ARVN: Amateur Radio//Video news ARVN Presents the

2011 Digital
Communications Conference

Watch it all, right here
voluntary contribution requested

The 2012 DCC will be part of our podcast series

The 2011 DCC was a three-day conference held in September in Baltimore, featuring seventeen presentations from hams on the leading edge of digital communication and experimentation, and four introductory sessions.

You can watch any and all of the programs - full length and in high-definition video - using the links below.  

Arvin, the ARVN MascotYou can play the videos anytime for free, but ARVN is asking a voluntary contribution (minimim $1.50). We suggest between $1.50 and $3.00 per program, but it's really whatever you think they're worth. Of course, if enough people find that amount is zero, we'll keep that in mind when it's time to produce the next series of programs. DVD info is coming. We've been concentrating on getting the web versions up.

The DCC is best experienced "live and in person." There's a lot of interaction during breaks, before and after the talks, in the demo room, and at meals — and you get to be the one asking questions. I encourage you to go if you can. These videos give you the talks, but not the complete context. I want to thank the ARRL and TAPR, and each presenter, for giving me the opportunity to capture and present the DCC on video - Gary KN4AQ.

Here are the videos, in order of their presentation at the DCC

Welcome to the DCC
This page has DCC Chairman (and TAPR President) Steve Bible N7HPR's welcoming comments and introductions. I've also included a video of Steve's informal comments to the group on how to 'grow' the DCC.

Intro Sessions
Four "Introductory" sessions, held separately from the main sessions, on Saturday:
  • Intro to Digital Data Modes. George Heron N2APB.
  • Intro to HF Digital Voice: Mel Whitten K0PFX.
  • Intro to D-Star Digital Voice & Data: Mark Braunstein WA4KFZ.
  • Intro to APRS: Bob Bruninga WB4APR. And we'll be honest with you – it's not the 'Intro' you're looking for, where Bob tells you exactly how to get started and use APRS. It's of an overview. You'll learn a lot, but maybe not what you're looking for.

HPSDR Update
Scotty Cowling WA2DFI leads off the DCC with an update on all the modules that make up the open source High Performance Software Defined Radio initiative.

ARISSat-1 Update
SuitSat-2 lost its suit (not enough space in space), so, as Steve Bible N7HPR explains, the equipment was repackaged into a more conventional satellite, dubbed ARISSat-1. A cosmonaut pushed the satellite out the back door of the ISS in 2011, and it's been working well. SuitSat-1 was just a beacon, but ARISSat-1 has transponders and experiments. Steve details how it was planned, built, and launched.

Really? Use an off the shelf smart phone as the guts of a satellite? Yep, that's what Mike Safyan KJ6MVL is doing over at NASA. Way cheaper and more powerful than the processors usually used in satellites, but will they hold up to the rigors of space? So far (edge-of-space balloon and small rocket testing) the answer is a surprising yes.

This is one of three APRS talks that Bob Bruninga WB4APR gave at the DCC.  He also has an 'Intro' talk, and he's a big part of the Sunday Seminar. They all come from what we'll lovingly call Bob's fertile and fevered brain. And honestly, all the talks cover much of the same territory. But they each have something unique, too. They move so fast that the repition doesn't hurt. If you're into APRS it's worth eventually watching it all.

CW Mode for the NUE PSK Modem
The NUE PSK Modem is a little, self-contained box for operating PSK without a computer — great for QRP in the field. Now, it does CW! George Heron N2APB and Dave Collins AD7JT tell how how they did it.

This video comes in two parts, one for Transmitting, and one for Receiving.

Catastrophic Communication:
Which Ditgital Mode Would YOU Use?

Curt Bartholomew N3GQ works for the FCC, and he's very wrapped up in the Emergency Communications aspect of Amateur Radio. Here he talks about using digital modes in Amateur Radio Emcomm.

WRC-12 and SDR/Cognitive Radio
For better or worse, Amateur Radio exists in a worldwide regulatory environment. To continue to exist, Amateur Radio must participate in the 'politics' that shape that environment. Part of that is the World Regulatory Conference (WRC) held every few years. 2012 is one of those years.

Of specific interest to TAPR members and SDR fans is WRC-12 Agenda Item 1.19: Regulatory Considerations for Software Defined and Cognitive Radio Systems. The ARRL's Brennan Price N4QX told the DCC how this works (and how it doesn't).

Bluetooth for Microcontroller Circuits
John Hansen W2FS keeps looking for ways to get rid of those pesky wires.This time he details using Bluetooth to talk between a computer and other devices (especially his TNCX product). And he tells you how Bluetooth got its name.

FlexRadio Update
Bob McGwire N4HY reviews the recent developments in the Flex SDR radios, both Amateur and commercial. They've been busy indeed!

Digital Amateur Television
A Lower Cost
Approach to DATV

Broadcast television went all digital in the US in 2009. Amateur Radio fast-scan television isn't required to switch to digital, but there are some advantages to doing it. The primary downside is cost. DATVexpress addresses that issue.  Ken Konechy W6HHC and Charles Brain G4GUO collaborate over WebMeeting and Skype to make this remote presentation on the state of Digital ATV.

FUNcube Dongle — Amateur Radio from
Kitchen Counter to Mass Production

The FUNcube Dongle is a SDR receiver on a USB Dongle. Howard Long G6VLB traveled to the DCC from London to address the group on this project. He details the trials and tribulations behind designing and marketing what turned out to be an extremely popular product.

The primary aim of the FUNcube Dongle is to interest young students in science, satellites and radio. The FUNcube itself is a satellite that will be launched specifically to be monitored by all those dongles that Howard has sold.

Practical Digital Radios and
Dealing with Non-Ideal Components

Matt Ettus N2MJI gave one of the more technical talks (ie. I didn't understand a thing he said) about Why Things Don't Always Match the Textbooks in SDR. You will learn a lot! Matt is from the GNU Radio Project. He designed and sells the USRP SDR kits.

Open source speech coding
at 2400 bit/s and below

David Rowe VK5DGR has been working on an open-source, low bit-rate CODEC for Digital Voice for Amateur Radio.It's in Alpha testing, and works pretty well, as he detailed it before the 2011 ARRL/TAPR DCC. David traveled 30 hours from his home in Australia to attend the DCC. (He also gave the Saturday Banquet presentation on The Village Telco).

Saturday Banquet — The Village Telco
In East Timore, there is no local phone service to speak of. Most people have cell phones, but they can't afford to use them. That costs 25 cents per minute, for people who earn about a buck and a half per day. That situation is duplicated in developing nations around the world.

Australian Amateur Radio Operator David Rowe VK5DGR is part of a group that's trying to change it. They've engineered a local phone system that's cheap to install and almost free to use. It's based on WiFi mesh networking, and it's being tested in South Africa and East Timore. They call it The Village Telco. And it's working.

Universal Ham Radio Connectivity
by Callsign — Workshop

This year TAPR's 'Deep Dive' four-hour seminar becomes a workshop with four presenters. We split it up into three videos:
  • Bob Bruninga WB4APR. OK, Bob more or less repeats his APRS stump speech, but with a focus on connectivity by call sign.
  • Mark Braunstein WA4KFZ  talks about the things he'd like to see incorporated in D-STAR.
  • Finally, a threefer...
    • Bob again, talking about linking between the various Internet based ham radio networks of all modes.
    • John Gorkos ABOO on AVRS (Automatic Voice Relay System) for APRS. 
    • Ken Heitner WB4AKK on ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) HF.
Contact/About   Contact ARVN