R.A.L '98

A Report on the Microwave Round Table held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

April 1998

The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory was the venue for the latest RSGB Microwave Round Table gathering on 26 April 1998. A large group of UK (and some Continental) microwavers attended the meeting. Most of them would have been  very happy to have the RAL dish shown above resited in their own backyards!

The following photos show some of the activities of the day. To view them in larger format just click on each thumbnail. Click your web browser's back arrow to return to this page.

Activities included a "Bring and Buy" (or swap) session that went on all day as the background to a lecture and discussion programme. "Bring and Buy" TablesG4ASR (in the blue shirt) always comes along with a wide range of microwave surplus to "excite" the rest of us! This year he had some surplus PLL oscillator "bricks" and 4GHz downconverters and several other items.

G4BRK tests his 24GHz narrowband equipment Neil, G4BRK, is seen here using some of  RAL's fine test gear to assess the performance of him homebuilt 24GHz ssb/cw transverter.

Test equipment included noise analyser and a spectrum analyser that enabled measurements up to and including the 47GHz band.

G4MAP chatting with G8AYY and G3FYXMeetings such as these are always remembered for the interchange of ideas and information during informal chats such as that shown here. Pictured from left to right are: Andy, G4MAP, Paul, G8AYY and Roy, G3FYX. All three have equipment up to 24GHz while Roy is also active on 47GHz wideband. He is a keen beacon builder.

G3FYX, G3LQR and one of the G4LIP contest groupTim, G3KEU, shown here talking to Simon, G3LQR and Mark, G4PCS (a member of the G4LIP contest team), is a keen constructor of home built microwave gear. He makes his own microstrip pc board and milled boxes and is active on 1.2GHz, 5.7GHz and 10GHz.

Simon, G3LQR, is a very active operator on all microwave bands from 1.2GHz to 47GHz and has made many "firsts" on these bands.

The two lectures were highly informative and entertaining. Shown here are some of the sub millimetre wave moduleshigh precision (and very expensive) sub millimetre wave receiving heads developed at the R.A Laboratories and described in his lecture, Detecting Millimetre Waves,  by Brian Ellison. Brian is a leading expect in the upper GHz region (ie in the several hundred GHz region!). The modules shown contain semiconductors so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye... a scanning electron miscroscope is required! The UK pound sterling coin (middle right) gives some idea of the size of these modules. Receivers at these extramel high frequencies are used to scan such things as the upper atmosphere to check on chlorine levels in the ozone layer as well as acting as metal and weapon detectors at security check points. This modules can see right through your clothing! The Intermediate frequency of these RX "front ends" is often in the order of tens of GHz....

The other lecture, DSP Techniques,  was by Andy, G4JNT, who is one of the UK's leading DSP adherents. His operations range from the 73kHz and 136kHz band up to 10GHz ssb/cw. He has successfully applied DSP techniques to weak signal reception on these bands. Andy is presently the Chairman of the RSGB Microwave Committee and a member of the G4RFR contest group.

The day finished off with an Open Technical Forum, chaired by Lehane, G8KMH.

Thanks must go to G3NAQ, GW4LXO and G0MJW for the organisation of the event and to Brian, Andy and Lehane for the lectures and discussion session....