SK Sales – Update #2

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Good morning all,

Well, subject to the whims of the Techno-Gods at Google, the link below should take you to the Sales List. I am sure ‘somebody’ will tell me if it don’t !!!

You should have already received the details of HOW the sale operates, so start shopping – before all the good stuff is gone !!

For anyone whose ISP is cussed and is blocking these emails, a copy of this link will be on the Club website too. (Thanks, James)

We hope everyone finds something of interest and that the sale brings some cash return for the SK families.

Remember: (i) 1st come first served (ii) Items will be sold exclusively to Members until 31 Dec.

73 all

Den, M0ACM

SK Sale – December 2020

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First, an apology…

OK, THIS isn’t “mid October” as I suggested in my last email about the SK Sales items! 

However, there have been ‘developments’… We have received further items from other sources. These have taken more time to process than was initially expected!

About the equipment

Equipment has come from five SK sources. We now have over 130 items available for your attention!  A small team of SDARC members has been working to retrieve, catalogue and – not to waste your time – where possible & appropriate, test that items work!  This has been no small task!

 The list is still growing, but we are conscious of time creeping on (and Christmas coming!) so we are publishing the list on Wednesday (2nd Dec) and will then add to it in the coming days/weeks as and when we can.

 The equipment will be listed on a single “SK Sale” list available on line – initially to SDARC Members only.

 Much of the equipment has been tested – at least plugged in & used. These items are shown as “Tested OK” in the list. Any item that has not tested “OK” or which has ‘issues’ has these listed in the “Condition” column.

Equipment not tested (components, H-B items etc) has been shown as either “Not Tested” or N/A (not applicable).

Sale Procedure

I will send you a link to the list on Wednesday morning.   Please DO NOT share this link with non-members.

Items will be offered for an initial period to current SDARC Club Members ONLY.

This initial period will begin 2nd December  (following the end of Lockdown2) until 31st December .

Offers will not be accepted during this period from anyone who is not an SDARC member when the period begins.

 Following this “SDARC Members Special” period, items will be made available to members of other local Clubs and thereafter to a wider audience.

Basis of Sale

Items are shown on the list with a “Suggested Price”.

All items are sold “as seen” (Rally style).  SDARC is not offering warranties.

Due to Covid restrictions, buyers will NOT be able to view items in advance of purchase. (See also Payment and Returns below). Phone calls and photos for extra details can be provided on request. Please email – see below.

SDARC Members wishing to purchase an item should email the ITEM NUMBER , their CALLSIGN  & their ‘OFFER’ to [email protected]   The offer will be acknowledged.  DO NOT use ANY other email address – these will be ignored.

The FIRST offer received at the “Suggested Price” secures the item and the Member will be emailed to that effect.  Offers will be viewed “first come first served”. Generally we have only ONE of each item (…We ain’t Lynchie !)

Offers below the Suggested Price will be acknowledged and HELD for consideration at the end of the SDARC Members Sale period (31st Dec). Be aware however: (i) a later offer from another member AT the Suggested Price will secure the item. (ii) SDARC also reserves the right to seek a “suggested price” offer from a wider audience later.


Once a member is advised that their offer is accepted, they must make payment before the item can be released.

The buyer will have 48 hours to make the payment. Payments should be made using BACS transfer to the SDARC account. (Sort Code: 20-84-58 A/c No:   80868728  )

All payments MUST show BOTH the ITEM NUMBER * AND  BUYER’S CALLSIGN  in the BACS “reference”.

Once you have made the transfer, the Buyer should email the Treasurer ([email protected])  quoting your CALLSIGN, the Item Number (s) and the amount transferred so he knows to check the SDARC Bank a/c for your money. He will then acknowledge your payment and agree the release of the item(s).

* IF you are buying more than one item, you may prefer to pay for them all in one BACS transfer. However, there may not be enough space in the Reference field in your BACS app so …. put your CALLSIGN and  ONE item number in the Reference and then show ALL the item numbers in your email to the Treasurer.


Items purchased can be collected from (or by negotiation, delivered by) the person currently storing it once the Treasurer has advised us that the item can be released.


During the 14 days after collection/delivery, an item which you feel was not as described can be returned in the condition it was when collected/delivered and payment will be refunded.  Please email the above address as soon as possible if there is any such issue, quoting your CALLSIGN , the Item Number and a description of the issue.

Broadband Hamnet

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This is a system for creating an amateur mesh network by re-purposing old Wifi routers from the LinkSys WRT54 family. Not all models can be used, but there is a list of the compatible ones here:

I’ve just bought a couple from eBay, about £8 each including postage. Just check that the hardware version number (shown on the serial number label) is OK before you buy.

Linksys WRT54G

If you have any of these old routers spare but are not interested in this project, I’m sure that other club members could give them a good home.


The modification consists of loading new firmware according to this:

You probably don’t know the user name and password. So in order to first log-on, reset the WRT54 by pressing and holding the Reset button. Then connect a PC’s ethernet port to one of the WRT54’s LAN ports, and follow the instructions.

You can get the new firmware from here, under Linksys:
Choose the file that matches the model number of your router

Don’t forget to do the step where you set the node name. This is your callsign followed by a hyphen and a sequence number. I’ve got two nodes going now, so these are G1ERM-1 and G1ERM-2. No other customisation is necessary.

