January 30, 2009

New Ham radio Deluxe Logbook

Expect a technology preview of the New HRD logbook to be released to the public on 15th February 2009. There is also a new Wiki under development for the project that is being documented by Ian G0VGS and can be found here.


Please bear in mind that both the Logbook and the Wiki are new so there may be the odd bug here and there. Help is also available on the HRD forums. The logbook has many more features added since it was first mentioned on this blog and will remain free to download and use, although Simon HB9DRV does accept donations now.

Screen Shots are available here!

January 27, 2009

Foundation Licence.

Well done to Joe who took and passed his Foundation Licence examination last night. Joe is now going on to the next step to take his Intermediate Exam. Kev, our Registered Tutor, tends to teach all newcomers over a period of weeks, this way it allows people to get a real feel for the hobby and gives them a better understanding of what it involves. Getting a "pass slip" is one thing, actually putting it into practice is another! Those of us who didn't know Joe had the opportunity to meet him at last nights Business Meeting, which happened to be a very productive one!

January 22, 2009

Another First Place!

Finally got the certificate for the IARU World Championship Contest 2007. Glad to report that we came in first place in our section, like we did in 2006! The reason we have only just found out about this is that the Award had been posted to the "Sands Retirement Home" in Morecambe and they have only just emailed us to tell us it was there. Also there were some QSL cards for Jura that had found their way there as well ( God Bless the Post Office) Can people who send QSL cards to any of our callsigns please send them to our QSL Manager G0VGS who is QTHR on QRZ. Any other correspondence can be sent direct to our Chairman G6FKE whose details can also be found on QRZ. It is always amazing to see just how many cards and letters find their way to us with very little information on the address label and thanks again to everyone who has had to deal with our errant mail!

January 20, 2009

Another New Member and Other News

A warm welcome to Steve who joined the group this week. Steve has held an Amateur Licence for over 20 years but has not been very active, hopefully he will enjoy what we do. Also, on another note, Hughie has been doing a wee bit of construction over the last few weeks and has got his Softrock SDR tranceiver finally receiving on 80 metres, just needs a bit of fine tuning! The last of the direct overseas QSL cards for Jura will be posted on Friday so everyone who asked for a card should now be accounted for. We have plenty of spare QSL cards if anybody still requires one.

January 17, 2009

AFS Team Contest Under Way

We eventually made the decision not to brave the weather, despite a very sunny morning. Now it is getting quite stormy and dark with severe gales of up to 100mph forecast further north from us. The contest is now about half way through and conditions around the UK are very good. The band is busy and plenty of stations to work. Usual problems of stations setting up very close, without calling the frequency first, this is an ongoing problem in all contests but you learn to live with it! The next couple of hours should be interesting as propagation shifts.

January 16, 2009

Stormy Weather?

Keeping a close eye on the weather for the weekend as tomorrow is the SSB leg of the AFS Team Contest on 80 metres. The plan was for one of the teams to go to Barrie's superb location at Bentham and put up a couple of masts allowing us to get an 80m dipole out in the clear, the other teams would operate from various home locations. At the moment the weather forecast is looking pretty grim, with advance warnings of severe gales, rain and possibly heavy snow (sound familiar?) Looks like a decision will have to made first thing tomorrow morning as to whether it is worth putting the masts up but we can always fall back on plan B !

January 15, 2009

80m Club Championships

Mark and Brian taking part in last night's contest

Rather strange conditions to start the contest but this is the first time this particular contest has been held in January for a couple of years. The last two years has seen the start of the Club Championships moved forward to February to try to take advantage of better conditions. An interesting 90 minutes for all of us that took part and its nice to get the points on the score sheet.

January 14, 2009


Well done to both Matt and Mike who gained their full licences yesterday. Listen out for M0MOS and M0PRL on the bands. Also thanks to Kev and Ian for the time they took to tutor, just Sam and Faris to get through the February exam now.

January 13, 2009

Amateur Radio Projects

A new addition to the Sands Website is Amateur Radio Projects. This new section will feature some of the projects our members have built, or are in the process of constructing. Projects range from commercial kits, like the Elecraft selection of transceivers and transverters, to homebrewed projects that members have designed and built themselves. As the projects section builds it is hoped that people will find it a valuable resource and perhaps be encouraged to try some construction for themselves. Access the projects by clicking on the "Projects" tab on the main homepages.

January 12, 2009


Yesterday was the CW leg of the AFS 80m team Contest. Having never entered this particular section of the contest before, several of us are getting a bit more proficient on the key and it is a fairly relaxed and relatively short contest to start to feel your way around this particular mode. Conditions were good and G0VGS managed around 70 contacts, despite only spending about an hour actually active. CW will play a bigger part for us in 2009 and even members who have never had to pass a morse exam are now getting interested in the mode. Those of us that have learnt morse are going to be working hard to improve our individual skills (well thats the plan anyway)

January 11, 2009

Looking for Good Radio Blogs!

We are on the look out for any good Amateur Radio Blogs that we can link to from this Blog. If you have your own Blog or have come across one on the web that you feel is may be of interest to us please contact us via email by clicking on the envelope in the right hand column or visit the mains Sands website and use the contact form on there!

January 10, 2009

Onward in 2009

The new contest season is now underway with plenty of contests to choose from. We have already had the first leg of the 80m Club Championships with the SSB leg later this coming week. The Affiliated Societies team CW Contest is tomorrow and one or two of us may well test the water in that, followed by the SSB one next Saturday in which we hope to put together a few teams. Just another few items of news, the QSL cards are now with the RSGB and we also await the exam results for two of our members who took the "Full" examination before Christmas, hopefully we shall know this week.

January 05, 2009

QSL Cards Ready To Go!

All cards for Jura now packed up and ready to go, despite nearly wrapping the cat up in one of the boxes! These are the cards going direct to the RSGB for distribution. Anyone who has sent a card direct to us should also have their QSL going out this week as well. Sorry for the delay but we thought it was probably a good thing to wait until the Christmas season was over and done with.

January 02, 2009

New HRD Logbook

A couple of our members are currently beta- testing a new logbook. The new logbook is coded by Simon Brown HB9DRV and will be part of the suite of Ham Radio Deluxe suite of programs. It will be free to download when it is released into the public domain but Simon is now totally financed by his HRD software, so any donations to him will be gratefully received.
The logbook has plenty of new features and is very easy to use, click on the screenshot for a closer look.