Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.
Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, included noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the design moves closer to fruition.
The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can clear the infection. The software design team is also adding simple features such as an LCD display, encoders to choose parameters, and watchdog safety features. — Thanks to Gordon Gibby, KX4Z and the ARRL Website.
As a result of the current coronavirus pandemic, in common with other Scouting activities, the Radio Club has been suspended until further notice.
To enable you to keep up to date on the current coronavirus situation, the Scout Organization have created a new webpage. scouts.org.uk/coronavirus where you can find all the latest updates for Scout members.
The 32nd G&D Scout Group were at the Scout Radio Club last night to work on their Communicators Badge. They completed a range of radio related activities that included sending a greetings message over the airwaves, an introduction to Morse code, the Phonetic Alphabet, radio wave propagation, the rules covering the use of Amateur Radio and how to log and report radio reception. They also tried their hand at coding and decoding “secret” messages using the Scout Code Wheel.
At the end of the evening all the participants had completed the required work and were awarded their Communicators Badge. Feedback from the Group members and their leader indicated that everyone had a lot of fun and enjoyed the experience.
The District Radio Team were delighted to be invited to Lapwing Lodge to provide some communications activities for the 47th G&D Beaver Scouts who were having an away camp at the Lodge. The Beavers were able to send greetings messages using Amateur Radio, solve code puzzles using the Beaver Secret Code and play a specially developed QR Code Game using smart phones. All this in addition to the activities provided by the Camp staff.