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.
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.
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.
All members should have now receive an email link to the current issue. Please Log-On using your “User Name” and “Password”. You can request assistance from Tom our webmaster, using the CONTACT form if you have any problems or comments.
The Clansman VRC353 vehicular or Fixed station Transceiver covers 30-75.975Mhz with an output power of circa 50W. This radio can be used for re-broadcast when associated with the RB2 or similar harness interface. NATO radios have an embedded 150Hz tone similar to CTCSS which triggers the re-broadcast function. In Clansman equipment this tone is filtered out so that the operator is not aware of its presence.
When set to Narrow, the main deviation is about 6kHz which is acceptable for amateur 4m or 6m frequencies with 25kHz channel separation. However the Tone deviation is set at about 1.6kHz which is much higher than the normal 10-20% of system deviation. Amateurs using Clansman or most converted PMR sets will enjoy filtering of frequencies below 300Hz. Others will hear an, perhaps annoying 150Hz buzz!
Fortunately turning off the tone produced by the VRC353 is a relatively easy process. The Silica Gell Dessicator at the rear of the outer case should be unscrewed first. This releases any difference in air pressure between the internal hermetically sealed case and local atmosphere. Next remove the four Hex bolts in each of the front corners of the case. Now release the Hex bolt between the two cooling fans.
Using the handle on the front of the transceiver gently pull the body out of the case. Be careful as the outer case and main unit are both quite heavy. Once withdrawn, lay the unit on a protective and ideally, grounded static conductive matting as pictured below.
On the lower left hand side of the radio (viewed from the front) is found a group of four control boards. Printed Electronic Circuits (PEC’s) These boards number from the bottom and it is No.2b that contains the Transmitter Deviation controls. There is a plate retaining the PECs held in place by two fasteners. It is not necessary to remove this plate or any board.
Adjustments should be made through the slot in the plate where each Multi-Turn Potentiometer is readily accessible. These controls are labelled A, D & T from left to right.
“A” adjusts the Main or Analogue deviation. “D” adjusts the Data Deviation and “T” (R2) the Tone deviation. Do not touch the Analogue of Data deviation controls unless you have access to a good deviation meter and audio signal source!
The transceiver should be tested before and after adjustments to ensure that it is functioning correctly. Please do not carry out any adjustments unless you are competent with working on such complex equipment. Also bear in mind that these radios are were first produced in 1977 and suffer from the usual component ageing, making their future reliability increasingly uncertain. Repairs require special to type test equipment that may not be available to most radio amateurs.
However properly maintained VRC353s are generally quite reliable and capable of some very good performance when used on FM (Narrow) in the Four and Six metre amateur bands.
Above photograph shows details to locate the Deviation adjustments. The three presets are visible through the slot in the Control Board cover. Tone level is by the right hand control labelled “T”
When reassembling the unit and replacing the outer case ensure that this is done in dry warm conditions. Apply a smear of general purpose grease around the front panel “O” ring seal, then replace and tighten the Hex bolts. Lastly the perforated aluminium tube containing the dessicant should be unscrewed from its retaining window. Dry this in an Oven at around 100 degrees C before reassembly and return it to its original position in the case.
The note regarding Beryllium Oxide refers to the Transmitter Output valve and is only a hazard to health if damaged or tampered with.
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.
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.