Maker SIG

Makers Special Interest Group

The Maker group like to build things, measure things, test things or sometimes blow things up! (but then to repair them).

David VK4ZF showing up to use an instrument

The group is lead by David VK4ZF, who has many years experience in the electrical industry in a training management role. David extensively builds pieces of instrumentation, radio decoders and is very active in satellite communications.

The group runs training classes and group kit building exercises. Of course none of our soldering skills are quite up to the expected standards, and David often helps us to improve our skill. Surface mount electronic components are tiny and often need special equipment to solder. We design the PCBs and have the equipment!

Placing Surface-mount components before reflow-soldering

The maker group dabbles in software and the latest technology using Raspberry Pi’s and computer languages.

Some of the projects we have undertaken include APRS tracking module constructions and a homebrew lightning detector. All these projects are collaborative efforts with many of the group utilising the complete units at their home stations.

VK4BUD’s Antenna Rotator Project

Henry, VK4BUD presented his own design of Antenna Rotator at a recent BDARS “Tech Night”. The design is based upon an Arduino® controller, a two line LCD display, and uses off-the shelf hardware parts from local hardware stores.

The rotator controller also displays the antenna azimuth on a PC screen.

Henry has kindly given permission to place the design in the public domain should anyone wish to replicate his work. The design document and associated photographs are copyright Henry VK4BUD and should not be reproduced or modified without permission. The design is posted here without any warranty, and is not guaranteed to be error free . Henry and BDARS disclaim any risk or liability from any use of the design – use is entirely at the users own risk and liability.

ARDUINO registered design and design-marks acknowledged

Attached below is the design document as a .pdf file.

Homebrew Lightning Detector

This project was an experiment to provide low cost networked lightning detectors for club members to deploy to see if we could determine the location of lightning strikes in the local Bayside area to an accuracy of less than 200m.

More details about the project are here

An early prototype showing the green custom PCB
The Homebrew Lightning Detector

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