I discovered an announcement of this open house the night before the event. The lead came from a Meet Up post from Make: OC, since I have been displaying at Maker Faire for several years now. It was a very short notice — but I am glad I saw it — especially since the Urban Workshop is less than 5 minutes away from my office.
Steve Trindade is the Founder and CEO of the Urban Workshop.
Urban Workshop is a hacker space, a membership organization where creative and talented people can get together and learn from each other. Urban Workshop provides the tools and support staff to help people build what they imagine.
They have an impressive array of stationary power tools for wood as well as metal, including a laser cutter and CNC mill. They have all types of welding equipment, too. And of course, they have a very expensive-looking 3D printer.
There is a full page of classes on a variety of subjects, including automotive alignments and race car chassis setups, CAD concepts, CNC router programming, electronics soldering basics and Arduino programming, machine tool instruction and more.
The equipment is all high-end, professional gear, and looks brand new.
Click here for more information on Urban Workshop.
Here are some pictures. . . .
Immediately after the San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) Tune-Up Party at the Fairview Park in Costa Mesa, the annual summer BBQ was held at the QTH of Dennis, W6DQ.
As usual, the food was great, and Dennis did a great job at the BBQ. It is nice to be a guest at a BBQ every now and then….
Probably the best thing I enjoy at these events is catching up with the club members and see what projects they are working on.
I am still cleaning out my freezer, so I decided to defrost some pork loins and cook them on the BGE. The recipe comes from Steven Raichlen’s book, How to Grill. This is a great book on barbecuing just about anything. I especially like the sections where Raichlen shows us how to butcher the meats. Excellent dish. I served it with some homemade pickled onions.
Summer is here, and this means corn on the cob. A local grocer had a great sale, 6 ears for a dollar, so I bought a dozen. Some people do a lot of prep work when they barbecue corn, I decided a long time ago to just soak ‘em and grill ‘em.
I trim the husks but leave the stems and soak the ears in plain water for a few minutes. No need to remove the silk inside. I do, however, check for worms and other critters inside the husks, just in case anything alive is crawling around inside. Anything inside will die, so there isn’t too much to worry about.
Soaking corn on the cob
Make the fire in the Big Green Egg. Set up for direct grilling, high heat.
Direct grilling corn on the cob
This takes a while. . .
At some point, the husks will turn brown. This is the fun part, since the husks usually catch fire and burn. If this happens, do not panic. Just grab the ear with your tongs and use the fire to burn off the silk and the husks.
When corn husks catch fire – just let it burn off the silk and the husk – saves time later!
Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn
I like to keep the husks on, this gives the eater something to hold when eating the ear. If I am serving guests, I will use butcher string and tie and lace the husks into a “handle.”
And there you have it — corn on the cob on the Big Green Egg!
Use your imagination for finishing and serving the corn. Other than some freshly ground salt and pepper, I enjoy the corn as-is.
There are some fancy corn dressings out there, here’s one from Steven Raichlen, my BBQ hero: Cambodian Corn
I had some T-bone steaks in the freezer for a while. So, I cooked all four of them a while ago. I enjoyed one with some fresh tomatoes.
I decided to do something different with the meat. I grilled some assorted peppers – Anaheim and parsilla – and made a pizza.
Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg
I cheated and used a store-bought crust. I added some diced ham. . .
Ham, steak and pepper pizza
Here we go – Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the Big Green Egg.
Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza
Anyone interested in young people education has probably heard of the Maker movement and the Maker Faire. Or, at least, they may have seen a copy of Make: magazine on the newsstands. Many educators understand the connection between science and technology education and how this Maker movement can be used to make learning fun.
Well, I have to say this is a lot of successful marketing hype – since so many people worldwide think this is a new and wonderful phenomenon. Here’s some news for everyone: This is not a new idea. Amateur radio operators (“hams”) have been among the original Makers since the early 20th century.
In case you have not heard about Makers, here is a brief description: The Maker movement is about making something rather than buying something, fixing it rather than throwing it away, pre-cycling or recycling instead of throwing it away and modifying something to make it work better or different.
This “making” refers to anything you can think of, from clothing and costumes and computers to bicycles and cars and aircraft. And for ham radio operators – it’s making or modifying radio communications equipment.
A Personal Passion and Mission
Since ham radio has been and continues to be one of my passions, I want to make sure people understand that today’s ham radio is not an outdated, dying hobby that no one uses any more. It is not necessarily a hobby for old retired engineers talking to strangers from their basements and closets. The Amateur Radio Service is much more chic and many of us are using today’s technology and applying it to ham radio activities. And as a science and an educational tool, ham radio has a lot to offer.
A Timely Showcase
The Bay Area Maker Faire is at the end of May each year. Sponsored by Make magazine, the Maker Faire website describes this event as, “A two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker movement.”
When you actually get there, you may describe it as a giant playground for everyone where science, art, food, clothing, bicycles, fire, machines, lasers, steam, electricity and music all crunch together into one giant gathering. And I can insert ham radio into this cornucopia of educational fun.
In 2012, my ham radio friend Dennis Kidder had some free passes to the Bay Area Maker Faire. Since the tickets were a great bargain, we had to make the all-day drive to the Silicon Valley to see this thing. We had such a great experience that year we decided to create our own display to show off our ham radio projects. Besides, we got to meet Grant Imahara from the Discovery Channel show “Myth Busters,” and a famous female hacker named Jeri Ellsworth. Adam Savage, also from the Myth Busters show, is the Maker Faire emcee.
Amazingly, Maker booths are free. Considering how much commercial exhibitors pay for booth space, electricity, water, compressed air and cleaning for tradeshow booths, this is an incredible deal.
For 2014, my Maker Faire theme, “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio!” continues for the third consecutive year. Our displays include a wide range of experiments, demonstrations and practical wireless communications equipment using a mixture of traditional and the most modern techniques. Here are some examples of our projects from previous Maker Faire events…
Ramsay Electronics KH6WZ laser communicator
W6DQ – Dennis 10 GHz transmitter-receiver with software defined radio (SDR)
79 GHz transmitter-receiver system by Tony KC6QHP
Antenna positioning system by Brian W6BY
See more stories on my LinkedIn pages. . .