This is the report of the 2016 GMRT that was distributed to "Scatterpoint" and other places.
The sixth Scottish Microwave Round Table (GMRT) was held on Saturday 12 November 2016 at the Museum of Communication (MOC), Burntisland. Over 40 participants attended the event during the day.
The programme was scheduled to start half an hour later than usual, when Professor Tom Stevenson from the MOC welcomed us to the venue. The museum staff kept us well supplied with tea, coffee, biscuits and scones (plain and jam!) throughout the day.
Test and measurement facilities were set up by Brian Flynn GM8BJF and David Stockton GM4ZNX, although there appeared to be less demand for these than in previous years. They were in the museum display area as usual, along with the tables occupied by traders. By request, over the years, the programme was organised with longer breaks than previously, allowing even more time for socialising.
The morning session of the formal programme was chaired by John Cooke GM8OTI, UK Microwave Group (UKuG) GM representative, who asked the participants to consider taking over that role as he wished to step down.
The programme opened with a talk given by John Worsnop G4BAO about the 2300MHz Licence Notice of Variation (NoV). The amateur community has been given this option but take-up could be greater, and it seems that use of this part of the spectrum is slow to take off. John made suggestions as to how to go about making equipment changes which would enable use of the new frequencies.
After a break Stuart Wisher G8CYW gave a talk covering "From 1.3GHz to Ultra Violet", which began with an update on experiments at optical frequencies, from infrared to ultraviolet, using new LED devices. He then described a number of experiments with power devices and boards on the microwave bands.
Whilst lunch was being set up in the conference room, attendees assembled in the museum where the entries for the GM4LBV Projects Trophy were displayed. The usual excellent buffet lunch (included in the entrance fee) was provided by the MOC staff.
The afternoon session was chaired by Lothians RS President Andy Sinclair MM0FMF, the first talk being given by Sam Jewell G4DDK, who described the latest development of his 144/28MHz transverter, the "Anglian 3". Sam provided some detail of the design and specifications, together with constructional details.
The final talk was by Peter Bates GM4BYF who described a programmable Tx/Rx sequencer control unit built for under £20 using Arduino components. He also talked about use of cheap components for the microwave bands, including the well known Franco Rota "3 Euro board".
The formal part of the meeting concluded with the award of the GM4LBV trophy for the GM Construction Competition, judged by David Stockton GM4ZNX. The award was made to Mark Hughes GM4ISM for his 10MHz "Rover" frequency standard. Mark will be expected to write up the entry for "Scatterpoint", and it will be taken forward to next year's UK Microwave Group G3VVB Projects Trophy competition. GM (and around) microwavers please remember to submit something next year: built, modified, hardware or software.
Many attendees (and some YL/XYLs) moved on to the Kingswood Hotel in the evening for further chat and an excellent meal, followed by an auction of microwave related publications and some very interesting bits and pieces which raised money for MOC funds. This was followed by musical entertainment provided by the under-strength "Microwave Band" (Chris Bartram GW4DGU being away this year) of Ian White GM3SEK, Nadine White MM0WNW and John Cooke GM8OTI.
The "organising committee" (Roger Blackwell GM4PMK, John Cooke GM8OTI, Brian Flynn GM8BJF, David Stockton GM4ZNX, Ian White GM3SEK and Colin Wright GM4HWO) thanks the MOC Staff for all their efforts before and during the event, and Lothians RS members Peter Dick GM4DTH, Andy Sinclair MM0FMF, Alan Masson GM3PSP and Pete Bates GM4BYF for local support.