In September 2017, 6 members of CUWS: DK2AB, G3ZAY, G7VJR, M0BLF, M0WUT, M0ZXA plus DH5FS operated from Ile aux Marins off the island of St Pierre. This was a short 6 day operation but in this time, over 10k QSOs were made, in particular over 1000 on 160m.

Day 1 (17/9/2017)

Most of the team before departing Gatwick: (l-r) M0WUT, M0ZXA, DK2AB, G7VJR, DH5FS, G3ZAY Photo: M0BLF

The team set off from Gatwick airport on the Sunday morning and after an uneventful flight arrived at St John’s where we had lunch with Rick, VO1SA.

Rick, VO1SA

We then caught a second flight to St Pierre where we spent the evening in Hotel Robert and met FP5CJ for dinner.

 

Day 2 (18/9/2017)

We shopped for provisions and then caught the ferry for roughly 200m to get us to Ile aux Marins.

We then began setting up and started on 20m CW and quickly got a large pile-up but managed to work several fellow Camb-Hams including M0VFC, M1BXF and G3PJT within the first 100 QSOs.

We then kept building stations and started working people as each station was complete. At full strength, we had 5 stations, 4 K3s running barefoot and 1 KX3 running into a Juma PA1000. Operation was mainly CW but there was a substantial number of SSB QSOs and several hundred on the new FT8 data mode. Antennas were all vertical with the exception of an inverted-L on 160m. Due to the house having WiFi, all QSOs were uploaded to both Clublog and LotW within 5 minutes thanks to M0VFC and M0BLF. The pile-ups were good particularly considering the state of the sunspot cycle currently, with some fairly notable DX including working the 5T5OK DXpedition on several bands including 160m

QTH for the week

Day 3 (19/9/2017)

We were visited by FP5AC who visited our QTH and kindly brought us some gifts.

FP5AC with M0BLF.

Dom M0BLF also did a shack tour which can be found on Youtube here.

Day 4 (20/9/2017)

On the Thursday we attempted the first SOTA activation in the newly formed FP SOTA list. M0BLF and M0WUT climbed Le Trépied and activated it, only just making the requisite 4 QSOs due to the antenna showing very high SWR and Thursday lunchtime being a poor time to work local stations. However we did manage to work RU3GF so there was some DX there.

View of Ile aux Marins on the descent and the cairn at the summit.

 

Day 5 (21/9/2017)

Today, we were interviewed for TV St Pierre which was also repeated on French national television.  Michael G7VJR and Dom M0BLF were interviewed.

Day 6 (22/9/2017)

As this was the last day, the main thought was dismantling the stations, as the lower bands closed these stations were taken down with 20m being run until the last minute. Final QSO count was over 10,500. We packed the equipment, had lunch at the excellent Maison Jezequel on Ile aux Marins and most of the operators caught flights home that evening.

QSL is up to personal operators preference, listed on qrz.com but mainly we will use Clublog OQRS, as discussed above, all QSOS that we have made have been uploaded to Clublog and LotW.

 

 

 

CUWS 2017 DXpedition to FP

The CUWS DXpedition for 2017 will be to St Pierre and Miquelon. A team of at least 5 members (G3ZAY, M0BLF, M0WUT, DK2AB, G7VJR) plus guest operator DH5FS will be active from Ils aux Marins from 18th September – 22nd September. More operators may be confirmed at a later date.

The team will be active on HF in both CW and SSB and there may also be some operations via satellites.

Operators will be active under FP/ homecall. QSL preferably via Clublog OQRS or via operator’s homecall.

Snowdonia SOTA Trip 2017

Between the 24th and 26 March 2017, five CUWS members activated two SOTAs in Snowdonia. Jonathan GW2HFR, Dom M0BLF, Nige M0HZR , Rob M0VFC and William M0ZXA climbed Y Garn (GW/NW-004) on the 25th and Moel Eilio (GW/NW-022) on the Sunday. Unlike some previous CUWS SOTA trips, the weather was remarkably pleasant (other than a slightly chilly first night) resulting in good views from the top. The bands were very active – favourable conditions and the coinciding CQWW WPX contest made it very easy for all operators to exceed the minimum required contacts and enjoy a couple of hours playing radio on the summits.

