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MacGyver of the Day: HAM Radio Hacker Diana Eng – Makers @ Lifehacker

I am writing up a maker-a-day over at Lifehacker, check it out! Today’s maker: HAM radio enthusiast Diana Eng…

14 thoughts on “MacGyver of the Day: HAM Radio Hacker Diana Eng – Makers @ Lifehacker

  1. CircuitGizmo says:

    That is the type of thing that it is great to demonstrate. Boring just reading about it, but nice to see done as a hands-on demonstration.

    Well done, Ms. Eng.

  2. Malcolm says:

    That was a great way to visualize the directional aspects of a yagi antenna. I always wondered how those things worked. What keeps the director element(s) from acting as a reflector?

    1. CircuitGizmo says:

      From my dusty memory it is their length. The reflector is 5% longer, the director 5% shorter than the driven element.

  3. beakmyn says:

    That’s a great demonstration of how the Yagi-Uda works **********. Don’t read farther if you don’t want to hear my rant.

    You made illegal unidentified radio communications. I.E. you are required by law to give your call sign:

    Test transmissions
    * An illegal unidentified transmission describes a brief test transmission that does not include any station identification.
    * An amateur must properly identify the station when making a transmission to test equipment or antennas.
    * Station identification is required at least every ten minutes and at the end of every transmission.

    Also, I don’t what frequency you were on but even at 5 watts (QRP) there is possibility of tissue damage due to RF exposure.

    1. Alan says:

      Cut the girl some slack. This is an absolutely brilliant demonstration of antenna radiation patterns, and I’ve pointed many hams to this video already. None have complained. We don’t hear her identify in the video, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t do it – there are some edits where she could have thrown out her callsign. As long as she announced her intention to make test transmissions at the beginning, and every ten minutes during the tests, she’d be fine. Even if she didn’t, this is the sort of “technical foul” that most hams have committed at one time or another. If you want to claim you’ve never “kerchunked” a repeater or done a quick, anonymous tune-up into a dummy load, go ahead, but I won’t believe you.

      As for the RF risk, this is no worse than holding a 5-watt HT next to your head, and there’s no clear evidence that level of RF is hazardous.

      Fine business, Diana. Keep up the great work.

  4. Phillip Torrone says:

    @alan – thanks, i was about to post up something similar – thanks for saying what i was thinking (or trying to). @beakmyn – i ****’ed some of your comment, keep the body fluid in parade – type comments off the site :) thx!

  5. beakmyn says:

    Not trying to incite anything just want to make sure everything was on the level. Diana does a great job and I’ve enjoyed watching all of her videos on ham radio, especially on satellite tracking. It’s an excellent demonstration and it’s a great teaching tool for those that don’t understand RF.

    Granted the exposure is quite low, I should have said that it’s a great stepping off point as a way to discuss and demonstrate that hey if it can light a light bulb that same energy can do other things…

    This gives me a great idea. From the standpoint of a teaching tool, rather then dead key the mic why not take the concept further and use CW. Then come up with ways to decode the light back to letters.

    @Phillip I was wondering what happened there. I’ll keep G rated from now on.

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