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Ham Radio at the Southern California Linux Expo

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w6bi's picture
Ham Radio at the Southern California Linux Expo

For several years now the Southern California Linux Expo has had a ham radio track (Open Source software as it relates to ham radio). Here's a summary of how the ham activities went this weekend:

Ham Radio BOF (Birds Of a Feather; an ad-hoc session) Saturday night
Had ~50 people attend.  Joe AE6XE, Eric KG6WXC, Don KE6BXT and Keith AI6BX were among the mesh folks helping guide the discussion.  Lots of participation and questions.

Ham Radio track Sunday
All sessions very well attended. Sessions 1 and 3 were right at SRO for the room the track was held in.  (Attendance numbers are approximate as a few people wandered in and out of the sessions).

1. Orv Beach W6BI (me)- SoCal Ham Radio Network Update - 66 persons.
I took a poll - 60% already had their ham radio license. I asked how many of the others intended on getting their ham radio license, and it seems like everyone in the other 40% raised their hands (!).

2. Paul Wilkinson K6IG - Raspberry Pi & Ham Radio - 42 persons.  He also discussed Allstar and Asterisk.  Lots of questions.

3. Ben Kuo AI6YR - Open Source software for monitoring and assisting in disaster situations - 62 persons.   He talked a lot about using RTL-SDRs and RPIs to monitor public safety agency communications.

4. Joe Ayers AE6XE - Building ad hoc wireless networks; design considerations - 53 persons.   A overview pf how 802.11n works and how AREDN manages it in their firmware.  He also covered how they use GitHub to store and build the firmware.

I don't have the results of the afternoon VE sessions, but the morning sessions were very lightly attended. That's most likely due to the late additions of the sessions (due to the normal VE team not being available) and the resulting late / poor publicity. Jim, AG6IF stepped up to the plate and organized a VE team for the sessions. They do fill a need so it would good to hold again them next year.

Of the persons who said they were considering getting a ham radio license, the average age was in the 30s; that bodes well for amateur radio, which is dealing with the 'greying' of the ham radio operator population. Hopefully we can continue the ham radio track at SCALE and assist in keeping the ham radio operators' average age down

Orv W6BI
I was at SCaLE17x as part of

I was at SCaLE17x as part of the IBM booth. This was my first interaction with AREDN. I did not attend any part of the Ham Radio track on Sunday, but I did (finally) get licensed (happy to bring the average age down a littlewinkcheeky). I recall having missed one question sad, but never learned which one. I did end up with a Mikrotik LDF 5 kit, so now I need to learn how to use it effectively.

This was my first community-organized conference, and it was a really spectacular time. I will be looking forwards to others, and hopefully attend SCaLE18x

K5DLQ's picture
Welcome to the AREDN (and HAM
Welcome to the AREDN (and HAM) community!
w6bi's picture
Morgan Hill
Welcome, Morgan (he's Morgan, from Morgan Hill, if the FCC records are correct :-).  )

Morgan, drop a note into one of the California Regional Forums - let them know where you are and ask if anyone's on the air near you.

Orv W6BI (SCALE guy)
WU2S's picture
Morgan's other accomplishments

Morgan was present in the AREDN booth during the recent Hamvention as an IBM representative, along with his colleague Brendan, to promote the 2019 Call for Code Challenge. AREDN is proud to be a  Program Sponsor.for this year's challenge. He responded to many visitors by answering questions and distributing literature.
Morgan assisted the AREDN team by directing visitors to an available AREDN team member. 
I took him over to the HamSCI booth run by Dr. Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF, and introduced Morgan to several people from NJIT. We talked to several computer science students who were interested in AREDN and the Call for Code.
Morgan took many photographs of the activity all over Hamvention. 
Best of all, he successfully upgraded to a General class license at one of the Hamvention exam sessions.
We were very happy to work with Morgan and Brendan, and to promote the 2019 Call for Code Challenge which focuses on building technology solutions to improve natural disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

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