Southend ARS Field Event August 2014

One of the common questions I hear from those living close to my QTH of Southend-on-Sea, is “Why isn’t there a club for Southend?”. In fact there is, and there has been for many years – they just don’t get out and play radio that often. Today changed all that.

The Southend & District Amateur Radio Society (SADARS) held their first field event for some time this afternoon, Sunday the 24th of August 2014. The event took place at the club’s normal meeting venue, the Ekco Sports & Social Club, just off Manners Way in Southend. The event was a charity summer music festival, raising money for Little Havens Hospice.

Special Event Station

The club made use of the special event callsign GB0FHH (Fair Havens Hospice) to support the fundraising event, and the station was active on both HF and 2m for much of the afternoon.

Southend & District ARS QRV at Ecko Sports & Social Aug 2014
Southend & District ARS QRV at Ecko Sports & Social Aug 2014

Operating an amateur radio station close to a music festival is something of a challenge, so much shielding of the microphones was required to prevent the amateur station turning into music radio station. The two club radios were set up in a marquee close enough to the action, but far away enough from the stage, and what was set up did a great job.

The station was using a Windom antenna for HF operation, getting great results on 15m and 17m, with a tri-band colinear in use for local 2m QSOs. A handy lattice mast used for the sport ground’s CCTV system made for a great mast for the antennas, achieving good coverage of Essex on 2m, and some excellent results around the world. Noise floor at the location was virtually nil, and in my couple of hours, the team was able to make contact with the US, Canada and Saudi Arabia, as well as many European stations.

Bernie G0ENN working VE3AXW - August 2014
Bernie G0ENN working VE3AXW – August 2014

My thanks to the SADARS team of Bernie G0ENN, Mick G6WCI and Eddie G1OHN for allowing me to use their club’s equipment to make contact with HZ1SM in Saudi Arabia (my first voice contact with that DXCC), and also to have a quick exchange with Tony VE3AXW, who was running 400 watts from Ontario, Canada, and sounding like he was next door.

Eddie G1OHN, Mick G6WCI and Bernie G0ENN from SADARS
Eddie G1OHN, Mick G6WCI and Bernie G0ENN from SADARS

Southend & District ARS

It was great to spend some time with the team from Southend & District Amateur Radio Society today. These days, the group hardly ever does any radio as a team, and are no longer an RSGB-affiliated club, but they meet regularly on a Tuesday evening at the Ekco Sports and Social Club. The club also owns the excellent club callsign G5QK (Gold Five Queen King).

According to the RSGB 1992 callsign book, the club used to meet in Rocheway Centre, Rochford. I discovered today that they also used to meet at the Alexandra Yacht Club on the cliffs at Southend, which locals will be aware, caught fire late on Saturday evening, destroying the historic building.

Southend & District ARS hat
Southend & District ARS hat

Given that the event was a success, some excellent contacts were made, and the club’s venue is an excellent spot for radio – I cheekily asked if the club night consider some other Southend-based activities – there are a lot of amateurs in the Southend area who might benefit from a local club for Southend. Here is a summary of callsigns in Southend, according to Essex Ham’s database:

Amateur Radio callsigns in Southend

  • Callsigns in Southend: 367
  • Foundation: 59
  • Intermediate: 24
  • Full (G callsign): 252
  • Full (M callsign): 32

If you’re a ham in the Southend & District area, add a comment below and let us know if you’d like to see Southend’s club out and about more!!

Thanks again to the SADARS team… hope to see you again soon.

Pete M0PSX, Southend-on-Sea

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  1. Avatar Tony 31 August 2014 Reply

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