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)

MicroHAMS Digital Conference Update – May 5th

Quick update on how the conference will operate this year. While the MHDC has been streamed via YouTube the last couple years, we have never attempted to produce the show with all the speakers remote and 100% of the audience also remote. Since this our first time trying something this complicated, please understand it will not be perfect.(You get what you pay for, but please donate anyway)

Here is some of the details for how things will work on Saturday.

  • The event is being streamed via YouTube, a link to the event will be posted on Friday evening (May 8th) on this page and the home page. This allows any modern web browser to enjoy the event, as long as you have a decent internet connection. The stream should go live at ~8:30AM on May 9th, with Scott-N7SS kicking things off officially at 8:45AM.
  • The chat function YouTube provides (on the same page as the stream) will be enabled for the event and this will be how people can submit questions. Questions can asked any time during the speakers talk and they will be captured by one of the moderators. During the Q&A time at the end of the speakers presentation, Scott-N7SS will ask as many of the questions that there is time to cover. (similar questions will be combined) Based on our testing, there is about a 10 second delay on the stream, so doing ‘interactive’ questions isn’t feasible.
  • To provide additional time to interact with speakers for those interested, each speaker will be invited to a private Zoom chat room after their talk has completed. For those that are interested, you will be able to join the Zoom chat room and continue the discussions. The Zoom chat room will be lightly moderated and participates will need to be respectful. Because some of our speakers are located in different time zones from Seattle, we can’t guarantee how long or if every speaker will take part in this option. Information on the chat room will be made available on Saturday morning. We will only have one breakout room, so the speakers will only be available for a maximum of an hour, after that it will be time for the next speaker. Please remember the basic Zoom etiquette of muting your mike when not speaking and being respectful of others.

FAQ:
Question1: why are you using Youtube and not Zoom for the entire conference?

The primary reason is around control and ensuring the event is enjoyable by as many people as possible. Streaming via YouTube allow anybody with a decent internet connection and a modern browser to take part in the conference. YouTube is also designed for broadcasting to thousands of people located around the world. We chose to use Zoom to ‘produce’ the content from the speakers who are all remote and located around the world, along with switching to different local video sources as necessary to create the live stream. This ability to blend different sources on the fly isn’t something Zoom is designed todo, which combined with the access and number of viewers we are expecting, made YouTube the only real choice for the conference.

Question 2: Then why will you host a Zoom chat room after the talks?

It is our belief that the number of people taking part in any single ‘chat room’ will be much smaller than the overall number of people viewing the stream. This is similar to the of people who chose to follow the speakers out to the hallway to continue discussing their talk during the in person conferences, while the next talk begins. It is possible we are wrong and the chat room will become unruly and will need to be turned off. Please follow the basic Zoom etiquette of muting your mike unless speaking and being respectful of others.

Question 3: I can’t make it on Saturday, where can I watch the talks later?

The talks will be made available on YouTube (like past years) after Saturday. Links to the each speaker will be provided on the MicroHAMS website, along with copies of the slides. Groups are welcome to re-stream the talks at club meetings, as long as the creative commons license is followed.

Question 4: Wait a minute, there is no break for lunch or even going to the bathroom in the schedule!

That is correct, no breaks have been planned. By eliminating lunch and bathroom breaks, an additional speaker slot was created. Since people will be viewing this from around the world, there is no common “lunch time”, so instead people can grab lunch/snacks or a bathroom break whenever works best for them. You will be able to ‘pause’ the stream if you don’t want to miss anything.

Question 5: What is the schedule of the talks?

See the schedule linked on the main MHDC2020 page.

MHDC 2020 update – Online only event this year

This has been a crazy year! Over the last several years we have had increasing difficulty securing space for the Microhams Digital Conference on the Microsoft campus. This year we decided to simply find a new space. It took quite a while to find a venue that met all our criteria but it did require changing the date to May 9, 2020. We signed the contract and paid our deposit.

We are very excited about the new venue. It’s new with plenty of space for presentations and demos and the late spring date should be very nice with a park-like setting and great indoor and outdoor spaces.

