San Diego (Calif) Maker Faire - It's a Wrap!
Photo: The last-minute added display item gave kids and grown-ups something to play with. Switches and lights always attract attention. I need to add sound effects for the next version of this light panel.
My Maker friend Dennis and I completed our participation as Makers at the 2016 San Diego Maker Faire -- continuing our theme called "Not Your Grandpa's Ham Radio." The bonus this year: We won a ribbon for "Maker of Merit."Maker Faire Hq. explains there are two ribbon categories: a blue ribbon for best in show and a red ribbon for best in class. The Maker Faire ribbon program is explained here.
Our projects demonstrate how ham radio technology changes with the times, yet still includes both past and present to accomplish one thing: Creating ways to communicate voice and data over the ether, without wires.
I added a not quite completed project to our display: An electronic art project I call "The Inventory Reduction Lamp." I need to make a better name for this, but it will stick for now.
I created a short buzz with a surplus metal plate I bought at the local radio and electronics swap meet. It looked interesting, but I did not know what to do with it, and it was in my garage for several months, gathering dust.
This is what it looked like when I bought it:
And then, I decided to fill the holes with - lights (LEDs). . .
If you look closely at the legends for the controls, you may understand why I decided I had to have this piece of junk.
As I said, this is not completed. When it is finished, it will be mounted on a wall and will include a small drawer for junk and an AC outlet for charging things like cellphone and computer.
In the picture below, you can see an interesting feature I added on the lower left: A vibrating reed AC line frequency meter. This is an interesting gadget, quite old, found on eBay as new old stock (NOS).
Here are more projects we had on display . . . A lightning detector / 200 kHz receiver. With a large antenna, it can detect lightning several hundred miles away. Alas, lightning is not exciting in Southern Calif, so I use a barbecue striker to simulate lightning. . . .
Next is a demonstration of the Amateur Radio version of Wi-Fi - it is called Broadband Ham Net (BBHN). There is an alternative version now, and it is more modern: Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN).
And here is our ribbon, presented to us by Kent Cross of the San Diego Makers Guild.
Maker Faire events are held all over the world - why not visit one - or better yet - participate as a "Maker" and show everyone what you are making!
About Wayne Yoshida
Wayne Yoshida is a technical writer and education advocate with sales management experience. Wayne currently works in the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) industry and has worked for a wide variety of high technology companies, including aerospace and defense, photonics, lasers and opto-mechanics, two-way radio, telecommunications and a non-profit, educational organization. His personal passion for electronics and Amateur Radio opened many doors to some very interesting personal and professional experiences. Working as a ham radio consultant for the NASA Johnson Space Center during Space Shuttle mission STS-9 is his most memorable experience. Connect with him on LinkedIn and beBee, and for a look into his personal passions, follow his blog.
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