It’s Back to School for KB6NU

Monday was my first session this year with the kids at the Ann Arbor Learning Center, a charter school here. At the end of school year in June, I was a bit frustrated that none of the kids had gotten their licenses. The teachers reassured me, though, that the kids would return in the fall, and that we could pick it up from where we left off.

I was a bit skeptical about this, but the kids did indeed return. A couple of them were missing–they had transferred to the public school–but the majority of them did return. More importantly, they seemed just as interested in learning as they were last year.

Over the summer, the family of an SK donated some equipment to the club, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get that set up at the school. They need to get the permission of the company that owns the building before we can erect an antenna. I’m hoping that permission will come soon.

I think the kids need constant exposure to the radios to keep them motivated. For the first session, I brought in the 2m transceiver and the HF transceiver, and they were all over it.

I’m also planning another construction project. This time I’m going to try a regenerative receiver. I’ll need to build one myself first, though.

And if this wasn’t enough to keep me busy, one of our club members has a daughter who’s attending another private school. She e-mailed me saying that this school was perhaps interested in donig something with ham radio. I’m already too busy, but opportunities like this are hard to pass up.


  1. Ronny, KC5EES says:

    I would love to see a photo of the regenerative receiver that you build (plans, if any would be good too). I’m always looking for good projects to do with kids, but haven’t had the time to create them myself. Like any good teacher, though, I’m willing to steal…errr…borrow good ideas. In an issue of QST, I saw a guy go into a school and build a Colpitt Oscillator and then send some code while kids listened on an AM radio in the parking lot. THAT is the kind of thing that will lock a kid into Amateur Radio/Electronics/Electrical Engineering (who knows what else) forever.

    Please share your lesson plans and experiences with the charter school kids. My wife is still waiting for school district to put the antenna up at my daughters’ school. If/when that happens, we might schedule a QSO with your kids and yours. That would at least show them how small the world really is.

    Keep up your Elmering work. It is probably the most valuable thing a ham can do.


    Ronny, KC5EES
    Austin, TX

  2. Dan KB6NU says:

    Hi, Ronny–

    I certainly will share my experience in building the regen receivers and the lesson plans here on my blog. I plan to get started on building a prototype of the regen receiver this week. (I think I finally have all the parts–I’ve just been lazy about getting around to it.)

    I’m still waiting for permission to erect an antenna at the middle school as well. The hangup is that the school doesn’t own the building and is waiting for the owners of building to decide whether or not they are going to allow it. It would be a real shame if they didn’t.

    I’ll keep up the good work if you do. :)

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