It seems pretty clear that RF circuit design is something I’m moving towards pretty quickly, so when Hackaday posted Michael Ossmann’s talk on the subject it seemed a pretty obvious thing to watch and was quickly added to my YouTube “Watch Later” list. I expected to enjoy his talk because I’ve seen another he did at a QRP group sharing his projects and views on the future of home brew. He generally embodies what I imagine a maker ham to look like.
I did leave wondering what the older home brewers might think of his talk. Certainly the body of work from Frank Harris (K0IYE) varies dramatically from what Ossmann is doing. I also understand that Pete Juliano and Bill Meara of the Solder Smoke Podcast work entirely differently. The most glaring example of this is that Michael Ossmann suggest using as integrated a part as possible while any of the other fellows I mentioned certainly avoid that and work from copper clad board instead of ordering designs from a manufacturer.
I’m fairly certain no ill-will exist between these guys. I get a general attitude that there is plenty of room for everyone from all sides, but I wonder if there is a distinction to be made between a maker in ham radio and a home brewer. Perhaps a home brewer is enthralled with working with the most simple parts practical, even to the point of collecting rocks from the mountains of Colorado like Frank Harris. Perhaps a ham maker is then someone looking to create first and explore and learn second; therefore, quite willing to accept a module or IC that does exactly what they want instead of making it themselves.
So that left me with a question. Which one am I looking to be? I’m not sure at this point. While I think about it, watch the video and share your own thoughts.