Hams: The First Makers

TitleHams: The First Makers
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBonte, F, Bonte, S
Conference NameHamSCI Workshop 2019
Date Published03/2019
Conference LocationCleveland, OH

Amateur radio operators were the first Makers. In the early days of radio, they constructed the first receivers in the form of crude crystal radio sets. As those receivers became more complex, they scoured the neighborhoods for parts that were cast aside or other broken electronics to make their own transmitters. They developed the first computers and attached them to transceivers, creating the digital modes we use today. Every Ham is part machinist, electronics technician, and computer scientist, driven by the magic that is radio. Today’s Makers have many of the same traits as a Ham. They love to create technology and put it to use to benefit others. However, Makers require key resources and know-how to continue creating or making. Just as radio clubs bring together Hams to solve problems and share solutions, MakerSpaces provide the geographic location for Makers to gather. This gives them access to specialized equipment and allows them opportunities for group creativity and cooperation among like-minded tinkers. MakerSpaces, such as Think[box] at Case Western and The Point at Otterbein University, are centers with tools and equipment to enable Makers to complete projects and share ideas. This presentation will detail the various types of equipment typically found in a MakerSpace, how one can utilize a MakerSpace as a ham radio operator to fulfill learning and technological needs, and where to find MakerSpaces. We will go on to show how Ham radio can benefit from Makers, and how MakerSpaces can evolve through the inclusion of Hams.