Become an Original Member of HARC May 9

Next week Wednesday, May 9 is your chance to become an original member of HacDC’s Amateur Radio Club (HARC)! The club-within-a-club will be getting their ARRL paperwork signed, voting for club officers, and affirming their constitution and bylaws.

If that’s not enticing enough for you, HARC will also include Frank Hunleth and Bill Babson presenting on their Nerves project, which they host using a BeagleBone. What is Nerves, you ask? Nerves is an embedded Linux based environment for running Erlang, a programming language highly suited for communications applications requiring high availability. Their talk will explore uses in ham radio applications.

The meeting will begin at 7:30pm at HacDC. HARC encourages you to RSVP to the event on Meetup if you know you’re going to attend.

Posted in Uncategorized

HacDC Rocks SciFest

Last weekend, HacDC hosted a booth in the USA Science and Engineering Festival at the DC Convention Center. HacDC members who volunteered at the booth report that festival participants kept them plenty busy throughout the duration of the festival. Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

The HacDC booth demonstrated a variety of gadgets including a 3D Printer, the chassis of Spaceblimp 5 (or, “This lunchbox has been to space!”), a montage of beautiful Spaceblimp photos, a pen plotter writing portraits of people, various LED hacks, and a tank of water with a bubble ring generator.

A picture of our booth at the fest in case you missed it. Not quite the same, but we try.

I asked the volunteers and festival attendees to tell me about things they saw that they found particularly interesting:

  • Baby hacking, or in other words, how babies learn to distinguish speech sounds that are present within the language of their environment.
  • Ever want your own personal submarine? (Only if it comes with a periscope, right? Same here.) The Personal Submersibles Organization has one that is light enough that it can be carried on a trailer and lowered into the water on a ramp.
  • Extracting Banana DNA and wearing it on a necklace was a highlight.
  • As one member said, “There was probably something for every kind of geek.”

It sounds like everyone had a great time and we’re looking forward to attending more festivals in the future!

HacDC Amateur Radio Club Announces Speaker Jim Cross

HacDC’s Amateur Radio Club announces its first speaker, Jim Cross. Cross is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Maryland-District of Columbia Section Manager, and he will make a presentation on the ARRL and amateur radio communications in emergency response. The presentation will take place Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30pm at HacDC.

The ARRL is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA. ARRL is a non-profit organization, and is almost a hundred years old. The ARRL represents the interests of amateur radio operators before federal regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to amateur radio enthusiasts, supports a number of educational programs and sponsors emergency communications service throughout the country.

Amateur radio has consistently been the most reliable means of communications when other systems fail or are overloaded.  Jim will discuss the training, preparations and organizations in amateur emergency communications and how to get involved.

For more details, check out the event on Meetup.