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The only Amateur Radio Society in Sheffield to offer FREE membership with great talks, events, venue & training…

Welcome to the website of the Sheffield & District Wireless Society. According to newspaper archives, the society has established roots dating back as early as 1912, so in name it is the oldest Amateur Radio Society in Sheffield. The Society was disbanded in 1926 and reformed as Sheffield Amateur Radio Club. Nine decades later, in October 2013, saw many members move across from SARC to recreate S&DWS, bringing with them a very long wealth of history and knowledge. Sheffield Wireless was reborn offering a very relaxed, different and refreshing set of membership aims and objectives.

The kind generosity of our hosts at The Rutland Hotel means we are able to offer FREE membership and no subscriptions. All we ask is you buy a drink or two from the bar, and perhaps a snack or an evening meal as some members regularly choose to enjoy. This should be a huge welcome to new members who are interested in getting involved in amateur radio, who want to take up training for Foundation, Intermediate and Full License, enjoy our lectures and social nights, or typically, become a part of our strong and vibrant contesting team where we do have a strong recent history of being at the top of the league tables.

Feel free to visit our website and Facebook promotional page, or better still, come along to one of our Society meetings, talks or events where a very warm welcome awaits. Do come and join us on in our Member’s Hub where most of our daily activity takes place. There are no member fees to join the society, just bring yourselves along, your ideas and together we can enjoy what is a fantastic life long hobby to pursue!

Foundation Course Starting in January 2018

Sheffield Wireless are starting a Foundation Course in January with both Krystyna 2E0KSH and Ian 2E0IEB jointly leading the courses. The course is FREE, open to all, and runs on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays in the panel room at the Rutland Hotel, and then we have a social drink downstairs in the bar time permitting. If you are under 18 and interested in taking part on the course, this is fine, but you must bring a parent or a responsible adult with you.

The first session is on Wednesday 10th January from 7:30pm. Buy yourself a drink at the bar, and meet us in the panel room at the Rutland Hotel. Just turn up and be ready to enjoy! Attached by clicking here is a copy of a Plan and Structure for the Foundation course. You will find at the back of the document is a calendar indicating the course content.

The advantage of our structure is that you can join the course at any time, but then carry over to the next course, so you can jump in and not miss anything. It is highly likely that some practical tests will carry over onto 1 or 2 Saturday mornings at a location to be agreed.

We provide two Foundation courses a year with exams in June and December, or optional exams in March and September. So it could take from 3-6 months. We have no subscriptions of membership fees, but the only cost is the exam which is currently ÂŁ27.50. We take a fairly relaxed approach which we find is a good quality method of learning with no pressure, although you can self learn much quicker. The issue is the requirement for completing the practicals. Whilst the exam is important, our purpose is not to help you pass the exam, which is what we’d like you to achieve, our purpose is to help you become competent and confident radio amateurs…

We do plan to have a full itinery of YouTube videos for the whole course, although a limited few current versions which need greatly updating, can be found here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyVf541O6N0 The videos give a useful lesson if you happen to miss a session, and helpful for to viewing again. We expect to to have a full suite of new videos completed by January ready for your use.

If you have time to pop in and introduce yourselves, we are open on the 6th December where we hope to have a talk from Peter Day who’s callsign is G3PHO and we’re also around on the 13th December too from 7:30pm for a chat. We are closed on the 20th December owing to the Society’s booked Christmas meal event.

Meanwhile, feel free to join our member’s hub on Facebook. We always say to everyone that being in a society or a community certainly helps to keep you interested and stimulated in what is a fantastic and interesting hobby. Link here https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldwirelessgroup/

Activating a Cemetery on Halloween…

Well that must be a world first… Halloween and Amateur Radio with Krystyna 2E0KSH who has today worked a Grave Digger at Moorgate Cemetary, Rotherham, Ian M0CJY, on Halloween.

She ended up having a 5 minute chat on the DMR handheld about Halloween, Cemetaries and Radio…. Weird… Did you know that John Stevenson, who is the brother of George Stevenson, Renowned as the Father of the Railways, is buried in Moorgate Cemetery?

We’re perhaps wondering if there is a radio interest in ‘Activating Cemetaries’ Have you activated a Cemetary lately?

Happy Halloween Folks..!! Make it a safe and fun one!

First YL Full License Pass at Sheffield Wireless

We’d really like to pass on our huge congratulations to Jayne Severn, 2E0SVN (now M0JNE), who has become the first YL member of Sheffield Wireless to gain a full licence during the Society’s most recent history. The result, she got 95% for the full exam with just 3 questions wrong. Yup! Just three!

