The OV-D20 radio-club in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

Located close to the north-west border of the city, far from the popular districts, the D20 “Ortsverbände” of the national amateur radio club is certainly one of the most active grassroots tech clubs in Berlin.

As with many amateur radio clubs, the first thing you notice is that the average age is high. And they know how to appreciate vintage equipment. We can find, for example, a neat exhibition of electronic glassware.

And how about this “Made in DDR” transceiver?

The electronics lab comes with a mix of old (but does such stuff really get old?) and more modern equipment. Do not miss the SMD tools at the right – which were refreshing to see after I have been called “totally crazy” for hand-soldering a 0402 component on top of another in a well-known Berlin hackerspace. Phew, some people really need to catch up with technology.

There can be very interesting things being built there, such as this modified TV antenna that can now be used to… talk to AMSAT satellites and the ISS (yes, the space station) on the VHF band, using for example the APRS digital protocol. So… if you’re growing sick of being told about mediocre computer-controlled plastic extruders and microcontroller+LED kits, pay them a visit. It’s probably going to be worth the rather long travel time.

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