1 February 2021 – Starting out on the microwave bands by Neil Underwood, G4LDR

| February 1, 2021

Neil’s presentation

Starting Out on the Microwave Bands provides basic information needed to understand the microwave bands and how to become operational on them.

Topics covered include:

  • What are the microwave bands?
  • Propagation properties and microwave beacons
  • What classes of licence can use which microwave bands?
  • Equipment requirements including antennas and transverters
  • Examples of typical equipment, including simple wideband systems
  • Operating on the microwave bands, including satellites, contests and activity periods
  • Resources to help you get going on the microwave bands

Those who become operational on the microwave bands will find there are plenty of opportunities to try the many aspects of this part of the hobby.

These include operating portable from a hilltop using relatively simple equipment; satellite operating; DXing; trying different operating modes including CW, voice, digital and even DATV; right through to probably the most challenging part of the hobby, moonbounce or EME.

About Neil

Neil’s introduction to amateur radio was in his early teens when his aunt took him to visit an amateur who worked at the old GPO radio station near Dorchester, Dorset.

It was another 10 years before Neil joined the Salisbury Radio Club and became licenced as G8SIX.

In 1981 Neil was seconded to work at an Australian research establishment in Melbourne; before leaving the UK and wanting to keep in touch with UK amateurs he took his Morse test and obtained the call sign G4LDR.

He was then able to obtain the call sign VK3DHJ.

Neil’s main interest has always been in VHF and up so it was inevitable that he would transition to the microwave end of the spectrum.

Neil is operational on all bands from 50MHz to 122GHz—and very occasionally HF.

He is active on terrestrial communications, Digital Amateur Television (DATV) and Earth Moon Earth (EME) and can usually be found operating during the full range of UKAC and other VHF and up contests.

Neil currently jointly holds—with G8GTZ—the world distance record for DATV on the 76GHz band (35km).

Neil was elected Chairman of the UK Microwave Group (UKuG) in 2019, and was formally activity editor for the UKuG Scatterpoint publication.

Neil has represented the UK on a number of inter-governmental committees and working groups, as well as spending time working with the United Nations.

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