MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2021 – Update

Since 2007 the Microsoft Amateur Radio Club (MicroHAMS) has held a conference focusing on digital communications: the MicroHAMS Digital Conference (MHDC). The mission of the MDHC conference is to “inspire, inform and educate.” As such, the MHDC presenters offer a variety of topics across a wide range of skill levels. 

One of the virtues of going online is that we can invite presenters that would be impractical to bring to the Seattle area.  This year, half of our presenters are from outside our area.  The latest updates will be published on the MicroHAMS web site at http://www.microhams.com/mhdc2021/. 

This year’s conference will feature the following  

  • Walter Holmes, K5WH – Free DV Digital Voice for HF 
  • Gregg Marco, W6IZT – Rig in a Box solution for DXpeditions 
  • Bob Bruninga, WB4APR  The APRS author will discuss the latest developments 
  • Paul Elliott, WB6CXC  Developing and tracking drift buoys 
  • Paul Sturmer, KI7WLV – High speed communications from HuskySat-1 
  • Bryan Hoyer, K7UDR – The ultimate packet workstation 

Now in our 14th year, we are repeating the online format from last year’s event. The 2021 conference will be streamed to YouTube and at no charge (donations welcome). One of the virtues of going online is that we can invite presenters that would be impractical to bring to the Seattle area and support an unlimited number of attendees. In 2021, half of our presenters are from outside the Pacific Northwest.

During the conference, there are two ways that attendees can interact with our presenters. Attendees can ask questions in the YouTube chat channel, which we will pass on to the presenters during Q&A. For live Q&A, each session has a Zoom breakout room available at the end of the session. Presenters and attendees can hang out and answer questions in person for the hour after their session has aired. The entire conference will also be recorded and available on YouTube for viewing later.

See you Saturday! (April 24, 2021)
Scott Honaker, N7SS for the MHDC Team 


Presentations from meetings….

A new series has been started on the MicroHAMS YouTube channel. Since the club meetings have been made available to remote members via Teams, the presentations were also recorded. The first of the series is available now and is from the January 2020 meeting. It is John Miles, KE5FX’s talk about frequency measurements.

Update: (2020-06-07) The second in the series is now available from the April 2020 on packet TNC’s.  And the third from the Feb 2020 meeting on the HuskySat-1 development.

MHDC 2020 Wrap Up

This year we identified a new venue that has room to grow and meets our needs. We started our planning around the new venue when the virus struck. We kept adjusting our plans as the requirements changed. There was a temptation to simply cancel the conference rather than continue to pursue this moving target. Ultimately, we felt it was more important than ever to deliver the conference. The virtual format also offered us the opportunity to reach out to speakers we could not practically bring to Seattle.

We normally get about 100 people at the physical conference. You may have noticed we saw between 300-500 people actively watching the stream over the course of the conference. Interestingly, we also saw 2000 unique views during the conference so clearly some people only attended a portion of the day or specific sessions. We’re pleased with these numbers but if we had been better prepared for all the changes, we would have created a larger advertising push for a greater reach.

We’re happy to announce the videos have been published to YouTube on the Microhams channel. You can find the agenda with the links to the corresponding video on the Microhams web site at MHDC2020. We would encourage you to pass this information along and share broadly with others.

The final accounting isn’t complete but it appears the donations just covered our expenses this year. Feel free to help others find the donate button on the Microhams web site so we can continue to bring you this content in the future. We don’t know what next year will look like but we’ll be ready. We already have a date and deposit on a venue.

It would also be very helpful if you would complete the conference survey so we can improve the conference experience in the future. The survey is short and should be quick. You can find it HERE.

Mark your calendar. We hope to see you Saturday April 24, 2021!

Scott Honaker, N7SS

MHDC 2020 Chair

MHDC 2020 Update – May 8th

Another day, another update! 

I have just created the stream event on YouTube for the conference tomorrow (May 9th) and completed all the testing I can at this point, so barring any visits by Murphy you should be able to get to the conference by clicking this link.

MHDC 2020 – YouTube Link

So far YouTube search hasn’t added it to the index, if you search for MHDC 2020, all you find is the past years saved conferences. I’ll see if there is something I can do to make it show up. I know a lot of people are looking forward to watching the conference on their big tv’s using some type of streaming device, so it will be good if you can search and find it.

73, Kenny-KU7M (YouTube Lackey)