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ARRL, TAPR Prepare for Digital Communications Conference

09/11/2008

Aficionados of digital communications are gearing up for the 27th annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) September 26-28 in Chicago, Illinois. The ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference is an international forum for radio amateurs to meet, publish their work and present new ideas and techniques. Presenters and attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about recent hardware and software advances, theories, experimental results, and practical applications. The DCC is for all levels of technical experience -- not just for the expert. Not only is the conference technically stimulating, it is a weekend of fun for all who have more than a casual interest in any aspect of amateur digital electronics and communications; introductory sessions are scheduled throughout the conference to introduce new technical topics for both beginners and experts.

Topics at the DCC include, but are not limited to: Software defined radio (SDR); digital voice (D-STAR, P25, WinDRM, FDMDV, G4GUO); digital satellite communications; Global Position System (GPS); precision timing; Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS); short messaging (a mode of APRS); Digital Signal Processing (DSP); HF digital modes; Internet interoperability with Amateur Radio networks; spread spectrum; IEEE 802.11 and other Part 15 license-exempt systems adaptable for Amateur Radio; using TCP/IP networking over Amateur Radio; mesh and peer-to-peer wireless networking; emergency and Homeland Defense backup digital communications; using Linux in Amateur Radio; updates on AX.25, and other wireless networking protocols.

QEX Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, will represent the ARRL at the Conference. He will also be giving a talk "Writing for Publication -- It's Not Rocket Science (Even if You Are Writing About Rocket Science!)." Retired ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, will also represent the League. Rinaldo will speak on "SDR Outlook."

The DCC provides a separate (and lockable) room for participants to bring and show off their latest projects. Tables and power will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment and display for all to see, learn, and ask questions about, as well as a small sign and/or flyer naming and describing their project.

D-STAR digital voice and data will be the focus of the DCC Friday evening session. Pioneers and leaders in D-STAR digital voice and data technology will be presenting the technical innovations in D-STAR and how it is being used worldwide. In addition to the Friday evening session, ICOM will be at the DCC demonstrating D-STAR radios in the demonstration room, and TAPR's 70 cm and 23 cm D-STAR digital voice and data repeaters (KT7APR) with Internet gateway will be on the air.

Sunday Seminar Speaker Announced

Each year, the DCC hosts an in-depth 4 hour seminar on Sunday. Past seminars have included such topics as Software Defined Radios, Spread Spectrum Design and Theory, RD Design and Deployment, PICmicro MCU Design and Development, Packet Radio Networks with Millions or Billions of Stations and others. Seminars are given by experts in their field -- this year is no different. Phil Harman, VK6APH, will present "Software Radio Through the Looking-Glass."

Harman, licensed for more than 40 years, has worked on leading-edge RF techniques related to receivers and transmitters. His current passion is the development of fully digital HF radios. Harmon co-writes the Software Defined Radio column in the RSGB Radio Communications journal and also co-authored the SDR chapter in the latest RSGB Handbook. He will guide participants through the basics of SDRs right up to the very latest techniques that digitize signals directly at the antenna socket. Using diagrams and a minimum of math, Harmon will cover such subjects as front end design, mixers, I and Q signals, digital up and down conversion, AGC techniques, noise blanking and high efficiency power amplifiers. The presentation will be highly interactive, so be sure to bring along that question that has been puzzling you for so long!

Conference presentations, meetings, and seminars will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel Elk Grove Village, Illinois. It is highly recommended that participants book rooms prior to arriving. A block of rooms at the special DCC room rate of $89.00 single/double is available; this rate is good until the block is all sold out. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to and from O'Hare Airport.



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