I have working with 3D printing for about a month. I have burned through several kilos of the plastic filament that is used for the extrusion process. I have reviewed the process HERE in my Ramblin' Dan's Workshop so I am not going into details here in the ham radio blog.
There are thousands of ready to print files available on the internet free for use in 3D printing. Also a lot that can be purchased. I take advantage of the free ones when they fit my needs or are just something interesting. What I really enjoy is making my own 3D drawings from scratch.
I have several 3D CAD programs available here. The one I really like the best is called Rhinoceros or Rhino3D. Follow the link if you would like to know more about the software.
The call sign keyfob you see in the picture was designed in Rhino. Then exported as a 3D .stl (Standard Tessellation Language) file. It is one of the poorest but simple 3D graphic formats and is widely used in 3D printing called stereolithography. Pretty much the standard in 3D printing. and little else.
Of course I designed with my call sign. Look carefully (click to enlarge) and you will see the special feature under the call sign lettering.
The material used for this one is glow-in-the-dark PLA plastic. Rather ugly. I will do a couple more in solid colors.
In the picture is a ring I made with my amateur radio station call sign. You all know we identify personally with our calls.
My first call sign ring shown below was as big and gaudy as I could make it. I succeeded but it is uncomfortable to wear. It is too wide. This new one wears on the finger much better.
If any of my ham friends are interested in a personal design made by me, let me know. Each one is a one of a kind as the wax master goes away. The “lost” in lost wax casting.
Something like this small ring would be in the $50.00 price range. More complex like the fun skull ring shown would be higher. I made that for my adult son and it is the mascot for a band where he is the drummer.
Lead time varies. Let me know if you would like something special handcrafted for you.
|Just about as wide as my finger can handle||Those are radio waves on the underside.|
|It's called Chin's Mojo. My son's band ring.||The "reasonable" call sign ring, Ha!|
My highest interest at this point in over 45 years of amateur radio is in microwaves. I already know I can talk anywhere in the world on the HF bands. But talking is not my primary interest with amateur radio. I am more the techie guy who likes to create the equipment and make the hardware work.
The “microwaves” as I will simply call it, is still the builder’s delight. Almost no operational station comes as a single unit, RTR (ready to run) in a box that you plug into the wall socket. Some components may be off-the-shelf, like the primary IF transceiver. Many components are kits and scratch built. Microwaves are not an appliance operator’s vision of heaven.
I am becoming associated with the North Texas Microwave Society (NTMS) as I realize there is an extreme disadvantage to being a loner in trying to construct a microwave station. When it comes time to operate, much of the time the contacts are pre-arranged. It’s not like deep ocean fishing on the HF bands, where you throw out your baited line to see what bites. I think of it as a paintball game where the object is to let everyone know where you are so they can shoot at you. The goal in microwaves is to get hit as often as possible. Oh yeah, you get to shoot back as you both want to get paint on your shirt.
My activities for now will concentrate on design and construction of the hardware. I have no deadline (yet) such as an impending contest where I need to be operational. However that may influence the final push later on. As I write this in September, it is currently the second weekend of the 10GHz and above contest.
I believe I will need at least six months and maybe a year to get a fully operational station built. I intend to enjoy the construction as a major part of the effort, spreading cost and effort. This first build creating a 10 GHZ station is providing the basic components for expanding operations into many other VHF, UHF and microwave bands. There can be a long road ahead.
I was first licensed as a novice (WN8EHS) in 1969 in Boardman, Ohio. Special thanks to John Petrek, W8BNO (SK) who gave me my Novice test.
My receiver was a Hammarlund HQ-170-C (17 tubes, triple conversion) and my transmitter was a crystal controlled 75 watt Johnson Viking Challenger also using tubes. I’ll explain tubes someday…
Novice tickets in those days were only good for two years, non-renewable. You HAD to up-grade! So I did, to Advanced, and my call changed to WB8EHS in 1971. Also at that time you could not go directly to Extra from Novice. (Don't ask why.) You had to be a general or advanced for at least a year. A pencil geek decision at FCC for a few years.
Thanks to the FCC Vanity call sign program, I changed my call to W8EHS on October 1, 1997. Then again on January 28, 2000 I changed to my present call W5EHS as I am a permanent resident of Texas, USA
A New Blog
Definately a work in progress (WIP) this will be the location for all my activities in Amateur Radio and electronics experimemtaion. This is the first entry so there will be a lot more publishing coming.
I create and manage many websites and blogs. I have always combined my amateur radio activities into my other web publications. Here I have started a new web location where I will concentrate solely on my many activities in Amateur Radio, electronic construction projects and embeded computer applications.