PNW Microwave Email Reflector
Microwave equipment building and usage for ham radio users and experimenters.
This group was started in the Pacific Northwest and is open to everyone. This is operated by PNWVHFS but you do not have to be a member to participate.
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To join: Visit PNW-Microwave and click "Apply to join group". Please include your callsign and grid square in comments.
Ray W7GLF announced the new Microwave reflector in May 2018:
We are forming a special interest group for individuals who have an interest in exploring Microwave operations without spending a lot of money for a commercial transverter. The idea is to get together to build and troubleshoot inexpensive transverters for the bands 903 MHz up to 10 GHz based on Paul Wade's (W1GHZ) "Multiband Microwave Transverters for the Rover." More information on his designs can be read here
No previous experience is necessary. We plan to get together to build the transverters and then to go out and actually use them. We plan start out with 903 and/or 1296 (the transverters are pretty much identical) and those bands have a good bit of activity during the contests. If you already have those bands but are interested working on another band that would be a possibility as well.
We will have soldering stations available and well as an introduction to working with SMD parts - it's really not as scary as it looks. There will be expertise to answer questions and equipment to perform the necessary alignment once the kit is assembled... The intent is to foster learning and have a good time while doing it. If you are interested in participating, watching or just being kept up to date with our progress please send a reply directly to me at w7glf at arrl dot net and I will make sure you are added to our mailing list.
What better way to find more people to work in a contest, especially UHF and above, than helping them get on the air!
Why We Started PNW-Microwave
Ray W7GLF describes the start-up as:
"This idea was the result of a number of unrelated occurrences happening close in time. I had a friend Dale, KD7UO, who was interested in learning about and getting on Microwave so he ordered and was building the W1GHZ 903, 1296, 2304 and 10 GHz transverters. My friend Mike, KD7TS, and I have been active on Microwave for a number of years so we were helping Dale with technical questions and test gear. At the same time another friend John, W7FU, had built an SDR Microwave transverter and was interested in getting a group together to test the gear. Finally a ham Frank, AG6QV, from the SBMS (San Bernardino Microwave Society) was moving into the area and posted an inquiry on our local PNWVHFS reflector asking about 10 GHz activity in the area. We all decided to get together and discuss what we could do to try to get more interest and Dale suggested a group build.
So far we are not requiring any investment from individuals who are simply interested in learning about what it takes to build their own transverter however we are trying to interest as many as possible to try building their own transverter. Since Dale has already built 903, 1296, 2304 and 10 GHz he has compiled parts lists that can be used to order the parts. If enough individuals are interested we can get price breaks if we combine are orders.
We already have members who have resources such as soldering stations, counters, power meters, spectrum analyzers who are willing to bring them to the build sessions. I bought some boards from Paul Wade at the Microwave conference last year and built the W1GHZ 10368 and the multiplier boards just for the fun of it. Now I have some experience with the W1GHZ kits as well.
So far I have had 28 responses from the posting. Probably 15 are in the local area -- others just want to be part of the group even if the cannot directly join us for the build session. If they want to tackle the build themselves we are definitely going to be available to support their questions. The real question now is how many will actually order the parts and join the build session.
I hope this will become a social experience as well as a building experience. Our next step is to set up a reflector for this group -- we do have a volunteer for that. When we do that we will post the URL on the PNWVHFS reflector as well as I will send it directly to those on the address list I am building."
Ray and others are helping to build and enable the community of Amateurs that are engaged and active on UHF bands, and potentially indirectly increasing their own contest scores by increasing the number of potential stations to work!