Grant: Artisan’s Asylum RF Workstation

Date: May 2022
Amount: $11,781

The Electronics and Robotics shop of the Artisan’s Asylum has seven general-purpose workstations with soldering equipment, power supplies, and test equipment, in addition to a large stock of electronic components and subassemblies. Members have 24×7 access and work on individual and common projects. The shop offers a multi-week general electronics course along with specalized courses. The Artisans Asylum has a well equipped Electronics and Robotics shop that is suited both for teaching and to support members individual projects.

But, there is a large gap in equipment for radio frequency (RF) development, therefore radio projects aren’t usually imagined, and those members who have professional or personal experience working on radio circuits rarely have mentorship opportunities. Despite the fact that the Asylum and amateur radio community are both populated by makers, there is little current overlap.

This grant enables the Artisans’ Asylum to add equipment for RF development such as a spectrum analyzer, RF signal generator, an amateur radio transceiver, computer for digital modes, and a simple roof antenna. By adding such equipment, the shop can will be able to support the whole domain of radio and build bridges with the amateur radio community.

The shop leads all have extensive professional electronics design experience, and the RF Workstation will immediately be put to use by members who have ongoing projects using LoRa and other ISM radios. High quality test equipment will allow them improve the performance of their projects with ripple effects encouraging less experienced members to try radio projects. The addition of an amateur radio transceiver and antenna will open a new area for work by the handful of already licensed members and will likely inspire a wider interest in ham radio.

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