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

CUWS AGM

The Cambridge University Wireless Society Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 10th May 2012 at 1915.

This is one of the most important events of the year for CUWS and the meeting will only be valid if sufficient society members are present, so please do come along if you possibly can – the meeting is very unlikely to last more than about half an hour.

Date: Thursday 10th May 2012
Time: 1915
Venue: Syndicate Room 1, Wolfson College, Cambridge

Syndicate Room 1 is in the Chancellor’s Centre. From the front (Barton Road) side of College, standing at the flagpole looking towards the Porter’s Lodge, the Chancellor’s Centre is the building with the clock on it along the road to the left.

Agenda
1. Reading, amendment if necessary, and adoption of the Minutes of the previous AGM.
2. Presentation and acceptance of the Secretary’s report on the activities of the Society since the last AGM.
3. Presentation and acceptance of the Junior Treasurer’s report and audited accounts for the previous financial year.
4. Election of the officers of the Society for the coming year.
5. Any other business.

Notes
The Chairman, Secretary and Junior Treasurer for the coming year will be elected. If you would like to stand for a post, nominations should be made in writing to the Secretary at least 24 hours in advance of the AGM, or to the Chairman at the meeting at any time up to the start of the election for the relevant post.

If you would like to raise a matter in ‘Any other business’, it would be appreciated if you could notify the Secretary or Chairman in advance of the meeting.

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.

Miquelon Island (FP): 2011

In September 2011, 6 CUWS members (G3ZAY, G4EAG, M0BLF, M0VFC, M0TOC and M1BXF) went to Miquelon Island. Miquelon is the largest island in St Pierre et Miquelon, which is a French-owned territory just off the coast of Newfoundland.

We stayed in the Motel de Miquelon, a very ham-friendly establishment right on the coast of Miquelon.

QSL info:

QSL via home calls – for cards from multiple operators, QSL via G3ZAY.

Log analysis

A total of 17920 contacts were made with 124 DXCC entities using RTTY, SSB and CW, on 10m – 80m.

The log contained 9272 unique callsigns, with 74 people who worked all 6 operators.

For more information about the island, see the Wikipedia entry

For more information about the DXpedition, see http://dx.camb-hams.com/dx-peditions/cuws-in-fp/

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)