View from Y Garn

View from Y Garn

In true CUWS fashion, the campsite chosen featured an on-site pub – although this year’s also featured a micro-brewery which together provided exactly what we all needed after a long day’s walk!

Iceland (TF): 2016

Six CUWS members (Jens DK2AB, Martin G3ZAY, Dom M0BLF, Rob M0VFC, Dan M0WUT, and William M0ZXA) visited Iceland between the 11th and 18th September 2016.

Three days (20th – 22nd) were spent operating from the Westman Islands (“Vestmannaejar” – EU-071) and the others were spent exploring the country – locations visited include Reykajvík, Ϸingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Landmannalaugar, Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón and Skógarfos – quite the whistle-stop tour! Our APRS track is shown below.

Despite all this travelling, some extra time allowed us to opportunistically activate an Icelandic SOTA, Hjörleifshöfði (TF/SL-216.) This was the first time it had been activated, as the Icelandic SOTA association was commenced two weeks earlier on September 1st.

For QSL information see QRZ.com entries for home callsigns.

Maypole Meeting

For anybody interested, we will be meeting in the Maypole pub at 8pm on Thursday 15th October (and every Thursday during term.) The Maypole is on Park Street just past the multi-storey car park, near the Union Society building – a map is available.

If you are interested, we would like to meet you there, we will also be at the Cambridge University Freshers’ Fair.

If you would like to know more, please contact me at chairman@g6uw.org

Dan McGraw
CUWS Chairman

CUWS 2015 AGM

2015 CUWS AGM

The 2015 CUWS AGM will take place in the Roger Needham Room in the Chancellor’s Centre at Wolfson College on Monday May 11th at 1930. See directions.

Agenda

  • Reading and adoption of the Minutes of the previous AGM
  • Presentation and acceptance of the Secretary’s report
  • Presentation and acceptance of the Junior Treasurer’s report
  • Election of the officers of the Society (Chairman, Secretary and Junior Treasurer)
  • Any other business

CUWS Lake District SOTA Trip 2015

From the 10th to the 12th of April 2015, a handful of CUWS members embarked on a long and arduous SOTA mission to the Lake District. Along the way, we’d face such dangers as the British motorway system, a stiff breeze, and campsite badgers.

Present on the expedition were Rob Chipperfield (M0VFC), Dom Smith (M0BLF), David Turner (M0TNR), Dan McGraw (M0WUT) and me, then the proud owner of M6IKY.

Day 1

Most of dream-team departed from Cambridge Friday in a couple of cars, picking up Dan from a train station. A long drive and several service stations later, we arrived at the campsite. We were duly warned about the campsite badgers (dangerous, hungry creatures apparently), then proceeded to make camp as the wind built.

Day 2

Campsite on the morning of Day 2.

We woke to wind, snow on the mountains, and rain in the foothills, but we were all keen to get going, so we started up the first hill, Stony Cove Pike (2503’, LD-018). The ascent went well and in no time we were setting up various antennae on the summit. Due to solar activity, the HF bands were inaccessible at best, but some local VHF contacts were made.

M0BLF and M0TNR working from Stoney Cove Pike with M6IKY functioning as antenna support.

After a quick lunch, we decided that the next planned summit was going to take too long in the adverse weather conditions, so two smaller peaks were found: Little Mell Fell (1657’, LD-037) and Great Mell Fell (1762’, LD-035).

SOTA selfie. Much wind. Wow.

More contacts were had at the top of both summits, most interestingly with another pair of radio amateurs (both called Victor, G4ONL and G4TDM) from Ireland who we proceeded to swap summits with.

In the evening, the dubious decision to enter a pub quiz was made,
which we narrowly lost after a series of questions about golf and celebrities which were not our specialist subjects!

