October 27, 2009

Yearly Visit To The QRP Convention

Rishworth School is the new home for the convention since George Dobbs retired from the ministry a few years ago. At first glance access to the first floor hall in the school seems forbidding to disabled amateurs but access to the talks and hall were available at other entry points where steps were not a problem.

Frank, Hughie and myself travelled down to the convention without any problems on the roads arriving just after 10am.

The rally itself is small by normal rally standards with around 30 traders sited around the sides and middle of the hall. There was ample room for people to move around the room and, should they wish, tables and seating were available for people to have tea and toast and chat with friends.

The first talk was made by Rex Harper W1REX on the subject of The Picaxe Micro- The Perfect Micro for QRPers!

Rex Harper W1REX "the Tuna-Tin man" (see qrpme.com) will be speaking about the Picaxe kit.

Rex started by giving all the people in Lecture Theatre a small printed circuit board on which Picaxe projects could be built. Rex then explained the many functions the Picaxe could be used for that would benefit the QRPer starting with an introduction to very basic programming. W1REX is internationally known for his Tuna Tin projects where a QRP transmitter can be built that fits on a purpose made Tuna Tin. He gave an interesting talk and at the end George thanked him and announced that Dinner was being served in the main hall and it was not long before amateurs were queuing for the famous home-made potato and meat pie served with peas and red cabbage, followed by home-made apple pie and cream, should you like it.

The Eden Valley Project

The second Lecture was by Ron Taylor G4GXO from Eden Valley Radio Society Ron's talk was very interesting as he described the "Eden Project"

Ron explained how the society wanted a project that would develop the technical skills of all members, regardless of experience and produce something that was useful. The end result was an easy to build 70MHz SSB Transceiver with good performance. Ron started by showing full circuit diagrams that he broke down into sections and explain he explained not only how he had come up with the circuit design but why he had chosen to use particular components within the design. This made for an interesting and informative talk and there were many questions from the audience that he was happy to answer towards the end of his lecture.

Our second speaker from the USA was Ken Evans W4DU (President of QRP ARCI) www.qrparci.org

As with all the speakers George Dobbs introduced Ken who since his last meeting had become President of QRP ARCI and George told us something of how they had come to know each other. Ken's talk was very informative covering the work of QRP ARCI including an insight into how "4 Days in May" came about and the Buildathon, an activity that was being run at our convention for the first time. Ken went on to tell us of the Awards and activities that QRP ARCI has to offer. Ken also told the conference about a request he received from an Indian YL and how she desperately needed a transceiver for a group of her students who had recently become licensed This was to become a joint effort between ARCI and G-QRP the full story is available here GQRP Club helps Indian hams. Read the report here.. (Link taken from the G-QRP Website)

The Art of QRSS www.hanssummers.com

The final Lecture of the day was given by Hans Summers on " The Art of QRSS"

Hans explained the theory of QRSS and how he had got up at 3am on the morning he was going on holiday abroad and built a beacon in a tin that was not much larger than 1.5 inches in two hours. The Art of QRSS He described it as easy to pack. He then went on to explain the modes used and how signals from this low power device were detected. It worked very well on his holiday and also on a holiday to Turkey when he sited it on top of his wife's parents apartment block where his chief concern was shielding it from the intense heat... his solution was to place it behind a satellite dish. Hans finished the talk by showing us a simple circuit and CW ID chip that he offered us at cost with our callsign programmed on the chip .

This concluded a great set of lectures and a very enjoyable convention.... We left the convention contented along with video footage that George was good enough to agree to us taking. This was the brainchild of Frank G8BME who asked at one of our meetings why the lectures had never been recorded.... It seem such a waste.... Its hoped that the footage taken will be good enough for putting on DVD and that G-QRP can raise a few funds from them. Also for the first time the the lectures were streamed via the internet and questions were answered live by the speakers to people watching over the internet.

This is part one of a two part report on the G-QRP convention part 2 will look at some of the historic radio's on offer by traders.

I hope you enjoyed this review

Brian G0RDH
G-QRP Member 12541

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