Essex Ham v2.0 – Happy April Fools 2017

Happy 1st of April everyone!

CufflinksWell done to all of you for spotting our little April Fools prank. Essex Ham is NOT rebranding, running raffles, holding a 40 metre net, having members-only nights, move the Monday Night Net to a pub, and we’ve got no plans to sell Essex Ham cufflinks!!!

It seems we caught a few of you out with this year’s prank, but most of you know us too well :) Our mission remains to support and promote amateur radio in the county!

For posterity, here’s the post that greeted site visitors from 6am on the 1st of April 2017…

For this year’s April Fool’s Day, we reported that in response to member feedback, we’d become an offline (real-world) virtual club. We announced a new name for Essex Ham v2.0:

The all-new Essex ARS 2k Logo
The all-new SX ARS 2k Logo

Our spoof announcement:

Since our launch in 2011, we’ve built a solid audience of virtual online members, and based on the feedback from our 2017 Essex Clubs survey, it’s time for Essex Ham to move from “virtual” to the real world.

We have some exciting plans ahead, including:

  1. The new SX ARS Venue
    The new SX ARS Venue

    A Real-World Venue: We’ve found a central Essex venue that’s perfect for SX ARS 2K club meetings. It has facilities for talks, and catering facilities for tea & coffee. 

  2. Member Support: We’ll be looking to offer bring-and-buy tables, a raffle and the chance to chat with like-minded amateurs from across the county. For those not able to attend, we’ll be offering a virtual chatroom, projected onto the screen.
  3. More Events: Club talks continue to be a popular choice, so we’ll be looking to introduce a program of speakers on a wide range of topics. We’re also making contact with a local museum, so that we can support Museums On The Air. For those not able to attend, we’re sticking with our virtual heritage, with live video streaming from events.
  4. Training: We’ll be setting up Foundation training at our central location. Our Foundation Online, has been such a hit – we’re creating an offline version. Real-world training nights will allow candidates to come along to our five-week courses and study online from our club venue. There’ll be the chance to do the Foundation practicals – something that’s proven very tricky to do online!
  5. Monday Night Net Live: Timeouts, keyers, poor antennas and QRM have plagued us for long enough. We’ve found the solution – and that’s to hold a face-to-face net! We’ve found a pub in central Essex that’s perfect for a face-to-face weekly net. And for those not able to make it – use your webcam and our new virtual net chatroom!
  6. An All New Net: We now have members across the UK, so it makes sense to have a UK-wide net. Keen to steer away from online nets such as Echolink – we’re introducing a bi-weekly 40 metre SSB net!
  7. Essex Ham CufflinksExclusive Merchandise: A new range of SX ARS clothing, keyrings, baseball caps, cufflinks and other ARS merchandise. New for 2017 – a Monday Night Net Disclaimer T-Shirt! 
  8. Members-only Meetings: Membership has its perks. We’ll be introducing an exclusive members-only event. For just a small monthly fee, you’ll get access to some exclusive training and progression events

Hopefully, you’ll be as excited as us about the changes. Let us have your thoughts in the box below!


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