This was the report of the GMRT sent to "Scatterpoint" and other interested parties:
The third Scottish Microwave Round Table was held on Saturday 2 November 2013, at the Museum of Communication (MOC), Burntisland.
Measurement facilities were available right from the start, run by Brian Flynn GM8BJF and David Stockton GM4ZNX, and a number of people brought along odd lengths of cable, connectors and preamplifiers for test. There was also space for a few traders' tables and a fair amount of gear was bought and sold.
Attendees were welcomed to the meeting by John Cooke GM8OTI, UK Microwave Group (UKuG) GM representative, and Prof. Tom Stevenson who outlined the MOC facilities which included a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day.
Chris Bartram GW4DGU (UKuG Chairman) gave a short address, updating attendees on the current situation and likely outcome from Ofcom regarding the low microwave bands. Chris also emphasised the need for more people (especially, at this meeting, from GM) to become involved in the work of the UKuG, to provide a better balance of representation over the UK.
The first talk was given by Brian Flynn GM8BJF on Noise Figure Measurement Using Natural (Free!) Noise Sources. This was an excellent reminder of what is available to all of us (the sky and the ground!), and a good description of how to make use of it.
Kevin Avery G3AAF (who also had a trader's stand at the event) gave a very informative talk on the practicalities of SMD Construction.
The usual plentiful (and very good) buffet lunch was provided by the MOC staff (included in the entrance fee), and the Museum "store" was opened over lunchtime for visitors to eye the amazing collection of communications equipment that cannot all be put on show.
For the first afternoon session, Ray James GM4CXM gave a two part talk on Low Band Contesting and the Airscout software by DL2ALF. There was some discussion as to why, after a period of fairly high activity, there now seemed to be a dearth of activity on the low bands in GM. No conclusions were reached but lots of encouragement given for more activity!
The final talk was by Chris Bartram GW4DGU who described his ideas about designs for a New, High-Performance Transverter for the Low Bands. Chris hopes to have hardware available for this some time next year.
The formal part of the meeting concluded with the award of the GM4LBV trophy for the GM Construction Competition. This had been announced only a month before the meeting, and there were only two entries, from GM8BJF and GM8OTI (who had been badgered into entering something by GM8BJF in the pub after the previous week's Lothians RS meeting!). The trophy (a waveguide to croc clip transition) was won by Brian Flynn GM8BJF. Brian must now write up the entry for "Scatterpoint" and it will be taken forward to next year's UK Microwave Group G3VVB Projects Trophy competition. GM microwavers please remember to submit something next year, to avoid a repeat of the Lothians RS monopoly! Built, modified, hardware or software.
In the evening, many attendees (and some YL/XYLs) moved on to the Kingswood Hotel for an excellent meal, followed by an auction of microwave related publications which raised over £70 for MOC funds. This was followed by musical entertainment provided by Chris Bartram GW4DGU, Ian White GM3SEK, Nadine White MM0WNW and John Cooke GM8OTI - some video has already been posted on YouTube, linked from the GMRT website.
Thanks go to the MOC Staff for all their efforts before and during the event; to the organisers (Ray James GM4CXM, Ian White GM3SEK, Brian Flynn GM8BJF, Roger Blackwell GM4PMK, David Stockton GM4ZNX and Colin Wright GM4HWO); and to Lothians RS members Peter Dick GM4DTH, Andy Sinclair MM0FMF and Alan Masson GM3PSP for local support.