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1999 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference

18th.jpeg Reprinted from PSR November, 1999.
September 24-26, 1999
Phoenix, Arizona

Another grand Digital Communications Conference! Special thanks go out to the workers at MARC for hosting locally and to PRUG for being our international co-host again. Also, a very special thanks to Geoff Baehr, N6LXA, Chief Network Officer of Sun Microsystems, for attending and giving the dinner talk on Saturday. Steve Stroh, N8GNJ, and Tina Stroh did an excellent job in working the arrangements with the hotel in Phoenix once it was selected. Tina wasn't able to attend because they are in the midst of adopting a child. Congratualtions to Tina and Steve. Sheila Bible was a big help and will be working with Tina in the coming years to help coordinate the conferences as Iİtake a lesser role in the conference. As in the past, audio and photos from the conference are available.

See pictures from the conference.

Proceedings are available.


The conference started Friday afternoon with the third annual APRS National Symposium moderated by Steve Dimse, K4HG. The symposium was full of talks and projects. During the symposium yet another new mystery hardware project was discussed. This years was a sneak preview provided by Kenwood to all those attending the DCC of their new mobile APRSİequipped radio.

The Friday Technical Seminar on HDTV by Allen Finne, KB5SQK was cancelled at the last minute when Allen cound not attend.

Friday night saw the annual DCC social, which was sponsored by PRUG. After the social, PRUG presented a technical paper highlighting their current development. The papers focused on what had been happening with their prototype direct-sequence radio operating in the 2.4 GHz band. This prototype appears to be very well designed from an experimentation point of view.


As with past years, Saturday was split into two strands -- a paper session and a session featuring selected topics. As in previous years, the selected topic strand had fewer topics with more time to present. Four selected topics were presented. Steve Bible, N7HPR, presented an introduction to PICs. Guy Story, KC5GOI, presented an overview to APRS and discussed some of the latest happenings in the mode. Johan Forrer, KC7WW, did an overview and current status on HFİcommunications. Bob Nielsen, W6SWE, did a talk on the current status of Linux in the amateur community. Thanks to all the selected topic speakers for taking the time to present more in-depth materials during the DCC.

Introductory Sessions

Main Paper Sessions

Saturday Banquet Speech

Banquet Presentation
Geoff Baehr, N6LXA, Chief Network Officer of Sun Microsystems
    For the banquet speaker, we were very fortunate to have Geoff Baehr, N6LXA, Chief Network Officer of Sun Microsystems. Geoff gave a very interesting and thought-provoking talk on the future of the Internet and networking in general and gave some comments on the future of amateur radio. We were very fortunate to have Geoff attend the conference and much thanks goes to Dewayne Hendricks, WA8DZP, for helping arrange another good banquet talk.

Sunday Technical Seminar

The Sunday morning seminar was a more time-intensive version of last year's introductory session on PIC development. Steve Bible, N7HPR, Steve Dimse, K4HG, John Hansen, W2FS, and Byon Garrabrant, N6BG gave a 5 hour long seminar on PICİdevelopment and programming issues. They showed lots of interesting projects and answered a lot of questions from the audience.

Conference Photos

Dorothy Jones, KA5DWR, and Jodi Ackermann, KC8KDC, work the registration table at the DCC.

Johan Forrer, KC7WW, Charles Brain, G4GUO, Frenk Perkins, WB5PIM, and Tom McDermott, N5EG caught talking outside during one of the breaks. Johan and Charles both presented papers and Frank and Tom moderate a session each during the conference.

Charles Brain, G4GUO, brought his prototype of the vocoder he presented a paper on. TAPR is currently developing a kit with Charles. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Several people gather outside the conference area discussing one of many technical topics.

Guy Story, KC5GOI and Robert Winingham, KC5EJK.

Jim White, WD0E, Lyle Johnson, WA7GXD, and Steve Bible, N7HPR sitting around outside the main session during a break.

John Koster, W9DDD, and Barry McLarnon, VE3JF, stand in the back of the room during one of the main session presentations.

Dale Puckett, K0HYD, presented his paper on HamWeb and HamStation.

David McCarthy, KC7AYX, speaking about Arizona APRS operations during the Friday APRS Symposium. David was one of the local sponsors and really helped make the conference possible. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Matthew Ettus, N2MJI, presenting his paper regarding a Proposal for a Spread Spectrum Transponder Payload on the International Space Station. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Bob Nielsen, W6SWE, presenting during his hour session on Linux. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Lots of activity at the registration table. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Rob Wittner, KZ5RW, taks during the APRS Symposium about his WinCE version. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, speaking during the APRS Symposium. (Photo by Keith Justice)

Doug McKinney, KC3RL, and Dewayne Hendricks, WA8DZP.

Keith Sproul, WU2Z, and Guy Story, KC5GOI, sitting at one of the several APRS systems in the demo room. The DCC was fortunate to have Internet access provided by the local MMDS wireless provider. Steve Stroh help sit that up.

Keith Justice, KF7TP, looks over the new Kenwood APRS equiped radio.

Matthew Ettus, N2MJI, John Ackermann, N8UR, and Tim Shepard, KD1KY sitting outside talking. The sitting areas outside the conference rooms was used a lot this year.

Steve Bible, N7HPR and Bob McGwier, N4HY. Bob presented some vert interesting HF Digital software. His code will be available on TAPR in the near future.

Mel Whitten, K0PFX, and Joahn Forrer, KC7WW, sitting on the front row in one of the presentation rooms.

Geoff Baehr, N6LXA, Chief Network Officer of Sun Microsystems speaking during the dinner.

Dan Meredith, N7MRP presenting the paper by him and Keith Justice, KF7TP about Arizona Packet Radio, Past Present and Future. Dan and Keith were the local conference managers and helped select the hotel. They were a big help and the hotel was great!

Bruce Hunt, VK6XZ, and Bob McGwier, N4HY, having a special moment. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Charles Brain, G4GUO and Bob McGwier, N4HY.(Photo by Phil Karn)

Greg Jones, WD5IVD, President of TAPR with Dewayne Hendricks, WA8DZP, founder of the Dandin Group. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Lyle, WA7GXD, and Heather, N7DZU, Johnson. Always good to see TAPR founders attending the conference. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Steve Stroh, N8GNJ, Conference Co-Manager and TAPR Secretary, talking with Greg Jones, WD5IVD. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Tim Shepard, KD1KY, talking with Geoff Baehr, N6LXA. (Photo by Phil Karn)

Steve Bible, N7HPR, presenting during the APRS Symspoium Friday.

Steve Bible, N7HPR, presenting during the APRS Symspoium Friday (another view)

Steve Dimse, K4HG, moderating the Friday APRS National Symposium. Steve does a great job pulling this symposium toegther each year.

Freid Hyein, WA6WZO, ARRL SW Div Dir, with Greg Jones, WD5IVD.

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