MHDC 2020 – Speaker Bio’s

John KrukN9UPCJohn has been licensed since the mid-90’s in northern WI and received the call N9UPC as luck of the draw. His love and passion for radios started him working in two-way radio in 1999. In addition to the passion for amateur radio John has worked in Law Enforcement, Fire, and is still a Community/Critical Care Paramedic. Prior to working with Yaesu John worked in public safety communication systems dealing with P25 (APCO25), trunking, paging and simulcast systems. John has personally designed and install numerous paging, trunking, and public safety systems. John is also trained in FEMA Com-L, Com-T, and AUXCOM along with volunteering numerous hours worked at local events requiring emergency communications and vital comms. He also serves as the ARES/RACES EC for St. Croix Co. and is the trustee/owner of 13 DR repeaters which will be expanding to a total of 14 in this year. He also has experience in FM, C4FM (P25 & Fusion), DMR, NXDN, and POCSAG paging. Do not let John’s title as National Sales Manager/Fusion Specialist fool you, he has helped and planed the design of numerous amateur set-ups for customers and fellow amateurs.
Phil SherrodW4PHSPhil Sherrod (W4PHS) is a career software developer and a member of the Winlink Development Team. Phil holds an Extra Class ham license and a commercial GROL license. Phil has a degree in physics. He has been developing a wide variety of software for more than 40 years. His work on the Winlink team involves developing and supporting the Winlink Express client program and the programs used by RMS (Trimode, RMS Relay, RMS Packet). For additional information about Phil, see
John WisemanG8BPQJohn became interested in electronics and Ham Radio at about 15 years old. He built receivers and transmitters and was licensed at about 17 and operated on 2M AM. Towards the end of the 80's he came across packet, and built his first TNC, a TNC220 kit and wrote terminal software to go with this. When Desqview brought basic multitasking to DOS he conceived BPQCODE as a way of integrating the network benefits of NETROM with multiple copies of the BBS software running on the same PC. Eventually Windows moved on and no longer ran on top of DOS. At this point he ported the (16 bit) DOS code to Window, and this became BPQ32. Then he started writing his own versions of a BBS and Chat server, and adding support for non-AX.25 modes like Pactor and eventually soundcard modes like WINMOR. When the Raspberry Pi was released he realised it would be an excellent platform for running BPQ32 systems, so he ported the code to Linux - this became LinBPQ. Around this time he also added APRS mapping to BPQ32/LinBPQ. John went back to his interest in hardware with the development of the TNC-Pi and a DSTAR modem, though the latter was overshadowed by the MMDVM system for digital voice, followed by the Teensy-TNC/TNC-Pi9k6. More recent BPQ32/LinBPQ developments have been adding a WebMail interface to the BBS and support for newer Sound Card modes, such as ARDOP and VARA. John’s current projects are completing the port of UZ7HO's Soundmodem to Linux, getting LinBPQ to run on 64 bit versions of Linux and developing a program to simplify creating BPQ configuration files while waiting to be allowed to go sailing.
Jim AndrewsKH6HTVJim holds the BS, MS & Ph.D degrees in EE from the Univ. of Kansas. He is a fellow of the IEEE. He worked for NBS from 1967-1980. In 1971-72, he worked in the French national telephone labs, CNET, on fiber-optic research. In 1980, he started his own company in Boulder, CO, called Picosecond Pulse Labs. PSPL built ultra-fast risetime pulse generators, sampling oscilloscopes and ultra-broadband, microwave components. PSPL was sold to Tektronix in 2014. Jim retired from PSPL in 2001, turning over the reins of the company to his oldest son, Scott. Jim was first licensed in 1965. He now holds the extra class license. He is a member of the Boulder and Maui ham clubs. He has been involved in the Boulder ARES since the late 70s. He has been active in amateur TV since the mid 70s. He is the designer, builder and trustee for the Boulder, CO, DATV repeater, W0BTV. In retirement, Jim started a small hobby business in 2010 building TV transmitters, rf linear amplifiers, etc. for the ATV market. Jim can be contacted at:
Budd ChurchwardWB7FHCBudd Churchward, WB7FHC, has been a ham since the 1970's. He feels right at home with a soldering iron in his hand messing around with parts and circuits. He loves designing printed circuit boards and programming Arduinos. He has put the two together creating The Morseduino CW Decoder and The Mr. Rags Macro Keyer kits. Over 400 of these kits have been built by hams all over the world. Budd is an active contributor to YouTube where his channel on D.I.Y. Electronics and Ham Radio has had over a million views and 11,000 subscribers. You can find some of his projects on his website:
Steve MagnusenAG7GNAlthough Steve has been a ham for only a few years, he’s been tinkering with Linux and Unix a long time. His primary interest is connecting radios to computers, especially the Raspberry Pi, and in making Linux easier for hams to use.
Andy SaylerKF7VOLAndy Sayler, KF7VOL, has been a ham since the early 2000s. Like many, he has a passion for radio. He is a community volunteer in both his local ARES group, as well as the Whatcom County Search and Rescue Unit. Within his local ARES group he is the station trustee for the club call signs as well as a repeater coordinator for four Whatcom County repeaters. His passion for radio and community support has helped drive him to build a county wide, remote access digital radio support network.
Syed KarimKD9GII Syed Karim is the founder of Othernet, a company which offers a free broadcast data service. Syed (KD9GII) received his license at the 2016 Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio. His interest in amateur radio is directly related to providing a universally accessible broadcast data service. Othernet operates a free-to-receive satellite datacast which can be accessed over two geostationary satellites in North America and Europe (SES-2 and Astra 3B). The company designs and manufactures low-cost, portable data radios which can receive a 12 GHz signal without the aid of a dish. The wideband (85 - 6000 MHz) data radio, known as a Dreamcatcher, can also be used by hams to send and receive text messages over terrestrial links. This presentation will discuss the existing APRS relay system over commercial geostationary satellites, terrestrial chat application through a purely digital device, and the future of broadcast data and file caching from satellites.
David RoweVK5DGRDavid Rowe VK5DGR was first licensed at age 14 in the early 1980s, operating a converted CB on 10m. Through the 1980's and high school he progressed to a 'full call' license and a TS-520S. In 2009 he became interested in the problem of closed source codecs and digital voice, and started working on FreeDV. David works part time as an engineer for an Internet of Things (IoT) start up where he helps build and test cubesats. He likes to blog on his projects, drives a home-brew Electric Car, and also enjoys bike riding and sailing.
Randy NealsW3RWNRandy Neals W3RWN was first licensed in Ontario, Canada as VE3RWN in the early 90's. He's been involved with repeater link systems, wide area packet radio networks, a bit of VHF/UHF contesting and most of the areas of amateur radio that intersect with the Internet. Professionally Randy is a telecommunications engineer and worked at Motorola on mobile data systems early in his career. Randy escaped to California in 2007 for work, became licensed as KI6TWT and decided that contesting on 10GHz and 24GHz in the central valley of California was kinda fun. As part of the ham radio witness protection program, Randy changed his call to W3RWN and relocated to Seattle in 2013 to work for another big tech company that needed a global network. He joined Seattle ACS where recent projects include several Winlink Gateways and a growing DMR repeater network known as Randy is also Secretary of the Highline Amateur Radio Club. When he's not playing digital ham radio, he manages a team of Network Engineers and some labs at a local tech company.