Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
May/June 2023

In this issue...

A Note from Dan

Dan Romanchik KB6NU headshotI first made contact with ARDC by attending the February 2021 community meeting. At that meeting, Rosy KJ7RYV, our Executive Director, mentioned that one of the problems that they were having was that ARDC was not well-known yet in the amateur radio community, and as a result, they weren’t getting as many grant applications as they needed.

When I heard that, it occurred to me that with my writing and PR skills and my ham radio contacts, I could do just what ARDC needed to be done. I contacted Rosy, told her that she needed to hire me, and, to make a long story short, I became ARDC employee #3 in June 2021.

Now, nearly two years later, many more people know who we are, major amateur radio publications have published our articles and press releases, and we have appeared on many amateur radio podcasts and streaming video shows. And, we now receive many more grant applications than we can fund. I believe that I can claim success.

That being the case, now is the time for me to take up my next challenge. On May 31, I will be leaving ARDC.

What my next challenge will be I’m not sure yet, but I have plenty of projects to keep me busy:

  • I plan to continue publishing my “No Nonsense” license study guides and have a couple of ideas for new books as well.
  • I hope to teach more ham radio classes.
  • I’m going to continue to address the issues facing amateur radio on my blog, and I may start a podcast to reach even more people.
  • I’m exploring the possibility of starting an amateur radio business, or forming a partnership with an existing business, to produce some cool, new amateur radio products.

Heck, now that I’ll have more free time, I may even finally get around to learning how to use that antenna-modeling software I downloaded a couple years ago. 

I’ve always said that my mission is to help more people have more fun with amateur radio. No matter what my next challenge will be, you can be sure that is what I’m going to do.



PS My final act at ARDC was to help them launch an updated site. Check it out when you have a minute!

46 Applications Received by May 1

According to our Grants Manager, Chelsea KF0FVJ, we received 46 new grant applications by the May 1 deadline. The Grants Advisory Committee is already hard at work evaluating these applications. If you haven’t heard back from us yet about your application, please be patient. It takes approximately two to three months after this date for us to review all of the proposals.

There are two more application deadlines in 2023: July 1 and October 1. Applications received after October 1, 2023 (aside from scholarship programs) will be reviewed in 2024. We'll issue decisions about scholarship programs by the end of the year.

You can submit your application any time:

ARDC is Now on

Groups.ioFor a while now, ARDC grantees have asked us about opportunities to connect with, learn from, and support one another. Last month, we set up – a forum designed to do just that. 

  1. The main group is for announcements about ARDC.
  2. The community group is for topics of general interest. These may include discussions about ongoing projects, how to best apply for a grant, and discussions about the future of amateur radio.

To join the discussion, follow one of the links above and then click the Join This Group button. There, enter your email address, and you’re in! Come one, come all – we're excited to hear from you, and to foster supportive discussions with and for our community at!

Next ARDC Community Meeting, Saturday, July 15

Our next Community Meeting will take place on Saturday, July 15 at 10:00 am PDT / 1 pm EDT / 1700 GMT via Zoom. We’ll be discussing the ARDC Code of Conduct, our new vision statement, along with updates about our grants and work with 44Net. If you’re interested in attending, watch for an email invitation with the Zoom information.

Illustration of a group of people holding hands in a circle

Grants Aid Balloon Tracking, 4-H Youth

SondeHub is a global, crowdsourced meteorological and amateur radio weather balloon monitoring platform. Run by volunteers as a community service, the organization empowers a larger audience to get involved with amateur radio.

A $19,500 grant will help SondeHub to provide a global and free platform to support the tracking of amateur high-altitude balloon launches. The system displays telemetry from the balloon payloads, while also continuing to provide free services to assist in tracking and recovery of meteorological radiosondes.

Map depicting SondeHub, a global and free amateur radio weather balloon monitoring platform

The Sondehub website provides a global and free platform
to track amateur high-altitude balloon launches.

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the U.S. and has diversified beyond its farming roots to include STEM projects. The 56 Ranchers 4-H Club in Escondido, CA, is one such example. Their slogan is “learn by doing” and their motto is “to make the best better.” 

A $5,237 grant will make amateur radio an integral part of the 4-H program in Escondido, CA. Project leaders will guide participants from diverse backgrounds through detailed engineering discussions and hands-on activities. The program will introduce many topics covered in the Technician Class question pool, and there will be opportunities to attend exam study sessions at the end of the year.

Come See Us at Hamvention, NANOG 88, SEA-PAC, HAM RADIO Friedsrichshafe

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Board member Ria Jairam N2RJ at Hamvention with Desiree Baccus N3DEZ, an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) ARDC Scholarship recipientA number of us attended Hamvention this year, and we all had a blast. This year, we were joined by our newest board member, Ria Jairam, N2RJ. In the photo at right, Ria is joined by Desiree Baccus, N3DEZ, one of our ARRL Scholarship recipients. Desiree’s scholarship enabled her to quit her full-time job and devote more time to her studies. She graduated this spring with a degree in Business Administration and Project Management. “Your scholarship changed my life!” she said.

Desiree was one of many scholarship winners and grantees that stopped by the booth to thank us for the work we’re doing. It’s this kind of feedback that makes it all worthwhile.

Recently, we've also attended:

  • SEA-PAC, 2-4 June, 2023, Seaside, Oregon.
  • NANOG 88, June 12-14, 2023. Seattle, WA.

And you can find us here soon:

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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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