Microwave operation in the amateur bands.

If you enjoy a challenge with your hobby, then microwave operation may be for you. There are many new techniques to learn when operating the higher bands.  I have an interest due to the Amateur TV side of the hobby. Amateur TV needs a lot of bandwidth and you only find that on the higher bands.  Technology has come far in the last few years and it can be easier and cheaper than you think to get on the microwave bands by modifying equipment.  You can even buy ready made equipment now.

I first started on the 23cm 1.3 Ghz band and learnt a few lessons quickly! The first lesson was cable loss and connectors. At these frequency cable loss is big and you must use the right connectors. I only had cables with PL259 connectors on them. I was shocked when they become warm when passing 1.3GHZ. This is not surprising as they were never designed for this frequency! I was losing over half my power in the connectors.  Once I had used N connectors everything was much better. I think this simple school boy error shows that its a good idea to team up with somebody  with knowledge before your journey into the higher frequency’s or Amateur Television. In East Anglia, we are lucky to have a number of amateur’s into microwaves. They meet once a month at the Orwell truck stop.

My first trip at 10 GHz was using a simple Gunn Diode transmitter.  These simple devices can produce microwave energy simply by passing a DC voltage in and modulating that voltage to get your information on the air. Gunn diodes were used in items such as automatic door openers and burglar alarms. In the You-tube video you will see my simple transmitter.  You can also use the Gunn Diode transmitter for voice, See links below.

 

This my video about my Gunn Diode TV transmitter.

 

Here are some links to get you going.

http://www.g3pho.free-online.co.uk/microwaves/fs1.htm

http://www.microwavers.org/

http://www.batc.org.uk/

 

Daz,G7SDC