More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Get Started on 10GHz

Microwaves are the biggest section of the amateur radio spectrum and the least used and they are also a place where there are still things to be discovered or at least rediscovered. It may also be the last bastion of the true home brewer as you cannot just pick up the gear off the shelf. As time goes by commercial interest in the higher bands is a two edged sword; equipment and components become more easily available but pressure on our allocation, in what was once thought of as useless parts of the spectrum, becomes greater. The use it or loose it statement we hear so often applies here more than anywhere else.

Some people are put off the higher bands by tales of needing lead underpants and knowing what that microwave oven in the kitchen does to food goes nowhere towards calming that fear. Yet others are more interested in aspects of the hobby that are less technical, but if you like a challenge both technically and as an operator the microwaves are where it is at. The biggest problem is how to get started.

Above 23cms, the most popular amateur microwave band is 10GHz, also known as 3cms. With the advent of the UK ‘lifetime’ licence in 2006, the 10GHz band became available to all classes of UK licensee. It can accomodate a wide variety of modes including narrowband DX, ATV, EME etc. A wide variety of old and new hardware is avalable for this band.

Available via the UK Microwave Group is an article by Brian Coleman G4NNS and Ian Lamb G8KQW published in the RSGB Radcom magazine back in August 2007 and now made available for personal use only by the courtesy of the RSGB about getting quickly started on 10GHz.


Photograph is Richard G3CWI of Sotabeam fame working 10GHz from G/SP-010 Winter Hill on Rivington Moor, Chorley.

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