It was a good as ever. Although one of the smaller events in the UK amateur calendar, it is both very friendly ( as I used to say in my RadCom column) and an opportunity to see some of the other microwave enthusiasts I don't see for months on end.
I especially enjoyed Roger, G8CUB's talk on 24GHz as I had just managed to relieve Simon, G3LQR, of his portable 24GHz transverter. This hadn't been used for many years and was just what I wanted to allow me to align the portable dishes for the higher bands. My own efforts at a portable 24GHz transverter, using Thales and Elcom modules had proved less than ideal and had been cannibalised for parts for my new 24GHz masthead home station transverter.
I'll have more to say about 24GHz home station operation in a later blog.
In the meantime the portable system will be used with one of several dishes for path alignment when setting up higher bands.
Simon also kindly allowed me to talk away his old 47GHz transverter. This needs a bit of work to make it more user friendly, but it will prove to be the basis of a very effective portable 47GHz system. It is many years since I held the 48GHz UK distance record in conjunction with G4KNZ ( 39.8km!). My old NEC-based transverter is no more........
The longer term plan is to make a 134GHz transverter. I have a suitable Elcom synthesiser and Roger, G8CUB, is reprogramming it for me to produce the two (switchable) 11GHz LO drive frequencies required. I have a (suitable?) 34GHz tripler and the DB6NT 140GHz PCB. Roger has ageed to bond/solder the diode onto the board for me.
With 24GHz and 47GHz portable to help align dishes, the 134GHz may allow me to make my first steps onto this primary amateur band.