Ham Radio Finally Jumps on the Maker Bandwagon

Over three years ago, I wrote that ham radio should do more to associate itself with the Maker movement. Well, it finally looks like it is going to do just that.

Just before the first of the year, the ARRL unveiled its DIY campaign. It mostly consists of the video below, but there’s also a flier designed to be a hand-out to go along with the video. A PowerPoint presentation and speaker’s notes also are available, as well as ‘Ask Why I DIY with Ham Radio’ buttons.

CQ  magazine is also jumping on the bandwagon. They recently annnounced that they will run a quarterly “Maker” column, written by Matt Stultz, KB3TAN. Stultz is the founder of “HackPittsburgh,” a “hackerspace” or community workshop for makers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been a ham since 2009 and has integrated amateur radio into many of HackPittsburgh’s activities.

Stultz’s first column, titled “We Are Makers,” will appear in the March issue of CQ. It provides a general introduction to the maker/hacker community for hams, as well as a description of a high-altitude balloon project that brought the two groups together in Pittsburgh.


  1. I think this is a great idea! Here in the Tampa Florida area, almost all Ham fests are combined with computer geeks. I guess I am a geek too, because I would be lost w/o my computer.

  2. They could see if they can get Diana Eng, KC2UHB, in on this. She did some ham radio related articles for Make’s blog a while back.

  3. Are you planning to bring the ARRL materials to the Detroit Maker Faire? We could even give regular presentations using the PowerPoint slides and presenter’s notes…

    • Dan KB6NU says:

      We’re having a meeting sometime soon to get organized for the Detroit Maker Faire. I’ll make sure that someone does bring those materials, if I don’t.

  4. Douglas L Datwyler, PE, IEEE WCP, WR7O says:

    I always thought hams were “makers”. I knew hams in the 70s who were making homebrew computers AND radios. I know Heathkit is dead (I enjoyed the kits), but kits are still “making”. So, when did hams quit being makers? Was is surface mount technology? Did computers make us not “makers”?

  5. It is my opinion and observation that amateur radio is the “original” maker community; ham radio operators were building their own equipment since the dawn of the radio science, and certainly since the early 1900s. Way before the current “trend” in the general population became “maker hobbyists”. Just because some of the amateur publications embrace the vogue “maker” trend, these publications do not trump history.

    73 de NW7US

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