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Home Past Talks and Events
Bristol RSGB Group Past Events

Meetings in 2017

Dec 2017 On the Air Night

Nov 2017

Professor Cathryn Mitchell M0IBG - HF PROPAGATION

Cathryn MitchellThe talk will give a brief overview of the history of HF propagation staring 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 will be outlined and there will be time for discussion.

Oct 2017


Big DataInformation now plays a huge role in the modern world, with vast amounts of data literally at our finger tips.  Chris's talk 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 2E0FGQ & Mike Marsh G1IAR - “TX FACTOR” Amateur Radio TV Programme

TX FactorAnyone active in Amateur Radio over the past two years or so will have heard about the “TX Factor”. This is a professionally produced television programme dedicated to amateur radio, as practiced in this country.   “TX Factor” is available on Youtube and 17 editions have now been produced.

Aug 2017

Dave Boniface G3ZXX - Magnetic Loops

Mag LoopThe talk started with some basic history and theory.  Dave then demonstrated how to build a simple mono-band loop of 1m diameter, and resonate it typically on 20 or 40.

July 2017 Annual Dinner at the Windmill Inn, Portishead

June 2017

“Show &Tell ” evening

WSPR box from G3YHVThe idea was that members brought along something they could show everyone and say a few words about.  Contributors were:  Golin G3YHV with his WSPR transmitter.  Shaun G8VPG and his 5 pole interdigital filter for the 23cm band. And Pete G4HQX showed his transverter for the 24GHz band,

May 2017

Paul Hyde G4CSD - Practical Radio Astronomy for Amateurs

JOdrell Bank  smThe fascinating talk described how amateur radio astronomy can provide 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.

April 2017

Paul Gregory - The Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway

The WCPR The Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway was an unusual independent standard gauge light railway linking three North Somerset coastal towns. The talk looked at the reasons for building the line, and the trials and tribulations that occurred.

Mar 2017

Paul Heiney M0HWV - Taking Wires to the Sky

Paul Heiney at the club

This month we were pleased to welcome a really well known speaker. 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 has recently become a Radio Amateur and he explained his travelling and unique approach to the hobby.

Feb 2017

Terry Ransome - Yuri Gargarin & the Chief Designer

Terry Ransome

31 members gathered to hear a fascinating talk about the early days of the space race from a Russian perspective. Yuri Gagarin was the first man to orbit the earth. Sergei Korolev is much less well known. During his life, the Soviet state considered him so vital to their space programme that he was known anonymously as the Chief Designer.

Jan 2017

Annual General Meeting

First meeting at the new Venue


Meetings in 2016

Dec 2016

No meeting - On air net on 2nd Jan

Nov 2016

Prof Andrew Nix. BEng, PhD (Bristol)

Prof Andrew Nix

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 -Beagle to Mars via Kazakstan and Filton !

 Terry Ransome

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 NightAn 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

Chris Rennie M0ORO - Talking Over a Light Beam

Light Comms

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 Thomas G4DVV : X-Rays from 'A Hands-on Perspective'

John G4DVV

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

Roger G4BVY

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

Mar 2016

Phil Whitchurch G3SWH - Effective QSLing

Phil G3SWH

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 O'Sullivan G8VPG - Recent Developments in Amateur Television

Shaun G8VPG

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 2016

On the Air night - 28.550Mhz USB 1930hrs

Nov 2015

Stuart Robinson GW7HPW - The $50 satellite

$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: Bristol University -- 5G and beyond - A Bristol Perspective

Prof Andrew Nix

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 BSc PhD : Bath University - we had an

Prof. Cathryn Mitchell

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

Summer Get - Together at The Windmill Inn Portishead

Windmill Pub

Food, wine and a good time had by all !

June 2015

Jeff 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 G3ZXX - The Future with DMR

Dave G3ZXX

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 andSteve 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 G3YHV - The History of Valves

Colin and his valve collection

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

Phil 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 Nix BEng PhD (Bristol): The Future of Wireless Technology 2020 and beyond

Prof Andrew Nix

Thhis 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

Geoff G4FKA, Alan G3XSV and others

GJ6YB Sunset

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 G3YHV  - PIC programming the easy way!

Colin G3YHV

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 will 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 atThe Windmill Inn at Portishead


May 2014

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

Video night : WW2 Radar

Battle of Britain

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 Cathryn Mitchell BSc PhD  - Solar Weather and its effects on modern life�

Prof Catheryn Mitchell

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 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 Cornall Spacecraft Engineering in the late 1960s

Peter Cornall

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

Pete Morys G4HQX The Raspberry Pi and other microcontrollers.

Peter Morys G4HQX

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

H44KW - Phil Whitchurch G3SWH

Phil as H44KW

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

Steve G0FUW

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 Morcom G3VEH. The role of Ofcom during the London 2012 Olympics

Chris G3VEH

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

Nick Gleed GW8YJM - Electron Microscopes: their history and forensic application

Electron Microscope

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

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 -Trinity House Deep Sea pilot

Captain Roger Francis at seaCaptain 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.


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