On Saturday, May 6, 2023, I was joined by Joe AC8ES, Ed KC1DYK, James AE8JF, and Ralph AA8RK at the Ann Arbor Creativity and Making Expo (AACME). Formerly called the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire, this is the first post-pandemic instance of this event.

From L to R: interested attendee, Ed KC1DYK, Joe AC8ES, Dan KB6NU, James AE8JF, another interested attendee. Photo: Ralph AA8RK.

While the number of exhibitors and attendees was down from 2019, I think everyone had a great time. In addition to ARROW, exhibitors included:

  • Skyline High Robotics Team
  • Maker Works
  • All Hands Active Makerspace
  • Retro Computing SIG

and several others. There was even a woman there doing some creative upholstering.

We had a couple of interesting things to show people:

  • Joe, AC8ES, brought his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna project.
  • Ed, KC1DYK, brought a nanoVNA and the coil and variable capacitor that he built from a soda can.
  • I brought my assortment of keys and code practice oscillators to demonstrate Morse Code and got many of the attendees to send me their names in code.

Joe, AC8ES, demonstrating his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna. Photo: Lisa Giannati Photography.

I also brought my KX-3, and we set up the 40m/20m inverted-vee antenna out in the courtyard.

Ed, KC1DYK, tossing a line up into a tree so that we could raise the inverted-vee antenna. Photo: Joe AC8ES

Unfortunately, band conditions weren’t all that great, so we didn’t make a lot of contacts. Also, being so close to the building probably didn’t help.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was meeting one particularly smart high school student. She came up to our table, just as we began packing up. As it turned out, she had either just completed, or was working on an antenna similar to Joe’s. We gave her the spiel on ham radio, and I think we convinced her to get her Tech license. I’m also going to try to get her to come to Field Day.

Thanks to all who attended and all who helped out with the event.