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Open Radio Miniconf

Like open hardware and kits? Would you like to build a Software Defined Radio?

Want to explore how your data is sent over radio? Then this miniconf is for you!

Some assembly required!

By the end of the day, you will:
- Learn how radios work and grok what Software Defined Radio (SDR) is about
- Learn to solder leaded and surface mount components and wind an inductor (or three)
- Build experience in using open radio software
- Learn about the mysteries of software defined radio including (now don’t be frightened) Inphase-Quadrature (IQ) receiver techniques
- Gain experience and understanding in how “digital modes” work over radio; such as amplitude and frequency keying
- Build a general coverage SDR Receiver, tuning shortwave radio bands (3 - 30 MHz), and a simple 100mW ISM band transmitter to take home. Beware, this hardware will be a gateway drug to Ham Radio!
- Understand basic regulations of using low power and unlicensed ISM spectrum
- Send text messages to each other over the air. with your radio hardware and open source software

You provide; a laptop with Linux, a spare USB port, and ideally basic soldering tools. Soldering experience is desirable but not essential.

We provide; a low cost kit - around $50 - with all the help you need to build, test and debug your very own Software Defined Radio (SDR).

Kim Hawtin

Kim VK5FJ has been a programmer and sysadmin using Linux for over twenty years. Kim has presented at previous LCA and Miniconfs on clustering, network and web services. At LCA2008 Kim hosted the Community Wireless Miniconf in Melbourne. With a very digitally focused web infrastructure role, Kim has been exploring the analog side of amateur radio communications and electronics. Current projects include things that let out RF and occasionally smoke and even things with thermionic emissions.

Mark Jessop is an Electronic Engineer in the defence industry, and has been seen at previous LCA events talking about cubesat payloads and high altitude ballooning. He is currently working on his PhD, investigating the effects of ionospheric disturbances on low frequency data communications. His other interests include software-defined radio and amateur radio, and he holds the callsign “VK5QI”.

David Rowe has 25 years experience in the development of DSP-based telephony and sat-com hardware/software. David has a wide mix of skills including software, hardware, project and business management, and a PhD in DSP theory. In 1968 at age 9 months he was crawling towards power points, and it’s been all downhill since then. He received his first Amateur Radio license at age 13, and in the early 1980’s his first Z-80 based computer. In 2006 he quit an executive position in the satellite communications industry to become a full time open source developer. Since then David has worked on open hardware and software projects in VOIP, developing world communications (villagetelco.org), echo cancellation, speech compression, and digital voice over HF radio. David's other interests include his popular blog (rowetel.com), Electric Vehicles, travel, the Skepticism (critical thinking) movement, Amateur Radio, and swanning around Adelaide on his bike drinking lattes. David has been a popular speaker and red wine drinker at every lca.conf.au since 2008, and in 2012 his presentation on Codec 2 was voted best of conference.