GMRT 2014

GMRT 2014 report

This is the report sent to "Scatterpoint" (the journal of the UK Microwave Group) and other places:

The fourth Scottish Microwave Round Table (GMRT) was held on Saturday 1 November 2014, at the Museum of Communication (MOC), Burntisland.

Participants started to arrive even before "doors open" at 9.30am, keen to see the traders' tables and deposit odd lengths of cable, connectors and preamplifiers for test with the measurement facilities run by Brian Flynn GM8BJF and David Stockton GM4ZNX with Dave Nugent.

Attendees were welcomed to the meeting for the formal programme at 10.30am 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.

The first talk was given by Pete Bates GM4BYF on simple measurements at microwave frequencies. Pete gave us demonstrations of the use of the SDR# software with a USB dongle as spectrum analyser for use with several simple devices he had constructed.

After a short break Andy Sinclair MM0FMF described the new UKuG / SOTA (Summits on the Air) microwave awards. A number of people are already making contacts towards these awards.

This was followed by two reports on the setting up of personal beacons by Alan Dimmick GM0USI (the GM4CXM beacon on 10368.947MHz) and Brian Flynn GM8BJF (the GM3WOJ beacon on 10368.400MHz).

An addition to the programme was Ed Murphy GM3SBC who gave a short outline of a new software defined radio system for 1.6MHz to 1296MHz that he has been working on.

An excellent (as always) 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.

The afternoon session was chaired by Andy Sinclair MM0FMF, the first talk being given by David Anderson GM6BIG who gave a fascinating account of the history, development and future of the GB3CSB beacon cluster.

After another break, the final talk was by the RSGB Chairman Graham Murchie G4FSG who spoke on "The RSGB and Microwaves". He gave an interesting update on current changes to the bands as well as other current RSGB and Ofcom related matters, and some interesting open discussion followed.

The formal part of the meeting concluded with the award of the GM4LBV trophy for the GM Construction Competition, judged by Graham Murchie G4FSG and Ian White GM3SEK. As last year there were only two entries, this time from from GM8BJF and Chris Bartram GW4DGU. The trophy (a waveguide to croc clip transition) was won by Brian Flynn GM8BJF. Brian has been told in no uncertain terms (!) that this year he must definitely write up the entry for "Scatterpoint"; 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 and some interesting bits and pieces which together with other donations raised over £220 for MOC funds. This was followed by musical entertainment provided by Chris Bartram GW4DGU, Ian White GM3SEK, Nadine White MM0WNW and John Cooke GM8OTI.

The "organising committee" (Pete Bates GM4BYF, Roger Blackwell GM4PMK, John Cooke GM8OTI, Brian Flynn GM8BJF, Ray James GM4CXM, 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 and Alan Masson GM3PSP for local support.

GMRT 2014 photos

All photographs taken by Alan Masson GM3PSP (except for the one in which he appears!). Many thanks to Alan for providing these.

GMRT 2014 programme

09.30 DOORS OPEN Coffee, tea and biscuits available
10.30 Welcome John Cooke GM8OTI (UK Microwave Group Scottish Representative)
10.40 11.10 Talk Peter Bates GM4BYF - "Simple Measurements at Microwave Frequencies"
11.10 11.25 Break
11.25 11.30 Update Andy Sinclair MM0FMF - "UKuG/SOTA microwave awards"
11.30 12.00 Talks Alan Dimmick GM0USI / Brian Flynn GM8BJF - "Personal Beacons"
12.00 12.15 Break
12.15 12.40 In the museum: UK Microwave Group (GM round) - GM4LBV Projects Trophy
Bring along your entries for this UKuG trophy: built, modified, hardware or software.
12.40 13.40 LUNCH
13.40 14.20 Talk David Anderson GM6BIG - "The History, Development and Future of GB3CSB"
14.20 14.35 Break
14.35 15.15 Talk Graham Murchie G4FSG - "RSGB and Microwaves"
15.15 15.30 Award Construction Competition Conclusion and Award
15.30 16.15 Break Tea, Coffee and Biscuits. Social Time. Winding up of Measurement facilities.
17.00 EXIT End of let