Abstracts and Biographies


Most of our speakers have abstracts of their presentations and/or personal biographies below.
The speakers are listed in alphabetical order, by last name.

See the Conference Overview Schedule page for an overview of the weekend.
See the Forums Schedule page for full schedule of the Forums.

The following is listed in alphabetical order by speaker's last name.

Mark Aaker, K6UFO
Saturday, 8:00 AM – 8:50 AM              Pleasanton/Danville 

Remote Access to Your Amateur Radio Station - Simple Solutions and Latest Developments
Remote access makes your station more useful to you and others, while away from the station or in emergencies. The technology is changing quickly, from the simplest methods to the most contest-ready installations. Learn how to get started or improve your setup while avoiding common problems. K6UFO has operated a remote station for over a decade and helped many hams implement remote access.

Mark (“Mork”) Aaker has been operating a remote station for 10 years. He has researched and given talks on Remote Operating at Pacificon 2015, International DX Convention 2016 and Dayton Hamvention 2016. He has been licensed since 1971 and has achieved DXCC Top of Honor Roll and 5 Band DXCC. He participates in contests from Stanford University's W6YX, and from his remote- controlled station in Washington as NN7SS. He operates RTTY, CW and SSB, and has numerous contest awards. In past years he worked for Motorola, NASA, National Semiconductor and Apple as an Electrical Engineer, Project Manager and Patent Attorney. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Gail KB6EZB.

Jim Aspinwall, No1PC
1) Saturday, 8:00 PM – 8:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H
Saturday, 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM                      Pleasanton/Danville

Coordination and Cooperation
     How and WHY multiple modes can be more aware of each other, get along and keep amateur radio activity visible.
Repeater frequency and site coordination isn’t just for the repeater owners/builders. The end-result is a vast service to the greater community of potentially thousands of users, and as may be our want in this hobby, service to the much greater public.  The mechanics of coordination work is one thing, but behind and alongside that work are many ‘competing’ technologies and spectrum users. Learning to be aware of our shared spectrum users and uses is an essential part of the hobby for all of us.  We’ll discuss and learn more about how we all cooperate.

2) Elmering in the Age of 'Devices'
     How are we bringing new hams into our world?
Ever since no-code and ham-cram our community has benefited from consistently increasing new licensees, but where are they? What and how are they learning about the hobby? About electronics and RF that for many may be taken for granted amid a world of ‘devices’ ?  This talk aims to explore what our clubs and friends have been doing, are doing, and what if anything we need to and can do, to help ensure the rich technical, skill and experience resources of amateur radio continue to thrive.

Jim Aspinwall, No1PC is a Board member and the Technical Committee chairperson for the Northern Amateur Relay Council of California (NARCC) for the past several years.  A licensed ham since 1970 Jim has been active in repeater systems in Wisconsin, Texas and California; a public safety volunteer for 20 years; active on HF, maintains 5 UHF repeater sites, amid a broad career in instrumentation, software and communications systems support.  Jim founded and hosts a lively ~4700-member Facebook group – Amateur Radio Elmers – as a collaborative effort with US and non-US hams enabling and ensuring all hams get the well-rounded expert help they need. One of his goals participating in Pacificon is to broaden and strengthen global collaboration, skill and experience sharing to keep amateur radio viable, healthy and growing.

Orv Beach, W6BI
Saturday, 10:00 PM – 10:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H

Using AREDN Software to Create a Ham Radio Network
By loading software from AREDN (the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network) onto standard wireless access points, an IP network can be created. The AREDN software allows the radios in the access points to be moved into the ham bands adjacent to the crowded Part 15 wireless bands. This allows high performance long-haul ham radio networks to be created.  There are over 600 nodes on the network visible from Southern California, providing services like webcams, collaboration servers, emergency services web sites, email servers and more.

Orv Beach, W6BI, will provide an overview of how this is done, what equipment is available for use, and how to get started in this rapidly growing facet of ham radio!

Orv, W6BI, was first licensed as WN6WEY in 1967.  He's been into digital ham radio all his life, starting with CW.  He worked his way up through RTTY, PACTOR, packet radio then PSK31.  He started messing around with ham radio networking in 2014.

He's given over 20 presentations about ham radio networking over the last four years and helped deploy the network's digital radios in Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley.  He's also active in coordinating the build-out and maintenance of the wider ham radio network, which now spans from Goleta south to the Mexican border and east to Las Vegas, comprising over 300 nodes, both hilltop and home QTH. 

