About CRDARS

Formation

Colburn and Richmondshire District Amateur Radio Society was founded in 2014 by Colin Lyne and Chris Watkins. The intention was to establish a community of like-minded radio amateurs in the Richmondshire area, provide opportunities for us to socialise, learn more about various aspects of amateur radio, and participate in a variety of activities.

Membership and Governance

Anyone with an interest in amateur radio is welcome to visit the club before deciding whether they wish to join. Membership fees are due on joining the club, and annually each October.

Membership fees are £20 for adults, and £5 for members under the age of 18. Our membership fees are sufficient to cover the hire of the village hall, and all members are welcome to attend as many of our meetings as they wish for no additional charge.

CRDARS is affiliated with the Radio Society of Great Britain, the national society for amateur radio in the UK. Officially, CRDARS governance is by elected committee, in line with our constitution, with an annual general meeting held every year in October.

In practice, the club is run fairly informally according to the consensus of our members. We hold several scheduled planning meetings each year, where our members are able to discuss the direction of the club, and agree our meeting and event program for the following months.

Club Activities

CRDARS generally hosts two meetings per month, with breaks during August, and over Christmas.

Typically, the first meeting in the month will be a general club meeting, intended for operating the club’s radio equipment and casual conversation.

The second meeting in any given month is typically some sort of organised event, such as a presentation or activity. Most of these will be amateur radio related, however, from time to time we have been known to host some very interesting presentations on non-radio topics that are of interest to our members. Please see our Meetings page for our upcoming schedule.

Outside of club meetings, several of our members are involved in contests, and assist with events such as the annual Jamboree on the Air, where Scouts and Guides from around the world are given the opportunity to communicate with one another using Amateur Radio.

Club Callsign

The club’s callsign is GX3EKL.

The callsign G3EKL was previously held by the late Major Ray Webb, a well-known local radio amateur. When CRDARS was formed, our members suggested we commemorate Ray by adopting his old callsign. Thanks to the kind permission of Ray’s family and Ofcom, Ray’s callsign can once again be heard on the amateur bands.

Training

Before operating an amateur radio transmitter, you must first have a licence, issued by Ofcom. In order to obtain a licence, you must complete a series of assessment tasks with an RSGB-registered assessor, and sit a multiple choice examination. More details are available from the training section of the RSGB web site.

At CRDARS, we’re able to provide a variety of training and assessment services to our members. For Foundation and Intermediate licence candidates, we have several RSGB-registered assessors, who can either provide one-to-one tuition, or can simply take you through the required assessments if you prefer to study the majority of the course material in your own time.

For candidates who wish to sit the Advanced exam and qualify for a full licence, we recommend an online course, run by Steve Hartley (G0FUW). This course usually runs a few times each year. The couse does not appear to have an official web site, however enrolment information is  periodically posted on the RSGB’s GB2RS news pages, on the RSGB or Steve Hartley’s Twitter pages.

We hope to have Hudswell Village Hall registered as an examination venue shortly. Candidates will be required to pay their own RSGB examination fees, as well as cover the cost of hiring the hall for the duration of the exam.

Students who attend Richmond School also have the opportunity to train and participate in amateur radio through Richmond School Amateur Radio Society. Students who are interested should either contact Paul Hunt in the science department, or Andy Thornton in the IT support office.

GB3IR Repeater

GB3IR is a 2m repeater located in Richmond, North Yorkshire. It is Internet linked, using both IRLP and Echolink. Full details regarding the repeater, including a coverage map and guidance regarding the Internet linking features can be found on the GB3IR web site.

Many CRDARS members make use of the repeater, and the club makes occasional donations to assist with the repeater’s running costs. We’re fortunate to have the repeater’s keeper, Chris Kirby as a CRDARS member, and are incredibly appreciative of this service he provides to radio amateurs in North Yorkshire, Teesside and County Durham.