Sage Advice for the New Ham

If you’re on the edge about getting your amateur radio license, just go do it and worry about the details later. But once you’ve done that, you’re going to need to know a little bit about the established culture and practices of the modern ham — the details.

Toward that end, [McSteve] has written up a (so far) two-part introductory series about ham radio. His first article is fairly general, and lays out many of the traditional applications of ham radio: chatting with other humans using the old-fashioned analog modes. You know, radio stuff.

The second article focuses more on using repeaters. Repeaters can be a confusing topic for new radio operators: there are two frequencies — one for transmitting and one for receiving — and funny control tones (CTCSS) etc. This article is particularly useful for the new ham, because you’re likely to have a relatively low powered radio that would gain the most from using a repeater, and because the technology and traditions of repeater usage are a bit arcane.

So if you’re thinking about getting your license, do it already. And then read through these two pages and you’re good to go. We can’t wait to see what [McSteve] writes up next.

Hackerspace intros: egMakerSpace in East Gippsland Australia

[Scott Lambshed] took some time to shoot a video tour of egMakerSpace’s new digs. This hackerspace is located in East Gippsland Australia, which is to the East from Melbourne. We know the banner image we chose isn’t all that descriptive, but just look at all of that space! They’ve got a bounty of rooms to use for everything from crafts, to machine/wood shop, to retro computing. There’s even a nice outdoor patio area which was a bit overgrown to start with but cleanup has already begun.

The group is just getting moved into what must have been an old hospital or school. Aside from some network infrastructure, a room full of couches, and a few tools, there’s not a lot in place yet. But one thing that is already looking quite good is their horde of electronics components. The latter half of the video shows boxes, bins, trays, and tackle boxes full of goodies just waiting to make it onto the next protoboard project.

[Scott] is hoping to get the word out in the area about egMakerSpace, and that’s exactly what these introductions are for. So grab you favorite video capture device and send us your own local hackerspace tour.

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AVR Programming 01: Introduction

We love looking at hardcore electronics projects with a beefy microcontroller and hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of code at its center. But everyone needs to get there somehow.

This tutorial series aims to make you comfortable programming the Atmel AVR line of microcontrollers. Whether you’ve never touched a microcontroller before, or you’ve cut your teeth with dozens of Arduino projects, this will help you get right down to the hardware and give you the confidence to build anything.

Series roadmap:

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