RSGB Convention 2014
The following have been confirmed as  lectures that will take place at the RSGB Convention 2014

DXpeditions talks:
As usual there will be talks on both days from major DXpeditions and we have TX6G and K4UEE confirmed to speak at the Convention.  FT5ZM was #6 most-wanted DXCC, their story is a very interesting one and many UK station got a ‘new one’ from their DXpedition. The cost of this DXpedition was almost half a million dollars, the sea trip across the S. Atlantic was dire and participants put in a lot of their own money. Bob K4UEE is in the CQ DX Hall of Fame and has activated 10 of the top 10 most wanted DXCC’s and has nine ‘DXpedition of the Year awards’.

IOTA – Now and into the Future:
“As this year continues to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Islands on The Air (IOTA) programme, it is a great opportunity to look at what has been achieved and lift the veil on how IOTA may progress. Roger Balister, G3KMA, the RSGB IOTA Manager, will guide us through and touch on the opportunities and challenges facing the programme.”

The Honor Roll — a really tough ask, and getting tougher
Laurie Margolis, G3UML has been on the DXCC Honor Roll since 1977, and at the top since 1996 having now worked 374 DXCC’s, all on SSB.  He was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 2013. Learn how he did it using simple, low, wire antennas and understand it is a marathon not a sprint. Topics will include how to maximise your antenna potential, when and where DXpeditions are, how to call and work it and how to extract a QSL. And those little things that can give you an edge.

DX Forum
An interactive discussion, with an expert panel, to both answer your questions on DXing and to discuss current hot topics that concern DX’ers. Everyone is welcome – from beginners to those on the Honor Roll.

Data Modes Start-up: Mike Richards (G4WNC) takes a look at today’s Data Modes and provides practical advice on how to get started. In addition to running through the popular data modes, Mike will show you the equipment you need along with some operating tips. Free fact sheets will be available at the end of the talk.

HF Propagation Alphabet Soup – the science behind space weather indices”
Dr Colin Forsyth presents on the complex interaction between the Sun and the Earth gives rise to the highly variable and charged layer in the atmosphere known as the ionosphere. Forecasting the exact condition of the ionosphere at any given time is still a very difficult task, given our inability to forecast the input conditions from the Sun and sparse observations of the existing conditions in the ionosphere. However, the plethora of space weather indices give some indication of current conditions on a global scale, allowing basic “nowcasting” of the ionosphere and estimation of HF propagation. In this talk, Colin will discuss some of the common space weather indices, their sources and possible meanings and how a deeper understanding of these may be used to understand HF propagation through the ionosphere.

Dipole to Hexbeam: DX antennas for the solo traveller
Nick Henwood G3RWF/5X1NH/9X0NH has made over 120,000 QSOs using lightweight antennas, hand-carried each trip. He will talk about his experiences and experiments in Uganda and Rwanda. Useful for travellers but also for UK operators trying to put out a good signal with a quite simple antenna.

G3YLA on Es
Jim will be bringing us up to date on the latest 2014 season of Sporadic E and revealing the results of some new techniques to try to second guess the likely locations. He will also introduce a new item to the amateur radio community from the world of weather and propagation with a review of current research to examine the effects of climate change upon the ionosphere. Does global warming mean that DX is hotting up or is a DX Ice Age coming ?

WA1ZMS on the transAtlantic VHF beacons
Brian Justin, WA1ZMS will present a talk on the current efforts to span the Atlantic from North America to Europe on the 2m band. This has been a quest for many years that is akin to the “Holy Grail” of VHF propagation. The talk will cover efforts on both sides of the path, including beacons and dedicated attempts at a QSO. While greater distances have been covered over warm ocean water, the rather cold North Atlantic has been a formidable obstacle.

OZ5TG on the Scandinavian contests
Part of OZ9KY 1995 – 2014 – The most winning Contest group ever in OZ. Activating 50-144-432 and 1296 MHz every month.
G8BCG on 6m EME
“An Introduction to Moonbounce – the missing chapters: Moon Bounce on the Magic Band”
From 100w and a 7ele to kilowatts and multi yagi arrays – a light hearted introduction to the myths, mysteries and magic of EME on Six Metres

G4DDK on the Anglian 144MHz transverter
Sam Jewell will follow up last year’s talk on the Nacton 70MHz transverter design with a talk on the design of the low cost, high performance, Anglian 144MHz transverter

G0IJZ on tropospheric ducts
Dr Marcus Walden, G0IJZ, will give a talk titled “Tropospheric Ducts: Equations and Radiosonde Data Analysis for Practical Insight”. The presentation will demonstrate how the simple analysis of radiosonde data can enable tropospheric ducts to be identified and characterised. Knowledge of the duct parameters (e.g. depth of duct, critical angle, minimum frequency supported) can provide insight into why certain radio links worked while others did not. Case studies of recent notable tropospheric ducting events will also be presented together with propagation path loss simulations.”

