Oxford University Radio Society
Miscellaneous Memories

This page contains brief memories and anecdotes from various contributors who have been associated with the society over the years. More are always welcome. Keep them coming folks!

From Peter Blakey formerly G8DND, now KD7EFU

Peter was up at Oxford from 1969 to 1972, so overlapping with the latter part of my time there. Peter recalls:
"the day in 1970 when we operated /P from a hill just outside Oxford. It was the day that England lost to Germany in the World Cup. A few days later Ted Heath won an upset victory in a General Election. All three events are still inextricably linked in my mind."

Peter claims to remember me as some form of "technical guru", on the strength of my being an early user of the 2N3819 JFET (ah, the gullibility of youth!). Peter graduated in 1972 and went on do a Ph.D. in microwave semiconductor device simulation at UCL. He is now living in Arizona and working on the development of GaAs PA transistors (MESFETs, HEMTs and HBTs) for wireless applications.

From Chris Bartram G4DGU

Chris was a technician in what was then the Metalurgy Department. He went on to found muTek and is still involved in RF consultancy and active on 2m MS, despite limited scope for aerials. He recalls:

"As a 'University Servant' working as a technician in the then Metalurgy Department, I was ineligible for membership of OURS, but I do have some fond memories of people who were members in the mid '70s, through to the early '80s. I also lectured to the Society once (or possibly twice?) during my muTek days in the early '80s'."

My own recollection is that technicians were always particularly welcome. Not only did they have the technical expertise many of us callow undergraduates lacked, they also held the keys to workshops, store cupboards and roofs!
Chris continues:

"I remember Hugh Griffiths, then G4CNV, now a Professor at UCL, as a fresh faced Keble undergraduate, interested as much in rugby as radio, and a regular visitor to my workshop to talk amateur radio! Even then, Hugh was playing with microwaves, and some of my first tests on 10GHz were made around Parks Road. There was also Chris Lancaster, G8HDR who spent far too much time playing 2m MS! Other callsigns around at that time included Steve Davies G4KNZ, still active on 24GHz and up. He remains a member of the RSGB Microwave Committee. At one stage in the 1980s it almost seemed a necessary qualification to be an OURS member to be a member of that Committe! Not forgetting Julian Gannaway G3YGF, at one time RSGB President.

There are also memories of the potentially lethal hf transmitter at Keble Road (I thought it was on top-band, and I seem to remember it being thought of as too dangerous to use!) and of the 20ft 432/1296MHz eme dish at Banbury Road, and 4-yagi eme 144MHz arrays at about the same time. I don't remember G3OUR being used on the moon, probably as a function of licencing conditions. The eme operation from Oxford inspired one other member, James G4E?? to build a very sucessful 26ft dish at home in Norfolk.


Copyright © Alan Simpson 2003 Back to the OURS Index Last Updated 2003-06-05