Late November update

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.

test gear

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.


Leave a Reply