2014 Maker Faire Bay Area Recap – Setup Day   Leave a comment

The 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire is now history.

One of the Maker Faire team members, Brian Yee, W6BY, was not able to join us – we are all hoping Brian recovers quickly from his injury.

Dennis Kidder, W6DQ and Marty Woll, N6VI (ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director) – along with several University of California, Davis engineering students and their faculty advisor, Professor Leo Liu, displayed and demonstrated their projects to the Maker Faire crowd. Estimated attendance: 120,000.

Here’s a two minute “drones eye view” of the Maker Faire 2014

Highlights during setup day included meeting Anouk Wipprecht, the fashion designer;  Tenaya Hurst, the Arduino Woman; and the paella dinner, sponsored by Liquid Wrench.

This year, I included a handout of frequently asked questions about Amateur Radio, and it turned out to be useful. However, we quickly ran out of copies, so I am pasting the text here:

What Are We Doing at Maker Faire 2014
Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio

Thank you for your interest in our Maker Faire display. We are radio communications experimenters using the microwave Amateur Radio (ham) frequencies.

Who are we?
We are licensed Amateur radio operators (“hams”).

Is this like CB?
Yes and no. Ham radio is similar to CB because we use two-way radios to talk to 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 USA.

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 here operates on frequencies that generally follow line-of-sight paths. However, through experimentation, we find 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?
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 services, such as cell phone, wireless links and radar systems.

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?
Wayne Yoshida KH6WZ

American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

CQ, and CQ-VHF Magazines

The 50 MHz and Up Group
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm at the TI (formerly National Semiconductor) Conference Center, Building E, in Sunnyvale, CA

The San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS)
Meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm at the American Legion Hall, 1024 Main St., Corona, CA

The Microwave Group of San Diego
Workshops and informal meetings are held each month on the third Monday at 7pm in La Mesa, CA

Here are some images from setup day, Friday May 16.

. . . More to follow. . .




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