Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
July 2021

In this issue...

Rosy Schechter KJ7RYV headshotA Message from Rosy

Hello hello! It’s been a busy few months at ARDC - which you may be able to tell by the sheer volume of content in this newsletter. We’re growing our staff, have made our first international grant, and are starting to break into the world of in-person conferences, starting with Huntsville Hamfest. Keep reading to learn more! And no matter where you are, may your health be good and your frequencies uninterrupted.

Grant to DARC for European HAMNET Expansion & Q2 2021 Grant Highlights

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC)

ARDC is pleased to announce its first grant outside the U.S.: €163.400 issued to the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club e.V. (DARC) for expanding and securing the European HAMNET. This new DARC project will provide hardware for radio links that make use of the AMPRNet IP space in Europe.

“Amateur radio is a worldwide hobby, and ARDC has wanted to make international grants since day one,” says ARDC President Phil Karn. “One way we can do that is by partnering with international 501(c)(3) equivalents who are able to make grants in their region. That’s exactly what DARC will be doing with this grant – and their region encompasses all of Europe. We look forward to seeing what they do, and to engage in similar partnerships with other organizations outside the US.”

For more information, see the DARC press release.

Other grants awarded in Q2 include:

  • $1.62 million to save the iconic MIT Radome. This grant saved the MIT Radome, a fiberglass dome enclosing an 18-foot wide microwave dish. The radome was recently slated for removal following necessary repairs to the building’s roof.

  • $250,000 to the M17 Project, fiscally sponsored by the Open Research Institute. M17 is an international group of amateur radio operators developing a new digital radio protocol that will be easy to understand and build on. M17 includes both software and hardware designs that will be fully open source. 

  • $35,500 to the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC) to build an amateur radio station at the new Chrisman California Islands Center (CCIC) in downtown Carpinteria, California. The station will offer visitors a glimpse of island life through island webcams; vessel, aircraft and wildlife tracking; and other remote sensing technologies accessible over SBARC’s microwave data links. The station will also demonstrate amateur radio and wireless technologies in a modern and exciting way to visitors of all ages.

  • $82,000 to the Case Amateur Radio Club, allowing them to replace aging towers and antennas as well as continuing to serve the educational and research needs of Case Western University's faculty and staff. 

  • $8,300 to the University of Arizona Amateur Radio Club, which will allow them to purchase loaner radios for students and to enhance their club station's capabilities.

ARDC has also finished its first round of funding for amateur radio clubs, which you can read more about on our blog. You can also see a full list of issued grants at

ARDC Welcomes Grants Manager Chelsea Parraga, KF0FVJ, and Content Manager Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

In 2021, ARDC will be beefing up our staff, enhancing our ability to make grants, tell our story, engage in outreach, and so much more. We’ve so far  added two new staff members: Chelsea Parraga, KF0FVJ, and Dan Romanchik, KB6NU.

Chelsea Párraga KF0FVJ headshot

Chelsea Parraga, KF0FVJ, is ARDC’s  new Grants Manager. Chelsea comes from a family full of hams, as well as a background in both fundraising and grantmaking – most recently at History Colorado. Though she started only in May, has already brought a tremendous amount of expertise to ARDC, helping us to streamline our grantmaking, incorporate best practices, draft policy, and test our new grantmaking software. You can ask Chelsea a question any time by reaching out to

Dan Romanchik KB6NU headshotDan Romanchik, KB6NU, is our new Content Manager. Dan has been a radio geek ever since he turned on his grandparents' Philco console radio about age 10. He got his first license at age 16, then obtained a BSEE degree from the University of Detroit. After working as a test engineer for a dozen years or so, his career turned in a slightly different direction when he became Senior Technical Editor for Test & Measurement World magazine, a post he held for six years. After leaving the magazine, Dan was self-employed as a website developer and freelance writer. He blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com and self-publishes the No Nonsense amateur radio license study guides. He feels his biggest accomplishment has been helping thousands of people get their first amateur radio license or upgrade to General and Extra, either by reading his study guides or by attending the classes he teaches. He's very excited to now be working with ARDC and hopes that his work here will help even more people have fun with amateur radio. His main job will be to spread the word about ARDC and tell our story. He will also be helping us develop internal documentation.

Next ARDC community meeting: Saturday, July 24

The next ARDC Community Meeting will take place on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 1700Z (1 pm EDT, 10 am PDT, 1800 CET). We'll be discussing the grants we've made so far in 2021, including our first grant outside the U.S. to DARC for expansion of the European HamNet. We'll also introduce our new staff (see above), and take questions. More information, including the Zoom link, can be found here.

Hunstville HamfestSee us at the Huntsville Hamfest!

ARDC will be at the Huntsville Hamfest, Huntsville, AL, on Saturday, August 21, and Sunday, August 22.  Please come and see us! 


Case study: CVARC Uses ARDC Grant to Serve the Community, Promote Amateur Radio

Chip Eckardt, KD9OQI, Chippewa Valley Amateur Radio Club (CVARC) Treasurer, watching John Lindberg, AA9JL, CVARC President, mount a dish to a post at the Lake Hallie Water Tower

Chip Eckardt (KD9OQI, CVARC Treasurer, center) watching John Lindberg (AA9JL, CVARC President, right) mounting a dish to a post at the Lake Hallie Water Tower, the tallest structure in Chippewa County.

The Chippewa Valley Amateur Radio Club (CVARC) estimates that up to 30% of the Chippewa County (WI) has inadequate cell phone service. Should a disaster occur, large portions of the county could be without any communications. With ARDC’s help, the CVARC is upgrading their repeater system and building an emergency response trailer to provide communications in the field when needed. Keep reading.

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