The Maker Faire held at College of Lake County last Saturday was very well attended, especially for their first live event. Our exhibit, Morse Code: The “New” old technology, seemed to be a big hit with the faire goers.
Maker Faires attract a variety of people who are interested in learning and creating/making things. There were people of all ages including young families who really seemed to enjoy the exhibit. This is a group of people who know how to wrangle a soldering iron.
Our exhibit had three tables, each depicting a different aspect of digital communications using amateur radio.
Table 1 (Dave, K9AT): Using a IC-705 and Wolf River coil, a typical portable station was shown. Dave also brought a key and Morse decoder for visitors to try out sending Morse Code.
Table 2 (Andy, WB7DKZ and Ralph, WB9ICF): Focused on the history of Morse Code and the tools that you can use to learn it in the 21st century. The table had two MorseInos (thanks to Dan, KD9M and for loaning us his Cricket QRP transceiver), two homebrew Morse Tutors, and examples of QRP CW radios. Visitors enjoyed practicing Morse Code and sending messages to their family members and friends.
Table 3 (Gary, W9GD and Sam, KC9GPY): Showed FT-8 communications to visitors using Gary’s remote station (to ensure that local conditions in the building wouldn’t prevent contacts being made).
The exhibit was well attended and all were kept quite busy explaining Morse Code and amateur radio as well as answering questions.
For those interested in Morse Code, a MCWA Code Practice Oscillator kit was offered to encourage exploration of amateur radio.