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W5YI News :
January 9, 2012Do-It-Yourself Returns to Ham Radio

ARRL and CQ Magazine Launch New DIY Campaigns

Electronic home construction (DIY) is undergoing a boom!

Fresh on the heels of an announcement that Heathkit is re-entering the kit building field, the ARRL and CQ is also getting involved. The ARRL Public Relations Department has released the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) suite of interrelated promotional materials aimed at exposing the growing Do It Yourself/Maker community to Amateur Radio opportunities.

The DIY movement is nothing new to Amateur Radio. For more than a century, hams have been working in basements and attics, taking things apart and putting them back together in new ways, just for the fun of it. Meanwhile, there has been a growing population of DIY hobbyists who do not know about the opportunities of Amateur Radio.

To reach this growing group, the ARRL Public Relations Department has created an entirely new set of campaign materialsfor ARRL Public Information Officers, groups and individual hams to use in reaching out to the DIY/Maker community. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, and Dave Bell, W6AQ, were recruited to create a new video.

Recruiting volunteers throughout 2011, the duo shot more than 65 hours of high-definition video, and then edited it down to a mere 8 minutes. Titled The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio, it shows ham-makers projects from around the country.

ARRL's new video follows some of the innovative, imaginative and fun ways "hams" use radio technology in new and creative ways. The presentation is directed toward the DIY (do it yourself) movement, which is inspiring a new generation of creators, hackers and innovators. The message should be helpful for existing members to shape the ways they understand and talk about ham radio.

CQ Introduces 'Maker' Column

(Hicksville, NY January 5, 2012) -- CQ Amateur Radio magazine will introduce a quarterly "Maker" column, Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, announced today. It will be written by Matt Stultz, KB3TAN, and will appear in the March, June, September and December issues of the magazine.

The "maker" movement is a growing do-it-yourself (DIY) phenomenon among mostly younger, tech-savvy individuals who enjoy hands-on tinkering and experimenting with electronics, crafts and similar projects. Many "makers" are not familiar with amateur radio, even though hams have been "makers" since the dawn of radio. It is the goal of this column to help build and strengthen bridges between the ham radio and "maker" communities.

Matt Stultz, KB3TAN, is the founder of "HackPittsburgh," a "hackerspace" or community workshop for makers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been a ham since 2009 and has integrated amateur radio into many of HackPittsburgh's activities. He recently moved to Rhode Island to begin a new job as a web developer for Makerbot Industries, which manufactures kits for building your own 3-D printer to create customized parts for projects.

Stultz's first column, titled "We Are Makers," will appear in the March issue of CQ. It provides a general introduction to the maker/hacker community for hams, as well as a description of a high-altitude balloon project that brought the two groups together in Pittsburgh. The March issue of CQ will be available, in print and online, by the beginning of March. CQ is the only major amateur radio magazine available in both print and digital form.

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