Maker Faire Bay Area 2015: Recap Part 1   Leave a comment

Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 T-Shirts for Makers

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

CQ 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 Hamnet-REV2

Broadband Ham Radio Network Under Construction

Broadband Ham Radio Network Under Construction. Photo by Dennis Kidder W6DQ

Software Defined Radio

Elements for the SDR. Photo by Dennis Kidder, W6DQ

Elements for the SDR. Photo by Dennis Kidder W6DQ

Old-vsNew-Ant-tuners

Old vs New Antenna Tuner Technology

Old vs New Antenna Tuner Technology

KH6WZ 10GHz rig-Poster

Microwave transverter system by Brian Yee W6BY. Photo by Brian Yee W6BY

Microwave transverter system by Brian Yee W6BY. Photo by Brian Yee W6BY

 

APRS Poster

APRS demonstration

APRS demonstration

 

 

The Greeter

The Greeter

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