He's a retired Linux system administrator, an ARRL Santa Barbara Section Technical Specialist and was recently named one of the first three AREDN Ambassadors, those who promote ham radio networking through presentations about the software developed by the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network team.

Bob Brehm
     of Palomar Engineers
Saturday, 8:00 – 8:50 AM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

Quick & Easy RFI Solutions
Is your transmitter the SOURCE of RFI affecting electronic devices in your own house or your neighbor’s house?  Would you like to find a quick and easy solution so you can have more time to operate and enjoy ham radio rather than troubleshooting RFI issues? Are you the VICTIM of RFI from your own electronic devices or from devices in your neighborhood? Do you want to reduce your receiver noise floor so you can hear local contacts and more DX?

If you answered YES to either of these questions, then you should attend this presentation where you will learn how to make ham radio more enjoyable by eliminating problems caused by RFI.

Topics in this talk include:
- Fundamentals of RFI – identifying symptoms, pinpointing causes & applying simple cures
- What’s a ferrite and how to choose & buy the right ferrite for your RFI issue
- How to use ferrites to solve the #1 RFI problem shared by all hams using HF radios
- How to choose and use ferrites to solve transmitter RFI problems in your home or neighborhood
- Learn one of the Best Kept Secrets in Ham Radio!

During the presentation you will see many examples of feed line chokes, baluns, ununs, and various practical applications of ferrites for AC/DC power lines, computer interconnect cables, transceivers, linear amplifiers, home theater systems, etc. Bring your questions and pay attention to win one of the prizes at the end of the talk.

Bob Brehm, AK6R, is Chief Engineer of Palomar Engineers (Palomar-Engineers.com), and has been a ham for over 50 years with experience in contesting, RTTY, amplitude modulation, vintage radio restoration, boat anchors, linear amps and unique antennas. He is active on 3.870 AM and 3.895 Vintage SSB as well as other nets offering his expertise to new and old hams alike.

Bob is often asked to speak at conventions and radio club meetings about RFI, antenna matching, using baluns/ununs, stealth antennas, amplitude modulation, RTTY/digital modes, ESSB, ham radio on boats, and a variety of other subjects.

Steve Brightman
Saturday, 4:00 – 4:50 PM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

Introduction to Software Defined Radio
This talk covers the basics of SDRs and how they have evolved from simple dongles. Some non-traditional radio applications made possible by the advent of affordable, high-performance SDRs (including adding panadapter capabilities to an existing rig) are discussed.  Without delving into the technical side too deeply this review has proven popular with both new and experienced users contemplating the jump into the rapidly growing field of SDRs, or wanting to make the most of the capabilities they offer.

Steve, KI5ENW,  is a veteran of the semiconductor industry having worked at Texas Instruments, Dallas Semiconductor and Maxim. He has worked on RF circuits for consumer TV and radio applications as well as mobile communications devices and satellites. Now, reunited with former colleagues at SDRplay he enjoys putting his RF experience to practical use. A long time SWLer, Steve finally acquired his general license this year!

Michael Burnette, AF7KB

Saturday, 1:00 – 1:50 PM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

Getting Started in HF
If you're just getting started in HF, or you've hesitated to make the leap, get grounded in the basics and the smart choices to make along the way with the best-selling author of the Fast Track series of ham license manuals. In a fast-paced 50 minutes, we'll cover budget considerations, antennas, HF rigs, accessories, and operating procedures for the new and "not yet" HF operator.

Michael Burnette, AF7KB, is the award-winning author of the bestselling Fast Track to Your Ham License series. He spent decades as a commercial broadcaster, and more decades leading seminars all over the world. His approach to ham education is to offer comprehensive training in the theory and technology of ham radio. His energetic, fast-paced, content-rich presentations are a consistent hit at hamfests across the country.

Robert Chartier, KM6IKH
     of NEX-GEN Electronics
Saturday, 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E

The Explosive Growth of HOT SPOT Communication
Brief History of digital communication, the 5 digital modes to consider, 3 primary, why is digital in such HOT demand today, the basic components of VHF/UHF digital Hot Spots, Transceiver choices, current Hot Spot market choices & options, the future evolution projections of digital communications in Ham Radio.

Educated at MIT in the late 70's and a life long electronics hobbyist, and in early 2018 became inspired by the explosive growth of DIGITAL ham radio
and jumped into the deep end of the pool so to speak to fill a void (GAP) to create a world class, top of the line quality, aesthetically beautiful, and artistically engineered Custom Hand Made Digital Hot Spots, accessories, and options for the Global Ham Radio Community.

