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2002 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference

21st.gif September 13-15, 2002
Denver, CO

More than 100 of the most active Amateur Radio digital enthusiasts from around the world turned out in Denver, Colorado, September 13-15 for the 2002 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference. This year's event marked the 21st conference. Agenda topics ranged from APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) to high-speed digital networking and software- defined radio (SDR), among others.

See pictures from the conference.

Proceedings are available.


Friday's forums were dominated by discussions of APRS. Topics included a discussion of single-wire APRS weather stations, high-altitude balloon tracking and recovery presented by representatives from Edge of Space Sciences, APRS in the Sydney Olympics, and the versatile Findu.com on-line APRS database.


Saturday's sessions included forums on the prospect of using consumer wireless devices (popularly known as 802.11b or 'Wi-Fi' devices) to create high-speed Amateur Radio digital networks. A forum on HF digital voice also drew considerable interest. One of Saturday's highlights was a demonstration of the new ICOM D-Star digital radio system. At the heart of DStar is the ID-1 transceiver, which ICOM had on display at the Dayton Hamvention last spring. The ID-1 operates on 1.2 GHz and can communicate using FM analog voice, digital voice, and data. The transceiver can be programmed with a desktop or laptop computer, or it can be operated in a more conventional manner via a remote front panel. ICOM's Ray Novak, KC7JPA, said D-Star will be available in the US in November.

Saturday Banquet

Bruce Perens, K6BP, was the featured speaker at the Saturday evening banquet. His entertaining presentation stressed the notion that individuals, not just corporations, still can innovate and invent. Perens called for grassroots development of Amateur Radio software and hardware according to the Open Source model. He also encouraged the audience to become educators, because, he explained, 'the future strength of Amateur Radio is in our value as technology teachers.'

Banquest Talk
Bruce Perens, K6BP

Sunday Technical Seminar

SDR was another hot topic at the conference and the Sunday seminar was devoted exclusively to that subject. Projects such as GNU Radio promise a day when amateur transceivers will achieve extraordinary levels of flexibility. Under the SDR paradigm, software, rather than the hardware, literally will 'define' the way in which a radio operates. Matt Ettus, N2JMI, presented the Sunday Technical Seminar.

Conference Photos

Over 100 people attended the main technical presentations.

Bruce Perens, K6BP, was the banquet keynote speaker.

Besides all the technical talks at the dcc, there was also a demonstration room where people brought their projects to show and tell. there was also a flip-chart to encourage impromptu discussions.

Matt Ettus, N2JMI, presenting his softwaredefined radio seminar on sunday, which ran four hours.

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