If you’ve completed the firmware upgrade, but the new http://localnode:8080/ page doesn’t appear after a few minutes, try unplugging the ethernet, or even rebooting the PC and router.
Here’s a description of the parameters on the localnode page.

Add HamChat

This is a chat room application that can be loaded onto the router. You can get it from here, under Linksys, then scroll all the way down.

To install, go to http://localnode:8080/
Setup, log in, Administration, Package Management, Upload Package, navigate to hamchat_0.1_all.ipk then Upload.

To access it, go to http://localnode:8080/cgi-bin/ on any browser on a PC attached to a modified router by an ethernet cable.

Multiple mesh nodes

You can also access individual nodes from another node by putting the node name in place of ‘localnode’. So from my shack’s PC attached to G1ERM-2, I can access the Status or HamChat page of G1ERM-1 at the top of the house.

For example,

  • http://G1ERM-1:8080/cgi-bin/ for the hamchat on G1ERM-1
  • http://G1ERM-2:8080/cgi-bin/status for the status page of G1ERM-2

External antennas

Annoyingly, the units use Reverse TNC sockets. An adapter to female SMA is £2.50 including postage here:

In Use

The nodes use WiFi channel 1 (2412MHz) and automatically link to other mesh nodes with the same SSID, which they all do as default.
I have to say I haven’t used it properly yet as I need someone else to connect to. However, I have connected between my nodes. G1ERM-1 is usually on now from the top of my house in the Old Town area. Please connect and leave a message!

Darren G1ERM.

All good things must come to an end…

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Due to an update from the government regarding groups meeting, we will not be able to meet at Barbury after tomorrow until further notice. We had a good run over the summer but this must now come to an end. If you wish to meet tomorrow (10th) then this may be your last chance to see the group for a while. We will continue to monitor the guidance and review as and when it makes sense but we would have been fighting against the weather and light over the coming weeks anyway so we shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Don’t forget that there are now two club nets you can join to keep in touch. One on HF and the other on 2M via GB3WH. Check the programme for more information.

5th Backpackers Contest 2020 – M1CJE Report

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This weekend saw the 5th and final backpackers contest for the year.

The backpackers is a short 2m contest generally tacked on the end of one of the longer 24h VHF contests.  This weekend it was the 144MHz trophy contest.

I entered the hill toppers section which is limited to 25W.  25W takes its toll on the batteries which along with the radio make up the majority of the weight to be carried.  I operated today from the top of Martinsell Hill in grid square IO81di at about 285m ASL.  The weather was kind with sunshine for most of the afternoon.  The activity was brisk, I operated for about three hours and in that time managed to make 50 contacts ranging from Scotland to France, with Wales and the Netherlands on the other two compass points.  I was using a homemade 2m loop antenna mounted at 6m AGL.  Martinsell summit has good take-off to the South and East and views to match. Overall an enjoyable day out in the late summer sunshine.

73’s M1CJE

Tonight @8 Webinars

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The RSGB is hosting a series of webinars on its YouTube channel. There is a playlist for them at

There is further information available at

144MHz FMAC 2020 – April Update

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Despite everything, the club has rallied well and we are still in 1st place in the RSGB 144MHz FMAC contest and by a reasonable lead too!

John Richens, G1MHZ Silent Key

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It is with sadness we share the news of the passing of John, G1MHZ. John was an active local amateur many years ago but hadn’t been active since 2011. John still had subscriptions to radio magazines and as such there are hundreds of radio magazines which require disposing of or passing to other fellow hams. If this is something you might be interested in, please let us know.


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A series of 90 minute duration daytime contests that has been introduced on a temporary basis to help and support radio amateurs who are isolated at home and would appreciate contact with other people.

This contest series is open to all entrants and is not restricted to RSGB members. This series is for Single Operator Fixed Stations only (please no Multi-Operator, Portable or alternative address operation entrants at this time). A requirement of the series is that participants must be in full compliance with all measures in respect of Covid-19, that are currently applied by the authorities at their station location. This series does not contribute to the HF Championship and is not linked to any RSGB Affiliated Club contests.

Congratulations to John, Chris and Jim!

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We thought we would share the good news and our congratulations John who passed his Intermediate and to Chris and Jim who passed their Foundation exams.

We also received a note from John…

On the 21st March, Andrew managed to drag me through another exam. This time it was my Intermediate. I would like to thank SDARC for providing the training facilities. One more huge thanks to Andrew for all his time and patience. Also thanks to Mike for arranging the exam accommodation. I am also grateful to other members for their advice and encouragement. Sorry if I have been a pain with all my questions and, if I asked someone the same question again 5 minutes later, apologies but that tends to be the norm at 76.

I would like to emphasise the fact that Andrew is prepared to train an individual as well as larger groups. The advantage this gives a single trainee can be enormous. e.g. If I joined, and was trained by my local home club, then I would not be passing this exam until April 2021. This is because they require a number of trainees before they run each course. I appreciate that all courses are run by volunteers so I am not criticising my local club in anyway.

A rumour has reached this grey haired 76 year old that, now Andrew has me “done and dusted” again, he is now really looking forward to training someone young and intelligent.

Many thanks once more.

John, M7JJC (For only a few more days)