Bletchley Park – a taster
The weekend before last I attended the Convention held 11th to 13th October. It was my first, having been away from amateur radio for more than thirty years until my serious return in February 2018.
On Friday 11th I took the time during the day to visit Bletchley Park, which should perhaps be the subject for another post.
The Convention started with a welcome dinner, self-service, on the evening of 11th, sponsored by Martin Lynch. There was a choice but I had the “Indian”, which was fine.
The following morning the lectures began, and most I attended were in the VHF stream, starting with an interesting talk by Simon Watts, G3XXH, about Airborne Maritime Reconnaissance Radars for the RAF, 1946 to 2010. I slipped out for the HF propagation talk by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH before returning to VHF for the report on the IC9700 by Sam Jewell, G4DDK. I was most interested as I have just bought one. In the end I was not sure whether he thought the rig was a super DX machine for VHF. I will have to make up my own mind in due course.
After lunch on the Saturday I attended the talk by Chris Deacon, G4IFX on polarisation of 50 MHz signals via Sporadic E, the one by Marcus Walden G0IJZ about tropo ducts, and later the presentation by Richard Banester, G4CDN concerning 2m ionoscatter. Fascinating stuff.
In the evening there was a formal dinner which was good, but I did not stay for the after-dinner address as I was very tired.
After breakfast on Sunday, probably the best meal of the day, we heard from Noel Matthews, G8GTZ, about EME from the 32m dish at Goonhilly, which was very entertaining, and then from Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ about working 122 GHz and up. Something for the really clever guys! Neil Smith G4DBN then spoke about decoding with MGM (if I can hear it, why won’t it decode?) and after lunch he also spoke about getting started with MGM, substituting for M1BXF who was unwell. I hope he is better now.
That was the end of my Convention, which I enjoyed, and which was good value for money, I thought. In between the lectures I had time to visit the various stands. Martin Lynch as sponsors had a long bench, and Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood were also represented. There was a substantial RSGB bookstall where I bought my book on the IC9700 (very useful), and in another room various organisations were represented, such as RAIBC, CDXC, and the UK Microwave Group.
I am looking forward to next year. It was a very rainy weekend, but we did not have to brave the weather as all walkways between the buildings were covered. The accommodation was adequate although I did have a couple of issues with my room, but that is a minor complaint. All-in-all, time well spent.