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Author Topic: Creating a Club Booth at Science Fair and revitalizing a club??  (Read 1763 times)
VE7QJD
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Posts: 5




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« on: January 29, 2018, 08:04:00 AM »

Like so many clubs we have one where a lot of coffee is consumed, a few active members and a few large egos and several laid back members who just enjoy their own hobby quietly. We are not attracting new members, we are not known to the public, we have maybe one member under the age of 50. I have just joined and feel like I am joining the dying days of a hobby.

We are however now planning a demo booth at a regional Science Fair. I would welcome mostly comments on how we might set this up and what we might demo. Our club is small 10-15 group, but we have a good collection of equipment, no clubhouse just personal ham shacks.

I really do not want to see gloom and doom comments on the demise of the hobby. I suspect it still has a part to play in disaster management. We are attempting to apply for a grant to upgrade repeaters for that reason.

So please positive comments welcomed, I don't want to get more depressed !!  Thank you.
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VE7QJD
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 04:55:42 PM »

I have read a lot of the responses under MAttJ's questions on the hobby and there might be some overlap but so many comments were negative I thought I would just ask for positive suggestions to move ahead and especially if anyone has ever done a booth.
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N3QE
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 07:08:27 AM »

At age 50, I'm one of the younger guys in my club too!

I think the audience you want to address at that science fair booth, is "MAKERfaire" audience with for example CW kits.

I do agree you have to diversify beyond the club repeater. I don't think the repeater has to go away, but repeater-only clubs have been in rocky times for a while now, and I don't see how a repeater appeals to kids who have never known a time without cellphones.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 07:10:41 AM by N3QE » Logged
VE7QJD
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 07:36:52 AM »

Thanks N3QE--any particular CW kits in mind??? I am actually part of the local Makerspace Hacker electronics club but have not yet worked the Ham club into it, having only just joined.
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 10:21:02 AM »

Thanks N3QE--any particular CW kits in mind??? I am actually part of the local Makerspace Hacker electronics club but have not yet worked the Ham club into it, having only just joined.

I think any CW-based project could be great.

Typical grade-school stuff in my area, involves turning old computer mice clickbuttons, into CW keys that key a code practice oscillator the kids build themselves.

If you hooked this up to a computer with a CW decoder they could send morse and see it decoded on screen. That adds some computer-screen interactivity which is a good route to interest with the kids.

For older kids that might be interested in information theory, a chart showing how the shortest morse letters are also the most common Engligh-language letters might be a good introduction to cross-compare with file compression etc.

Old-fashioned analog scope hooked to code practice oscillator is also a good visual draw.

If there are members of your club that don't do currently do CW, they might learn some CW in the process, buidling your club's skillset! Having older hams learning CW right along with the kids is just beauty. I learned CW at age 10 at a local club class, at the time almost all the other guys in the class were in their 50's or 60's.
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VK3YE
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 12:24:27 PM »

As a public display I would suggest something involving beat notes. 

Eg set up an AM receiver and have two (or more) RF oscillators.

You can generate various musical effects (that may appeal to some makers - similar to a Theremin) and explain various RF concepts like transmitters, receivers and mixers.

A software defined radio is also a good display.

Also good for sound effects, eg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N47uxPTGoIc
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Peter VK3YE

Author of popular $US 5 titles 'Minimum QRP', 'Hand-carried QRP antennas', 'Getting back into Amateur Radio' & '99 things you can do with Amateur Radio'. Ebook and paperback editions.
Visit http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm or search titles in Amazon.
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