RSGB Group Past Events

Meetings in 2016

Dec 2016 No meeting - On air net on 2nd Jan

Nov 2016 Prof Andrew Nix Prof Andrew Nix. BEng, PhD (Bristol)

Andrew is Professor of Wireless Communication Systems at Bristol University and Head of the Department of electrical and electronic engineering. His talk will provide an update on the mmWave and Massive MIMO communications to explain how this has progressed from the theory into the product,

Oct 2016  Terry Ransome Terry Ransome - Beagle to Mars via Kazakstan and Filton !

When all hope of ever hearing from Beagle 2 on Mars was officially abandoned Terry Ransome was one of the few that hoped “maybe not”.  Terry met Prof Colin Pillinger in the  Marconi Space offices in Filton in the mid 90s, and put together the first ideas for a verification and test programme to fly a UKbuilt lander to Mars. Colin’s dream  eventually came to fruition, and eventually Terry took Beagle 2 to Baikonur for launch and was the last person on Earth to ‘touch’ the Probe before it headed off to Mars in 2003. Terry told of his delight at visiting the Baikonur Cosmodrome, some of the untold secrets of what actually happens in a launch campaign, and how Beagle2 was finally “found”.

Sept 2016 Chat Night Chat Night - An opportunity for our members to discuss any subject of interest. On this occassion, as well as all the interesting subjects brought up by memebers, the newly appointed RSGB Chairman Steve G0FUW was able to give  a short presentation of the results of the RSGB “Presidential  Review”.

Aug 2016 Mark Stuart - “What IS going on with the weather in Bristol? ” An amateur meteorologist’s view

Mark has been keeping weather records since 1977. He has seen the way the weather has changed locally over the last forty years and collected a lot of information about Bristol's weather in over the last few hundred years. He gave a fascinating talk on his thoughts on the way the weather is changing.

July No meeting -  Summer  "Christmas" meal

June 2016 Light Comms Chris Rennie M0ORO - “Talking Over a Light Beam”

Chris’s talk explored optical communications and amateur optical transmitter/receiver design and then described the results of a very wet evening’s attempt to link Painswick Beacon to Mayhill on the Hereford/Gloucestershire border.  If you thought cm & mm waves at frequencies up to 100GHz were clever stuff try the amateur world at 470,000 GHz (470 THz).

May 2016 John G4DVV John Thomas G4DVV : X-Rays from “A Hands-on Perspective”

John gave a fascinating talk on his work on the development of X-based inspection systems in the late 1980s to mid 1990s.

April 2016 Roger G4BVY Roger Dixon G4BVY - "Matching" Radio Amateurs do it with real AND imaginary parts

Roger gave us an in-depth talk on how to properly match antennas and other electronic circuits.  He explained how to achieve a good SWR by using Smith Charts in order to take account of the inductive and capacitive components.

Mar 2016 Phil G3SWH Phil Whitchurch G3SWH - Effective QSLing

The main purpose of Phil's talk was to enable operators to make their QSLing both effective and efficient and to make getting that all-important QSO verification as simple as possible.

Feb 2016 Shaun G8VPG Shaun O'Sullivan G8VPG - Recent Developments in Amateur Television

Shaun gave an interesting talk about Amateur TV's move to digital modulation and how local repeaters support that move. He also showed how the reduced bandwidth now supports the use of ATV on all the VHF bands and how it is now used from the International Space Station.

Jan 2016 Annual General Meeting

Meetings in 2015

Dec 2015

On the Air night-  28.550Mhz USB 1930hr

Nov 2015 $50 Satellite Stuart Robinson GW7HPW - The $50 satellite

Using a steel tape rule for an aerial and two 40mm square circuit boards, powered by a 3.7v lithium battery, it was in orbit for  over 18 months, and only recently turned off as the battery voltage indicated the end of its life. Stuart brought a full working model with him and demonstrated it operating. He also talked to us about LoRa , a wireless technology that has been developed to enable low data rate communications using very low power over Long Range. Fascinating !

