Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
August 2021

In this issue...

Rosy Schechter KJ7RYV headshotA Note from Rosy

August has been another month of grantmaking and growth for ARDC. I’m particularly delighted to announce that we’ve added two new members to our staff – John Hays, K7VE, and Merideth Stroh, who are joining as our Outreach Manager and Administrative Coordinator. Now that John is on board, we’ve been doing more outreach than ever – and we’re getting more grant requests, too. As of the writing of this message, ARDC has approved 20 grants for a total of just over $4 million in 2021 - and it feels like we’re just getting started!

Grant to bring students' ideas to life

California High School, San Ramon, CAIn June, ARDC awarded $9,950 to California High School in San Ramon, CA, to help teachers there incorporate the “maker mentality” into the curriculum. Using the grant, the high school will purchase a variety of microcontrollers, including Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and Micro:bits to enable students to bring their ideas to life. They will also purchase a variety of sensors, motors, tools, and other equipment to outfit their makerspace and enable students to learn by experimenting, tinkering, and building.

Grant allows club to move its microwave linking system to 5.8 GHz

In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s reallocation of the 3.5 GHz frequency band, the Ski Country Amateur Radio Club in Glenwood Springs, CO, applied for and was awarded a $3,561 grant to allow the club to reconstruct its microwave system using 5.8 GHz hardware. The club operates 10 repeaters, all digitally linked via this microwave system. Not only does the microwave system provide an excellent user experience, it has proven to be useful for emergency communications as well.

You can also see a full list of issued grants at

ARDC Welcomes Outreach Manager John Hays, K7VE, and Administrative Coordinator Merideth Stroh

John Hays K7VE headshotJohn Hays, K7VE, was introduced to amateur radio at an early age and was a shortwave listener before getting his Novice license (WN7WHV) in 1973. He now holds an Amateur Extra Class license, has taught license classes, and is a volunteer examiner. His interests in amateur radio tend toward the experimental side of the hobby. He was, for example, an early adopter of packet radio.

John enjoyed a long and successful career in IT. He ran a data center for the U.S. Space Command while serving in the Air Force, and worked for a series of computer companies including Apollo Computer, Hewlett Packard, and NeXT. John has also taught computer science for Northeastern University’s professional development program and is an accomplished public speaker.

John first joined ARDC as a volunteer, first serving on the Technical Advisory Committee.  He became chair of the Grants Advisory Committee in 2020 and is still the committee chair. He and his bride of nearly 37 years make their home in Kingston, WA.

Merideth Stroh KK7BKI headshot

Merideth Stroh is our new Administrative Coordinator. Born to a family with a history of ham radio, she is excited to dive into the amateur radio community at large. She has many fond memories from childhood of joining Saturday breakfast with the local Ham group.

After completing her Master’s degree at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Merideth served at Northeastern University where she managed cultural and academic programming for over 16,000 international students, the largest program of it’s kind in the United States. In any workplace, she has always been the “techie one” and enjoys learning and sharing technical knowledge.

Merideth brings a passion for travel, citizen diplomacy, and education. She’s also excited to explore her new home, having recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest.

Outreach report: QSO Today Expo, Huntsville, Hamcation

On the weekend of August 14-15, we participated in the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. During the Expo, the ARDC virtual booth was visited 3,524 times by 1,108 unique visitors. 232 visitors watched our video, 72 entered the lounge at some point, and there were 79 total clicks on our links. We met with several potential grantees and made some good contacts there.

A week later, we participated in the Huntsville Hamfest. We had originally planned to be there in force, with Rosy, John, and Dan attending, but as the date drew nearer, the staff decided to be safe and not attend in person due to rising COVID numbers. Board member Bob McGwier, N4HY – who already resides in Alabama – did attend.

If Huntsville taught us anything, it’s that the future is uncertain when it comes to in-person events in the COVID era. Nevertheless, we have our eyes on:  

And of course we will be participating in the 2021 TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), which will be online Sept. 17-19, 2021.

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Our Mission

The mission of Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is to support, promote, and enhance digital communication and broader communication science and technology, to promote amateur radio, scientific research, experimentation, education, development, open access, and innovation in information and communication technology.

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