Our Meetings


1st & 3rd Wednesdays
Formal Nights for talks, demonstrations, lively discussions and activities: 7:30pm at the Rutland Hotel, 452 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2PY.

2nd & 4th Wednesdays
Training Nights as well as our friendly "Cheers n Beers" gatherings in the public bar at the Rutland Hotel, 452 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2PY.

5th Wednesdays in a month
Check out our events and Member's Hub on Facebook, as we either go out for meals and socials, or we do portable evenings.

Join the RSGB

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!

Come and Join us in 2018..!!

When Societies work together for members

Two of Sheffield Wireless’ mains aims are to foster mutual respect and friendships, as well as minimise conflicting with the interests of other local groups, for the full benefit of its membership who wish to enjoy other commitments.

So, it comes as a real pleasure when both our Societies have enjoyed good natured camaraderie against each other’s contesting teams in recent years, undertaking a joint DXpedition to Arran for the IOTA last year, and despite Sheffield Wireless being top of the UKAC league, Worksop ironically still gain more lead winners at national level.. ho hum..!!

Whilst Sheffield meets weekly on a Wednesday evening, Worksop have two meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so there is no conflict between us, just as we’ve always avoided conflicting with Sheffield’s other club’s meeting night on Mondays. This means our members can enjoy whatever clubs they wish to take part in for a whole week through, and enhance their hobby even more. SDWS and Worksop are two very different, but equally strong societies with ours having access to the generosity of facilities of Sheffield’s Rutland Hotel with activities based 0n a voluntary and self organised basis, with Worksop having it’s own building, several shacks and a great range of equipment in store to use and play with. For annual membership of £10 at Worksop, with a £1 door charge, it makes sense to support a very good value for money subscription which helps to pay for their facility costs.

We’re very grateful that Worksop extended an opportunity for Iftikhar and Jake (pictured right) to be able to take their exam today at Worksop and gain very good passes. This gets them very quickly on to the first rung of the amateur ladder. We extend our congratulations also to the remaining 7 Worksop members who also passed and earned their foundation passes, and we wish them all every success as they follow their paths to the next stage in their amateur radio future together. Congratulations to all who passed their exam today…

Our thanks again to Worksop ARS for supporting Sheffield Wireless members in this way. All we have to do now is sign them up into Sheffield’s contesting team to give Worksop a pasting in the league next year…

 

 

 

A message to the GB3EE persecutors regarding children & families

It is clear to the local Amateur Radio fraternity that there are a group of individuals on the GB3EE repeater with a goal to seek to persecute and oppress a certain M3 individual, to prevent that person using GB3EE, and also prevent anyone who is in communication with the said person, as well as to persecute and oppress radio amateurs who are challenging their actions.

This is a message to those persecutors. Whilst we do not condone the above behaviours, you have been heard threatening the partners, and especially the children of those who are challenging you. This is unacceptable. An example of good practice can be found with the paedo hunters on their various Facebook Pages where they hunt down pedophiles in a vigilante style and then involve police for conclusion. These ‘hunters’ are careful to point out to viewers watching that they must not approach the homes of such pedophiles, threaten families nor threaten children.

You are advised to do the same by refraining from making any such further threats where children and the partners of these individuals, as this is a serious safeguarding matter where children are concerned. Such threats by adults made by yourself is a serious matter, a criminal matter, and is not the purpose of your objectives to stop a certain individual using GB3EE.

Click to visit Safer DerbyshireContinue to persecute certain Radio Amateurs if that is your desire and goal, and clearly, we’re unable to stop you. This message is to ask you to refrain from threatening partners and particularly children who you have placed in a vulnerable position with your comments.  Your threats against children are being recorded, and can be passed to the Police and Social Services as part of any Safeguarding investigations. This is a polite request to please desist. Thank you.

Sheffield’s Abundance of Repeaters & Links

We are very fortunate in Sheffield to have access to about 8 Repeaters and Links in the Sheffield area to enjoy, covering a range of different modes from Analogue FM, DSTAR, DMR, Fusion, with some links having access to either Allstar, IRLP and Echolink. And whilst many local radio amateurs have recently been dismayed and disheartened to hear of the abuse recently on Chesterfield GB3EE, being played out, day in day out, we just have to remember that there are alternatives to use until the ‘madness of the current abuse’ stops. The above link will take you to a page highlighting where you can find our local repeaters and links.