Oct 2015 Chat Night -

Sept 2015 Prof Andrew Nix Prof Andrew Nix: Bristol University -- 5G and beyond - A Bristol Perspective

Professor Nix gave a glimpse of the future of mobile communications and internet technology covering new radio technologies such as Massive MIMO and mmWave communications. He spoke about the Internet of Things with practical examples drawn from the auto-motive and healthcare industries. He told how the University has built a test house in Bristol to evaluate "assisted living" technologies (radios, cameras, body worn sensors etc) and a smart city test-bed in collaboration with Bristol City Council

Aug 2015 Prof. Cathryn Mitchell Prof Cathryn Mitchell BSc PhD : Bath University - we had an absorbing talk last year on Cathryn’s studies involving solar ejections in the polar regions.  She returned to update us on the likely impact of a modern solar storm on satellites, communi-cations, transportation and power and described the measures in place to mitigate the effects of such an event.

July 2015 Windmill Pub Summer Get - Together at  The Windmill Inn Portishead

Food, wine and a good time had by all !

June 2015 GW3UZS SDR RadioJeff Diplock GW3UZS - Developments in Software Defined Radio

Jeff described various kinds of SDR available and how things have changed over the last 10 years. His main interest is homebrew and he showed us some of his projects to demonstrate what can be done. Fascinating !

May 2015 The planned talk by Prof Cathryn Mitchell BSc PhD of Bath University was postponed.  This talk will be run at the August meeting.

A video was shown instead

April 2015 Dave G3ZXXDave G3ZXX - The Future with DMR

Dave talked about Digital Mobile Radio, which he described as the latest and most exciting “Emerging Technology" already taking the amateur repeater scene by storm.  He described how the digital signal was produced and how it is used in the growing number of repeaters being deployed around the UK.

Mar 2015 Steve G0FUWSteve Hartley G0FUW & Heather Parsons - An RSGB Evening

Communications Manager, Heather Parsons and Steve Hartley G0FUW now appointed to the RSGB Board of Directors , answered questions on the internal workings of the RSGB - and what it does for the member-ship. Heather told us of the RSGB’s experience into “social me-dia” and wider communication issues.

Feb 2015 Colin and his valve collectionColin G3YHV - The History of Valves

Colin has examples of valves dating back to 1919. He brought along examples of how he has used these museum pieces, integrating them with modern technology and putting them to practical use on the amateur bands. There was also a fascinating video of how Mullard made an EF80.

Jan 2015 Annual General Meeting


Meetings in 2014

Dec 2014 On the Air night -  28.550Mhz USB 1930hrs


Nov 2014 VP5/G3SWHPhil Whitchurch G3SWH “Turks and Caicos” Expedition

Phil activated a fairly rare IOTA, NA-003, which is strange considering it’s so close to the USA. He went with Georg, DK7LX who he’d met on earlier DX-peditions and long-standing friend Bill Vincent, who has been with him to Kenya, Montserrat and Swaziland. Phil was there from 1st- 9th Oct this year

Oct 2014 Prof Andrew NixProf Andrew Nix BEng PhD (Bristol): The Future of Wireless Technology 2020 and beyond

This was a fascinating talk by Andrew Nix who is Professor of Wireless Communica-tion Systems at Bristol University and head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. His research interests include radio wave propagation modelling, advanced Wi Fi sys-tems and 5G network and architectures. He was recently appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

Sept 2014 GJ6YB SunsetGeoff G4FKA, Alan G3XSV and others

In July, members of the RSGB Bristol Group went to Jersey for “Islands On The Air”.  This was a presentation from two of the group on some of the trials and tribulations!

Aug 2014 Colin G3YHVColin G3YHV   -  PIC programming the easy way!

Colin, well known to the group, has been using “PICs” for a large number of projects over the years, including watering the greenhouse and confusing DF hunters.  He showed us how easy(?!) they are to program.

Heather parsonsWe also had a visit from Heather Parsons, the recently appointed RSGB Communications Officer, who lives in Bristol. She gave us a brief run down of her role and answered questions about her role and how we might help.

July 2014 “Chat Night “ conducted by the Chairman.

