three members wishing to attend both Friday and Saturday, with apologies from some who were already attending other functions. We were planning to continue our members cumulative contest from 1630-1830 Friday with the added bonus of the IARU HF contest running over the weekend. This gave plenty of opportunity for radio operating on HF for those wishing to participate.
Andy 2E0GNE and Tim M0THM were first to arrive at the site with Barry G8DXU slightly delayed collecting provisions and diesel for the site generator, which was running very low.
We pitched our tents, with the usual difficulty securing even substantial, tent pegs in the hard ground and beach substrate. The aerial to be used in the contest was a 20m Dipole, deployed from the main Tennamast. We also ran a 100 foot long wire for the Station Radio C12 to the 8m mast on G8DXUs Land Rover Defender FFR. The Larkspur Station Radio C12 was brought along just in case there might be members who wanted a contact on Top Band, but this did not happen during this event. However it did reveal a couple of faults, such as dirty ATU relay contacts and intermittent lamp connections. Plus a loose ground connection on the Plessey MkIV plug of the control harness, making the PTT intermittent. These problems have all now been rectified in readiness for VMARS Dynamotor Day on the 29th of August.
Our members contest started at 1630 local time on 14.055MHz when it was hoped that we may be able to make contact with Dick SV0RPE in Crete. However after a couple of CQ calls, no members were heard using CW so we switched to USB
Our first contact with a club member was actually on the 15 metre band with Steve G8NFZ
Our next major event would be the 2 metre and 70cm Low Power contest running over the weekend of 1st 2nd August respectively. This is a 25 Watt maximum power event and on this occasion must be for single operators only.
There was the added bonus that during the same weekend the European HF contest is also running. We made an entry in this event in order to keep a couple of members occupied whilst G8DXU operated in the main VHF event.
Overall the weekend of 10-11th July was very enjoyable, with the few members attending making the most of the opportunity to get out into the open air and do some radio operating.
It is with regret that the society has learnt that Flemming who was an early member of SARS become a silent key some weeks ago..
Flemming G4MJC had great enthusiasm for VHF and particularly 6m where he was often heard during contests. He will be sadly missed by his fellow amateurs. Our condolences go out to his family.
Several SARS members made contact with Ian whilst he was in Holland at West Kapelle on Top band (160m) using 1976kHz USB. Contact was also established from Beachy Head on (60m) 5363kHz USB by G8DXU and G1KAR/P with Andy 2E0GNE operating.
Anthony G4UPY was also on net, together with Chris G3XFE in Heathfield. Thanks go out to all stations for their co-operation and especially to Ian for making the effort to include SARS members in these interesting inter-European propagation experiments.
Previously a long standing member of SARS, Barry Chuter G8CVV became a Silent Key on Sunday 26th of July. Barry had moved from Eastbourne to Minehead about two years ago to be closer to his family.
He had a special interest in VHF and was renown for his knowledge and expertise in High Voltage generation and research into lightening. The title page on this site shows one of Barry’s demonstrations of a small Tesla coil discharge!
Barry was a Staff Sargent in the local TA in which he served from the 1970s until retirement. Barry developed the “Chuter Box” to facilitate voice communications over the MODs Triffid / Ptarmigan radio system. He was also a Technical Officer working in the local Eastbourne “C” Submarine Repeater station.
He will be sadly missed by members of the society, together with his friends in the TA and British Telecom.
Results have been posted in the updated September 2020 AirTime.
After careful consideration and in light of the fact that a significant proportion of our membership is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the Committee has taken the decision to indefinitely postpone all future monthly meetings as well as meetings at the Cafe Continental on Wednesdays, until further notice. Meetings at the club shacks will continue with attendance at the discretion of members.
We hope to be able to reinstate future meeting dates as soon as possible, but in the meantime a special club net is planned, with the following details:
Every Wednesday 14:00 hrs, 70cm GB3ZX (Butts Brow) repeater
Output: 430.825 Mhz
Input: 438.425 MHz (+7.6 MHz)
Input tone: 88.5 Hz
Please see our calendar for details of scaled-down events, camps and activities, these are generally limited to six members. On-Air meetings and contests are still open to all members.
This excellent presentation from Steve Sims MSc G8NFZ is now available on YouTube as a seven part series. Click here to view them.
SARS have achieved 2nd place (Runner-Up) in the Open section of the 50MHz (6 metre) Christmas Cumulative Contests. With many thanks to those members who gave up their time to participate.
Members attention is drawn to our calendar and the members Forum regarding forthcoming contests. Please have a look at the various contests and dates. Members who have an interest in contesting are encouraged to help with or even organise participation in these events.
SARS has an excellent, noise free, radio site at Beachy Head with the capability of running high power on HF and selected VHF bands.
Current restrictions due to Covid 19 mean that only single operators are allowed to make contest entries. Members that wish to operate from BHRS using the societies facilities are invited to contact Barry G8DXU for further information.
There is a great deal of opportunity for radio operations on HF, VHF or UHF, the choice is yours!
There was an unexpected and interesting gathering of Land Rovers on Saturday 26th of October at the societies Beachy Head.Radio Site.
Pictured from left to right, Defender 110 FFR (Tithonus) 2.5 N/A owned by Barry G8DXU, Defender 90 2.5 N/A owned by Ferg M0SIP, visiting from Wales. Both of these vehicles being 34 years old. Defender 90 300 TDi owned by SARS Treasurer Richard, 2E0JXU with an excellent Series One manufactured in 1948 brought along by Dr Jon M0JAO.
It is recognised that not all members have an interest in Land Rovers but will hopefully appreciate that these vehicles are ideal for amateur radio purposes. The Fitted for Radio (FFR) vehicles have HF and VHF antenna mounts, separate batteries and 2kW alternator.
As four wheel drive vehicles with low ratio gears and the ability to lock the differential, these are ideal for accessing remote sites for portable and contest operations. The society has an increasing number of members with military vehicles. eg Defender 110 FFR, Defender Wolf FFR, FV432 Armoured personnel carrier, Daimler Ferret Armoured, LR Series One 1949.
SARS is pleased to offer training for the foundation licence which enables new members to use compliant military radio equipment on amateur frequencies.