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,

(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!).

CUWS Chairman

Michaelmas 2010

Welcome to the Cambridge University Wireless Society, and welcome back for a new year to our existing members!

Want to read more about what we do? Look at our introductory page. We’re planning an introductory talk about the society on Thursday 14th October and to show people around our radio shack on the Sunday after (17th).

This term sees the annual Radio Society of Great Britain convention, to which we’ll be sending a contingent (and you’re welcome to join them), as well as the annual CQ World Wide SSB contest, into which we regularly put a competitive entry. We’re also looking at a talk and a trip to Bletchley Park later in the term. See our event calendar for more details.

Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers who have done the ground work, and to the generosity of our donors, we have a brand new shack building to which the finishing touches are now being put, and which you should go and see once it’s ready! The club shack is there to allow all licensed members to get on the radio and make contacts around the world without having to acquire your own equipment or find space for antennae in central Cambridge. It’s nearby and a great resource. Don’t forget that we’re always willing to help people obtain amateur radio licences.

I very much hope to see you at one of our events, or perhaps at one of our weekly informal pub meets (Thursday, 2000, The Maypole)!

Jordan Skittrall (M0SKI)
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,


Lent term 2010

Happy new year and welcome back to Cambridge for those who have been away!

We have a number of events lined up for this term.


    • On Thursday 4th February, at 1900, Professor Michael Proctor of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics will speak on “Sunspots and the solar dynamo”
    • On Thursday 25th February, at 1900, Dr David Sadler of Roke Manor Research will speak on “HF direction finding and superresolution techniques”
    • On Thursday 4th March, at 1900, Robert Chipperfield (M0VFC) will speak on “RAYNET: the what, why and how of amateur radio emergency communications”


All talks will be in the Bateman auditorium at Gonville and Caius college, with doors open by 1845.

Our weekly pub meets, from 2000 each Thursday in the Maypole, continue.

Martin (G3ZAY) and Michael (G7VJR) will be on air in the Falkland Islands from 21st to 29th January, and we shall have an organised visit to our radio shack to make contact with them. Look out for more details on this!

I look forward to seeing/hearing some of you later on in the term!


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

“Supersonics, RF Harmonics, Digital Electronics and Teddy Bears” Talk

The poster for the combined CUWS and Caius Engineering Society talk by CU Spaceflight on “Supersonics, RF Harmonics, Digital Electronics and Teddy Bears” can be found here.

This promises to be a fascinating overview of the CU Spaceflight project with insights into some of the technical challenges the team has faced and how they’ve overcome them to make the project such a success. The speakers will touch on rocketry, ‘near-space’ ballooning, digital radio communication, global positioning and much more.

The talk takes place on Thursday 5 March at 7.00pm in the Bateman Auditorium at Caius College. Entry is free and non-society members are most welcome to attend.

More information about the project can be found on the CU Spaceflight website.

The presentation which Henry, Ed and Fergus gave at the talk can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

Ascension Island (ZD8): 2009

Six CUWS members (Martin G3ZAY, Michael G7VJR, Tom M0TJH, Gordon G3USR, Simon G4EAG and Hugo M0HSW) were on the air as ZD8UW from Ascension Island (AF-003) between 1 January and 9 January 2009. We were active on all HF bands, both SSB and CW.

We were on Green Mountain, with a clear view to the horizon from about 210 degrees to 45 degrees. Other paths were totally blocked by the mountain.

QSL info:

We don’t need your card if you don’t need ours! If you are happy with an LoTW confirmation then please save the planet.

Log search
All QSOS are also in LOTW

Log analysis:

We were spotted 2110 times.

Best DX: ZL taking into account our QTH! Also KH6 (even on 80M), KL7, UA0 on 160M, various exotica such as PY0, YS, HK, EP, JY, XW, OD, EL, OA, ST, HS.

Weirdest DX: TN on 160M (Republic of Congo). Not far away, but truly rare. Other African DX included Cameroon and Angola.

160	1452	0	70
80	1181	521	58
40	1133	1825	80
30	1661	0	61
20	1170	3139	100
17	1051	2286	87
15	765	1240	80
12	193	297	27
Total QSOs	17914		
Total DXCCs	125		
CW	48.05%		
SSB	51.95%		

For more information about the island, see the Wikipedia entry