RSGB Centenary Convention

| July 10, 2013

The RSGB’s Centenary Convention, generously sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, takes place over the weekend 11th –13th October 2013 at Horwood House just a few miles outside Milton Keynes.  Because last year’s event was so popular, the numbers this year will need to be managed so booking early is going to be essential to ensure your place.

LECTURES. The two day lecture programme is well on its way to completion with most of the lecture slots filled by a wide range of topics ranging from DXing and VHF/UHF techniques to HF operating and technical matters. Since the ociety is celebrating its Centenary year there will be an additional historic element to the programme. As usual there will be something to suit everyone.  The final programme will be published on this site as soon as it is available.

Some of the highlights are…

JOE TAYLOR, K1JT. Joe is a Nobel Prize winner and is very well known in the field of amateur radio weak signal communication. He will be speaking on DXing with weak signals, which is sufficiently broad to allow an overview of both HF and EME related applications. His amateur radio feats have included mounting an ‘expedition’ in April 2010 to use the Arecibo radio telescope to conduct moonbounce with amateurs around the world using voice, Morse code and digital communications. He’s written several computer programs and communications protocols, including WSJT (Weak Signal/Joe Taylor), a software package and protocol suite useful for passing short messages via non-traditional radio communications methods, such as moon-bounce and meteor scatter and other low signal-to-noise ratio paths. It is also useful for extremely long distance contacts using very low power transmissions.

TUVALU T2GM. Tom Wylies, GM4FDM is one of the four Scottish amateurs who recently headed to Tuvalu to operate as T2GM. He has kindly agreed to give us an insight to, amongst other things, the troubles they encountered getting to Tuvalu. If you recall they made over 18,000 contacts working UK on 15m through to 40m, which was a great feat transiting the auroral oval right over the North Pole.

EASTER ISLAND XR0YG. Michael Wells, G7VJR will be giving a presentation on his venture to Easter Island where he and his colleagues operated as XR0YG in March, on all bands 160m through to 10m – CW only. Electricity on Easter Island was subject to frequent blackouts, which caused a few problems, but after six days on the air they’d made some 24,000 QSOs.

WWI COMMUNICATIONS. Dr Elisabeth Bruton is a postdoctoral researcher on a collaborative project looking at telecommunications in WWI and how quickly development in radio was made at that time. Others involved in this project are the University of Leeds and the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, BT archives, IET archives, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and the Science Museum. Elisabeth has kindly agreed to come and speak at the Convention. You may have heard Elisabeth recently taking part in the Radio 4 series “In our Time” hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Elisabeth was one of the three contributors to the edition broadcast on 4 July entitled “The Invention of Radio”.

DUD CHARMAN’S AERIAL CIRCUS. Continuing the historic theme, Terry Giles, G4CDY will be giving a demonstration of his recreation of G6CJ, Dud Charman’s Aerial Circus. Some Members will have seen this demonstrated at the recent Centenary Day celebrations at Bletchley Park, where Terry gave his lecture twice to packed rooms.

RASPBERRY Pi. One of the most successful lectures at last year’s event was Peter Goodall, 2E0SQL’s sessions on Raspberry Pi. I’m pleased to confirm that Peter has agreed to give another presentation at this year’s event, which will be complimented by a presentation by Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Eben will also be part of the judging panel for the Centenary Construction Competition that’s being judged at this year’s Centenary Convention.

SAM JEWELL, G4DDK. Sam will be presenting a modern 70MHz transverter. At times of high Sporadic-E activity, signal levels encountered on the 70MHz (4m) band can be extremely high, especially Eastern European OIRT FM broadcast stations. To reduce intermodulation and blocking, equipment for this band must have a high dynamic range receiver. Transmit signals should also be clean to avoid interference to other services. This talk describes a modern transverter design for the radio amateur to build that meets these requirements.

CHRIS MOULDING, G4HYG. Chris will be talking about the recent developments of the Sentinel HF SDR noise measurement receiver and an HF active antenna, looking at how to get accurate RF noise measurements in an amateur radio station without spending large sums on professional test equipment. The talk will also cover SDR receiver design and a novel HF antenna designed to minimise the effects of local RF noise in a typical amateur station.

DINNERS. Friday and Saturday evenings are dominated by the two dinners. The principal sponsor, Martin Lynch and Sons, kindly sponsors the Friday evening while the Saturday dinner this year will have a much wider appeal than in previous years when it’s been known as the DX dinner.

UK LICENCE EXAMINATIONS. As in previous years, the RSGB will be offering anyone wishing to obtain a UK amateur radio licence the opportunity to complete one or more of RCF Examinations over the weekend. All candidates must book their exams prior to the event and, as normal, have to provide evidence that they’ve completed the required practical assessments. Candidates for the Foundation and Intermediate exams must contact the exams co-ordinator beforehand so that their progress as regards the practical assessments can be verified. Contact the RCF Department at RSGB HQ on 01234 832 700 for further information and booking the examinations. If required, advice can be given or help finding a local tutor to complete the practical assessments in advance of the Convention weekend.

US EXAMINATIONS. The US exams will be available on Sunday 13th. Candidates will need some form of ID, preferably hoto ID, a pen, a US postal address for the FCC to send your licence to and the exam fee (currently the Sterling equivalent of $15). The whole of the US exam question pool is available in the public domain and can be downloaded. There are many websites that have practical papers with answers and (for self study candidates) there are many books available.

IMPORTANT BOOKING INFORMATION. Hotel packages, evening dinner tickets and day tickets can all be booked via Why not take advantage of the Early Bird discount offer that is open now and runs through till 18 August? Horwood House is a conference centre just eleven miles from Milton Keynes in the Buckinghamshire countryside, signposted from the A421 whether you’re travelling from Milton Keynes or Buckingham.

Category: RSGB Notices