Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
June 2022

In this issue...

A Note from John

John Hays K7VE headshotHi from the Pacific Northwest! I’m John Hays, K7VE, ARDC’s Outreach Manager.

I am grateful for all that amateur radio has provided me in my life. In the late 1970s, I discovered packet radio and experimented with packetized data communications. Later, I was able to be part of the early days of AMPRNet and became a regional address coordinator. Sending and receiving AX.25 and TCP/IP packets at 1200 baud with data traces helped me understand computer networking and succeed as an engineer.

In 2019, Brian Kantor, WB6CYT (SK), asked me to help ARDC in a new grant-making role. Unfortunately, we lost Brian shortly before I could start that work. Later, the board asked me to lead the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC), and I was chair of that committee until the end of last year. I am still on the committee as the staff liaison.

As ARDC’s Outreach Manager, I look for grant applicants who meet our primary and aspirational goals. I do this by managing ARDC’s presence at conventions and events, and by giving presentations both live and virtual. You might have seen me at Hamvention or SEA-PAC, and if you’re at Friedrichshafen or the TAPR Digital Communications Conference, you’ll see me there too!.

In short, my job is all about making contact. I am looking forward to making contact with more of you to discuss your great ideas and projects for our grants program.

We're Hiring a Director of Technology!

ARDC is looking for our next employee - Director of Technology (Tech Director) to develop a vision for and lead all of our technology efforts. These include: 

  • general SysAdmin (with an existing service provider),

  • grants management software development (with an existing service provider), and 

  • IPv4 network modernization and management. 

In addition to having solid technical knowledge and being an excellent manager, this person must also be an excellent communicator – able to write policy, wrangle volunteers, and manage open source technology development that includes both volunteers and contractors. They must also be familiar with amateur radio and, ideally, 44Net.

View the job posting and apply here.

Please share it with people you think would be a good fit.

2022 Round 2 Grants: Preliminary Report

We’ve completed reviewing the grant applications submitted during our second round in 2022. We had more than 50 applications this round—the most we’ve had to review at once so far! We anticipate awarding grants to about 50% of the applicants. The applications most likely to get the gold are the ones with strong design plans, local community involvement, and clear positive impact. We will be publishing more information about these grants in the coming weeks. For more information on how to make your grant application stand out, see What Makes a Good Proposal?

44Net Assessment Off to a Good Start

Our 44Net assessment project is off to a great start. We already have more than 500 responses to our survey. About 50% of the respondents are from the US, while about 25% of the respondents are from the Netherlands, Canada, U.K., and Australia.

The survey closes June 30. If you have not yet completed the survey, and have thoughts about 44Net and its future, please share them! And feel free to send the survey to anyone you think we should hear from. We want to hear from as many existing and potential new users as possible.

Once the survey is complete, we will be conducting interviews and focus groups to get more detailed information than the survey can provide.If you are interested in participating in the focus groups, please email

Results from the survey and focus groups will, of course, be shared publicly (personal information excluded) on our website. 

Community Meeting - Saturday, July 16 @ 1700 UTC

Join us for the next ARDC Community Meeting, which will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 1700 UTC (10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm GMT). Topics will include:

  • Grants awarded in the first half of 2022
  • 44Net Assessment
  • Search for a new Technology Director
  • Q&A

The meeting will take place via Zoom. Here’s how to join:

Meeting ID: 893 3989 1729
Passcode: ARDC

To join by phone, go to to find your local phone number.

ARDC at Hamvention

ARDC brought the whole staff and a couple of board members and volunteers to Hamvention, and we all had a blast. We were there all three days, and at times, our booth (see below) was quite busy. We spoke to a lot of great people, including current and potential grantees.

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) booth at Hamvention

We also took part in several forums:

  • John Hays, K7VE, Outreach Manager, was part of  the TAPR Forum on Friday.
  • Phil Karn, KA9Q, ARDC Board president, was a member of the panel discussing digital modes on Saturday. 
  • Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, spoke about having fun with Morse Code on Saturday.

Come see us at Friedrichshafen, DEFCON, HamXposition, GNU Radio Conference

ARDC is hitting the road this summer, and will be attending several other hamfests and conferences:

  • Ham Radio Friedrichshafen, Friedsricshafen, Germany, June 24-26, 2022. John Hays, K7VE, and Merideth Stroh, KK7BKI, plus several volunteers will be attending and would love to talk to you. We will be at booth A1-564.

  • DEF CON 30DEFCON 30, Las Vegas, NV, August 11-14, 2022. Dan Romanchik, KB6NU will be attending this event. We don’t have a booth, but Dan will be teaching a one-day Tech class in the Ham Radio Village. If you’d like to get in touch with us while we’re there, email, and we’ll set something up.

  • HamXposition 2022, Marlboro, MA, August 26-28, 2022. Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, will not only be attending this Boston-area hamfest, but will be teaching a one-day Tech class on Saturday, August 27, as well. We will have a booth at HamXposition, but we don’t yet have a booth number.

  • GNU Radio Conference (GRCon22), Washington, DC, September 26-30, 2022. We won’t have a table at GRCon, but Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, will be attending GRCon and conducting a study session for those who will be taking the Technician Class license test there. The date and time of the study session is tbd. If you’d like to talk to Dan while he’s there, email, and we’ll set something up.

Contact Us!

We want to hear from you:

Follow us on Twitter: @ardc_73.

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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