Then came social distancing. We created a plan to downsize the on-site attendance and stream the presentations which we have done with reasonable success in the past. Then large gatherings were banned and ham radio events were cancelled. It’s clear it will be impossible to meet in person.
We refuse to give up! We are determined to provide an event to the amateur community, especially when few other events can proceed. We may not be able to get together in person but you can join us live on the internet as we stream the conference for you.

Since we cannot hold our conference in-person, we are refunding ticket holders this year and requesting a donation from participants to cover our additional costs.

Those donating will have an opportunity to provide suggestions to drive content next year and will be given an opportunity to register early. We rolled our venue deposit to next year and already secured April 24, 2021 for next year’s conference so mark this date on your calendar.

Viewing information for the conference will be posted to the MHDC webpage shortly at https://www.microhams.com/mhdc/mhdc2020/.

Please join us on Saturday May 9, 2020 online AND next year again, Saturday April 24, 2021 in person!

MicroHAMS Club *VIRTUAL ONLY* Meeting >> Tuesday, March 17th at 6:15 PM*

Summits On The Air: Amateur radio and the great outdoors (indoors too!)

Here is the link for tomorrow night’s presentation.

When joining, please give your *first name* and *call sign*.

*Use the web client* unless you already have the desktop client installed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Firefox and Safari are NOT supported. More details below.

Please note that the March meeting is online only. *There is NO on-campus meeting location.*

We plan to *start* the meeting/program at *6:15* so don’t be concerned if
you connect before that and don’t see anything. We won’t start early with
the program even if we get set up faster than we expect.

Don’t forget to* mute* your mic during the presentation and be sure to
unmute when you want to ask a question during the Q&A session.

Please use the “chat” to ask questions during the presentation as we will
have attendees muted.

During Q&A, you can ask a question via chat window in Teams and the
event producer will unmute attendee for the Q and any follow-up.

Firefox and Safari browsers don’t work. They look like they might, but fail when trying to get audio. What works is anything chromium based:
Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera, new Edge browser.

If your default browser is Firefox or Safari, the work around is to copy and paste link into Chrome or other chromium browser.

Agenda:

*Summits On The Air: Amateur radio and the great outdoors (indoors too!)
Whether you’re interested in summiting or chasing, you won’t want to miss this presentation!
Tim Nair, KG7EJT will present on the subject of the Summits On The Air program, sharing stories of his adventures and lessons learned all while on his way to achieving the highest points score and summit count of any Washington state ham! Tim has been active with the SOTA program since 2015 and has exceeded 2000 points and 400 summits. Hear what he learned in the last 5 years and enjoy a fantastic program packed full of great tips and even greater stories!
Also:

– 2020 Board of Directors Elections
– Discussion of other upcoming club activities

MicroHAMS meetings are open to club members, those interested in joining
the club (see club membership policy at http://www.microhams.com and guests of club members.
Others may also attend a club meeting by sending email to the club at least a few days prior to the meeting. Space
can be a bit limited.

73,
Grant Hopper
KB7WSD
MicroHAMS Club Secretary

MicroHAMS Club Meeting >> Tuesday, February 18th at 6:00 PM

Homegrown Satellites!  The University of Washington “Husky Satellite lab” will present a program on HuskySat-1

Location: Bldg 35/4561

Agenda

  • Ham Help
  • Update on MHDC New Venue, exciting speakers!
  • Program: Homegrown Satellites!  Our University of Washington “Husky Satellite lab” will present a program on HuskySat-1
  • Discussion of other upcoming club activities including Field Day 2020, elections in March, and rescheduling the Spark Museum trip date.

At the next MicroHAMS regular meeting, members of the Husky Satellite lab will present a discussion of the development and mission status of HuskySat-1, a 3U+ cubesat developed at the University of Washington with the primary mission objectives of testing a pulsed plasma thruster with sulfur fuel and an experimental 24GHz transmitter.  It will also outline our relationship with AMSAT and their transponder and communications module.

