Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
March 2022

In this issue...

A Note from Dan

Dan Romanchik KB6NU headshot

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, and I’m the Communications Manager here at ARDC. My job here is to tell the ARDC story – to those of you who are already  in the ARDC community, to the wider amateur radio community, and to the world at large. 

In many ways, this is a dream job for me. I have been a writer and editor for the past 30 years and a ham for even longer than that. And, working for ARDC and telling our story has been a real pleasure. Please feel free to contact me at if you think there’s an ARDC story that needs telling, or if I can help you tell your story.

$250k grant will enable engineers, researchers, and students better visualize electromagnetic fields

Microwave antennas are becoming increasingly difficult to design, optimize and calibrate as they become fully integrated with amplifiers for beam-steerable antennas. A $250,000 grant to the Colorado School of Mines (aka “Mines”) seeks to improve the way engineers, researchers, and students design microwave antennas by allowing them to better visualize electromagnetic fields surrounding and within the circuit. The key is developing magneto-optical probing methods to measure the magnetic fields.

This grant makes it possible for Mines to develop this technique and establish a new electromagnetic field imaging center. The center will have an integrated electro-magneto-optical measurement system that will not only enable microwave designers to design better antenna systems, but also help them optimize high-frequency circuit designs using meta-materials and improve waveform engineering. The ARDC grant will be used for equipment purchases and to hire a student PhD researcher who will be awarded an ARDC Fellowship.

44Net assessment under way

“Legitimately stoked!” That’s how Rosy Schechter, KJ7RYV, ARDC Executive Director, described how she feels about the recently started 44Net Assessment. 44Net is a precious resource, and there are many ideas for how to use and organize it going forward. Before engineering a solution, we need data about its current state, which is where the assessment comes into play. 

ARDC has hired the consulting company, TwoP, to manage the assessment, asking questions like:

  • How much of the 44Net address space is currently being used and who is using it?
  • Why aren’t more amateur radio operators using 44Net? What are the pain points or challenges to using these resources?
  • What would make 44Net more usable in the future? 

With this information, we can make better decisions on how we can improve 44Net and how to best invest in it, in terms of both staffing and technical operations. Stated otherwise, this work will make us better stewards of 44Net.

The majority of this work will happen March through May of 2022, with a full report to be published shortly after. Keep an eye on the blog and 44Net mailing list for opportunities to participate. Please reach out to with any questions.

Disclosure: TwoP is a consulting firm run by Tim Pozar, who is a member of our TAC. His business partner, Matt, will be running the assessment.

ARDC working on Code of Conduct - give us your thoughts!

ARDC is currently developing a code of conduct. A good code of conduct not only sets the benchmark for professional behavior, it also clarifies an organization’s values and principles. Having a code of conduct is important to us because we want ARDC to be a harassment-free zone that is inviting to everyone and to have a clear path for dealing with misconduct on our mailing lists, forums, and other events.

To help us discover what is important to you, our community, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to complete this online survey. Your answers will help our code of conduct be the best that it possibly can be.


ARDC attends (virtually) the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Amateur Radio Digital Communications' (ARDCs) virtual booth at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

ARDC’s virtual booth at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo overlooking
the virtual ocean. Actual ARDC representative not shown.

John, K7VE, and Dan, KB6NU, worked the booth at the March 2022 QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. Several dozen people stopped by the booth and spoke with John, Dan, and ARDC President, Phil Karn, KA9Q. Some thanked us for the work we’re doing, while others were interested in learning more about ARDC and our grant program. We’re expecting that some of these conversations will turn into grant applications in the months ahead.

Come see us at Hamvention

We’re bringing the whole staff (as well as many board members) to Dayton for Hamvention, in Xenia, OH, May 20-22, 2022. We’ll be at booth 1302 in the Maxim Building, Building 1. If you’ve ever been to Hamvention, you know what a busy time it can be. To make sure that you get to talk to one of us while we are there, please contact us at so we can set up an appointment.

Contact us!

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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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