Radio at Maker Space

Maker Space is a community owned and run workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne (see our about page).

The Maker Space Radio group initially formed around a shared interest in short range embedded devices and particularly LoRa which is one of the first readily available technologies to allow license free transmission over longer distances. Much experimentation and tinkering followed which naturally lead to an interest in other technologies with a number of members obtaining or dusting down amateur radio licenses as it became clear that this opened up the possibility of experimenting with bare board equipment such as Software Defined Radio boards and amateur DMR modems.

Part of our motivation came from experiences at London Hackspace and Edinburgh Hacklab who embraced the possibilities of the amateur radio spectrum before us and changes such as the being able to take exams remotely together with an general rebirth of interest in hacking up radio projects among wider electronics community provided further inspiration.

Some of our recent activities include:

  • Amateur Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) including repeater construction/operation. (yes three of us succeeded in scratch building the 2m duplexer!)
  • Amateur Packet (including APRS and APRS over 70cm LoRa)
  • LoRa / LoRaWAN
  • Amateur paging (POCSAG)
  • Home control and other ISM based tech including Zigbee/433MHz controllers
  • Software Defined Radio (mostly dongles, innovative boards and open technologies including GNU Radio and open hardware transceiver designs)
  • Radio Sonde (weather balloon) tracking
  • Quad flight control (including FPV)
  • Broadcast technologies (DAB)

In the Amateur (Ham) Radio sphere we operate a number of services covring the centre of Newcastle and Gateshead:

Brandmeister linked DMR repeater GB7MS (2m)

Brandmeister linked DMR repeater GB7XY (70cm)

DAPNET Pager service MB7PNE

APRS over LoRa (70cm) Gateway MB7UMS

While using DMR Makerspace members generally use the informal talk group 23564 .