2014 Canvey Rally visit

For me the Canvey Rally is a chance to meet up with a lot of LEFARS members and other Essex amateurs along with an opportunity to stock up on odds-n-ends to replace the ones lost or misplaced from previous visits. Run by the South Essex ARS (SEARS) it has become an established event (this year the 29th); the ‘fun’ can be getting there with the winter weather. However Sunday morning was bright and sunny and the trip down the A127 to Canvey Island was attempted with a bit of trepidation – would the road be submerged etc?! Actually, the only problem was in the adjoining (paddy) fields on the road to Canvey itself looking saturated.

I got to the rally 5 mins early, 10.25 and only just got the penultimate car park space in the overflow car park. Already spotted were other LEFARS club members going in (doors opened early). Once my £2.50 had been paid, I went into the gloom of Hall 1. Yes – really really dark! Traders were heard to be complaining as well as the punters who couldn’t see what they were buying. I wish I had my LED “miners lamp” normally used for walks to the pub on Sunday evening but it was in my other coat. The main lighting was set to ‘eco’ low level for some reason.
[To be fair, the curtains at the top of the hall were opened after 11am and Hall 2 was very bright and sunny]

IMG_3153There was a nice smell of bacon rolls but I declined . Instead a cup of coffee and I found a few other LEFARS members in the (brighter) Hall 2 area. As can be seen, sampling was already well under way!!




George M1GEO (left & above right) with a tray of the famous Bacon Baguettes. Chris G8OCV (right) inspects his sample carefully. Dave G7UVW (centre) waits patiently with the teas.

In the busy main hall W&S were offering the IC7000 reduced to £1099 (£100 off) and a good selection of radios. Also InnovAntennas who are based in Canvey. Other smaller traders included one, HandyRadio.co.uk,  with a good selection of (Chinese) Baofeng radios and accessories. One of the (UK) component dealers left his stock marked in €’s but charged in £’s. Close enough really!

VMARS had a nice selection of vintage radios on display, other stands were selling some interesting receivers (see photo below – Dave G7UWV bought one). The RSGB bookstall was manned by  Steve M1ACB, the RSGB Regional Manager for England East & East Anglia. Also present were the Essex CW Club, Essex Repeater Group (ERG) and also the RAIBC. CARS (Chelmsford Club) had several stands including one devoted to training (in conjunction with the Thames Amateur Radio Group (TARG). Also spotted in the 2nd hall was the Harlow club (HADARS) stall which included a 4m transceiver and Baofeng transceivers.

There were some bargains to be had and several LEFARS members were seen clutching their new purchases – for instance Cliff 2E0RCW bought a 4:1 balun for a fiver!  Also seen was a £20 DSP receiver covering 24MHz – 1.85GHz; a TV dongle really. Whilst it was more expensive than buying direct from China on eBay (about £9), it came with the vital instructions to make it work (photo below).  Peter G4FQF bought one and we await his comments….

By 1pm the main hall (now nice and bright) was fairly empty. A last look around and chat to a few more LEFARS members and old faces from the past – one reason for going to rallies really – and I left at 1.30pm.  Another enjoyable rally and a good start to 2014.


John G8DZH
(email: g8dzh@lefars.org.uk)

John G0VEH (right) checks  Dave G7UVW's latest acquisition....

John G0VEH (right) checks Dave G7UVW’s latest acquisition….

Selim M0XTA and Dave M0MBD  modelling a selection of LEFARS  clothing.

Selim M0XTA and Dave M0MBD modelling a selection of LEFARS fleece jackets.

The main hall was busy until lunchtime.

The main hall was busy until lunchtime.



It really was dark and gloomy in the main hall until the curtains were opened later in the morning; the lights seemed to be dimmed as well. Entering from the bright sunlight outside, it took a while for the eyes to adjust.

Canvey-based InnovAntennas were there.

Canvey-based InnovAntennas were there.



SDR radio based on a TV dongle

SDR radio based on a TV dongle


The well-lit 2nd hall had more space and a varied selection of components and bits as well as the HADARS stand.

The well-lit 2nd hall had more space and a varied selection of components and bits as well as the HADARS stand.


No snow this year!

No snow this year!

Comment received from Dave M0MBD 4th February 2014…

Nice one John,

There have been quite a few purchases by Lefars members at that rally, with many bargains being had, some successful purchases and others less so.

Example: John 2E0RMM was shown an antenna by Chris G8YAE for a new wire antenna, which was supposedly bankrupt stock, but when he got it home and opened it, it looked more like a poorly made home brew effort.

I on the other hand, waited till the end and beat down the price of an old Windom 40, which looked like it was previously installed on a battleship. I literally threw the thing up Monday evening to test. First contact.. Algeria! Not bad for a tenner! I thing the balun alone is worth more than 4 times that, never mind the plastic coated flexweave!

Hope you had a good weekend.


Dave M0MBD



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