Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Final blog of the 2010 Conference visit

Back home!
I arrived back home on Tuesday after an overnight flight from Toronto on Air Canada. Overall I give Air Canada 5 out of 10 for the experience. Not the best, but certainly not the worst airline.
They really need to pay more attention to the little things that matter to passengers. It really is not acceptable to have non-working entertainment systems on transAtlantic flights, non-reset air progress maps on two flights and constantly interupting messages on top of movies, especially in two languages! It makes it a lot worse, guys.......
When I pay top rates for flights I expect at least a meal on the 2.5 hour Jazz flight between Toronto and Dallas. OK. Moan over. On the positive side the seats were comfortable and I'll probably travel AC again later this year. Ohh, and Toronto Pearson airport is very impressive!

So, to the conference.
A great success and all-thanks to the organisers for organising a wonderful event. I learnt a lot from the many experts that were around and the time spent with SM5SBZ was really useful.

I'm pleased to say that my pre-amps acquited themselves very well in the noise figure measurements. Although the numbers didn't always agree with my own measurements or with measurements made elsewhere in Europe, they were within the expected range.

The Proceedings for the Conference are a weighty tome. They are probably the biggest set produced for any EME conference to date! There is a CD available and that is probably the best bet for anyone wishing to obtain a set of material. The organising group for the Conference (NTMS) have said they will be posting all the slide presentations on their web page. This is a great idea and valuable for a subject like EME where the results of development may mean that results submitted to be published in the proceedings are already out of date by the time of the Conference.

Oh, I did buy the Flex1500. I'm looking forward to using it and to having a 10MHz locked SDR at last. I am now planning a frequency locked 2m transverter (and maybe other bands, in due course) to use with the Flex1500. I didn't buy very much else except another 23cm -20dB Narda coupler. My free door prize was a set of ATC 0.1 to 2pF chip capacitors and a few Minicircuit level 23 mixers. Maybe for that transverter? I also brought back some replacement PCBs for my 8970A noise figure meter. Hopefully, that will solve the problem. Fingers crossed!

With the Conference now over it is time to look forward to the next one. The 2010 Conference delegates voted for it to be in Cambridge, England, in 2012. The UKuG will set up a web page to keep everyone posted on progress and let you know when you can register for what we hope will be the best EME Conference ever. Dallas , Florence, Wurzburg etc will take some beating, however..........

Thanks to everyone who has been following the blog. I hope that you enjoy the next one as well.

73 de Sam

Monday, 16 August 2010

last evening in Dallas

The Conference is over and most of the delegates are now on their way home or may already be there! I fly out tomorrow morning via Toronto.

Left with a full day to fill and with the temperatures still over 100F we decided it wasn't the weather to do much. Since Leif Ashbrink, SM5SBZ, wasn't due to fly out until late afternoon, he joined Kent, WA5VJB; Doug Quagliana, KA2UPW and I for lunch at a Chapps restaurant near the Dallas Cowboys new stadium in Arlington. There was a lot of earnest discussion about 10GHz EME signals and how best to process the dispersed audio returns.

After the meal we went for a quick look at the new stadium before returning Leif to DFW for his flight home.

I'll try to blog from one or more of the airports on my way home tomorrow.


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Last day of Conference

Yesterday was just too hectic to find time to blog from the hotel. I had my talk to do, deliver a batch of preamps for measurement and talks to attend (of course).
Dave, G4HUP, and I presented the UK bid for the 2012 International EME Conference. We had a last minute competitor in the form of Japan, so the Conference went to a vote at the evening banquet.
I am extremely pleased to announce the the 2012 EME Conference will be coming to the UK. The venue will be Cambridge. 'Wireless in the DNA' and 'Walking in the footsteps of giants' were the themes of the presentation.
Dave and I would like to thank the UK uG for their support in the bid and to thank Peter Blair, G3LTF, for his encouragement in going for the Conference bid.
We have a lot of work to do before 2012. More details of the Conference will be made available soon.
One of yesterday's major events, for us, was the presentation of the Fraser Sheperd award to Joe Taylor, K1JT. The presentation was made by Dave, G4HUP, on behalf of the RSGB. The UKuG decide who the award is presented to each year.
Our hearty congratulations to Joe on winning the award in 2010. A very worthy recipient.