Rob Fenn, KC6TYD
Sunday, 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM              Pleasanton/Danville

Parachute Mobile - Past-Present-Future
So why do they jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Come and join us for an exciting and informative presentation where Rob will take you through nine years of Parachute Mobile.  Using skydiving as a platform, discover the many unique projects that the members of Parachute Mobile have incorporated into each mission.

Rob has been in the EMS field since the mid 90's. He is currently working as a paramedic with AMR in Santa Clara County.  When Parachute Mobile began Rob was recruited as the Safety Officer. When the Team Coordinator position opened up Rob grabbed it and has been handling all the coordinating, scheduling, and promoting ever since. Rob was not a skydiver when he started with the team.  Being around and involved in the sport got him interested and in 2011 Rob took the course and soon thereafter was making his own QSO jumps.

Randy Hall, K7AGE
Saturday, 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E

20 Years After PSK-31
PSK-31 was introduced in 1998 and has lead the popularity of modern digital modes. The power of the PC, simple audio interfaces and free software made it easy to get on PSK-31. Randy’s presentation covers the early days of PSK-31, radio interfaces, and many of the digital modes that followed PSK-31 including FT8.

Randy Hall, K7AGE, has held an Amateur Radio license for 50 years. Randy is widely known for his YouTube ham radio videos. Some of his most popular videos show how to operate PSK-31, satellites, and building antennas. Randy has produced a series of videos introducing the newly licensed ham to 2 meter FM highlighting repeaters, radio programming and operating. Randy has presented to local ham clubs and at PACIFICON, SEA-PAC and QUARTZFEST hamfests. Randy is a contributor to Ham Nation TWIT.tv netcast as a video segment producer hosted by Bob Heil K9EID and Gordon West WB6NOA. The easiest way to find Randy’s videos is to google K7AGE. Randy has an Extra class license and regularly posts ham radio content to Twitter as @K7AGE. Randy retired Jan 1 2015 and is now living in Gold Beach Or building his new hamshack.

Bob Heil, K9EID
Saturday, 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM                 Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E
Saturday, 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E

See Bob's own page for details.

Dan Loranger, KG7PAR
Joe Burkleo, WA7JAW
Saturday, 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM              Pleasanton/Danville

Linux Based Repeaters
With the introduction of the One Board Computers, such as the raspberry pi platforms, it is now very easy to add the power of the Linux computer to your repeater controller station. This talk will discuss the SVXLINK (Open Source software) platform and features that it brings to the user, along with a high level overview of some of the more advanced things we have found users doing on their Linux based repeaters and some of the reasons why you should trade in your classic repeater controller in favor of a modern Linux based system.

Dan Loranger, KG7PAR
Dan is an owner and designer for ICS-CTRL controller systems which designs and builds repeater controllers. Dan brings 17 years of High Reliability Electronics industry experience to the designs of the PI-REPEATER hardware platform which is designed around the Raspberry Pi computer system for the newest generation of repeater controllers. In addition to working on new product designs, he also supports the open source software community that is working on the repeater controller applications, specifically SVXLINK and OPEN REPEATER.

Joe Burkleo, WA7JAW
Joe is an owner and designer for ICS-CTRL, and brings a lifetime of Electronics Engineering experience and know-how with ham radio repeaters that first started in his teenage years when he built his first repeater.  He is knowledgeable with most all commonly used repeater controllers past and present, and the radios that are commonly used on the air.  He is the source of many ideas on how to make the ICS-CTRL product offerings we currently offer to aid those in the HAM community to more easily integrate hardware. Joe currently sits on the Oregon Repeater Coordination counsel and actively maintains multiple commercial and amateur repeater installations across the state of Oregon.

Bill Mader
Sunday, 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM              Pleasanton/Danville

Measuring Antenna Performance (NOT VSWR)
HF antenna performance measurements often include VSWR, gain, F/B ratios, height considerations, and modeling results along with anecdotal “evidence.”  While interesting, these types of “measurements” often fail to correlate with actual performance necessary to choose antennas for our stations. 

WSPRLite uses the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting system developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT, to provide actual antenna performance results over time with the provision to compare antennas.  The system provides data analysis to fully evaluate antenna performance in the real world. 

I have been active in many aspects of amateur radio for over 59 years with my current focus on chasing DX, contesting, and station building.  I often hit the road for hamfests/conventions from coast to coast and enjoy portable or mobile operations for State QSO parties, activating counties and parks, operating from super stations for contests, and especially for Field Day.

