Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Martlesham Microwave Round Table (MMRT) and RSGB HQ visit

The Martlesham Microwave Round Table event has become firmly established as a spring event, notionally held on the last weekend of April. On those odd occasions that Easter falls on the last weekend of April, then MMRT will be held the weekend before Easter.
The 2013 event was held last weekend ( 27 and 28th April).

Kent, WA5VJB/G8EMY is a regular visitor at MMRT. I picked Kent up from Heathrow last Thursday and drove back home via Bletchley Park, where Kent had a lunchtime meeting with the CEO of one of the several companies based within the confines of the park.

After that meeting we met up with Martin Atherton, G3ZAY, and Kent delivered around 50 'tubes' to him for use in Colossus. He had been busy around Texas, collecting the various valves needed by Colossus . These include type 807s, which Colossus seems to go through in large numbers, according to the curator of the museum. This is the second delivery of American tubes that Kent has made to the museum, and all at his own expense. He has now been honoured with his own photographic entry badge to the Park. Well done Kent!

On our way back home to Felixstowe we then stopped off at RSGB HQ in Bedford in order to collect the Trophy (see last blog) that I had been awarded at the AGM. I had asked Carlos to take it back to Priory Business Park for me, so that I could later collect by car. I had been told it was probably too heavy and awkward, in its protective wooden box, to carry back on the London Underground. I wouldn't want to damage it, with its distinguished history of previous winners.


Although this is not the first time I have been to the 'new' HQ and therefore knew what to expect, never the less I was again disappointed at seeing the building that is now the Societies' home. No reception area, nowhere to buy books or other RSGB 'trinkets' and no efforts at welcoming members, domestic or overseas. As poor as Lambda House may have been, it did at least have a reception area. Kent was not too complimentary about what he saw!

I realise that the RSGB has been through a few very financially-tight years, but we are told that the Societies' finances are improving and since the 2007 economic downturn, business property rentals have reduced to the point where I am sure the Society could afford a bigger and more inviting HQ. RSGB is, after all, a member Society and should make some effort at providing for members to visit. ARRL HQ, W1AW, is a really interesting place to visit, if you ever get the chance. RSGB could take a few lessons from ARRL in this, its Centenary year.

I'll have more to say about the MMRT in the next blog.


Picture of Colossus at Bletchley Park

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