Friday, 22 April 2016

A little news

I volunteered to act as Chairman of the UK Microwave Group, following the Martlesham Microwave Round Table AGM. I've just heard from one of the current Committee members that my offer has been accepted
No one on the Committee wanted the role, which to be honest can be a bit stressful at times, so I made the offer to act as Chairman for the next year, at which time a prospective, new, Chairman may be willing to take over. 
I have previously been Chairman, taking that role for the first 3 years of the then new UK Microwave Group. 
As one of the original 'Gang of Three' who set up the group when it appeared that the RSGB spectrum committees were probably going to be disbanded, I was extremely pleased to be appointed as the first Chairman and saw the Group through the first, sometimes difficult, few years of its life.
The UKMicrowave Group quickly became the recognised elected voice of UK microwavers. That is a role it has performed well for nearly 17 years. 
OFCOM recognises the Group and has been known to seek our help in matters relating to amateur microwave operation, allocations and even technical help. 
I am pleased my offer to act as Chairman for the year has been accepted and I will do my best to live up to the role.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Mast maintenance

With the help of G8BHC (Scatterpoint editor) I did some maintenance on my antennas this afternoon. My intention was to replace my failed (coax relay) 2m masthead preamp with a DG8 premp and return to single cable working ( leaving a free coax for 6/4m).
In the event we ended up removing one of my two 23cm 44 element yagis and moving the 67element 13cm yagi into the space vacated. The 3cm dish was moved up the mast (slightly). All of this in addition to fitting the DG8. However, we ran out of time before I could run in the new length of LMR600   coax between the preamp and the shack. I did manage to measure out the run and the new coax was was just long enough.
Listening on 23cm, using the single antenna, didn't reveal any great loss of system performance but time will tell. I have been suspicious of the 23cm antenna combiner and the removal of one antenna seems not to have resulted in a 2-3dB drop in performance, as best I can tell. Similarly the 3cm system was checked out and reception of GB3SEE at -13dB on JT4G was a bit above normal, but probably due more to conditions than the marginal move of the dish to its 'higher' location on the stub mast.
All in all a useful afternoon!