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!
SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 19, 2015 — Microwave Update (MUD), the paramount international conference on Amateur Radio experimentation above 1,000MHz, will take place from Thursday, October 15 to Sunday, October 18, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza San Diego.
MUD 2015 will include technical programs, a banquet and the opportunity to network with fellow microwave ham radio enthusiasts from around the world. This year’s event is sponsored jointly by the San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) and the Microwave Group of San Diego (MGSD).
Special hotel rates are available to MUD 2015 attendees. Be sure to mention the Microwave Update 2015 when making hotel reservations.
Call for Papers and Presentations
MUD is a great opportunity to share your ideas by presenting and writing papers. If you are interested in writing and/or presenting a topic for the 2015 MUD, send an e-mail message to email@example.com with an abstract or a general idea. This will help the conference planning and scheduling team organize the event.
Presentation and paper guidelines are posted at
The deadline for proceedings submissions is September 1 and deadline for presentations is September 25.
For more information and the latest updates on MUD 2015, go to:
The hotel is taking reservations now, so take advantage of the discount rate. Remember to ask for the Microwave Update (MUD) special rate.
Crowne Plaza San Diego
2270 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108 USA
About the San Bernardino Microwave Society
The SBMS, founded in 1955, is a non-profit technical organization and Amateur Radio club and dedicated to the advancement of communications above 1,000MHz. Affiliated with the ARRL, the SBMS membership includes over 90 Amateurs from Hawaii and Alaska to the East Coast and beyond. Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the American Legion Hall, 1024 Main St., Corona, CA. For more SBMS information, go to http://www.ham-radio.com/sbms/
About the Microwave Group of San Diego (MGSD)
The MGSD is an informal association of Radio Amateurs interested in the frequencies above 1000 MHz. A net is held on the air each Monday night, except the third Monday of the month, on the Palomar Amateur Radio Club Repeater, 146.730 (-0.600), (tone 107.2) at 9:00 PM. For more MGSD information, go to