I share my love of the hobby by giving presentations on its various technical and operational aspects across the Southwest U.S. at venues such as QuartzFest, Ham-Com, the International DX Convention, the Prescott Hamfest, Colorado Convention, and the Duke City Hamfest (DCHF).  I serve on the board of directors for the DCHF and have organized and presented the convention's HF University, HF Academy, and Contest Academy plus DX University among many other presentations.  I often speak at local club meetings and many more cubs across New Mexico during as the NM Section Manager and President of the Albuquerque DX Association.

Masaaki Maeda, JR1AQN
1) Saturday, 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM              Pleasanton/Danville
2) Sunday 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM      Bishop Ranch Ballroom - Salons F/G/H

1) Study on Actual Usage of FT 8 in the US and Japan
This study is based on a demonstration of FT8 at the 2018/2019 Hamvention, and an accompanied by a survey given to FT8 users. The purpose of the survey was to find differences in usage by FT8 users in the United States and Japan. The study revealed differences in usage frequency between Japan and US, RF output on the Japan side being higher. We also found it reduces language barriers. We also found that many users are spending most of their QSO time on FT8 and communicating with many DXCC entities. There is great potential for FT8 in petition mode. In addition to FT8, I added the latest FT4 experience and will show QSO data analysis.

2) FT8 for Beginners
Digital Academy

Masa Maeda, JR1AQN, has been licensed since 1969. With an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, he's spent 15 years working as a Senior Vice President and President & CEO for NTT DOCOMO USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Japan's largest mobile operator. He is interested in HF digital modes, such as RTTY, PSK31, JT65, and FT8. Masa is an active Ham with W2/JR1AQN in NY and W6/JR1AQN in CA. He is a member of the Peekskill/Cortlandt Amateur Radio Association Inc. (PCARA) in NY and the Silicon Valley Japanese Ham Club (SVJHC) in CA. Masa is an active article writer for CQ Ham Radio, a magazine in Japan, and he reports on US ham activities. He is a member of the industrial advisory board, Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology in Stony Brook University and a member of US-Japan Council. You can reach Masa at maeda@sloan.mit.edu.

Anthony Marcin, W7XM
Sunday 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM      Bishop Ranch Ballroom - Salons F/G/H

Building a DMR Codeplug for Beginners
Digital Academy

Melanie Mariotti, KC7VFT
Saturday 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM     Contra Costa Ballroom - Salon 2

Event Planning 101: You Want to Do What? When? Where?
This slide presentation will provide thoughts about how to organize an amateur radio team to support public events even with minimal planning. There will be two case studies discussed and an opportunity for the audience to also discuss its experience with event planning.

Melanie Mariotti, KC7VFT, passed her amateur radio licensing exam when she was nine. Since then, she has been involved in the public service and emergency response aspects of amateur radio in Washington and California. Ms. Mariotti graduated from the California Maritime Academy, summa cum laude in 2009. While there, she led the creation of the campus CERT program. Ms. Mariotti then attended law school at Tulane University where she graduated in 2012 after being a member of the school's Maritime Law Journal and a student attorney in its renowned Environmental Law Clinic. Ms. Mariotti currently practices environmental law with the Paladin Law Group LLP in Walnut Creek. She also officiates high school basketball and football. Ms. Mariotti is a member of the Oakland Radio Communication Association and a director at large for the Northern Amateur Relay Council of California.

Kristen McIntyre, K6WX
Saturday, 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM                 Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E

SWR?  Who cares!
Standing Wave Ratio has been a boogieman in ham radio for as long as I can remember.  Some make it the defining parameter of their station efficiency and performance.  But why do we care?  Does it have a role in designing our stations?  Let’s explore in some depth what SWR is and what it tells us and whether it really defines our station.  We’ll look at how it’s calculated, what it implies, Smith charts and more.  And lastly, we’ll see if you care.

Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, has been interested in radio since she was about 5 years old.  She started in Amateur Radio in 1979 getting her ticket while at MIT.  Kristen has worked in many diverse areas from analog circuit design to image processing to starting and running an ISP.  She is currently working at Apple in Core Networking, and spent many years at Sun Microsystems Laboratories where she was researching robustness and emergent properties of large distributed computer systems.  She is a long time denizen of Silicon Valley and has worked at or consulted for many of the usual suspects.  Kristen is an active ham and loves to chase DX on HF with her Elecraft K2 which she built while visiting her mother in Florida.  She is ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director, president of the Palo Alto Amateur Radio Assoc., the Q&A columnist for Nuts and Volts magazine, and is active in many local clubs.  Kristen was recently inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.