It is important to remind ourselves that as much as we might wish to reason with such individuals, it is a breach of license rules to communicate on air with anyone who is not licensed, and it is certainly inadvisable to engage with someone who chooses not to give their callsign. The best thing to do, is leave the repeater alone, come back later, or go elsewhere, as it really isn’t worth the bother getting involved with such mindsets.

In the UK, the frequency allocations for repeaters are managed by the Emerging Technology Co-ordination Committee (ETCC) of the Radio Society of Great Britain and licensed by Ofcom, the industry regulator for communications in the UK. Each repeater has a NOV (Notice of Variation) licence issued to a particular amateur radio callsign (this person is normally known as the “repeater keeper”) thus ensuring the licensing authority has a single point of contact for that particular repeater.

Sheffield has a long history where repeaters and keepers are concerned, the oldest one being GB3US. This used to be situated on the roof of the University for many years before it was moved, and provides us with great IRLP/Echolink access. The second oldest in recent history is GB7SF, the area’s oldest DSTAR repeater run and managed by Steve M1ERS and the Sheffield DSTAR Group, who also maintains Sheffield’s first Yaesu Fusion repeater GB7SH. More recently has seen the introduction of the analogue GB3AB providing a high vista and catchment area from Worrall, as well as the DMR repeater GB7SR run and maintained by Andy M0GAV. These repeaters in addition to the various links to Echolink, Allstar and IRLP, just doesn’t fail to meet the expectations and needs of the radio amateur in Sheffield. We need to count ourselves as very lucky indeed, and we sincerely do owe a great deal of thanks to all these keepers.

Each repeater in the UK is normally supported by a repeater group composed of local amateur radio enthusiasts who pay a nominal amount e.g. £10—15 a year each to support the maintenance of each repeater and to pay for site rents, electricity costs etc. Repeater groups do not receive any central funding from other organisations. Our current repeaters in Sheffield have been well looked after and maintained by responsible repeater keepers including Andy M0GAV, Greg G4CUI, Steve M1ERS, Martin 2E0EVP and so on. We owe our deep thanks to these amateurs.

Repeaters, whilst free to use, don’t come free, and are normally set up by dedicated local amateurs keen to provide such a service for others to enjoy. No repeater keeper ever really asks for money, but it is fair to say that if you use one, you should at least consider from time to time some donation to a local favourite repeater you use regularly, certainly because maintenance and upkeep doesn’t come free, and will most certainly be appreciated by the keepers. Dig deep into your pocket guys if you value what we have, go and help out because eventually these repeaters will wear down. What then you might ask?

Current Repeaters and Links in Sheffield

  • GB3AB – Worral – FM, 70cm, CTCSS 82.5, 433.175/434.775
  • GB3US – Town Centre- FM with ECHOLINK 223073 and IRLP Node 5150, 70cm, CTCSS 103.5Hz, 433.000/434.600
  • GB7SF – Wincobank – DSTAR, Port C, 145.1375//145.7375
  • GB7SH – Wincobank – for FM/Fusion, CTCSS 71.9Hz, 430.9625/438.5625
  • GB7SN – Meadowhead – Hyterea DMR, 439.6750/430.675, DMR Slot 1
  • GB7SR – Fox Hill -Motorola DMR,  439.6375/430.6375, DMR Slot 2
  • MB7ALB – Rotherham, FM, IRLP Node 5200, Simplex on 70cm, at 430.0625, CTCSS 71.9 run by G4NJI
  • MB7IGC – Sheffield, FM, Echolink 471476, IRLP Node 5100, Simplex on 2m at 145.337.50, CTCSS 71.9, run by G4CUI
  • MB7ITH-LALLSTAR, Echolink 437121, 145.21250, CTCSS 71.9Hz, run by 2E0EVP.

 

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 £27.50. 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.