The shack has moved around several times. The oldest reference to a shack (of sorts) is a room in the New Engineering Laboratory (in 1922), when membership cost 2s per term! At the end of the 1940’s, it could be found in a converted toilet at Downing College and subsequently it was located in the basement of the Old Cavendish site (now the New Museums site), but increasing sensitivity of measurements being made by the physicists forced it to move out to the Cavendish Field Station at the Old Rifle Range on Grange Road. This site was later developed for housing during the 1971/2 academic year and the shack moved once again to its current location on the western edge of Cambridge next to Moor Barns Farm.
The equipment changes from time to time, but at the moment there is equipment for most of the amateur bands up to and including 23cm. For HF there is a FT1000-MD, TS-590 and a VL-2000 linear amplifier. For VHF/UHF there is an IC-9700, a homebrew linear for 70cms and a Beko linear for 2m.
There are two extending tilt-over towers, the larger of which extends up to sixty feet, the smaller forty. Both of these are equipped with heavy duty rotators. The larger of the two towers holds the HF antennas: a 3 element SteppIR yagi antenna (20m-10m), 30m and 40m dipoles. On the ground we also have 40/80m verticals. On the smaller tower, we have beams for 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cms and 23cms.
Obviously it’s also possible for people to bring out their own equipment and simply take advantage of the beam antennas! CUWS members must not operate the towers at the shack until they have read and complied with the CUWS tower instructions.
With thanks to Sherriff Tiplady Associates for their assistance, we have internet access at the shack, which allows us to connect to the cluster network – a network to which amateurs can send spots of interesting stations that are currently on the air.
As a society we are affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain, which is the National Society representing radio amateurs in the UK. As a result we receive a copy of the RSGB yearbook containing bandplans on an annual basis, and can make use of their QSL service for G6UW contacts.