Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)
November 2023

In this issue...

Upcoming Community Deadlines and Notices

  • Seeking AMPRNet Wiki contributors in 2024! could use some updating, and we’re seeking volunteers who want to help. If you’re a current contributor or are interested in contributing, please email us at or join the ARDC Wiki subgroup.
  • Next Grant Application Deadline: The first deadline for submitting a grant application in 2024 is February 1. Applications received after this date will be reviewed after April 1, 2024 (no fooling!), so get your applications in now.
  • News: We have a new video up that provides a general walkthrough for how to get started on If you need help getting started, check it out!

Highlights from the October 2023 Grantee Gathering

We hosted our second Grantee Gathering on October 24, 2023. 66 participants joined us on Zoom to discuss tips, successes, and challenges regarding outreach and mentoring, all with the intention of learning from one another.

The meeting concluded with numerous valuable takeaways:

  • For engaging with youth and college students, the focus was on strategies that link hobbies or interests, such as space exploration, soldering, and / or understanding how a mobile phone works, to practical, radio-related projects. This approach aims to equip students with marketable skills for their future. In terms of marketing events, the group highlighted the effective use of technology, recommending listservs, social media, WhatsApp, and Eventbrite to get the word out.
  • Another recommendation for engagement and outreach included issuing a certificate to celebrate one getting on the air that includes QR codes on the back for more ways to learn and get involved with amateur radio.
  • Finally, the meeting highlighted the importance of collaborating with other groups with different areas of expertise to enhance their projects, such as working with a radio club that is more tech-heavy to help build and maintain a repeater.

The gathering was quite successful, and we plan to hold another gathering in the Spring of 2024. A big thank you to all of you that were able to join us for the Gathering!

Grantee Update: Visiting the SIGNALS Museum and the VBAS Planetarium and Observatories

Rebecca Key (KO4KVG) outside of K4MIE with members of the Radio Club of SIGNALS: Museum of Information Explosion. L to R: Chuck Lewis (N4NM), Rebecca Key (KO4KVG), Bob Ehresman (KV4PC), Wayne McCain (W4CQD), Bob De Pierre (K8KI).The Huntsville Hamfest, also known as ‘The World’s Friendliest Hamfest’, occurs in August of each year in Huntsville, AL. With this Hamfest – or any Hamfest for that matter – you can be sure to find an adjacent event that will pique your interest. This year, I (Rebecca, KO4KVG) experienced exactly that in Huntsville! SIGNALS: Museum of Information Explosion, expected to open in 2024, celebrates the history and evolution of communication technology. Funded by a grant from ARDC, they have made progress toward procuring, installing, and operating state-of-the-art equipment to supplement their historic and classic analog gear. This funding also included making upgrades to K4MIE, the museum’s ham shack. more…

ARDC Team Spotlight

In this month’s spotlight, we highlight GAC member Randy Wilkinson (W4LKS) and TAC member Dave Gingrich (K9DC).  

Randy Wilkinson (W4LKS)

Grants Advisory Committee (GAC) member Randy Wilkinson (W4LKS) conducting a D-STAR net on a Friday morning on the Washington State D-STAR reflector (REF035C)Randy comes to ARDC from Spokane, WA. He has been a ham for about 15 years and is completing his first year of service on the GAC. Randy says, “I get a lot of enjoyment serving on the GAC. We get to learn about some of the newest and best projects in ham radio and digital communications when they are in their infancy. It’s very satisfying to be involved with helping to provide funding for the most deserving projects.” Outside of ARDC, Randy is involved with the operation of his local club, the Washington Digital Radio Enthusiasts (WA7DRE), which specializes in D-STAR digital radio communications. WA7DRE runs a net every weekday morning on the Washington State D-STAR reflector (REF035C) at 7am PT, where Randy invites you to “come on over and say hello. All are welcome.” On their Friday morning net, you can be sure to hear a “Weekend, Hoooo!” from Randy himself, as he is the Friday net control host (see photo!). To learn more about Randy, be sure to check out his page on QRZ

Dave Gingrich (K9DC)

Dave Gingrich K9DC headshotA ham since the age of 12, Dave may only be finishing up his first year on the TAC, but he is no stranger to 44Net. A user since the 1980s, he served as the regional address coordinator in the 1990s for the state of Indiana, and since 2015, he has also been using the IP space for Internet Linking Radio Project (IRLP) repeaters. Given his ham radio interests, volunteering at ARDC was a natural fit for Dave upon his retirement. The TAC has made significant efforts in making 44Net accessible to the ham radio masses, and Dave cites this as the work he is the most proud of. Outside of ARDC, Dave helps folks all over the world install and maintain IRLP software on their repeaters. Additionally, he owns and operates four repeaters that provide great coverage around the Indianapolis metro area, which are all connected to the IRLP network. If you want to learn more about IRLP and you see Dave at the ARDC booth during a hamfest, ask him if he brought his portable IRLP Node that runs on 44Net: he’ll be happy to tell you all about it.

Thank you both for your contributions toward carrying out our mission at ARDC! 

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ARDC's 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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