G4HGI on 70cm
“Developing 70 cm” including up to date details on the beacons and giving  folk the message that the RSGB does great work . Detailing the beacons that were QRV by the time of the convention and crucially as they will be kitted up with JT65 an overview for that. Its fair to say that JT65 operation on 70 cm is a novelty

G3WDG on 10 and 24GHz EME
Over the past few years there have been a number of advances in both equipment, operating techniques and our understanding of propagation effects.  As a result of these, it is now possible to make EME contacts on these bands with considerably smaller dishes than have been needed in the past.  This talk will aim to describe these improvements and some of the results achieved,  and hopefully lead to an increase in EME activity on these bands!

G4SWX (1)
2014 is the 50th anniversary of UK amateurs communicating with others around the world by bouncing signals off the moon. In those 50 years amateur technology has developed to the point where moonbounce has become a common activity with many thousands of active stations across the world. On 144MHz there is now significant activity almost every day 24 X 7 with many DXCC entities being activated by expeditions.
In the talk John Regnault G4SWX will review some of the history, discuss the propagation challenges and some of technical issues highlighting how with digital, JT65 transmissions, moonbounce is now possible from relatively small 144MHz stations. John will describe how he has managed to work over 100 DXCC countries and all 50 US States on 144MHz since coming back on the air three years ago after a break.

G4SWX (2) – 146-147MHz: A New Frontier for Amateur Innovation
Towards the end of March this year Ofcom published a document:  “Responses to the Call for Input and Consultation on next steps of the release of spectrum within the frequency range 143 MHz to 169 MHz”. Ofcom proposed “to permit temporary access to 1 MHz of this spectrum (146 to 147 MHz)for Amateur Radio use, until such a time as it is needed by Business Radio or other services.” … “Amateur Radio use of this frequency will be on a non-protection/ non-interference basis and will be subject to some geographical restrictions to ensure thatthere is no interference to neighbouring countries. We propose that the authorisation will be implemented by an individual Notice of Variation (NoV) to the Amateur Radio licence.”
In the talk John Regnault G4SWX the RSGB VHF Manager will review the restrictions imposed by the NoV and highlight the challenges for experimentation and innovation that become possible with this new spectrum. John will solicit feedback from the audienceleading a discussion on other ideas and possible amateur use of the new spectrum. Although the focus of this talk is the release of 146-147MHz to the amateur service the technology aspects of his talk will be relevant to digital communications on any of the VHF, UHF and microwave bands.

Jan Verduyn G5BBL  on the DG8SAQ Vector Network Analyzer
This talk will cover the following topics:

  • Brief introduction to basic S-parameters and relationship to practical shack measurements like VSWR, Gain or Attenuation and Phase shift.
  • Overview and development of the DG8SAQ VNWA hardware
  • Overview and demonstration of the VNWA Application Software.
  • Discuss and Demonstrate some practical  basic measurements as well as some more advanced VNWA applications, like measuring Allan Deviation of GPS Disciplined Oscillator and a Rb Frequency Standard and Distance to Fault Measurements.
  • Finally some honest advice on what instrument best meets the particular needs of various Radio Amateur interests,  where my suggestions will range from SWR Bridges like MFJ Analyzer,  the MiniVNA to the DG8SAQ VNWA and two other instruments

followed by general Discussion!

Andy Talbot  G4JNT Modern Frequency Synthesizers
I’ll be covering the basics of integer and fractional-N frequency synthesis techniques.   How these have been incorporated into some quite versatile single chip solutions that can be used for a variety of purposes, some offering near continuous tuning from MHz to GHz.  The results of some actual hardware designs will eb shown,  and the practicalities of using the chips in actual situations.  Also limitations and some of the pitfalls that can arise.

‘Surface Mount – Moving on’ Dave Powis, G4HUP
This presentation is a follow-on from the introductory talk on Surface Mount assembly given last year. The first part of the presentation will be a re-cap of last year’s material, for those who were not able to be present. However, the main focus of the talk will be to demonstrate that reflow soldering is practically and economically feasible in the shack environment. I will be discussing the equipment needed, costs and sources, and will conduct a demonstration.   There will be practical workshop sessions following through the rest of the day, where you can assemble one of my introductory SMD kits, such as the Panoramic Adaptor Tap or Latching Relay Driver, and use the reflow oven. See http://g4hup.com/ for more details on these. Alternatively, bring along an SMD project you want to put together, but didn’t feel able to at home. Workshop sessions will be limited to approx 1 hour per person, to ensure as many as possible get the chance to have a go.

Working datamodes with the Pi:
Mike Richards G4WNC shows you how to get your Raspberry Pi doing something useful in the shack. This is your chance to get out that Raspberry Pi that’s been sat in the drawer and make it do something useful. Free fact sheets will be available at the end of the talk.

The RSGB Convention, generously sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons