Welcome!

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 usually meet on a weekly basis at our Beachy Head radio site, 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.

Latest News

Festival of Transport (FOT) Hellingly on 16th April by Barry G8DXU

An announcement from the EHVS indicates that this years show will be held over the Bank Holiday weekend of 28th to 30th of August. More details should be available in May following clarification of the rules for Step 3 from our government. SARS members who are interested in attending with displays or helping with our Special Event Radio Station are requested to keep an eye on our Forum for further information.

Ofcom & Implementation of ICNIRP on 18th March by Barry G8DXU

Radio Amateurs, Boat owners, professional and other users of Radio Communications equipment running over 10W RF Power are to be affected by licence changes proposed to come into effect on the 18th of May.

Ofcom are proposing to implement the ICNIRP recommendations on the levels of Radio Frequency (Non-Ionizing) radiation. Strict limits may be introduced that restrict the levels of RF radiation from amateur and other installations.

Users (Licencees) will be required to ensure that their transmitters comply with the limits set for “Public exposure” to radio frequency emissions. These emissions being for frequencies above 10MHz. This could have a serious impact on the way radio amateurs deploy and use their apparatus. Also on many small boats where marine VHF transceivers are connected to a normal 1/2 Wave end fed aerial (3dBi) and on high power 25W separation needs to be over 2 metres. Mobile installations operated by radio amateurs in a public place will have to comply with the new limits.

It is however noted that the above refers to exposure of the “Public” to Electromagnetic Fields. The limits do not apply to the Licencee, Operator or Installer of the equipment.

Radio users are encouraged to inspect the draft implementation document Guidance on EMF Compliance and Enforcement (ofcom.org.uk) and send their comments to Ofcom by the 18h of April.

Contests and re-opening of our Beachy Head Radio Site on 14th March by Barry G8DXU

Now that our government has published a road map out of the current lock-down your society is actively planning future activities.

We hope that, once again we can establish entries in forthcoming HF and VHF contests. This obviously depends upon the restrictions in place at the time and social distancing etc will be required for another couple of months or so.

Hopefully most restrictions will have been lifted by the time of the Low Power contests in July/August. Members are invited to participate in discussions on our Forum regarding future events.

John Vaughan G3DQY S/K on 6th February by Barry G8DXU

It is with great regret that the society hears that John (Jack) Vaughan G3DQY become a Silent Key on the 5th of February at the Conquest Hospital.

John was a long standing and Honorary member of the society, having been our chairman in past years. He was manager of our Hailsham shack for several decades and a very keen and expert CW operator. John will be sadly missed by his colleagues in the society.

We extend our sincere condolences to his friends and family.

Latest SSB Net 144.325 & 28.320MHz on 5th February by Barry G8DXU

Our 7th SSB net is planned for Saturday 24th of April. Details have now been posted on our Calendar and emails will be sent to a selection of interested members.

Frequency 144.325 MHz from 1400 then 28.325 MHz and 1976kHz all USB.

Thanks go out to all who have participated in previous nets, including the non-members / guests who have helped make these nets very enjoyable.

Some Sad News Iris Martin G6ZNO S/K on 25th January by Barry G8DXU

Iris Martin G6ZNO had been a long standing member of SARS serving as Secretary for many years. She had many interests being a keen electronic organ player and winemaker.

Her pleasant and lively personality will be greatly missed at society meetings and by all of the membership that knew her. The committee extend their sincere condolences to her family and husband Peter G6GVM.

Portable Contest Operation, Currently NOT ALLOWED on 7th January by Barry G8DXU

Effective from 1st January 2021 the RSGB has amended the rules for HF and VHF contest operation.

Portable stations in Tier 4 Areas are not permitted to participate in contests. Eastbourne and nearby towns are now all in a Tier 5 Area, placing further restrictions on our movements.

Fortunately, individual members are still able to participate in contests from their own homes and thus contribute towards the societies scores.

SARS AirTime Magazine for 2021 on 29th November by Barry G8DXU

SARS house magazine “AirTime” for 2021 is normally published on or before the last day of each month. This is available to members only and can be be viewed or downloaded from the Members area of this site.

Following a decision at our AGM in March, this magazine will now be edited by committee. Members are invited to send in articles and news that they would like to see included. Please contact the editorial team on the email displayed in current issues of AirTime.

Post Lock-down Freedom Camp at Beachy Head 10-11th July on 29th August by Barry G8DXU

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.

Ancient and modern! Station Radio C12 from 1955 and ICOM IC-7300 SDR Transceiver used for IARU contest..

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

Andy 2E0GNE and Tim M0THM firing up the wood burning Barbecue on Saturday evening.
Sunset at BHRS looking North West towards Firle Beacon

Our first contact with a club member was actually on the 15 metre band with Steve G8NFZ

An additional bonus to the great radio propagation, members using Beachy Head are often treated to some spectacular sunsets.
At the end of the event all equipment has to be stowed away in readiness for the next occasion.

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.

Flemming Christensen G4MJC S/K on 24th August by Barry G8DXU

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.

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