An excellent achievement, but being much of a modest individual, Jayne complained that she did the mock advanced exam at the back of the exam secrets book and claimed to either have no understanding of potential dividers and leading/lagging waveforms at all, and categorically stating questions 11 & 14 must be wrong, but then realised she read the question wrong…

Not to be beaten, in a day before the full exam, her last attempt on Hamtests was 93%, but of course modestly speaking, there’s a lot of repetition from one mock to the next, so she said she decided to take that with a big pinch of salt and continue with lots of revision along with more RSGB mocks.

In passing the exam she said, “I had no idea how though, but by the end I thought I’d get 45/62 right or thereabouts. After the first 20 minutes (the 10 licence condition questions), I was just hoping it would get easier, but no, it was really difficult all the way…” Difficult, what with 95%… Pull the other one Jayne 🙂

Given that she only gained her 2E0 earlier this year, our huge congratulations are in order; you’ve made us all proud at Sheffield Wireless!

Five Intermediate 2E0 Successes

We’re a bit late at announcing this, but non the less we are delighted at Sheffield Wireless to announce a 100% pass rate of 6 foundation holders who tonight passed their exam to become 2E0 Intermediates only a few months ago..!!

We’re even more delighted that it was a woman, Jayne M6KLE, with the highest score and who only got one question wrong..!! Great that YL’s are getting involved in the hobby.

We’re very grateful to Mark Rigby M0TGW and Krystyna Haywood 2E0KSH for providing the training in the last few months, and for Steve Hambleton G0EAK of Worksop ARS and David Shaw M5DWI for the independent invigilation ensuring a professionally conducted exam.

Our final thanks goes to the Rutland Hotel for the generous use of their Dovedale Suite, providing excellent meals and plenty of beer on tap….

The 6 students and 2 trainers from left to right are; Kemlo 2E0POM/M6VRR, Steve 2E0FST/M6SLO, Jayne 2E0SVN/M6KLE, Mark M0TGW, Krystyna 2E0KSH, Paul 2E0YPD/M6HPQ, Malcolm 2E0EJQ/M6HUX and Ian 2E0IEB/M6IEB. Well done everybody, a great result all round..!!

Feeling out in the cold this Winter? Join us!

It’s a true fact that the more you attend a club, the more likely you will remain interested in the hobby, especially as different topics are introduced, people get together and become enthused in moving the hobby forward, making good friends along the way whilst getting involved in what is a fantastic hobby. The more you attend, the more you’ll enjoy yourself..!!

Sheffield Wireless is incredibly grateful to Sheffield’s Rutland Hotel who very generously offer the very warm and cosy Dovedale and Panel Suites for our meetings. Such hosting enables us to offer FREE memberships and no subscription fees and where we have access excellent facilities to not only a meeting/lecture room, but also a training room, a bar, free WIFI and very welcome staff who appreciate our custom on the Wednesday nights.

We particularly welcome visiting members from other clubs in the wider area including Humberside, Worksop/Notts and Derbyshire whose clubs meet on other nights. This is a great way to work on developing some excellent friendships and inter-club activity and boosting competition whilst enjoying good natured fun and camaraderie that the hobby brings.

Where else in Sheffield can you get warm facilities at no cost? All we politely ask you to do, is repay the hotel’s generosity by getting a drink from the bar and some occasional snacks. Some members regularly buy a delicious meal, as it saves time cooking at home after work, so don’t be surprised during a social chat, a waiter drops by with a burger, or a fish pie or hunter’s chicken for a member… Here’s a link to their menu….

Our next meetings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays include a talk on building a computer for amateur radio use, a history of commercial amateur radio equipment as well as HFDX for beginners. We also continue to enjoy very good social evenings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, and recently had visitors from the Yorkshire Scouts Movement to talk about activities at their local events throughout the year as a way of engaging more people to become involved in the hobby.

Currently, thanks to the support of Ian 2E0IEB, 5 students are learning the Foundation licence, including Jake who himself faces the challenges very positively of being a student who is blind, and has a very keen interest in the hobby, even recently the jammy so and so took first place in our recent ‘Fox hunting’ radio exercise where we look for a signal generator that is hidden in bushes, by using handhelds to find the signal and find the object hidden in a ‘cuddly toy’, so fortunately, it’s not real fox hunting.

Radio Contesting and our Club Successes..

Sheffield Wireless also very proudly take the number ‘1’ lead in the UKAC contests for local clubs. There are currently 33 clubs in the league, but we are beginning to fall behind on the 2m slot, so if you have access and want to join a winning team, then join in and help boost our scores. Members have made a terrific effort this year where in August we got second place in the RSGB 432MHZ low power contest a few weeks ago.

