Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.652.1 - 9.652.9
Ham Radio and Engineering Education Michael Batchelder, Keith Whites, Susan Gasper ECE Department South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Abstract If you still think of amateur radio as just communication by Morse code, you are out of date. In addition to Morse code (CW) and voice (AM, FM, and SSB), image modes (SSTV, FSTV. FAX), various digital modes (RTTY, AMTOR, PACTOR, G-TOR, CLOVER, and PSK-31), packet networking modes (APRS, AX.25), and even spread spectrum modes are available for providing a means of enlivening classroom theory and laboratory experience. It is even possible to link amateur radio voice communications, using VoIP, on the Internet (IRLP). Besides being appropriate to circuits, communications, electronics, transmission lines, and antenna courses, other areas such as networking, digital signal processing, embedded computer systems, telemetry and instrumentation can benefit from developing interest in amateur radio.
At SDSM&T, amateur radio is being used many places in the curriculum. In a first year introduction to engineering class, students launch a high altitude balloon and return data via packet radio. The solar car team uses packet radio to send telemetry data on the 2 meter band to the pit area or chase car while communicating to the driver on the 70 cm band using the same radio. The second semester electronics class builds a 40 meter CW transceiver in the lab while studying rf and electronics theory in class. The microprocessor systems design class builds a system for generating and decoding Morse code. The computer networking class investigates the AX.25 packet protocol. A student and faculty team built the data acquisition and control system that flew on the Starshine 3 satellite returning data on the 2 meter band using APRS packets.
Most of the educational benefits of amateur radio are available with the easy to acquire Technician license that requires passing a multiple-choice test with no Morse code. Most campuses have an amateur radio club available as an enthusiastic resource. In addition to the educational benefits to the student, amateur radio also provides benefits of life-long learning by keeping abreast of technology with this enjoyable hobby.
The US government began licensing amateur (ham) radio operators in 1912 to provide for backup emergency communications in times of need, to advance technical knowledge, and to enhance international goodwill. Ham radio has continued as a popular
“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ASEE 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”
Gasper, S., & Whites, K., & Batchelder, M. (2004, June), Ham Radio And Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/14097
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