This is the last day of the 2010 Conference and Kent and I will be heading out to the Westin very shortly.

I will plan to blog again later today, all being well.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Final blog of the day

Back in Grand Prairie after a long day at the conference. I chose not to go to the rodeo this evening, but rather chose to stay back at the hotel and talk to some of the other guys who decided likewise.

I was able to have a long chat to WD5AGO about preamps. Tommy, Al and a.n.other are planning to run the noise figure measurements tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to seeing how my preamps measure up against the 'American Maestro's' best preamps and against some of the others being measured.

Back at Kent's QTH we were greeted by a pair of these critters! In case you are having struggling to make it out, it is one of a pair of your skunks!
I didn't get too close........

My talk on the preamps is scheduled for late tomorrow morning and the EME bid presentation is shortly afterwards.
Dave, G4HUP, was the first speaker of the conference, appearing first thing this morning. Dave, WW2R/G4FRE, also gave his talk today.

Good night ya all.

Friday, 13 August 2010

WiFi access at last.

My but it's hot here! Over 100F again today.
In spite of this we had a most interesting demonstration of 23cm from Paul, WA5WCP, who brought his portable EME system up to the hotel.
The view of jets flying over the dish and hotel as they approached DFW was quite interesting!

Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, CEO of Flexradio talked about SDR developments at the lunch seminar. My, how this technology is moving along. I am seriously considering buying one of the FLEX1500 radios. They brought a few up from Austin with them.

Response to informal chats to various attendees about bringing the next EME Conference to the UK seem to be extremely encouraging. Dave, G4HUP, and I will be presenting the 2012 Conference bid tomorrow. As soon as we know the result, I will bring it to you on here.......

So, back to the talks now. More later.


Day one of the Conference

Its 7:00am and we are about to head out to the Conference hotel. I hope that the Dallas traffic is not too bad.

Yesterday was rather hectic and there was little chance to blog. I should now have access from the hotel lobby, so i'll get back on line from the Westin a little later.

Tempertaures hit 105F (41/42C) in Dallas yesterday, so we didn't spend too much time outside or in the van.

Last night's hospitality suite in the Westin was the first chance for everyone to get together. All the well-known faces were there and it was a great chance to meet up and swap stories from the two years since the Florence meeting. This is going to be a good conference!

73 de Sam

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Good morning from Dallas.
Currently in Grand Prairie at the home of WA5VJB. The flight down from Totonto by the Air Canada JAZZ Bombarier 705 commuter jet was uneventful and arrived on time.
Plans today are to go to the Conference hotel and meet up with early arrivals.
I also need to get something 'real' to eat. The only thing I have eaten in the last 24 hours is airline food!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

CN Tower

Yes, in the previous blog, if you look carefully at the skyline above the Alitalia name on the plane behind the Polish plane you will see the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. I had to look carefully to see it the first time. Just for good measure, here is a zoomed shot of it. I'm told Pearson is 27km from downtown. I'm not convinced that tower is 27km from here!


Toronto Pearson airport. 11th August 2010

I am currently on my way to Dallas for the International EME Conference. Because of my late decision to go I had to accept a routing via Toronto. Right now I'm sat in departures at Toronto Pearson airport, waiting for my onward flight to Dallas where I should arrive around 9pm (3am UK!) I have a 4 hour stop-over.

I'm taking advantage of the free WiFi courtesy of Rogers Cable....

I will try to blog from the Conference, if there is suitable WiFi access, otherwise it will be nightly updates from the QTH of WA5VJB!

There should be some interesting photos to share with you and hopefully, some news about the 2012 International EME Conference.

73 from a balmy 31C Toronto.