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5 new hams today

Apr 1st 2012, 04:15

AD6QF

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I was delighted that 5 of my high school physics students earned their technician class licenses today. This year, I have had about 10 students interested in getting licensed and now half of them have achieved their goal. Now I have to come up with some activities that will get them on the air and keep them interested. Any suggestions?
Apr 1st 2012, 12:39

WA8SME

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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This is an exciting time of the sun spot cycle. With the Tech tickets you can get the students engaged with DXing on ten meters…that band periodically is hopping.
If you want to take a more scientific or academic approach with this time of the sun spot cycle, there are many activities the students can use with their new tickets to monitor, study, and verify sun spots. Radio JOVE might interest some of the more scientifically inclined.
You might consider getting the students involved in high altitude ballooning, there has been a major uptick in activity in that arena of late, and launching a balloon payload this year is certainly within the realm of possibilities for high school students. I have an article that will come out in May QST on sensor packages, in this case the focus is on environmental water borne buoys, but the same concept can be used if attached to a balloon.
With a good quality HT and ARROW like antenna, how about trying some satellite contacts through AO27 (first) and SO50 (second). This might lead the students to get interested in the CubeSat program. Though the likely hood that the students would be able to put a bird into orbit, they certainly could develop their own CubeSat or PocketQue “bird” and again, suspend it from a balloon and get pretty darn close to space…sans achieving orbit.
For those more electronically inclined, the tickets might be a gateway to PIC programming. Stepping stones to PICs might be the PICAXE or Arduino platforms.
Apr 3rd 2012, 02:52

AD6QF

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Thanks for the good suggestions, Mark. We have strung a 10 m dipole outside the science building but we have an S9 noise level. We will have to do some experimenting to see if we can get something that will work.
May 24th 2012, 01:58

AD6QF

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I just spent some time reading up on Radio Jove. Looks interesting. I have an all mac lab, so I would either need to find a mac program with the functionality of SkyPipe or run SkyPipe in virtualization. Also, your recent QST article has me thinking of ways to use APRS to send remote sensing data. In addition to your buoy and balloon idea, it might be interesting to design a robot that will do remote sensing and send data (temperature, soil pH, whatever) via APRS. Maybe the BOEbot software and BASIC stamp could be used to drive something a bit larger than the BOEbot. A friend of mine has referred to this as a Mars rover for the football field.
May 27th 2012, 14:13

WA8SME

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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There has been some mention of the Mars Lander during the TI as a way to stimulate some ideas. To date I am not aware of anyone taking the bait, The TI BOT instructor's board still has the spaces for the sensors for that project, they just need to be populated.

The BStamp as well as other processors and platforms are very capable of meeing the challenge. If you are going into the field, some better off road capapability than the BOEBOT would be in order, fat tires? Best to start small and the go larger.

You might check out a program called Sea Perch, which is an underwater vehcile that should be easy to duplicate. What that program needs is a mission, like some sensors or remote controlled arms and fingers, that might be an exciting project.

Since sun spot activity has hit the cover of National Geographic, it might be time to explore the SID program (Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance). With the rise in the number of high level discharges, there should be some excellent signals to study.

BTW, I redeployed the buoy today, waiting to see some data come across findU WA8SME-9. Had to take the buoy on a road trip for show and tell, but now back in the R&D mode with it.

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