RSGB Convention

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Join us between 11 and 13 October at Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes.

The following talks have been confirmed for this year’s Convention.


HF Stream

Dave Sumner, K1ZZ – Keynote lecture – ‘Our Global Amateur Radio Community’

Prof Chris Scott – ‘The ionospheric response to intense bombing during WWII’

Chris Duckling, G3SVL – ‘Lessons from the 6Gs VK9XG DXpedition: logistics, 160m & FT8 Fox and Hounds mode’. Chris will take a retrospective view on mounting this DXpedition, the challenges of getting sufficient kit there, enjoying 160m rates of five per hour (!) and maximising the rate as the Fox in FT8 DXpedition mode.

Gwyn Williams, G4FKH – ‘HF Propagation’

Jim Loughlin, G4DKQ – ‘A Brief History of Baldock Monitoring Radio Station’. From its opening in 1929 as a receiving station for the Imperial Wireless Chain, Baldock Monitoring Radio Station has seen many changes throughout the ninety years of operation. Under GPO control it included circuits to all the major continents of the world before WWII. Following a number of changes in operations under the GPO, MPT and as an executive agency of the DTI the station became part of Ofcom in 2002. The talk will cover the milestones in its history up to the present very different operational capabilities of the station.

Don Field, G3XTT – ‘Guest Operating’. Being part of a multi-operator contest or DXpedition effort can be fun, it’s a great learning experience as to how others operate and how they configure their stations, and can expose you to different propagation (and, indeed, different cultures when operating from overseas). Don has been involved in many such operations from more than 50 DXCC entities and talks about how to get yourself invited and how to make the most of such opportunities.

Roger Balister, G3KMA – ‘IOTA News’

David Deane, EI9FBB – ‘DXpeditioning – 5V7EI and lessons learned from previous activity’

Tony Canning, G2NF – ‘Urban QRM: What can I do?’


VHF Stream

Marcus Walden, G0IJZ – ‘Tropo Ducts: A Strategy for Records?’ Marcus will talk about propagation via elevated tropospheric ducts. He will present analysis of radiosonde data and show propagation predictions that explain some of the long-distance amateur links made through ducting. The talk will cover VHF through to mm-wave bands.

Alwyn Seeds, G8DOH – ‘Coax and connectors, the forgotten ingredient of high-performance VHF/UHF stations’. Alwyn will draw on his long professional and amateur experience to explain many of the pitfalls and mistakes made when selecting feedlines and coaxial connectors. Although focused on VHF/UHF issue this talk should be of interest to all radio amateurs.

Chris Deacon, G4IFX – ‘More on the polarisation of 50 MHz signals via sporadic-E’. At VHF we tend to assume that our signals arrive at the other end with more or less the same polarisation as they left with. But how many of us know what’s really happening, particularly via sporadic-E which suffers from such dramatic fading? In this session Chris, G4IFX will initially reprise some of the results from his 2016 and 2017 Convention presentations, which showed that the effective polarisation of sporadic-E signals is constantly changing over timescales of seconds to minutes. He will then go on to describe the results of his more recent experiments using new more comprehensive measurement techniques.

Jenny Bailey, G0VQH – ‘Measuring Antenna Profiles with Drones’

Neil Smith, G4DBN – ‘Exploring the limits of terrestrial digimodes above VHF’

Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ – ‘122 GHz and up’



Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, President of AMSAT-DL – ‘Report on the Es’hail-2 / QO-100 activities of AMSAT-DL’

Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, AMSAT-DL – ‘Narrow band operation for QO-100’

Iain Young, G7III – ‘Ranging using the QO-100 Satellite’

Bill Crofts & Julia Hunter-Anderson, Warwick University – ‘WUSAT-3 – a novel wildlife tracking satellite’

Pat Norris, Former Apollo Engineer – ‘Apollo 50 and return to the Moon’

Dave Crump, G8GKQ – ‘Use of the QO-100 Wideband Transponder for DATV’

Dave Johnson, G4DPZ – ‘Report of the Current FUNcube fleet of satellites and FUNcube Next’

Dr. Chris Bridges, Surrey Space Centre – ‘Student satellite hardware developments at SSC’

Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD – ‘Annual review of ARISS Operations’

John Paffett, CEO KISPE Space – ‘Open Source Satellite Strategy’


General Interest

Mark Jones, G0MGX – ‘The future and growth of Amateur Radio.’ The demographic of the UK and international amateur radio population is trending older, the spectrum is under constant threat – is our hobby in decline? What is the IARU (internationally) and the RSGB (nationally) doing about this trend? Do we ‘cut it’ as a modern 21st Century hobby? Where will the next generation of radio amateurs come from? Does the IARU, the RSGB and your region or club do a good job of promoting the hobby? An interactive discussion session will be held explaining at a high level what the IARU and RSGB are proactively doing in this arena welcoming input on the current thinking and focusing on three key areas of Attraction, Promotion and Retention.

Derek Hughes, G7LFC and Alan Messenger, G0TLK – Beyond Exams

Dean Pesnell, Project Scientist at the Solar Dynamics Observatory – ‘Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Sun and the Ionosphere’ (via Skype)

Elaine Richards, G4LFM – ‘Writing for all variants of RadCom’

Steve White, G3ZVW – ‘Making Waves’. The BBC’s South Atlantic Relay Station on Ascension Island

Simon Watts, G3XXH – Airborne Maritime Reconnaissance Radars for the RAF, 1946 – 2010

Meet the RSGB Board

John Rogers, M0JAV and David Lauder, G0SNO – EMC Workshop

ICQPodcast session – ‘Grow, Merge or Disband your Club – Is your club relevant in today’s society?’

Ian White, GM3SEK – ‘Clean Up Your Shack – Revisited’


More talks and further details will be added as they are confirmed.


Contest University (Saturday)

Contest University will return at this year’s Convention with a full stream of lectures on Saturday 12 October. Amongst them will be a session by Steve, G0KYA, which will look at how propagation plays an important role in contesting and the tools available today for helping to predict for the big weekend itself. Dave, G4BUO, will present on the world famous M6T contest station. Dave will run through how the team achieve such high achieving results from the Suffolk station with a run through of the history of the station.

Jonathan, G0DVJ, will cover the SkookumLogger for Mac OS and how this logging programme offers a range of facilities to assist the contest operator with its unique ability to run on this version of PC operating software.

The RSGB AFS Superleague is a challenging annual event and Dominic, M0BLF, will share how operators of Camb-Hams achieved the winning club, which will undoubtedly provide an interesting insight to this team’s winning success.


Awards/Contests (Sunday)

0915 to 1000 HF Contest Trophy Presentation
1030 to 1100 VHF Contest Trophy Presentation
1115 to 1245 VHF Contest Forum
1345 to 1515 HF Contest Forum



This year’s Convention will include the annual Construction Competition, an SMD Buildathon and a Pi workshop.

We will be running all three levels of online* exams at the Convention for Syllabus 2019 and the current syllabus (for resits only). *Special arrangements can be made for candidates with specific requirements, if we are notified at least one month in advance.

We are delighted that Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, will be our after-dinner speaker on the Saturday evening. Dave is Secretary of the IARU and was active with the IARU during his entire 44-year career on the staff of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

Making a weekend of it? Why not join us at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park on the Friday? Come and see the fascinating displays, chat with our volunteers and see the NRC’s radio station, GB3RS in action. Don’t forget RSGB Members can gain free entry to Bletchley Park and the NRC.

Following on from last year, we will have a dedicated room for partners.

It’s shaping up to be another great Convention! Book now to join us in October.


The RSGB Convention is proudly sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sonsmls_logo