Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
December 2021

In this issue...

A Note from Rosy

Rosy Schechter KJ7RYV headshotWelcome to the end of 2021! As we wrap up this year, I have to say that I’m incredibly proud of our staff and volunteers and all the work we’ve done. Though our grantmaking started off slow, we’re ending the year with a bang – more than doubling our giving from 2020. There will be more to say early next year when we release our 2021 report, after giving our team a well-deserved holiday break. In the meantime, check out some of what we’ve been up to in the last month, and have a very happy holiday season!

Happy Holidays

ARDC Closed for the Holidays

ARDC will close for the year at 4 p.m. PST on Friday, December 17, 2021, and be back on Monday, January 3, 2022. We hope you all have a great holiday and are looking forward to making 2022 even more awesome than 2021!

ARDC Grants Total More Than $8M in 2021

Though we’ll report on the final numbers in Jan. 2022, ARDC is on track to award at least $8 million to over 50 grants in 2021. This year, we’re delighted to share that we've awarded grants to: 

  • Amateur radio project, such as club stations, improving repeater systems, and emergency communications trailers. For example, Rocky Mountain Ham Radio received a grant to expand their 5 GHz microwave network and build a couple of communications trailers. Another great example is the Make Operating Radio Easier (MORE) Project, which aims not only to train and license 500 new amateurs over the next two years, but also reduce both gender and age imbalances in ham radio.

  • Scholarship projects at ARRL, Society of Women Engineers, and OMIK, with the goal of promoting amateur radio and increasing diversity in engineering.

  • Digital communications research projects that promote amateur radio and advance digital communications technology. A grant to UCLA, for example, will allow researchers to demonstrate how to use off-the-shelf amateur radios to access and control commodity narrow-band, Internet of Things (NB- IoT) devices.

And, that's just the start! Stay tuned for our 2021 Annual Report, which will be published in early 2022, for a more detailed breakdown.

ARDC Grant to Address Gender and Diversity Imbalances in Engineering

Olin Satellite + Spectrum Technology & Policy (OSSTP) GroupThe Olin Satellite + Spectrum Technology & Policy Group (OSSTP) was founded in June 2020 by Professor Whitney Lohmeyer and six undergraduate students at Olin College of Engineering, Needhams, MA. Working alongside the Olin Collegiate Amateur Radio Club (OCARC), its mission is to provide real-world, project-based learning through apprentice-style education and graduate level research to all interested students.

A primary focus of OSSTP’s work is enabling access to underrepresented communities and motivating students to participate in amateur radio and undergraduate research in satellite / wireless communications and spectrum policy research. That being the case, a portion of the ARDC grant will support a team of student researchers who are making teaching materials more accessible. A second portion of the grant will fund the design and construction of a UHF ground station that OCARC will use for satellite communications and amateur radio communication in the 70 cm band. 

The third portion of the grant will fund important enhancements to the OSSTP lab. This includes funding a Lab Manager and post-doctoral student to support the lab’s work, scholarships for two ARDC Fellows, lab supplies such as RF components, and attendance for 10 lab members at satellite conferences.

$50k Grant to Allow OMIK to Expand Scholarship Program

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky (OMIK) Amateur Radio Association, Inc.To deal with discrimination and to assist Black travelers with information on places where they could eat and lodge, the OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc., was founded on August 17, 1952 by Black hams in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. Because membership in many other ham organizations was denied, a Black ham organization – with its own nets and other activities – was clearly needed. Over the years, OMIK has grown and become an international, multi-racial, multicultural organization. 

The mission of the OMIK Scholarship fund is to encourage and motivate youth to continue postsecondary education and to assist in the growth of amateur radio. This grant will support the activities of the OMIK Scholarship Fund, including awarding up to 10 scholarships of $5,000 each, providing winners with ham radio starter kits,and hosting 2 Amateur Radio School Days classes.

ARDC Out and About in 2022: coming to Hamcation, QSO Today Virtual Expo, and Hamvention

Assuming the world doesn’t get taken over by Omicron (or another letter of the Greek alphabet), ARDC will be out and about in 2022! Here’s where we’re slated to go so far next year: 

  • Hamcation, Orlando, FL, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 - Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. Booth 186 in the North Hall. John Hays, K7VE, will be giving the talk, Amateur Radio Digital Communications - Grants and the Amateur Radio Internet on Friday, February 11, at 1:45 pm in CS1. Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is scheduled to talk about Having Fun with Morse Code on Friday, February 11, at 3:15 pm in CS4.

If you’ll be attending one of these events, please stop by our booth to find out more about ARDC, how to apply for a grant, and maybe pick up some ARDC swag.

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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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