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 23rd August by Barry G8DXU

This event ran over the August Bank Holiday weekend 28-30th inclusive, the FOT is a large annual display of vintage vehicles and static exhibits. Six SARS members and the family of one member camped on site over the entire weekend. We displayed several Land Rovers from 1948-1985 and a Daimler Ferret Armoured Car in NATO white, which attracted a lot of attention from visitors.

Our special event station, using call GB2FOT was active on the HF and VHF bands.

Club meetings to resume in August on 22nd July by Tom 2E0ONX

We’re pleased to announce that monthly club meetings at the Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club will be resuming, with the first to be held on Monday 2nd August from 19:30 local. This meeting will be a “Natter Night” – come along for a chat and bring any lockdown projects you’d like to “show and tell”, or queries & calculations you have regarding the new ICNIRP regulations. Members are asked to take the necessary precautions, while the outside doors will be kept open in order to allow air circulation and allow members to stand both indoors and outdoors.

Gradual Return to “Normal” on 13th July by Barry G8DXU

With the easing of social restrictions activities at the society’s Beachy Head Radio Site will gradually resume to normal. Members who have had both vaccinations against Covid 19 or can show a recent Negative Lateral Flow Test result will be most welcome.

In order that we can properly plan contest and other events, members who are interested in participating or just visiting the site are, in the first instance, requested to make contact using the members FORUM. Our calendar shows the dates of most forthcoming events.

Next scheduled event is the 144 MHz / 432 MHz Low Power contests at BHRS over the weekend of 31st July 1st August.

50 MHz Trophy Contest 19-20th June at BHRS on 20th June by Barry G8DXU

Several members got together to make a socially distanced entry in the above contest.

Fortunately there were some considerable Sporadic Es right from the start of the event which lasted until Sunday afternoon. We were treated to some extreemly strong signals from many European countries. Spain, France, Romania, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Sardinia, Romania, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic, Morocco & Malta being amongst some of the countries worked.

Having 400W pep available was certainly of assistance but such distant stations could often be worked with just the drive level of around 30W! Those attending BHRS had a real treat, in that there was not a single dull moment without being able to find stations at over 1400km. Our best Dx was 9H1PI in Malta at 1998km. Whilst our number of QSOs was 106 this was well short of the 400 plus reached by the leading contestants. Our final score of 11,978627 points was very satisfying and should give us a respectable place in the results.

This was a very satisfying event for the SARS contest team and hopefully will inspere us all to enter other events in the near future.

Physical meetings to resume soon on 15th June by Tom 2E0ONX

The club Committee has recently been in communication with Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club, our host for our regular meetings on the first Monday of every month. They are keen to have us return as soon as legally allowed, which means that if the current limits on indoor gatherings are indeed lifted on 19th July (the new date delayed from 21st June, as announced yesterday by the Government), we may well be able to hold a club meeting on Monday 2nd August. We hope that we’ll be able to confirm this in the days following Monday 19th July, at which point all members will receive an email notification of this. Fingers-crossed we can see you all soon!

D-Day 77th Anniversary, Sunday 6th June…… GB2SF on 9th May by Barry G8DXU

SARS members commemorated the 77th anniversary of D-Day over the weekend of 5-6th June at our Beachy Head radio site..

Special event call GB2SF (Sword Force) was aired on HF and VHF over the weekend.

Sword Force was the code name given to the military forces destined for Normandy which departed from this region of the southeast during operation Neptune. We also marked the importance of the then, new DECCA navigation system, that played a large part in providing accurate position fixing during the invasion. One of the DECCA Chain transmitters (Green lane C) was located near Beachy Head, possibly at the SARS radio site.

GB2SF was active on 2m FM as well as HF 80m / 40m LSB, 20m and 10m USB. We also made appearances on 3.615 MHz AM on Sunday morning and 1976 kHz AM (Top Band) with the WS19 Mk.III and Larkspur Station Radio C12.

Full report to follow either on this medium or our AirTime magazine in July.

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

The show is now officially ON and application forms have already been received by previous attendees. The society has already secured GB2FOT for use at the event with a respectable number of SARS members expressing an interest in exhibiting or helping.

Members who are attending with displays or operating our Special Event Radio Station are requested to keep an eye on our Forum for further information. It would be helpful if members leave their names and callsigns on the thread so that we can better plan our prersence at this great show.

Please consider attending and visiting the exhibits from your sociiety and or contacting us on air.

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.

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