Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here is a 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire recap in images from and around our Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio theme booth.
Click here to see the official Bay Area Maker Faire video from 2015
The Bay Area Maker Faire 2015 team: Team Leader Brian Yee W6BY and his wife Pat and daughter Stephanie, Dennis Kidder W6DQ, Lisa Gibbons KF6QNG and Paul Zander AA6PZ
We had working, hands-on ham radio projects including Brian’s (W6BY) 10 GHz ham radio transverter system, a radio-controlled tractor/forklift (ZigBee controller) and the big screen used as an electronic sign.
Dennis W6DQ brought several brand new projects this year, including a working Amateur Radio broadband (WiFi) network with seven nodes, a software-defined radio (SDR) system.
I brought a demonstration comparing old and new technology in antenna tuners. It uses light bulbs for a substitute (“dummy”) antenna.
Lisa showing the new Arduino book to an interested Maker
Stephanie shows off her “Lear to Solder” badge of honor
Guys at the Nepal ham radio booth
There’s so much to see and do. Here are some pictures of what I get a chance to see.
Always great to see Tenaya promoting Arduino and Arduino related projects and products!
Great shirts and signage – Only at the Maker Faire!
Here are the posters we used to describe our projects on display this year.
Who: Huntington Beach Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) team will demonstrate and practice their emergency radio communications skills in a nation-wide drill called “Field Day.” RACES (pronounced “RAY-sees”), is a program endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407), that uses trained amateur radio operators (Hams) during emergencies. Administered by the Fire Department, RACES members use their personal equipment and skills, and volunteer their time to provide this service at no cost to the City of Huntington Beach.
When: Saturday, June 27, 2015, at approximately 11 AM – 5 PM (RACES volunteers will participate 24 hours)
Where: PCH and Goldenwest on the bluffs.
What: During Field Day, amateur radio (HAM) operators from the US and Canada will practice their emergency communications skills over a 24 hour period with the goal of demonstrating portable and completely independent communications. The public and the news media are invited to observe and participate in the radio exercise.
During an emergency, normal lines of communications can fail leaving amateur radio communications as the only means to communicate. In addition, they support public events such as the Surf City Marathon and the 4th of July Parade, and participate in the National Weather Service weather spotter program. Ham radio is a public service as well as an international educational technical hobby. Whether it’s contacting someone across the street or across the globe, or even outer space, ham radio operators are ready to supply reliable communications when normal lines fail. Ham operators range from ordinary citizens to astronauts. There are 18 city RACES groups within Orange County, operated under their respective city and county public safety departments.
More information on the RACES Program, visit www.hbraces.org
Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 T-Shirts for Makers
Maker Faire Bay Area is now history. Our booth, “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio” included new projects and demonstrations. This was our fourth year as Makers and the fifth year as visitors to the Maker Faire in San Mateo.
This is a short overview of our display. Stay tuned for more images, stories and videos.
Here is the text from our handout. It answers some of our most-often asked questions:
What are we doing?
Thank you for your interest in our Maker Faire display “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio.” This is our fourth consecutive year as “Makers,” and our goal is to show people what today’s ham radio operators are doing with the newest technology.
Who are we?
We are licensed Amateur radio operators (“hams”).
Is this like CB?
Yes and no. Ham radio is similar in that we use two-way radios and antennas to talk with each other, but hams can communicate using Morse code and computers in addition to voice, and we even have our own satellites. Ham radio requires a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US and licensees are required to pass a written test on electronics theory, radio regulations and operating procedures.
How far can you talk?
We can communicate with other ham stations around the corner or across the globe, depending on a variety of factors that affect the way radio waves travel. The equipment we are using operates on frequencies that generally follow line-of-sight paths. However, hams have discovered that signals can be reflected against objects such as buildings, trees, islands and mountains to extend the range. Using these techniques, we are able to contact other stations hundreds of miles away.
What kind of radios are you using?
We are builders and experimenters in microwave radio communications. No commercially-built, “off-the-shelf” equipment for these frequencies exists, so we must build our own equipment, or modify commercially-made equipment meant for other communications services, such as satellite TV, cell phone and long-distance telephone.
How much does this equipment cost?
Like any other hobby, people spend as much or as little as they can afford. Most people involved in ham radio spend as much as any serious stereo enthusiast, amateur photographer or woodworker.
