News

Winterfest 2021

This weekend is a “Virtual Hamfest" - the lecture schedule looks interesting.

When looking at the lecture schedule the times are CST - that’s 6 hours behind the UK.

Well, here it is - a reworked website.

So what's so great about it? Well, truth be told, it's not a jaw-droppingly beautiful state-of-the-art vision of the future. I don't think the club wanted or needed that. I've tried to keep the layout fairly similar to the previous site, because I know a lot of people, myself included, very much liked the old website.

It doesn't yet have loads of new content either. No, but it will have all the old content, and it will have new material as well as additional functionality going forward.

So we know what it isn't... what DOES it do for the club?

It's all about sustainability. Tony was wanting to step back, and nobody else was frantically waving their arms in the air. I've been there before. I'm sure Tony had a lot of fun over the years, but I think he said he's been doing it for 8 or 9 years, and that's long enough for anyone. He was obviously doing the newsletter last year as well. Too much.

This website sits on a platform called Joomla. It's like a fancy dynamic website hosting environment. It's known as a Content Management System, or CMS and it does what it says on the tin. It's free and open source. It's well supported and has been for many years - and it works. Almost too good to be true. Best of all, I've used it before and I know the basics. I'm not an expert, and I don't code in any of these languages, but I can get by.

As the Joomla development team so eloquently put it: "A content management system is software that allows you to create and manage webpages easily by separating the creation of your content from the mechanics required to present it on the web".

That'll do for us.

If you've visited the website before, hopefully it'll look fairly familiar in layout for all it's differences in style.

It won't contain a newsletter though. Those individual articles will be integrated into one of the menu items - such as News or Feature Articles.

Joomla allows relatively straightforward global changes to the look and feel using 'templates', but I'm going for functional first. It's like many things in life these days - the more you customise them, the more trouble it is when it comes time to upgrade.

And upgrading is an absolute must when it comes to websites; particularly with respect to security.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll be transferring more and more of the old content over in the coming weeks and then I'll have a rest before breaking new ground. That ground will hopfully involve showing some of you folks how to add content to the website yourselves!

73's

Berni M0XYF

Who could have imagined when Eric Letts, G3RXJ moved down from Crawley in 1966, bought a house almost opposite mine in Meadow Lane, and decided that Burgess Hill needed a local Amateur Radio Club, that we’d still be here 50 years later going from strength to strength.

Eric trawled through the RSGB membership list and extracted a list of local amateurs, wrote them a letter and invited them to an inaugural meeting at Arthur Campbell, G3PEQ’s house in Hassocks and we were off!

It wasn’t easy to get the Club going, we needed to find a meeting place since we already had more members than would fit into anyone’s front room. We looked around and our first HQ was a room in a Lindfield school just along the road from Eric Holloway, G3HUA’s house.

We then found rooms in Marle Place Burgess Hill where in due course we were able to install a Versatower 65 foot mast, and long wire antennas in the large grounds of the Community Centre.

Later we moved to our present QTH at Cyprus Hall, but with the development going on around us, I wonder sometimes where we’ll find ourselves in the future.

We’ve seen the introduction of the transistor and IC’s, the coming of SSB in favour of AM and lately the introduction of software defined radios coupling computers to real radios and who knows what is to come?

We’ve run training courses for many years introducing all ages to Amateur Radio and are involved with many outside events which give well needed publicity to our activities.

We have won many operating awards for both HF and VHF and should be proud of these talking about and displaying them whenever possible.

There are however a few of those original members who gathered in Arthur’s front room still around, and we like to think that we can still contribute something to today’s amateur activities. After all, the basic laws of physics have not changed and it is easy for some newer members to lose sight of this!

Now, in our 50th year MSARS finds itself in a very different world of Amateur Radio, communicating by perhaps different modes but still with the aim of talking to other amateurs joined together by our common interest.

Remember, and I have said this before, all of us can enjoy many different aspects of our hobby, but MSARS IS A RADIO CLUB and I am proud and delighted to be your President.

73, Ken Gibson G3WYN - President of The Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society