The 2001 Digital Communications Conference was challenged by the events of September 11, but despite all the disruptions about 70 hams gathered near Cincinnati for a conference that could hold its own on both technical content and camaraderie. Presentations ranged from introductory sessions on digital communications modes to a tutorial on using CirCAD schematic capture. Unfortunately, quite a few folks had to cancel due to travel problems, including the speaker for our planned Sunday morning seminar, and as a result we had to cancel that event. That was a real loss, but we hope to make up for it next year. Dr. Tony Curtis, K3RXK, was the keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet, and gave a spellbinding talk on the history of amateur satellite communication. He closed by polling the audience about whether hams should be looking toward an amateur installation on the moon, or on Mars! (My vote was for both.)
One of the DCC's highlights was having TenTec represented by Gary Barbour, AC4DL, and Allan Kaplan, W1AEL. Gary gave a presentation on Software Defined Radios from a manufacturer's perspective, and showed off TenTec's 526 2M/6M multimode rig, which is a true SDR with all receive and transmit signal processing handled in a DSP. TenTec clearly "gets it" and understands that SDR concepts not only offer lots of performance improvements, but also keep manufacturing costs down (when I saw the inside of the 526, I thought they hadn't finished building it --most of the box is empty space with all the components on two roomy circuit boards). TenTec has shown that SDR is a win-win situation for both manufacturers and consumers, and they're backing up their words with the recent announcement of the TenTec 516 QRP HF rig which uses the same SDR technology as the 526 (mine's already on order!).
So, despite the difficulties of last September, DCC 2001 was a resounding success. Which brings us to... DCC 2002. Next year's conference will be held in Denver, CO, on September 13-15, 2002.
September 21-23, 2001
The 2001 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference was held this past September 21-23 in Cincinnati, Ohio. With the tragic events of September 11th, TAPR seriously considered whether it was still appropriate or feasible to hold the Digital Communications Conference. Although we grieved with the whole world for the losses so many suffered, we believed it was important to show that terrorism would not succeed in making us change our way of life. The turn out was light consdiering the difficultly in air travel and a number of the international particiapnts decided not to attend. Approximately 70 people attended the half day APRS Seminar on Friday and the Main Papers Conference on Saturday. This was less than half the normal attendance at the yearly conference.
The conference concluded with a banquet Saturday night with a moving speech by Tony Curtis K3RXK entitled "40 Years of Amateur Radio in Space: Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We're Going."
The top two banquet prizes awarded:
- Kenwood TM-700A to Jay Craswell, W0VNE
- Ten-Tec HF/VHF SWR Bridge and Wattmeter Kit to Mel Whitten, K0PFX
The proceedings while maintaining its high quality of papers was a little thin this year. The conference hopes that authors keep in mind the annual deadline in June/July for papers.
The conference team would like to thank the particiapting local organizations:
- Greater Cinti Amateur Radio Assn.
- DIAL Radio Club
- Miami Valley FM Association
- Southwest Ohio Digital Symposium
Proceedings are available.
FridayThe big event on Friday was the APRS Symposium.
James Davis, KT4WX, Steve Dimse, K4HG, John Hansen, W2FS , and Byon Garrabrant, N6BG.
Ron Walther, W7AI and Tim Shepard, KD1KY in the middle with other conference attendees.
Anthony R. Curtis, Ph.D. speaking at the DCC 2001. The topic "40 Years of Amateur Radio in Space: Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We're Going."
Doug McKinney, KC3RL, Anthony R. Curtis, K3RXK, and Judith Curtis, WB3AIQ.
Laura Koster, new TAPR office manager with Hank Greeb, N8XX.
John Ackermann, N8UR, speaking during the conference.