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Ham Arduino Wrapup – Amateur Radio and Makers

ham arduino wrapup

Ham Arduino wrapup is a call to action. Encourage individual hams to explore Arduino. Encourage building relationships between local amateur radio and maker communities.

In this final article of our Arduino Ham Radio Starter Kit, I describe a few of my projects. Mostly, these are intermediate-level efforts. However, they demonstrate possibilities that are achievable within a few months. Makers have 3D printers and CNC machines. Both were used.

First of all, my signature project so far is a remotely tuned magnetic loop which was made mainly for 30 meters. We made the high voltage butterfly capacitor on the CNC. The 3D printer produced the mounting brackets and worm gears. Remote control tuning was accomplished with an Arduino and WiFi module. You can read the articles or just watch this video which describes the whole project. I am quite proud of the mostly printed and motorized butterfly capacitor. It only cost a few dollars and works well.

Another antenna project is a NodeMCU controlled medium wave receiving loop, which also covers the lower HF bands. Servo motors provide remote pan and tilt. Voltage to tune the varicap is provided by the microcontroller and a 12-bit analog to digital converter.

My workshop signal generator uses the AD9850 DDS module and either an Arduino or NodeMCU controller. This also has remote control and sweep capability. It is mounted in a plastic 3D printed case and tuned with a rotary encoder.

Finally, I built an Arduino-based Morse Code decoder and display. The Arduino samples receiver audio and uses digital signal processing to lock onto the CW signal. You can read the Morse text on the small TFT screen.

Projects like this are easy when you have a maker workshop. Most noteworthy, all of these projects, including the 3D printer and CNC cost me less than the price of a new television.

Ham Arduino Wrapup – Call to Action

The fit between ham radio and “making” is good. We are already makers with electronics skills. Makers can help us with the software. We can help them with the wireless. We are both interested DIY and making “things that do things.”

Lots of local radio clubs seek activities for their members. As a result, there is a good opportunity for you club to encourage an Arduino special interest group. Then, you can reach out to the maker community. Arduino is an on-ramp to attract a few folks into ham radio. There are many more makers than hams, and young ones too. Maybe a few of them will enjoy amateur radio.

Read the entire Arduino Ham Radio Starter Kit.

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