AARC Displays Ham Radio at Barnes and Noble Mini Maker Faire

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, the AARC once again demonstrated amateur radio at the Barnes and Noble Mini-Maker Faire. Club participants at the Faire were Mike McPherson, KQ9P; Ed Berkowitz, N3US; Richard Freeman KI4QKV; Michael Rein, KA4JJD; Jim Wilson, K4BAV; Larry Eicher K4JZQ, John Porter KK4JP, Patrice Porter KM4RSL and Rick Oliver, W3KDR. Supporting our efforts to demonstrate VHF contacts were Bill Philips, AD6JV; and Ron Richey, K4RKA, who made sure we always completed QSOs. We made a last-minute move to Dave Damon’s .730 repeater after some problems hitting .925. The Carter’s Mountain .730 machine was easily accessed without the use of Mike McPherson’s mobile repeater which was parked right outside the store in case it was needed.

Our presentation included a Morse code demonstration staffed by the appropriately costumed K4BAV, which attracted kids who were delighted to send their names in code. KA4JJD presented a display of introductory kit building and Arduino programming, and encouraged kids to make their first ham radio QSO. Those who did received a certificate commemorating his or her success. Mike KQ9P showed a model of a UVa cubesat which will carry amateur radio and a dual band beam suitable for satellite work. John KK4JP demonstrated an $8.00 multi-mode receiver (30 MHz and up) about the size of a flash drive, which gets its smarts from a laptop and free SDR (software defined radio) software. N3US presented a promotional video on amateur radio produced by the RSGB in England. Larry K4JZQ and Rich KI4QKV kept careful watch for visitors and drew them into our booth.

A good time was had by all, and we snagged email addresses from several potential future hams who were seriously interested in ham radio and the AARC.