Jim Mclaughlin, KI6ZUM
Saturday, 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM              Pleasanton/Danville

MMDVM (Multi-Mode Digital Voice Modem)
     - 4 year report card of open source
MMDVM (Multi-Mode Digital Voice Modem) open source project started development in 2015 and continues today. It now supports five digital voice modes (DMR, D-Star, NXDN, P25, and System Fusion) and text paging with POCSAG. The combination of MMDVM software open source hardware gives complete high power duplex repeaters through to low power hotspots.

Jim KI6ZUM has been developing and releasing open source hardware and software for over 35 years. When not experimenting with digital radio, he spends his time planning and running ARISS events to allow students to talk to astronauts on the ISS, mentoring students building a Cubesat and coaching FTC.

Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
     YLRL District 6 Chairwoman
Saturday, 1:00 – 1:50 PM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

L Forum
Women, young ladies (YLs) of all ages and allies are welcome.  The forum will recap this year's YL events, review the history and mission of the YLRL, Young Ladies' Radio League, and past and present challenges to our participation in amateur radio.  Attendees will discuss their interests and activities and network to investigate strategies to promote role models, mentoring and greater YL inclusion in the amateur community.  Youth outreach opportunities, such as the Maker movement and the Girl Scouts "Radio and Wireless Technology" Patch Program will be discussed.

Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, is District 6 Chairwoman of the Young Ladies' Radio League.  Starting as a short wave listener in the 60's she has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1970.  Carol has been a member of ARRL since 1973, the Medical Amateur Radio Council (MARCO) since 1977 and the YLRL since 2005. Carol is a Life Member of the ARRL where she currently serves as ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager. Carol maintains a personal web page at www.qsl.net/kp4md and is past president and current webmaster for the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society in Sacramento. When her busy pediatric practice permits, Carol enjoys playing piano and is active from 160 meters through 432 MHz.  Carol has published articles on satellite tracking, filter design programming, antenna modeling, and has given presentations on WSPR data analysis and suitcase DXpeditions.

Don Minkoff, NK6A
Saturday, 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM              Pleasanton/Danville

Shack Sloths and Mountain Goats: Summits on the Air
An introduction to Summits on the Air and how to be an activator or chaser. How to travel light, pack smart and become an activator or chaser from home or the field. A review of antennas and radio's, software and the mapping tools of SOTA.ORG.

Don Minkoff – NK6A, was first licensed as a Novice in 1959 as WV6HYF.  Don was drawn to chasing DX and contesting in the early 80’s but found that operating with 5W was also a fun challenge plus a quick route to winning certificates for contesting.   Don continues to be active in contesting and chasing DX but is drawn to the great outdoors, taking small, lightweight radios and antennas to mountain tops  for Summits on the Air. The chance to be DX and operate in Europe plus climb a summit has resulted in a further addiction.

Don Minkoff, NK6A, will give a presentation on what you need to become a successful chaser or activator.  SOTA has an award scheme for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners that encourages portable operation in mountainous areas.

 Don holds a BA degree from Cal State University Northridge and spent  20 years in quality engineering and auditing positions in the Automotive field of radio and navigation.

Carole Perry, WB2MGP
Saturday, 11:00 – 11:50 AM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

See Carole's Youth Forum page for details.

Shel Radin, KF0UR
Saturday, 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM              Pleasanton/Danville

Go Take A Hike!  Simple & Successful HF QRP Portable
I will show how effective a simple QRP portable station can be, including station equipment,  pictures from various outings and results.

Shel Radin, KF0UR has been licensed since he was a kid in New York in 1965.  Starting with a novice license back then, Shel has an extra class license and has now been on the air for over 54 years.   He enjoys the many facets of our hobby…DX’ing, Ragchewing, and Contesting using a variety of modes...CW, SSB, RTTY, and now FT8.  For the last 18 years, Shel has been active in QRP portable operations, for Field Day and hiking on the trails of the Colorado Rockies .
Over the years, Shel has fine-tuned his portable QRP setup to the extent of developing QRP accessories, and is now the co-owner and software developer for QRPworks LLC., manufacturer of the SideKar and other products.

Shel and his non-Ham, but very supportive XYL Judy, live in Colorado Springs, CO.  He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and is now retired after many years of hardware and software development in the Aerospace, Flight Simulation, Telecom, and  Education fields.