Where can I get more information?
American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and QST Magazine
If you are a licensed ham and want to try a new challenge, contact your local VHF and up club:
The 50 MHz and Up Group
The San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS)
The Microwave Group of San Diego
Wayne Yoshida KH6WZ: YouTube
Broadband Ham Radio Network Under Construction. Photo by Dennis Kidder W6DQ
Software Defined Radio
Elements for the SDR. Photo by Dennis Kidder W6DQ
Old vs New Antenna Tuner Technology
KH6WZ 10GHz rig-Poster
Microwave transverter system by Brian Yee W6BY. Photo by Brian Yee W6BY
The Maker Faire Team from the San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) and the 50 MHz and Up Group is once again displaying their newest projects at the Bay Area Maker Faire.
We are “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio” – Maker Number 50122
I made some “reference videos” of a few completed Type 65 Coupes to get ideas for my build. There are also other cars shown in the videos.
I used my GoPro Hero3 on a homemade extension handle so I could “reach into” places I normally would not be able to get to. The handle was designed to be an extension for my camera tripod, for macro photography, and it is a little less than two feet long.
I will make a longer handle – maybe 6 or 10 feet – to capture different angles with the GoPro. I also have an idea to make a remote panning feature for the camera on the handle.
I hope to make the new handle in time for the Maker Faire coming soon.
Go to my YouTube channel, and take a look at the Factory Five Racing Cruise-In videos. . . .
Overcast skies and 10 percent chance of rain, after months of drought conditions….
A generous tradition started by David Hodgkins. Here is our host at the BBQ, working hard to feed all of the guests. I met one of the Car Warriors builders from the East Coast Team, Mark Stackler.
David Hodgkins, our generous host of the HB Cruise-In Pre-Party
Another guest at the Pre-Party was Scott Merrell of Coupe Connection. He talked about the 8-stack induction system fitted on a Ford Coyote engine. Very interesting, and I may use that engine in my next project car.
More gray skies, but no mention in the forecast of rain. As usual for me, my focus was to gather as much info about Coupes as possible, so I can apply these ideas into my car project.
Also as usual, I had to look at all the other Factory Five Racing kit cars on display.
I noticed more completed 33 Hot Rods this year and more Coupes.
Highlights of the Day
I met and discussed body and paint with Jeff “Da Bat” Miller in the early morning. He has probably put the final finish on hundreds of Factory Five Racing cars over the years. Da Bat was the Body and Paint expert for the West Coast team on the Car Warriors Factory Five Hot Rod challenge.
I was lucky to meet and hang out with Karen Salvaggio and Jo Coddington as we visited with the builders and the cars on display. Karen and Jo were two members of the five lady team on the “All Girls Build” episode on Power Nation. The other ladies were Nan Gelhard, Cherielynn Westrich and Courtnie Provencher.
Here’s a picture of Karen on the left with Jo on the right. And that’s Sue from Just Get Dirty Garage in the middle. Sally Bean, one of the behind the scenes people from Factory Five, is in the background, making sure things are going as planned…..
Factory Five Racing Ladies
Factory Five Racing president Dave Smith introduces Jo Coddington to the crowd.
Meeting Peter Brock, BRE Racing
Peter Brock, the body designer of the Daytona Coupe, came to Huntington Beach for this event. I have several of Peter’s historical posters on my walls, but I wanted to meet him in person. Peter is a nice guy, and he truly loves the Factory Five Racing version of the famous Ferrari-killer from 1965.
Factory Five Racing president Dave Smith (right) introducing Peter Brock to the Cruise-In crowd. There’s Mark Stackler in the background.
The Fastest Factory Five Racing Coupe in the World
On display was the SoFast Racing Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe. This kit car holds a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Allen Grant was there to sign autographs and display the car.
The fastest Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe and land speed record holder.
Watch this in-car video: Ride Along 200+ MPH Coupe at Bonneville
I made a few “walk around” videos with my new GoPro Hero 3. The footage is raw and needs some editing. I will post some after I do some editing.
Just as the event was ending, it started to rain. It was only a few minutes, but it managed to get stuff wet. I guess we can call it a California rainstorm. The local weather reports did not report any rainfall….
Here are some more pictures of this great annual event. Someday my Coupe will be there, too!