We best not forget to mention that SDWS finished in 6th place in a long list of 104 clubs this year. The Super League takes into account results from both HF and VHF contests, as shown in the accompanying screenshot. In a few of the contests, we worked in teams of four ops per team. Last year we finished 9th so this is excellent progress against the top contesting clubs in the UK. It’s great to have a bunch of local amateurs, some with years of experience, and some new to the hobby; it goes without saying that contesting really does encourage you to fine tune your stations, your antennas as well as operating technique.

Radio Scouting Movement..

Sheffield Wireless recently had a visit from Stuart G6DUE at Sheffield and the wider Yorkshire Scouting Movements with a view to getting involved with a variety of local Scouting events over the coming year.

These include the ‘Winter Wonderland’ in December, ‘Freezer Camp’ in February, ‘Scoutastic’ in July as well as ‘Crew Boree’ in September. there’s also a thought to start thinking about J.O.T.A. 2018…

These are early days to ascertain which members are interested in getting involved in supporting the scouts, and deciding what can be realistically achieved within those weekends. It’s a great way of getting involved in the hobby, and engaging new members to join in and have fun.

Come along and join us at Sheffield Wireless, where it’s warm, a great bar, good food, good company and good conversation. Come and share your ideas, let us know how you’d like to be involved. There’s no need to sit out in the cold, when you’ve got FREE membership, no subs, and a great opportunity of immersing into what is a fantastic hobby to enjoy.

See you soon at the Rutland..!!

 

 

 

Getting registered on DSTAR

Despite a wealth of new digital modes from Yaesu’s Fusion, to Motorola’s DMR, DSTAR has been around a few years, and still offers a strong community following with some great reflectors and contacts to connect to. Andi f you think DSTAR is old, then remember that people are still connecting to the old analogue of IRLP and Echolink… There’s lots of modes, and DSTAR is just one of those many modes which can still give satisfaction and enjoyment in the hobby!

Icom UK regularly get enquiries from customers and other D-STAR users who are having problems getting registered onto the D-STAR network.

Whilst Icom encourage users to register with their local repeater keeper, this isn’t always possible even though in a perfect world this shouldn’t be a problem. However there may be reasons why users cannot register, so if you require registration, you can click this link to send Icom UK an email directly with the following details and they will add you to the D-STAR network:

• Name,
• Call sign,
• Postcode
• Email address.

Alternatively, you can click here to the D-STAR Registration Form and fill in your details on the form provided. When Icom UK have processed your request, you will receive an email and then you will be able to get on the air…digitally. Don’t forget you do not have to be registered to use the repeater locally.

You can look up your registration on sites such as http://query.ke5bms.com/index.php?callsign= (usually after a refresh period of up to an hour from registration).You could see something like this image to the left…

On other lookup sites:

Other D-Star callsign lookup sites exist, which in fact update much more quickly but can report erroneously that: “Registration NOT OK! (IP outside of assigned pool!)” or something similar. You can ignore this. This is because the Trust Server and our GB7IC Gateway are using an updated version of system software. There used to be an IP address assigned within a range of 8 IP addresses shown in the first, registration block which is assigned to each user. This no longer happens and we believe that such registration check sites should and presumably will be changed to reflect this. An IP address is not needed for ‘normal’ DV use, only for DD use. DD (Digital Data) mode is a high-speed data call using Icom ID-1 (23cm) radios, either simplex or possibly duplex via D-Star gateways, licenses for which seem to be unavailable in the UK.

These checkers may also claim that any callsign entered is a “US-Trust Gateway” which is almost never true. This also reveals an error in the line which often follows: “The Space-ID should NOT be registered for a gateway, it may create routing issues!” which, if the entered callsign is not a gateway, is clearly not a problem. Consequently, the statement that “Registration [callsign] NOT OK!” is also untrue and can be ignored. We believe that only MB6 and GB7 callsigns can be used as gateways in this country.

A default Terminal Id (one without a visible suffix in the ‘Terminal CS’ column) is needed for linking and unlinking reflectors using DPlus and perhaps other DPlus functions. UK keepers add this Terminal ID routinely. This is an important part of registration, which is all too commonly left out when self-registering at, say DB0HRF.

This registration will need to propagate itself around the 80+ Reflectors and hundreds of gateways before you will have absolutely all of the network at your fingertips (outside of Japan) but this is unlikely to trouble you after 10 minutes or so, unless any devices are or have recently been off-air or are not updating for some reason.