Steve Stearns, K6OIK
Sunday, 8:00 AM – 11:50 AM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

Antenna Modeling Seminar
See Steve's
Antenna Modeling Seminar page for details

Marcel Stieber, AI6MS
Saturday, 11:00 PM – 11:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H
Saturday, 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H

1) Everything you need to Know About Lithium Batteries
Batteries are a necessity for almost all portable radio operations. With the advent of modern battery chemistries, the choices available to the radio amateur are plentiful. This presentation will focus on the three common battery types: Lead-Acid (SLA/AGM), Lithium (Lion/Lipo), and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFE/LiFePO4). We'll discuss the pros and cons of each chemistry, common uses and misuses, and everyday application tips for your latest amateur radio project.

2) What It Takes to Install an HF Tower and How to Get Started
This forum will go through the major steps required to plan and install a typical amateur HF antenna tower. We will use the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club project from 2012 as the case-study to guide the discussion.

Marcel Stieber, AI6MS, has been an amateur radio operator since 2008 while attending the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He was President of the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club, W6BHZ, and is currently the Industry Advisor to the club. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, concentrating on RF and Communications, and writing his thesis on "Radio Direction Finding Network Receiver Design for Low-cost Public Service Applications". Marcel works as a Senior Hardware Systems Engineer at Amazon Lab126 in Sunnyvale, CA and also serves on the Cal Poly Electrical Engineering Industry Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the City of Cupertino, serving as the trustee and technical lead for the Cupertino ARES UHF repeater, W6TDM, and as the Project Lead for the Cupertino ARES ARKnet Project, which is building up a high-speed wireless intranet for the emergency responders in Cupertino. Marcel regularly volunteers at local repeater workdays as an RF technician and tower climber and enjoys providing communications for location bike rides and triathlons. He also volunteers as a Technical Advisor to several event management companies and local repeater groups. He is an ARRL Life Member and has helped license over 673 hams since 2009.

Eric Swartz, WA6HHQ
     of Elecraft
Saturday, 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM                      Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H

21st Century Transceiver Design

Eric Swartz, WA6HHQ, is Elecraft's Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer and co-designer of Elecraft's K3S and other Elecraft transceivers. Eric and Wayne Burdick, N6KR, founded Elecraft in 1998. Licensed for 45 years, he credits his early interest in Amateur Radio with leading him to a career in electronic design and management. He has a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, and has been involved in a number of successful Silicon Valley start-ups. Prior to Elecraft, Eric was co-founder and President of Verisys, a test equipment manufacturer of protocol analyzers for the mass storage market.

Brian Tanner, AG6GX
Saturday, 3:00 – 3:50 PM       
Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H

Art of Communications
An overview of operating practices and techniques that enables Technician class and HF class licensees to effectively use primarily voice communications both in everyday operations and in support of "Non-Government Organizations". Additional operating modes are also covered that are specific use cases for ARES / RACES
organizations - packet, Mesh networks, CW, etc...

Net Control Operator of the Western Country Cousins 3.970MHz LSB 9:00PM every other Friday (Net occurs every day)
Net Control Operator for the 9AM Talk Net  N6NFI – South Bay area (145.230MHz - offset/PL 100Hz)  9:00AM Wednesday (Net occurs every week day)
Net Control Operator for Santa Clara county ARES Packet Practice Net – Tuesdays
Active in City of Cupertino ARES group – participate in Cupertino 4th of July fireworks event, big bunny fun run event and Hero fun run event.
Active in City of San Jose ARES group – participate in Terra Bella bicycle run event
Active in Santa Clara County ARES group – participate in packet and voice message drills and county wide events.
Active on 75M, 40M, 20M, 2M and 70cm bands – I have a 4 band fan dipole HF antenna and dual band J pole antenna for fixed operations. Also have go-kit radio / antenna for remote operations. 
Previously worked in the rotating magnetic storage industry as a product design engineer for companies located  in US / Japan and South Korea.

Alan Thompson, W6WN
Saturday, 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM              Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon G/H

Radio For The Rest of Us
"Radio For The Rest of Us" picks up where the Camp Fire presentation, given Friday evening at the MDARC Club Open Meeting, leaves off. It details how Amateur Radio Clubs can set up "Neighborhood Radio Watch Programs" in local communities to help keep us safer during disasters.

