Group Build at the Mason Dixon Hamfest
fgentges at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 25 14:23:57 CDT 2010
We took our gear up to Westminster MD to attend the Mason Dixon Hamfest
yesterday, October 14.
We were set up to apply solder paste to the Charleston PC board with the
stencil and then for builders to put down the parts under some
magnifying glasses. Once placed, we then put the PC Board into our
converted toaster oven to reflow the solder using the recommended
One person noted that he worked where they reflow soldered at the place
of work and our reflow looked nicer than their company was getting.
Two builders build boards and were able to get their boards reflow
soldered. We could have used a couple more builders but we learned a
lot on how to bring the lab stuff needed to a remote site and build
surface mount boards right there during the hamfest. We think this may
have been a first being similar to the Maker Faire type event being run
on the West Coast.
I think doing this kind of thing may be a nice addition to hamfests and
be a reason for more hams to come out to hamfests and participate in the
making of small kits and things on site. We should think of other
things we could also build at the same time since we have much of the
key gear needed to deal with the surface mount components. Once we have
introduced the builder to our equipment and the techniques, we hope they
will feel more comfortable with taking on projects with surface mount
parts on their own.
While we only had two builders, we got to talk to a lot of people and
show how we were doing the work so our thoughts and ideas were spread to
a much larger group.
In addition to assembling the boards, we had the Quisk HF radio software
up and running as a demonstration that also caught peoples attention.
We are now getting a version of Ubuntu that can be run that includes the
files for Quisk and the Charleston receiver. We should be able to
distribute DVD disks that will bring up Charleston/Quisk/Ubuntu on a
computer either as a live load or as a hard drive install. AMRAD member
Rob Bowers has been working on this and a big tip of the AMRAD hat to
Rob. Stay tuned.
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