The new Access Point feature of the ID-51Plus2 and ID-4100 will also need a Terminal ID for this new feature. We currently use the Initial “A” for this purpose. We will add this if necessary on request to older accounts but have been doing so routinely on new ones since around November/December 2016. You can see what has been allocated (if any) using the above callsign lookup (in the example above the “A” of Terminal CS “G4ICM A” in the left column and a PCName of “ACCESSPOINT”). This letter needs to be entered into the App for Access Point use. You will also need the Internet address for our server for the MS3W software, which is gb7ic.icomuk.co.uk  This is not the same as an “A” suffix on a gateway/repeater, which would indicate a 23cm module in that case.

One more use for Terminal IDs (not IP addresses) is applicable in the USA and perhaps other countries, where family members are permitted to use the licensee’s radios to communicate with the licensee. In this case there would be 2 or more terminals set up, such as W1ABC-M and W1ABC-P representing a mobile and a portable radio. This allows callsign routing between the two radios. We are not permitted this family members scenario in the UK. Callsign routing still works though, and is actually better-suited to using the same callsign in each of your radios, if you happen to have more than one. The system can then route traffic to you whichever radio (repeater) you used (keyed-up) last and it will find you if you are still active there. Be aware that a distant user using callsign routing is able to connect and transmit over a Gateway which is currently engaged on a Reflector call. The distant caller has no way of detecting this because he/she is not aware which Gateway is involved.

Note that in the U.S., just like the UK, family members are NOT allowed to use a ham’s radio to contact the ham. Amateur transmitters must always be under the control of a licensed amateur, and may not be used by a non-licensed person (family member or not) without a licensed amateur in control.

SDWS … FLYING HIGH IN THE CONTEST SCENE

Another big pat on the back to our SDWS Contesters…

Sheffield and District Wireless Society is making a real impact on the UK Amateur radio Contesting scene these days and it’s all due to a keen and enthusiastic band of members who are prepared to devote a large amount of time to operating on the club’s behalf.

Not only are we top of the UKAC Local Club League and 4th in the RSGB 80m Club Contest League but we have just finished 6th in the 2016-2017 series of the Affiliated Societies Contest and have qualified for an honourable mention Certificate! You can see by looking at the band headings on the results table that the series of contests spanned 160 metres to 432MHz, both SSB and CW.
Here is the contest adjudicator’s (G3SQX) report …
Ed, G3SQX, visited our Arran IOTA Contest team last year and had dinner with us on our last night on the island…. a very nice bloke.

“AFS Super League 2016-17
The top three slots in this composite of RSGB contests were once again fought over by the same clubs as in previous years. However their positions changed, with Camb-Hams moving into first place, gaining maximum points in five of the six contributing contests, and winning theHadley Wood Contest Group Trophy. A second place certificate goes to Bristol Contest Group who were close behind, and the third place certificate was gained by Grimsby ARC., Pembrokeshire Contest Group, Tall Trees Contest Group, Sheffield & District Wireless Society and Chesham & District Amateur Radio Society were just below in the table – all receiving certificates for finishing in the top three-quarters of scores in the six contributing contests.”

SDWS MEMBERS WHO TOOK PART IN THIS CONTEST SERIES ARE:

(numbers after the callsigns indicate the bands they operated):
2E0KSH: 6m
2E0RET/A: 2m, 70cm
M0GAV: 80m SSB, 6m, 2m
M0GDX: 80m SSB, 2m, 70cm
M0MDY: 2m, 70cm
M0YDB: 6m, 2m, 70cm
M6IEB: 2m
M6JIJ: 2m, 70cm
G0HSA: 80 m CW
G0MGX: 2m
G3PHO (aka GX5TO): 160m, 80m CW, 80m SSB, 6m, 2m, 70cm
G3YJR: 160m, 80m CW, 80m SSB, 2m, 70cm,
G4LKD: 2m, 160m
G8NSD: 70cm
G8NVX: 160m, 6m, 2m,
The Society thanks them all !

Foundation Licence Now YouTube Video – Module 3 on Safety in Amateur Radio

We’re pleased to announce the next video installment for the Foundation Licence Now course on the theme of Safety in Amateur Radio.

Foundation Licence Now YouTube Video – Module 2 – Nature of Amateur Radio

Sheffield Wireless is delighted to present as part of the RSGB Foundation Licence Now Course. This video was created and prepared by Registered Trainer, Krystyna 2E0KSH, who presents a module based on the Nature of Amateur Radio. Lasting roughly and hour and a half, this PowerPoint video presentation is expected to give you a good background to this part of the foundation course using a distance learning format.

Foundation Licence YouTube Video – An Introduction

Sheffield Wireless is delighted to provide an Introduction YouTibe Video as to what’s involved in the Foundation Licence Now Course.  Created by and led by Trainer Krystyna 2E0KSH, we are offer this as part of a distance learning initiative, becoming one of many amateur radio societies up and down the UK who provide training to enable people to become a licenced radio amateurs.