June 2014 Annual “Christmas” Meal at The Windmill Inn at Portishead

May 2014 Heather parsons Professor Chris Budd G4NBG - history and modern practice of both code breaking and error correcting codes

A fascinating talk by Chris who is Professor of Mathematics at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath. He is a passionate populariser of maths, being involved in projects with schools on various maths related topics. He is also Vice-President for the Institute for Mathematics and its Application (IMA)

Apr 2014 Battle of BritainVideo night : WW2 Radar

This video tells the story of the spies who lost the Battle of Britain. A new documentary about the astonishing story of the daring Zeppelin spy mission carried out just a few weeks before the start of WW2; what happened on board the airship on 3rd August 1939 was to decide the future Battle of Britain.

Plus Bring and Buy.

Mar 2014 Prof Catheryn MitchellProf Cathryn Mitchell BSc PhD   - “Solar Weather and its effects on modern life”

Cathryn described our modern understanding of space weather events including the many effects on GPS. The importance of space weather on different systems including HF was also reviewed. Examples were drawn from a trip to Antarctica and from observations taken in the European Arctic.

Feb 2014 Ian G4FSUIan Greenshields “5 Mhz”

Ian is the IARU technical consultant and also the RSGB HF manager. We now have access to around 70Khz of the band at 5Mhz. Ian will explain propagation on the band and highlight some of the unusual features, such as being able to communicate with military cadet stations. There is no IARU band plan and communicating with other countries can be fraught with traps of being outside our allocation.

Jan 2014 Annual General Meeting

As well as the normal proceedings of the AGM we had Bring and Buy tabletop sale.


Meetings in 2013

Dec 2013 On the Air night -


Nov 2013 Peter CornallPeter Cornall - “Spacecraft Engineering in the late 1960s”

Peter was project manager on the UK 4 satellite operation, when the “Space Race” was in its heyday and the Space Shuttle was still in the imagination of the designers.

Oct 2013 Peter Morys G4HQXPete Morys G4HQX - The Raspberry Pi and other microcontrollers.

Pete demonstrated, at a very introductory level, some uses in Amateur Radio for microcontrollers and small credit card sized computers such as the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino.

Sept 2013 Phil as H44KWH44KW - Phil Whitchurch G3SWH

The well travelled CW (and occasional SSB!) op , Phil G3SWH gives us a behind-the- scenes story of his and Jim G3RTE’s DX-pedition to the Solomon Islands in February 2013

Aug 2013 Steve G0FUW Steve Hartley G0FUW:Chairman of the RSGB Training and Education committee.

Steve, well known for his training activities - the future of Amateur Radio - will tell us how we arrived at the current exam system, what’s involved, the latest changes and plans for future developments, including something called “After advanced” .

July 2013 “Potted” Talks by Group members

Mike G3SJI “The World Global Village 2013” Amazon, Google and Starbucks : what do they all have in common?

Dick G0XAY the RSGB deputy Regional Manager for our area will inform us of the current state of the RSGB.

June 2013 Annual “Christmas” Meal at The Swan at Tockington ,Gloucestershire

May 2013 Chris G3VEHChris Morcom G3VEH “The role of Ofcom during the London 2012 Olympics”

Chris was part of the team to sort out the huge mass of spectrum users during what must have been one of biggest and most complex events ever staged in the UK !

Apr 2013 Electron Microscope Nick Gleed GW8YJM - Electron Microscopes: their history and forensic application”

Nick gave us a short history of the development of the electron microscope. From the optical microscope of the 1590s and transmission electron microscopes of the 1930s to the modern day scanning electron microscopes. Then looked at the forensic applications of the SEM in the investigation of crimes at the nanogram level. Including fascinating studies of cases with gun shot residue and a murder involving duck feathers!.

Mar 2013 PCB Chris Bartram GW4DGU - 10GHz for the Terrified!

Chris has operated on the microwave bands since the 1970s. His 10GHz operations started with a klystron, and moved via a Gunn transceiver to narrow-band ssb/cw using a homedesigned waveguide mixer in the early 1980s, to working the world via the Moon (on CW) in the last decade. We heard him talk on the latter subject last year. At that meeting, he revealed that he was planning to return to making amateur radio equipment, something he did with some success during the 1980s with his Company, muTek Limited.

