The kids are all right

Have you heard about the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement that’s sweeping through the geek ranks of young people? 

One place to checkout this new phenomena is Make Magazine. Here you’ll find folks like Diana Eng, KC2UHB, who posted a piece on building your own homemade yagi antenna and describes how to use it to listen to orbiting satellites (AO-51, 30 and 27).  Here’s a link to Diana at the QRP convention in Boston.

Here’s another young builder.

StacyD is a “young female computer engineer with a passion for DIY”.

Here’s a link to her blog site where she shows how to take a set of cheap headphones and for less than $50 of parts turn them into headphones that rival the mainstream manufacturer’s top-of-the-line $500 offerings.

BTW read the comments under her article. They go on and on and on 🙂

If either of these two young people were my daughters I’d be pretty darn proud of them.

Speaking as an old guy…seems to me the kids are all right 🙂

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

2 thoughts on “The kids are all right

  1. Hi Peter,

    Right on the money!

    This Maker and DIY movement has been always been there, peaks and wanes with whatever social changes drives it.

    Ham radio was part of this Maker and DIY movement when development of radio was just beginning; still is to some degree and interest seems to be rising and adapting to changing technology in spite of the seemingly lack of notice by the RAC.

    Just pick anytime in history and you will find the Maker and DIY movement in one form or another – driven by need or want. We live in a prosperous time and that too is helping drive the visibility to this type of activity. The likes of Maker Magazine, on line BLOGS and E-Zines, and Television in the form of shows like the Myth Busters and Junk Yard Wars has done much to publicize this activity.

    One of my favourite modern references is this website: http://www.adafruit.com/ started by a young female techie and has become extremely popular and well regarded.

    As has http://www.sparkfun.com – started by a couple of college/university students to fill their short term needs and has turned into a multi million dollar enterprise.

    Do a search for Arduino – basically an open source (hardware and software) embedded processing platform. Not too many years ago a quick search on eBay would perhaps find 40 or 50 arduino items, now you are lucky if a similar search does return 2500 or more!

    Indeed, the Maker and DIY spirit is alive and well. That same spirit which was the pride and joy of Ham radio is still there too, it never left – it just changed directions; those that lament the good ole days, the golden age, the glory days of past – well, they just keep getting older and reminisce about the past.

    (I didn’t want to take a shot at the RAC but I did anyways 😉 )

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

  2. This is exactly the sort of thing Amateur Radio needs, not yet more EMCOMM. EMCOMM is the cancer that is destroying Amateur Radio, not helping it. Sure, I have done my bit for helping out in public service events, but it is because I had a ‘ticket’ and could help out. I worry about pushing the idea of getting a ‘ticket’ so one can ‘help out’ in emergencies.

    And like Graham, this turned out to be a shot at the RAC. (And ARRL actually.) but oh well.

    73 Diane VA3DB

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