Category Archives: Social

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!

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 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.

APRS Talk on Thursday 1st March

Our very own Rob Chipperfield will be talking about APRS (Amateur Packet Reporting System). Find out how those strange noises on 144.800MHz carry everything from position data to weather reports to text messages.

The talk will start at 1900 in the Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and
Caius College (see here for location in the college). Doors will be open from 1840. Afterwards (about 2000) we will adjourn to the Maypole for food.

DXpedition to St Pierre et Miquelon

From 23rd to 30th September 2011, six members of the Cambridge University Wireless Society are active from St Pierre et Miquelon, a couple of French-owned islands off the south coast of Newfoundland.

On the trip are G3ZAY, G4EAG, M0BLF, M0TOC, M0VFC and M1BXF.

We’re active on 80m-10m in SSB, CW and RTTY.

As of 27th September, we’ve made over 10,00 QSOs already.

For more information, see dx.camb-hams.com If you like our DXpedition, please ‘Like’ our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CUWSinFP or follow us on Twitter @CUWSinFP

18th November: “Mobile System Overview: How mobile networks are built.” talk

On 18th November, Gavin Nesbitt (M1BXF), Technical Co-ordinator of the Cambridgeshire Repeater Group and Project Manager at IOTAS, a successful cellular testing company, will speak to us on the title “Mobile System Overview: How mobile networks are built.”

“I shall give a brief overview of the development of 3GPP technologies from GSM to LTE and how they interconnect. The presentation will give examples of ingenious design plus strengths and weaknesses of each technology used. See how complex making a phone call really is and what myriad of mechanisms are used to keep your mobile data flowing within a mobile cellular network.”

The talk will start at 1900 in the Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College. All are welcome.

Thursday 14th October: introductory meeting and pub meet

Want to know why we’re hooked on making contact with people all over the world? This Thursday the Cambridge University Wireless Society will be giving an introduction to amateur radio and to our society. It will start at 1900, in the Bateman Auditorium, Caius (map for Caius, and location of the Bateman Auditorium).

Also this Thursday we’ll be continuing with our regular informal pub meets at the Maypole (location of the Maypole), from 2000.

It would be great to see you at either or both of these!

We’ll talk about amateur radio licences at the meeting on Thursday, but for the interested or those who cannot attend:
To transmit on the amateur radio bands you need a licence; but don’t worry: getting one only involves a short and easy multiple-choice test and a short practical exercise (and schoolchildren regularly pass both!). Martin Atherton, our President, will speak about how to arrange these (they can take place at almost any time that is convenient for you), but if you already know that you want to take a licence exam or move up to the next level of licence, feel free to get in touch. Martin will provide you with an
application form (and even send it off for you!) as well as the relevant book telling you everything you need to know for the test. There’s no pressure to get a licence though (and you can be a member of CUWS without ever getting one). More details will be given at the introductory meeting, or you can ask us at the Maypole or look over the details on our website. Martin
is planning to go through the practical exercises for the foundation licence on either the early evening on Saturday 16th or the afternoon of Sunday 17th October, so if you are interested in doing that, do get in touch with him!

I hope to see you on Thursday!

Best wishes,

Jordan
(Chairman, CU Wireless Society)

Pub meet, 2000 Thursday 7th October

We’ll be meeting informally at the Maypole pub tomorrow (Thursday) at 2000, as we do every Thursday, and you’d be very welcome to come along and say hello. The Maypole is on Park Street just past the multi-storey car park, near the Union Society building – a map is available. Look for people in CUWS tops (and if the worst comes to the worst, ask the people behind the bar, who know us well!).

Jordan
CUWS Chairman

“Sunspots and the Solar Dynamo” talk

This Thursday (4th February) sees our first speaker meeting of term.

Professor Michael Proctor from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics will speak on “Sunspots and the Solar Dynamo”.

“Professor Proctor will describe the physical and periodic properties of sunspots covering their magnetic characteristics and average 22 year cycle. He will describe the knowledge of surface and sub-surface solar behaviour gained from helio-seismography and the latest thinking on the underlying mechanisms responsible for generating the intense toroidal magnetic fields implied by the periodic appearance of sunspot pairs.”

The talk will start at 1900 in the Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College (see map for location in the college). Doors will be open from 1845. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there.

Following the speaker meeting on Thursday, there will be an informal CUWS gathering at the Maypole (see map
for location) from 2000. I hope you will be able to make it for a drink and a chat.

Good luck to those taking licence examinations tomorrow.

Best wishes,

Jordan

Introductory meeting

Want to know what we get up to? Meet at 1900 on Thursday 15th October outside Queens’ porters lodge for a lift to our radio shack, to see what you can do with us!

There’s no need to tell us in advance that you’ll be coming, but an email to chairman@g6uw.org will ensure we know not to drive away without you! (If there’s nobody waiting and it looks as if we have gone, please telephone 07748 873900.)

If the 15th isn’t convenient for you, we’re happy to arrange a tour at another time: please email chairman@g6uw.org to make arrangements.

Jordan Skittrall, Chair