Feb 2013 Captain Roger Francis at sea Captain Roger Francis -Trinity House Deep Sea pilot

Captain Roger Francis M.N.I. has recently retired as a Trinity House Deep Sea Pilot. Roger served as a pilot for 21 years, during which time, with a trip averaging around eight days, he piloted 511 vessels totalling over 34 million deadweight tonnes. The largest ship piloted by Roger was about 420,000 tonnes and the smallest has to be a load of rigid inflatable boats plus Richard Branson, driving his Aquada car across the Dover Straits, to beat the record for crossing the Straits in a car!

Jan 2013 Annual General Meeting

As well as the normal proceedings of the AGM we had Bring and Buy tabletop sale.


Meetings in 2012

Dec 2012 On the Air night - 7 members appeared on approx 1940KHz

Nov 2012 Impromptu Talks - Unfortunately our original speaker Nick Gleed GW8YJM was required to give evidence in court and could not make the meeting.  At short notice Robin G3TKF showed a video of a DXpedition to Midway Island, and Alan G3XSV gave a short version of his RSGB Convention talk on contesting.

Oct 2012 G4ASR David Butler G4ASR - Making more miles on VHF

David has been the RSGB VHF Manager and Practical Wireless Antenna Workshop columnist as well as being a keen VHF Dxer from his home near Hereford. His talk is a DX operator’s audio-visual guide to propagation modes and how each is used to enable long distance contacts.

Sept 2012 Phil G3SWH Phil Whitchurch G3SWH - 3DA0PW Swaziland

An interesting talk from Phil about his recent trip to Swaziland in Southern Africa.

Aug 2012 Tom G3OLB Tom Boucher G3OLB - LF Band operation

Tom is well known for Dxing on the LF bands brought along some of his home brew items for the more unusual bands. He talked about his activities on Top Band, 136KHz and most recently 500KHz. He also gave his views on how to get on the new 472 and 477kHz allocation that comes into force on 1st Jan 2013.

July 2012 Keith's and his carrots An evening of short talks and chat:

Mike G3SJI - gave a brief talk on 198Khz : is it the end of the “Light Programme” ?

Keith G4EJH - gave an interesting talk about growing VERY large vegetables !

June 2012 The annual "Summer Christmas Party" at the Compass in Tormarton.

May 2012 Tony G4LDL Tony Bettley G4LDL - T32C Dxpedition—The REAL story !

Almost more interesting than the T32C planners had originally intended – this was the story of how, after a major blow to their plans, the T32C team overcame huge logistical prob-lems to achieve a superb end result.

Apr 2012 Tony G4KMB Tony Griggs G4KMB - A trip to Tristan de Cunha

An interesting travelogue from Tony on his recent voyage to the tiny South Atlantic Island on the SS St Helena.

Mar 2012 Roger G3UIZ Canon Roger Davis G3IUZ - 60 Years In-and-Out of Amateur Radio

Roger was born and bred in Somerset; joined RSGB 1951; licensed 1953 as a schoolboy; joined RAF teaching V Bomber HF Tx/Rx at RAF Yatesbury; BBC TV engi-neer - then turned his collar round. Anglican parish priest for thirty years in east London, Beds and Herts. Retired to Wells and now spends most of his time building and running the miniature passenger hauling steam railway at the Bath & West Showground. Occasionally active on HF Bands SSB and PSK and 2m.  A very varied and interesting talk.

Feb 2012 focus boxChris Bartram GW4DGU - “Moon Bounce on microwaves"

Chris talked to us about his Moon Bounce activities. Chris has a lifetime‘s experience of RF circuit design gained largely while working as an in-dependent consultant. He has been involved with Antenna design especially compact antennas integrated into equipment; PA designs from mW to kW; Receiver design particularly high linearity and low noise front-end circuits (many of us remember those low noise pre-amps from Mutek !)

Jan 2012 Roy G3FYX life membershipAnnual General Meeting

As well as the normal proceedings of the AGM we had a rare treat this year. Roy G3FYX gave a fascinating talk about 47GHz.  This was followed by Tom G3OLB presenting Roy with a certificate commemorating Roy's decades of activity across the radio spectrum and giving Roy Life Membership of the Bristol RSGB Group.