RSGB Group Past Events

Meetings in 2019

Nov 2019 Matt G4RKY Matt Besant G4RKY - Moto GP Communications

Matt works in what must be one of the most noisy, dangerous, high speed environments that involve radio communications anywhere in the world. He works for the company that organises MotoGP around the world and travels to all the events with the teams. He gave us a fascinating insight into how the radio comms has developed over the years in this highly competitive and regulated environment.

Oct 2019 Alison Alison Soars G0ALI - The Lighter side of Amateur Radio

Some of the anecdotes, funny stories and heart warming tales from 40 years of operating.

Sept 2019 John Penny John Penny - "The first 60 years of Broadcasting”.

The story of broadcasting, with particular reference to the Bristol area, was illustrated with a large number of drawings, photographs, audio and video clips. A very informative and fascinating evening !

Aug 2019 Ken Mills M0KMI - "From 1964 to 2019 Energy Efficient Smart House"

Ken talked about the upgrade of his 1964 house from when he bought it in 1984 to the present day. A technical masterpiece with no expense spared

July 2019 No meeting -  Summer  "Christmas" meal

June 2019 RACAL logo Show and Tell Evening

Colin G3YHV gave brief a History of Racal.

- IC-R8600

Shaun G8VPG showed the very latest Icom IC-R8600 radio

May 2019 Shaun G8VPG Shaun O'Sullivan G8VPG : QATAR OSCAR 100

Fascinating talk about the new geostationary satellite, formerly Es'hailsat2, but now called Qatar Oscar 100

April 2019 Brian_G4NNS Brian Coleman G4NNS “From EME to radio astronomy …. from the backyard”

Brian gave a talk on the basics of microwave EME and how that led to an interest in Radio Astronomy. As Brian said, you don’t need a 3.7m dish to achieve EME at microwave frequencies; it can be achieved with a smaller antenna but with more power .

Mar 2019 Ben Witvliet Ben Witvliet (M0IJQ, PE5B) “Near Vertical Incidence Skywave: propagation, antennas and polarization”

Ben built on Cathryn’s Mitchell's talks and introduce Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) propagation. NVIS provides the perfect Plan B when all telecommunication networks are down after a major disaster and in remote areas that never had any network to begin with. It is therefore of vital im-portance to humanitarian organizations.
Ben works at Bath University and part-time at the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands, traveling between both countries every other week. He has been an active amateur since 1974..

Feb 2019 Prof Chris Budd Prof Chris Budd OBE G4NBG “Can Maths tell us where we are ?”

One of the biggest advances in modern technology has been the development of GPS systems which allow us to find our position to very high precision. GPS is just the latest advance in the science of navigation, which has had a profound effect on human civilisation. Part of this story involved the work of radio experts during the Second World War.
This talk showed how mathematics has played a vital role in making navigation as accurate as it is today and the impact that this has had on us all. Indeed it is one of the few areas where Einstein's general theory of relativity directly impacts on our lives

Jan 2019 Annual General Meeting

Meetings in 2018

Dec 2018 On the Air night-  28.550Mhz USB 1930hr

Nov 2018 Show and Tell Evening

Geoff Plunknet brought along the latest SDR Icom 7610 to demonstrate and discuss.

Colin G3YHV brought along his shielded loop active aerial to plug in and see what we could hear..

Oct 2018 Goonhilly Neil Underwood – G4LDR "Goonhilly to the Moon and back"

A really interesting talk from Neil about the recent use of the large dish at Goonhilly to experiment with moonbounce using a lery large aperture dish. During his talk he played recordings of various transmissions made and received via the moon's surface,

Sept 2018 prof cathryn mitchell Prof. Cathryn Mitchell (M0IBG) “Further HF Propagation”

Cathryn gave us an update on her team's work at Bath University on understanding the ionosphere and its effect on radio propagation.

Aug 2018 Show and Tell Evening

A variety of short talks by our members

July 2018 No meeting -  Summer  "Christmas" meal

June 2018 Larry Bennett G4HLN Larry Bennett G4HLN “Portishead Radio”

Larry's talk included a 20-minute video of the radio station made in the early 1960s, and the 90th Anniversary celebrations which will have 3 amateur radio stations manned by ex-GKA Radio Officers during July – GB0GKA, GB0GKB and GB0GKC

May 2018 Microlight “Microlight aircraft & flying for the disabled.”

April 2018 SARA “Severn Area Rescue Association. (SARA)”

Mar 2018 Colin G3YHV Colin Chidgey G3YHV. “ RCA AR88 & National HRO receivers”

Colin gave an interesting talk and demonstration of two of the classic American made radio receivers of the World War 2 era.

