I have created the annual “Microwave
Enthusiast Award” !
a bit of background - it is perhaps a little hard to believe
that in the late 1980’s that I myself, was a relative “newby” in
all aspects of constructing homebrew RF equipment.
For me then, it was challenging enough to build LO’s, Preamps and PA’s for 2 Metres, 70 cms and 23cms let alone attempting to build gear for 10 GHz !!!
However, around that time I had heard about a group of Amateur Radio enthusiasts in VK3/5 who were experimenting, building and operating homebrew Amateur Radio gear in the Microwave spectrum on 10 GHz. These Amateurs were Russell – VK3ZQB from Port Fairy, Trevor – VK5NC and Colin – VK5DK, both from Mt Gambier.
At that time, building equipment for use in this part of our Spectrum allocation was in its early infancy.
It was very “leading edge” Amateur Radio.
The early activities and achievements on 10 GHz by Wally – VK6KZ and Neil – VK2EI (SK), formerly VK6BHT was one of the main drivers for these Amateurs to get involved in Microwaves.
These 3 Amateurs, Russell, Trevor and Colin soon became my “mentors” in that wonderful world of building and of course going out Portable to use our newly built RF gear on 10 GHz and later 5.7 GHz and 3.4 GHz. During this time and together with David – VK5KK, we Set and extended numerous VK Microwave Distance Records across Australia with this fairly simple DB6NT based hardware. Those early years were very exciting but also hugely challenging for us because there was little Surplus equipment available, Test Gear was almost non existent and our limited knowledge was always being pushed to the limit.
Microwave knowledge and experiences were definitely a
progressive “hands on” learning process.
As our collective knowledge and experience grew, so did the significance of our activities.
Soon, we advanced further up the Spectrum to build gear for the then challenging 24 GHz segment.
we initiated several major DX Expeditions to most states in VK.
The primary aim was to actively promote more activity on our Microwave Bands by Setting and extending many (most of ?) of the VK National and State based Microwave Distance Records.
As a result, our Record Setting activities did inspire (indeed rile ?) others into building their own Microwave gear so as to “take back” their (recently lost) local Distance Records.
Indeed, I would like to think that this early core group of enthusiast Microwaver’s was the primary driver for much of the enduring friendly Interstate “rivalry” which we still have today.
I’m extremely grateful and consider myself to be very fortunate to have been part of this Group from its infancy.
It has been an exciting journey building Microwave gear to push the boundaries of our knowledge, then operating this gear out Portable with the uncertainties of Propagation - and along the way inspiring others to do the same.
While we as a group continue to “play” in Microwaves, the introduction of many new players, improved technology and a lot more activity means that most of our early VK Microwave Distance Records have been surpassed - many by huge distance margins. Consequently, we will never see our Call Signs against these National and State Records again – ever !
This of course was our original goal – to promote Microwaves to our Peers.... and clearly, based on today’s participation rate, it has been an obvious and huge success.
My enthusiasm for Amateur Radio remains undiminished.
continue to experiment, and build and operate Portable RF gear
but now my focus is way up higher in the very challenging
Millimetre Wave spectrum up to 122 GHz and beyond.
There have also been several VK-EU DX Expeditions to Europe (details elsewhere on my Website) where VK Amateurs transported Microwave and Millimetre Wave Transverters to Germany, Austria and Switzerland is a clear example of this continued enthusiasm.
It is these Millimetre Wave Frequencies that are now the leading edge technology !!!
Once again, as with our early 10 GHz days, there is very little Surplus, Test Gear is rare and prohibitively expensive and the collective knowledge is limited and retained within the “heads” of a very few experienced Amateurs.
The challenge is on once again !!
And so I’ve decided that I personally will sponsor this new “Microwave Enthusiast Award”.
It is a $cash Award presented annually to
recognize the personal qualities, enthusiasm and or the
Technical achievements of a worthy VK Microwave Enthusiast.
As well as the Award $$$, the inaugural and indeed subsequent Presentations will also include a distinctive Commemorative Plaque as a more permanent record of the Award winner’s significant achievements in Amateur Radio.
For the inaugural year of 2015/2016, the "Call for Nominations" has already come and gone and the Winner announced.
With the arrival of 2017... once again - it's
time to Call for Nominations for the “Microwave Enthusiast
Award” for the 2016/2017 Calendar Year.
Using the guidelines below - please send your Nominations to... alandevlin AT bigpond DOT com !!
This is YOUR opportunity to give some thought as to who you think is a worthy recipient of the “Microwave Enthusiast Award”, for 2017.
The closing date for these Nominations will be April 30th, 2017.
As usual, my Peers will consider the merits of each and every Nomination that is received.
It will be these same Peers (not me) who will decide the successful Nominee.
I'm looking forward to announcing this Years Winner and "presenting" the stunning “Microwave Enthusiast Award” Commemorative plaque together with the $250 cash at the forthcoming Gippstech Microwave Conference.
See you there !!
See you there !!
AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
1. The MICROWAVE ENTHUSIAST AWARD will be a Perpetual Award,
fully sponsored by me... Alan Devlin - VK3XPD.
Nominations for the “Microwave Enthusiast Award”
complete with justifications (Nomination criteria) can be lodged
direct to my Email (alandevlin AT bigpond DOT com) by any VK
Club or any VK Amateur enthusiast.