Most of us nowadays depend entirely upon cell-phone and Internet services to stay in touch with our friends and families. These services, in turn, depend upon billions of dollars of technology not to fail. The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in the frequency and intensity of storms, fires, power shutdowns, and other natural and man-made disasters – events which often disrupt these vital communications services, sometimes for days or weeks. With the ever-increasing impacts of climate change and political tensions, these disasters may only become more frequent and more intense – putting us all at greater risk.

For years, Amateur Radio Operators have stood ready to use Radio during these kinds of emergencies to help restore communications when normal communications fail. This has worked well to aid First Responders. However, it has become increasingly critical for the average citizen to also have alternative methods to communicate when cell phone and Internet services fail. Getting an Amateur Radio license requires passing a technical exam beyond the interests or capability of most average citizens. But there are viable radio alternatives that average citizens can use without passing a test or getting a Amateur Radio license.

Radio For The Rest of Us highlights these cell phone and Internet service vulnerabilities, and how our unconscious over-reliance on cell phones for virtually everything puts us at serious risk. The presentation suggests ways how Amateur Radio Clubs might help "the rest of us;" our families, our friends, and our community, stay safer in the face of cell-phone and Internet service failures.

•    Profiles of recent disasters, and catastrophic points of failure that impacted emergency communications, alerts, and evacuations, placing peoples' lives at risk
•    Coverage and comparisons of various communications tools and alternatives to cell phones
•    "Radio For The Rest of Us" programs to support citizen-to-citizen emergency communications in our own, local communities
•    Information on how to get radios into the hands of Non Hams
•    Tips on working with local civic groups to "Get The Word Out"
•    The role of Amateur Radio Operators and Clubs to help implement and sustain Community Radio programs to keep our communities safer before a disaster strikes.

Alan Thompson, W6WN, was first licensed at age 11 in Placerville, California, and still lives there. He's the Owner and Field Engineer for El Dorado Networks, and provides satellite Internet systems installations for businesses and governmental organizations including Facebook, Intelsat, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, the Department of Defense, Cal Fire, the U.S. Forestry Service, the Department of Health Services, and the Federal Aviation Administration. An accomplished Speaker, he's also a member of Toastmasters International, and has led hundreds of presentations and workshops during his 35-year career in the satellite communications industry.

In 2018, Alan was part of a Disaster Recovery Team that installed several satellite Internet backup systems to help restore cell-phone service ten days after the 2018 Camp Fire rubbed out electronic communications in and around Paradise and Magalia. What Alan witnessed there turned him into an "Accidental Advocate" for community fire and communications safety. Since January, 2019, Alan has been traveling throughout Northern California and Western Nevada meeting with Amateur Radio Clubs, Civic Groups, Homeowners' Associations and Fire Safe Councils in an effort to alert others to the dangers we now face from an over reliance on vulnerable cell-phone and Internet communications services in the event of disasters.

Bob Turner, W6RHK
Saturday 10/19/19 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM           Bishop Ranch Ballroom-Salons G/H

Incident Command System for On the Air Operations
This presentation will show how the Incident Command System (ICS) could be used in support of an incident, remotely and on the air. The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized incident management tool used to meet the demands of small and large scale emergency and non-emergency situations.  Traditionally ICS is used within an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or on scene and managed from the Incident Command Post (ICP).  This presentation will show how an ICS could be created to support on-air nets and sub-nets in support of an incident. Any amateur radio emergency communications group (ARES, RACES, SATERN, etc.) would benefit from the ideas presented.

Bob Turner, W6RHK, is the Section Emergency Coordinator for the Orange Section of the ARRL coordinating volunteer services in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Inyo counties. He is part-time faculty with Moreno Valley College in the Public Safety Education and Training department and has taught Introduction to Homeland Security; Preparedness for Emergencies, Disasters and Homeland Security Incidents; and Recovery in Emergencies, Disasters and Homeland Security Incidents.

Bob holds a Master’s Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University and earned his B.S. Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology with concentrations in Disaster and Emergency Management and Technical Communications.

He serves as a Terrorism Liaison Officer for the Joint Regional Intelligence Center and is a member of the Los Angeles section of Infragard which is a partnership with the public and private sectors and the FBI for critical infrastructure protection. With Infragard he is involved in the Electromagnetic Pulse and Government Facilities Special Interest Groups and is an Education Sector Advisor. He is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Sheriff's Association, and the Southern California Earthquake Alliance.

He most recently retired from Alvord Unified School District as the Director of Risk & Emergency Management where he oversaw all functions of risk management and all phases of emergency management and district-wide radio communications.

