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Ham Radio Science Projects

posted Oct 25, 2009, 7:27 PM by Gordon Hanson   [ updated Oct 25, 2009, 8:06 PM ]
Two youth members of our Boy Scout Venture Crew created amatuer radio science projects that were eligible for inclusion in the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.Emily Blosberg, KD0CHA, and Matt Oen,KD0DKM, qulified through local and regional science fairs to participate in the 2009 Minnesota State Science Fair.

Emily's science project was titled "Amateur Radio vs Cell Phone - Which is Better in an Emergency". Her project abstract follows:
“The purpose of my science fair project was to compare the reliability of cell phones and amateur radio.  I did this by sending out letters to friends and family asking them to tell me of a time and place when they lost their amateur radio/cell phone signal.  To further test my experiment, my parents and I drove around town to see where we had no cell phone signal, and to see if I had an amateur radio signal.  My results showed that more cell phone owners were able to tell me of a place that they had no signal than amateur radio operators.  I had the same results when my parents and I went out to find areas where cell phones and amateur radios might have limited or no coverage at all.  I really enjoyed working on this project and look forward to doing it again soon.”

Matt's science project was titled "Strength of Waves". His project abstract follows:
    "The reason why I did my experiment is because I am a ham radio operator and I some times operate on 40 to 60 meter bands when I am able. Sometimes I can reach farther on other metered bands then others, so I was wondering which bands worked better and when. With this information I would use it to help me with competitions and other things. I found that 160 meters is the best and 20 meters did the worst. I also found that during the day everything was better to receive. So from 160 meters it got progressively worse down to the 20 meters. So I accepted that 160 meters did the best in both day and night and every thing did better during the day. During the day everything was up at least half a point.
    I put the receiver by a window and taped the antennae to the wall next to the window. Then I would plug it in and use the mega hertz and the kilohertz dials to find some one talking and I would record how well they came in using a signal strength meter. A signal strength meter is a meter on the radio that says how well you are receiving a signal."