“One of my favorite things to do is talk with other ham radio operators through satellites or the International Space Station (ISS). To do this, I stand on a rooftop and tune a handheld multiband radio while tracing the orbit of a satellite or the ISS with my homemade yagi antenna.”
So says Diana Eng, the author of “Listening to Satellites” in MAKE Volume 24 (our “DIY Space” issue). Diana, like many contributors to MAKE, is a “broad-spectrum” enthusiast. She is best known for her beautiful and tech-enhanced fashions, seen on her appearance as a contestant on Project Runway. She is also a jewelry designer. (My wife’s favorite necklace is a Diana Eng creation that uses a couple of reed switches as a pendant.) And she is also a licensed amateur radio operator who loves to make her own ham radio equipment. In her article in this volume, Diana shows how to make a “yagi antenna,” which offers much better reception than a standard whip antenna, and costs about $25 to make.
Diane’s article includes a section on “hamspeak,” which is jargon for the jargon that hams use when they chat with each other. It will come in handy when you use your antenna to tune into shortwave radio conversations. For now, I’ll sign out with an “88” and a “73.”
Check out MAKE Volume 24:
MAKE blasts into orbit and beyond with our DIY SPACE issue. Put your own satellite in orbit, launch a stratosphere balloon probe, and analyze galaxies for $20 with an easy spectrograph! We talk to the rocket mavericks reinventing the space industry, and renegade NASA hackers making smartphone robots and Lego satellites. This, plus a full payload of other cool DIY projects, from a helium-balloon camera that’s better than Google Earth, to an electromagnetic levitator that shoots aluminum rings, and much more. MAKE Volume 24, on sale now.