Steve Turner, KJ6EIF
Saturday 10/19/19 9:00 AM - 9:50AM           Pleasanton/Danville

Designing and Constructing a Small Solar Powered HF, VHF and UHF Remote Base Station
This presentation will review the challenges of creating a small scale, self contained, radio-friendly, remote base station located nearly a quarter mile from my shack.  I built this station because my off-grid QTH is in a small, westward facing valley near the Pacific Ocean.  I am surrounded on three sides by ridges hundreds of feet above me.  My solution was to create a remote base station on the nearby ridge top, to effectively lower the horizon relative to my antennas. I use simple, low energy solutions to create a suitable environment for my radio and support equipment.  I needed to consider the potential for inter-component noise, temperature extremes, humidity, high winds, heavy rain, year-round access for maintenance and critters.  I will describe these techniques, plus basic solar power budgeting, various remote control strategies, site layout, future plans and some lessons learned after two years of operation. 

Originally licensed in 1968 as WN6HCJ and then as Advanced Class WA6HCJ.  Due to college, career, and daily life, I was off-the-air until 2009.  I have held an Extra Class license for nearly ten years.  I am active in local emergency preparedness efforts in my community and in schools through my employer.  I am a co-instructor for our local technician licensing classes, using video conferencing technology to present simultaneously in five isolated communities each spring.  Our team counts over 100 new hams as a results of our efforts this year.

Dennis Vernacchia, N6KI
Saturday, 3:00 – 3:50 PM        Contra Costa Ballroom, Salon 2

Ham Radio's Life Saving Role During the Vietnam War
My talk is about how hams who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war were vital in making the not so very well run Army MARS program successful in getting radio-telephone phone patches to their family, friends and loved ones back to the states.

The U.S. Army did not have MOS job assignments for MARS Operators like the Air Force and Navy/Marine did. If you got an assignment as an Army MARS operator it was "Catch-as-catch-can" - you could not enlist and get that assignment. Also, obtaining and maintaining equipment and antennas was often difficult. Yankee ingenuity and midnight requisitioning prevailed to keep Army MARS stations on the air!

Many of the US Army MARS Operators were DRAFTEEs like me and those lucky hams getting into the MARS stations may have been responsible for saving their lives, if not,.....at minimum, their mental sanity, during this unpopular and protracted war.

My personal story, which will be very similar to other Vietnam Army MARS Operators experiences, includes color slides and audio snippets of actual phone patches that occurred at the height of the war in 1968-1969, and details how a ham that should have wound up in a cushy and safe signal corp assignment, got shanghaied into an elite airborne infantry combat unit ( 101st Airborne Div) and put into harms way, survived and built a successful MARS station operation at an isolated and often attacked Firebase, 90 miles in any direction to any friendly forces.

Slides will also include a few from Barry Goldwater's MARS station where I volunteered to run patches back to Vietnam when I came back to the states and also a few slides where my lifetime ham friend and funny Hollywood Comedian, Garry Shandling, WA7BKG/KD6OY (SK - unfortunately we lost Garry in March of 2016) even played a role in keeping my MARS station, "AB8AY", on the air with his and his family's support.

AB8AY went from a failing sandbagged 6X6 foot metal CONEX shipping container bunker, using a dilapidated  and barely working 2 band Cubical Quad antenna and poorly working Collins KWM-2 Transceiver to a 15 X 30 ft permanent structure and 2 new KWM-2As with 30L1 amps and 2 new Hy-Gain LP-1007 Log Periodic antennas by the end of my tour/effort.

I guarantee no one will sleep thru this 50 minute presentation!

Dennis Vernacchia, N6KI, was first licensed in 1963 in NJ. He left NJ and headed west in 1965 after high school graduation and received his B.S.E.T degree from Arizona State University in 1974 after serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam in 1968/1969 and working as a TV station Broadcasting Technician while attending college. He moved to San Diego in 1974 and worked as a liaison between engineering and production for companies producing RF Communications products. Since retirement, he enjoys elmering new hams, HF contesting and training contest operators at NX6T San Diego Contest Club.

Joel Wilhite, KD6W
Saturday, 1:00 – 1:50 PM        Bishop Ranch Ballroom, Salon E

Digital Amateur Television
This talk will cover all of the ways to get on the air in your area. Special events are best served from a portable DATV repeater with many receivers spread out to view the television coverage from around the event. This presentation will cover some basic concepts for receiving and transmitting and will include a live demo and will operate during Pacificon.