Day 3

Initially the plan for the final day was to find some more peaks, but we found that the pass was blocked with snow when we got up. Rob bravely tried to get over, but the intrepid Škoda was defeated by a particularly steep section.

Mildly discouraged, we decided that going to the Blackpool amateur radio rally was a better idea. Some members spoke to friends of theirs, some got signed up to the RSGB, others bought suspiciously-large toroids for an unspecified project involving a band-pass filter; a fairly typical mix, we felt. Having spent a couple of hours bumbling around and bumping into the two Victors from the previous day we called it a day with some bacon sandwiches and headed for home.

David really loves bacon.

Ascension Island (ZD8): 2013

From Monday 2nd – Friday 6th December 2013, G3VFC, G3ZAY, M0BLF, M0VFC and M1BXF will be operating as ZD8UW from Green Mountain, Ascension Island.

We’ll be active on 40m-10m, mainly SSB and CW. (Being equatorial, there’s little point in taking the extra weight for 80m, I’m afraid.) There may also be some WSPR operation overnight. The best time for the path to the UK is likely to be in the mid-mornings on 17m and 15m, or the mid-afternoons on 12m and 15m. We’ll be operating with Elecraft K3s.

We won’t have internet access at the QTH, but logs should be uploaded roughly daily to Clublog. The logs will also go on LoTW once we’re back, but we can’t apply for the LoTW certificate in advance as we won’t be collecting the radio licence until we get to Ascension. QSL will be via M0OXO.

See also: Ascension Island (ZD8): 2009

Faroe Islands (OY): 2013

Five CUWS members (Martin G3ZAY, Michael M0GXM, Greg MD0IGD, William M0ZXA and Gavin M1BXF) went to the Faroe Islands from the 17th to 24th June 2013.

We stayed in three youth hostels – for the first four nights we were in the Faroese capital Torshavn, then one night in Gjov and two in Sandavagur. The equipment was two Elecraft K3’s, one Yaesu FT100 and a Yaesu FT-817, plus a Spectrum transverter for 4m. Antennas included vertical antennas, vertical dipoles, slanted dipoles and a quad antenna for 6m.

QSL info:

QSL for OY/G3ZAY, OY/M1BXF and OY/M0ZXA via G3ZAY.

QSL for OY/M0GXM via M0GXM.

QSL for OY/MD0IGD via MD0IGD.

(Details correct on QRZ.com 2013-10-02)

For more information about the islands, see the Wikipedia entry

Michaelmas 2012

Welcome to all our members, old and new, to the new year.

There are a number of activities planned this term, with more to come.

Firstly, to our new members, if you haven’t yet had a chance to visit the shack contact Martin G3ZAY who is arranging visits. Also anyone who is interested in taking any level of Amateur Radio exam in Cambridge (student or not) should contact Martin for details.

At the end of October is the CQWW DX SSB contest, in which we usually make a competitive entry (for the past two years we have set new English records in our category). Contact Dom M0BLF for more information or to find out how you can get involved with operating.
If you want to see what the contest is about, but don’t fancy operating, then feel free to come along to the shack any time on the 27th or 28th October to see the contest in action.
Volunteers are also needed the weekend before, and the Monday and Friday either side of, the contest to assist in erecting and then dismantling the additional antennas we use for the event.

If you would like to start contesting with something a bit easier, we also enter the weekly RSGB UKAC – these are contests on VHF and UHF bands which last for 2.5 hours every Tuesday evening. Feel free to come along and join in (or just watch!)

Also this month is the annual RSGB convention, to which a number of our members will be going and some presenting. There are a number of talks on a variety of subjects, and tickets are available on the door if you are interested in joining them.

Finally, every Thursday we have an informal meeting in the Maypole pub at 8pm, which is a great chance to get to know fellow amateurs in the area. It is also a great chance to ask questions about almost anything technical – our members have interests and expertise ranging from mathematics to electronics, engineering and computer science!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at chairman@g6uw.org.

William (M0ZXA)
CUWS Chairman