QSO Today host Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, announced that the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will commence on March 13-14, 2021, over a period of 48 hours. The first QSO Today Expo was a great success with over 16,000 attendees and the March 2021 event is anticipated to be even larger. The QSO Today team has been working hard to make this upcoming Expo even better with new panel discussions, kit building workshops and much more.
Additionally, the Expo team is proud to announce an entire speaker track dedicated to the amazing world of AMSAT—the worldwide group of amateur radio operators who share an active interest in building, launching and then communicating with each other through non-commercial amateur radio satellites. To date, over 70 amateur radio satellites have been launched. At the Expo, there will be nine sessions by AMSAT experts who will discuss everything you need to know about taking advantage of this satellite network. These include:
• Introduction to Amateur Radio Satellites (Douglas Quagliana, KA2UPW)
• Getting On the Air with Satellites (Bradford Clint, K6LCS)
• How to Enjoy Amateur Radio Contacts With the International Space Station (Frank Bauer, KA3HDO)
• Implementation of LDPC Encoder on FPGA (Anshul Makkar)
• Debris Mitigation in Earth’s Orbit (Anshul Makkar)
• Digital Multiplexing Transponder from the Open Research Institute (Michelle Thompson, W5NYV)
• Solving the ITAR and EAR Problem for the Amateur Radio Satellite Service (Michelle Thompson, W5NYV)
• Remote Labs for P4XT Engineering Development (Paul Williamson, KB5MU)
In addition to the speaker track, AMSAT will have a booth at the Expo where attendees can talk to experts, enthusiasts, operators and technicians about this very cool technology. Booth visitors can also get contact and membership information for the thirty member AMSAT societies around the world.
At the Expo, amateur radio operators will be able to:
● Learn from a packed line-up of renowned ham radio speakers such as Bob Allphin, K4UEE, on “My Favorite DXpeditions to DXCC Top 10 Most Wanted;” Michael Foerster, W0IH, on “Using the Arduino In Your Shack;” and Ron Jones, K7RJ, on “3D Printer Basics”
● Take part in live virtual kit building workshops. Kits will be available for purchase and delivered to you in time for the Expo so you can participate and build from the convenience of your home
● Walkthrough the virtual exhibit hall filled with popular amateur radio suppliers. Watch live product demos of the latest equipment. New video technology will be used to provide a better experience for attendees to engage with exhibitors
● Prior to the Expo, take advantage of our new speaker calendar technology to download speaker times in your local time zones to your Google or Outlook calendar. You’ll then have a complete schedule of the sessions you want to join
● Return over the next 30 days to listen to speakers you missed during the live period, explore and re-engage exhibitor offerings
“While attendance is expected from traditional in-person convention “goers” not traveling due to COVID, the virtual Expo is a great opportunity for those that don’t typically attend in-person events–the vast majority of amateur radio operators. At our last Expo, we found that 60 percent of attendees don’t go to in-person national conferences and 40 percent don’t attend state or local events–mostly because of distance or because of the thousands of dollars typically spent on travel and lodging.” said Guth.
“The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo has all of the familiar hallmarks of an in-person hamfest, including opportunities to connect and learn. Expect to bump into friends and well known experts and personalities from throughout our worldwide ham radio community!” said Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, ARRL product development manager.
Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT director, said, “operating within the Amateur Radio Satellite Service is one of the most rewarding privileges of holding an amateur radio license. There has never been a better time to be involved in amateur radio satellites since some long-standing regulatory burdens have been lifted and advanced technology has never been more affordable and accessible. We have opportunities now that were not available as of even a few years ago. AMSAT is fortunate to contribute to the Expo by showcasing the truly amazing work going on around the world in the amateur satellite scene. And the Expo is an ideal partner to show it off to the wider ham audience.”
Guth said, “AMSAT is making a major contribution to the upcoming Expo by helping our attendees to learn about this exciting technology, new developments and how they can apply it to their everyday activities. These presentations will range from beginner to expert - so there will be something for everyone interested in space communications at the Expo.”
Anyone can attend the QSO Today Virtual Ham Radio Expo from their home or office. Early bird tickets are just $10 (to help cover the cost of this event, $12.50 at the "door") and include entry for the Live two day period as well as the 30-day on-demand period).
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® in the U.S., is a QSO Today Expo Partner. Flexradio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor, and Gold sponsors as of this time include Elecraft, RFinder and CSI.
Registration for the event can be found at www.qsotodayhamexpo.com.