Feb 2018 Chat and Video evening

Unfortunately Prof Chris Budd G4NBG was unable to make his scheduled talk entitled “Maths goes to Parliament“ So we held a Chat and Video evening instead

Jan 2018 Annual General Meeting


Meetings in 2017

Dec 2017 On the Air night -  28.550Mhz USB 1930hrs


Nov 2017 prof cathryn mitchell Prof. Cathryn Mitchell (M0IBG) “HF Propagation”

Cathryn gave an interesting talk about the history of HF propagation starting with the early work of Marconi, leading through to the importance of HF during the second world war and then discussing the present day research in this area. Opportunities for radio amateurs to contribute to modern HF propagation experiments were discussed.

Oct 2017 Big Data Professor Chris Budd OBE G4NBG “THE CHALLENGE OF BIG DATA”

Amateur radio led the way in the communication revolution we see today. Information now plays a huge role in the modern world, with vast amounts of data literally at our finger tips. The Internet is leading to an ever-increasing amount of data, leading to the challenge of Big Data in which we have to deal with huge amounts of data of direct relevance to people lives. Without mathematics, we would be unable to store, transmit, interpret, process or understand any of this. The rise of Big Data is associated not only with major technological challenges, but also with significant ethical and privacy issues, and has major policy implications. In this talk Chris described the nature and problems associated with Big Data, some of the maths associated with understanding it and why it is relevant to Amateur radio.

Sept 2017 Nick Bennett Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ & Mike Marsh G1IAR “TX FACTOR” AMATEUR RADIO TV PROGRAMME

A team of three radio amateurs, who are broadcast professionals, have travelled all over the country to film clubs, contests, rallies and to review the latest kit. Two of the team were with us to talk about the project and showed some video out-takes that cannot be broadcast. The programmes can be found at TX Factor

Aug 2017 loop antenna Dave Boniface G3ZXX “MAGNETIC LOOPS"

The talk will start with some basic history and theory. Things will then take a practical direction, with a demonstration of how to build a simple mono-band loop, 1m diameter, and resonate it typically on 20 or 40m.

July 2017 Annual “Christmas” Meal at The Windmill Inn at Portishead

June 2017 WSPR box Show and Tell

A few days before our June meeting, Professor Cathryn Mitchell M0IBG told us that she was unwell and asked if she could postpone her talk.
It was decided to try something new, a “Show & Tell” evening. Members rose to the challenge magnificently and we all had a varied and interesting evening.
Colin G3YHV showed us his WSPR transmitter. WSPR stands for Weak Signal Propagation Reporter. It uses a series of audio tones with a spread of just 6.5Hz to send a limited set of data comprising callsign, locator and power output. Very little power is needed for worldwide communication.
Next Shaun G8VPG showed a 5 pole interdigital filter for the 23cm band. This was made in brass and is the first project from his new mechanical workshop.


The whole idea of this months talk was to debunk the idea that you need something like Jodrell Bank, as our speaker said in his own words; “Most people think radio astronomy needs large parabolic dish antennas and complex electronic equipment, making it unsuitable for amateurs. However there are applications that require relatively modest amounts of hardware and are suitable for domestic environments. The talk described how amateur radio astronomy canprovide observations on solar activity, Jupiter emissions and meteor showers, whilst more ambitious systems can reveal the structure of the Milky Way or detect radio galaxies many millions of light years away.”


The Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway has become something of a legend amongst railway enthusiasts, together with its eccentric owner, Col.Stephens.
Many historic photos were used to explore some of the stations, the motley collection of locomotives and rolling stock and the main features of the line. The reasons for the closure in 1940 were considered and the talk concluded with a look at what can be seen today, and the work of the WC&P Railway Group”. A fascinating talk with a lot of local interest.

Mar 2017 Paul Heiney Paul Heiney M0HWV “TALKING WIRES TO THE SKY”

Paul Heiney will be remembered by many as one of the reporters on the BBC Television programme “That’s Life” and worked with Esther Rantzen. He recently became a Radio Amateur and asked “Why it took Paul Heiney - writer, broadcaster, and now ocean sailor - 50 years from first picking up a soldering iron, to sit down and finally take his amateur radio exams. What took him so long? ”

Feb 2017 Yuri Gagarin Terry Ransome “YURI GARGARIN & THE CHIEF DESIGNER”

A fascinating talk about the early days of the space race from a Russian perspective. Yuri Gagarin was the first human to orbit the Earth. Some will remember hearing of that momentous achievement on 12th April 1961 – over 50 years ago. But there is a lot more to the story….. Yuri came from a peasant background, but his determination to succeed shone through his childhood and youth. His flight into space came at the height of the ‘space race’ and the ‘cold war’. So much of his life story (including his tragic and mysterious death) and the background to his achievement were kept secret by the Soviet Union – until relatively recently. Behind the Soviet space programme was Sergei Korolev, known until his death only as ‘The Chief Designer’. His story is equally moving.

Jan 2017 Annual General Meeting