Group Build at the Mason Dixon Hamfest

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Mon Oct 25 17:23:17 CDT 2010

Frank and Bill,

Congratulations and thanks for your efforts to bring modern technology  
to our Ham Fraternity.

André N4ICK

Sent from my iPhone
Occasional  miStaKes may be blamed on the thickness of my finger and  
the small size of this keyboard.

On Oct 25, 2010, at 15:23, Frank Gentges <fgentges at>  

> 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  
> temperature curve.
> 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.
> Frank K0BRA
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