 

In the past few weeks, they have been busy exercising the ground station hardware and personnel in preparation for first contact (which occurred late in January), and beginning their experiments of the 24GHz system as well as the thruster.

 

Our speakers will include:

Paige Northway, who is an Earth and Space Science graduate student pursuing her PhD,

Paul Sturmer, who is a physics graduate student pursuing his PhD, and

Nathan Wacker, who is a Computer Science undergraduate student pursuing his BS.

 

HuskySat-1 in the news! – https://qrznow.com/huskysat-1-gains-enthusiastic-following/

See you there at 6 PM!

A reminder that club meetings are open to any person regardless of membership.  Persons who are not members, or members of guests can arrange attendance by emailing microhams@microhams.com.

 

We will also discuss the details of upcoming activities including Field Day, March Board of Directors elections (we will be seeking nominations this month) and scheduling of the Spark Museum tour.

 

Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions during this segment. This is also the time and place to share your amateur radio discoveries and experiences, no matter what they are.  If you’ve run across something interesting that you think might help other hams, no matter the topic, consider taking 3-5 minute to share it with others during our “Ham Help” segment!

 

Next Month

Next month we’ll have a presentation by John Boal, K9JEB on his ham focused kits, and the story of how he built a hobby business on filling a need (and the specifics of his design development for both the power products and the J-poles.)

 

Access

146.58 MHz FM simplex will be monitored for anyone who needs help finding the site or for access to the building. (Monitoring is done with handhelds, so range is limited.)

 

SECURITY NOTE: Anyone who does not have their own Microsoft badge for unescorted access to Microsoft buildings MUST be escorted into Building 35 and conference room 4561 by a badged MicroHAMS member. Do NOT under any circumstances attempt to “tag” onto or “tailgate” Microsoft employees entering the building. Please congregate about five to ten minutes before the meeting outside the lobby entrance on the south side of the building.  If you have a Microsoft badge, please check outside the front entrance for other club members who need to be escorted.

 

MicroHAMS meetings are open to club members, those interested in joining the club (see club membership policy at http://www.microhams.com), and guests of club members.  Others may also attend a club meeting by sending email to the club at least a few days prior to the meeting. Space can be a bit limited.

 

73,

Grant Hopper

KB7WSD

MicroHAMS Club Secretary

MicroHAMS Club Meeting >> Tuesday, January 21st at 6:00 PM

Location: Building 35/4801  Map:  https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+building+35

Agenda

  • Ham Help
  • Sharing a few details of the January field trip and discussing ideas about other places of interest to amateur radio operators
  • Program: John Miles KE5FX will speak about Phase Noise.  What it is, why you should care, and how to measure it.

At the next MicroHAMS regular meeting John Miles KE5FX will be giving a talk on the unappreciated but extremely important topic of Phase Noise. John is a phase noise expert who lives in Snohomish As a member of the Time Nuts, amateurs who are interested in precise Time & Frequency, John is the one they count on to evaluate the quality of GPS receivers, time standards, Atomic Clocks, and precision instruments.

In radio communications, phase noise influences what your signal sounds like, and frequency stability determines whether you get a QSL card or an FCC notice in the mail. In everyday life, these specifications tell you where you are and what time it is. What do they have in common, and how do we measure them? In this talk we’ll look at several ways to understand, specify, and measure the stability of periodic signal sources, from hydrogen masers to grandfather clocks.

To make taking phase noise measurements a little easier John designed the Miles TimePod which greatly simplified the measurement of phase noise. For the first few years he sold it himself for $5,000. Eventually Symmetricom realized his TimePod was adversely affecting the sales of their phase noise measurement system which considerably more expensive and more than 10 times the size. So they bought John’s design and relabeled it as their own.

Symmetricom is now a division of Microsemi Corporation which sells John’s TimePod with the Microsemi logo on it as the Model 3120A High Performance Low Phase Noise Test Probe.

We will also discuss the details of upcoming activities including Field Day.

Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions during this segment. This is also the time and place to share your amateur radio discoveries and experiences, no matter what they are.  If you’ve run across something interesting that you think might help other hams, no matter the topic, consider taking 3-5 minute to share it with others during our “Ham Help” segment!

Next Month

Next month we’ll have a presentation by the U of W “Husky Satellite Lab” telling us all about the new Husky Sat1, the process of getting to the point were they have an object in orbit, and future plans.  You won’t want to miss this presentation!

Access

146.58 MHz FM simplex will be monitored for anyone who needs help finding the site or for access to the building. (Monitoring is done with handhelds, so range is limited.)

SECURITY NOTE: Anyone who does not have their own Microsoft badge for unescorted access to Microsoft buildings MUST be escorted into Building 35 and conference room 4561 by a badged MicroHAMS member. Do NOT under any circumstances attempt to “tag” onto or “tailgate” Microsoft employees entering the building. Please congregate about five to ten minutes before the meeting outside the lobby entrance on the south side of the building.  If you have a Microsoft badge, please check outside the front entrance for other club members who need to be escorted.

MicroHAMS meetings are open to club members, those interested in joining the club (see club membership policy at http://www.microhams.com), and guests of club members.  Others may also attend a club meeting by sending email to the club at least a few days prior to the meeting. Space can be a bit limited.

73,

Grant Hopper

KB7WSD

MicroHAMS Club Secretary

MicroHAMS Club Meeting >> Tuesday, November 19th at 6:00 PM

Location: Building 35/4801  Map:  https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+building+35

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!!!
Heads-up to all: we got bumped from our Club Meeting room for Tue 11/19, for this month only, we’ll be in the same bldg, same floor, but different room: 35/4801

Agenda

  • Ham Help
  • Program: Miguel Mayorga, KC7IGT : Amateur Satellites for everyone!, Getting started, growing your station, not breaking the bank!

This month’s program is presented by Miguel Mayorga, KC7IGT.  Miguel will show you “How to work our amateur satellites” covering which satellites are easy to get started on, what the minimum equipment is and how to not break the bank while getting on the air and having fun on a new mode.

Miguel is no stranger to satellite operation and has been operating through these amazing machines for many years.  Having started with a simple station and progressively added capabilities through they years, he’s gained a great deal of experience on a range of birds.  He has the experience to show you how to get started with a minimum of effort and equipment and what to do when you’re looking for “the next thing”.  Needless to say, Miguel knows what it takes to be successful in making contacts and having success with amateur satellites.

Our December meeting will be a Christmas dinner get together, with details forthcoming.

Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions during this segment. This is also the time and place to share your amateur radio discoveries and experiences, no matter what they are.  If you’ve run across something interesting that you think might help other hams, no matter the topic, consider taking 3-5 minute to share it with others during our “Ham Help” segment!

MicroHAMS Club Meeting Tuesday, October 15th at 6:00 PM

Location: Building 35/4561  Map:  https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+building+35

Agenda

  • Ham Help
  • Discussion January field trip as well as ideas about other places of interest to amateur radio operators
  • Program: Mike Mraz, N6MZ: QSLing for Dummies, Everything you ever wanted to know about QSLing but didn’t know to ask!

Mike Mraz N6MZ will cover the ins and outs of QSLing and in particular, how to make sure you get that card from that rare DX you just worked as well as some best practices for your own outgoing QSL cards.

Mike is no stranger to QSLing.  He’s got more than 400 countries confirmed under the DXCC program, and Mike has been the DX on more than a few occasions.  Only a few hams worldwide have matched that level of on the air accomplishment and needless to say, Mike knows what it takes to be successful in insuring you receive that card you so richly deserve.

We will also discuss the details of the January field trip to the Telecommunication Museum in Seattle.

Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions during this segment. This is also the time and place to share your amateur radio discoveries and experiences, no matter what they are.  If you’ve run across something interesting that you think might help other hams, no matter the topic, consider taking 3-5 minute to share it with others during our “Ham Help” segment!