One of the latest trends in the last couple of years is called “Maker Fair” and being a “Maker”. What is a maker? We used to call it a “Do It Yourselfer”. Hams have been (and currently are) active in both movements. Many older hams complain about modern hams being operators of equipment rather than builders. This has a lot of truth in it because of the complexity of modern radios. But we are currently in another golden age of kits. Even Heathkit is back in business (under new ownership) and marketing their first new kit again.
So what can we build and have hands-on today? Well, if you have been following my columns and coming to meetings, you know about the many QRP kits and antennas I have written about and featured in meetings. In addition the Arduino mini computer boards are finding their way into almost every corner of ham radio as the controllers of many projects.
Because of the difficulty of booking actual speakers for meetings, I have been relying on wonderful YouTube videos showing hands on projects and information. Last month, in January, we highlighted test equipment and focused on the grid dip meter and the antenna analyzer. This month we will see two videos and have a follow up discussions on antennas for difficult situations and grounding ——-two hot topics as homeowners associations are becoming more prevalent. Also there is currently a bill in Congress to address HOA’s limiting of antennas.
Ham radio is such a broad hobby that most of the hams that I know (and myself too) have interests that slowly evolve among the various areas, be they QRP, DXing, kit building, digital communication modes, antennas, emergency communications, satellite comms, or any of the other facets of our hobby. As your interests in our hobby change, please let me know what you’re are currently fascinated by so I can target meeting topics to everyone’s areas of the hobby.
73 Mike KF6KXG
January 2016 General Meeting
February 2016 General Meeting
Ask Dave Episode 7 Antennas for Difficult Situations
Antennas – What antennas do you use? Which problems have you had?
Ask Dave Episode 8 Grounding for Amateur Radio
Grounding- What does your ground system look like? What materials to you use? Do you have any problems with stray RF?