Who: David B. Leeson


"Amateur Radio at Stanford: Its Role in Competitive Advantage"


Where:   Zoom (link)
Meeting ID: 995 8443 6388
Password: 722701
Tues, April 13th at 7:30pm PT

Moonbouncing from Silicon Valley (ARRL EME contest, 2017)

Amateur Radio at Stanford: Its Role in Competitive Advantage

About the talk:
Find out how amateur radio at Stanford has contributed to the strategic development of individuals like you, who have went on to play a pivotal role in the history of Stanford and Silicon Valley at large. The talk will examine the competitive and cooperative nature of amateur radio, and explore concepts such as segmentation, differentiation, and “Steeples of Excellence”, which can be applied to achieve a strategic advantage in highly competitive fields. Key figures in this history include Bill Hewlett & David Packard, Fred Terman, William Hansen, and Oswald Villard. Radio technologies with roots in amateur radio have become indispensable to the success of many Bay Area companies, finding use in smartphones, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, satellites, radar, and more.

About the speaker:
David B. Leeson is a consulting professor at Stanford University, and received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1962 (Hughes Fellow), a M.S. from MIT (NSF Fellow), and a B.S. from Caltech. He is an IEEE Life Fellow and has written numerous widely cited papers, including a seminal work on oscillator phase noise for which he received the Cady Award. He was the founder and CEO of California Microwave, Inc. from 1968 to 1993. He is an avid radio amateur (W6NL) and is the faculty advisor and license trustee of the Stanford Amateur Radio Club (W6YX).

Who: Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI)


"Student-Built Small Satellites"


Where:   Zoom (link)
Meeting ID: 958 3365 9450
Password: 392943
Tues, March 9th at 7:30pm PT



"The Stanford Student Space Initiative (Stanford SSI) is Stanford's largest project-based student group, with more than 300 dues-paying members, split into six project teams: Rockets, Balloons, Satellites, Biology, Operations, and Policy. The Satellites team has launched a variety of imaging, scientific, and optical communications CubeSats. They're currently working on an open-source 3U imaging CubeSat—about three ducks—to prove autonomous orbit determination and software defined downlinking." -SSI Website

We will have a few guest speakers from the SSI Satellites team talking about their current project work, including:

  • Ian Chang (Satellites colead)

  • Akasha Kayden (Satellites colead)

  • Flynn Dreilinger (GNC lead)

  • Dev Iyer (Avionics colead)




Who: ARRL Pacific Division Director, Kristen McIntyre


"Complex Dynamics in Ham Radio"


Where:   Zoom (link)
Meeting ID: 930 2254 5628
Password: 356840
Tues, Dec. 8th at 7:30pm PT


Kristen McIntyre, K6WX

Complex Dynamics in Ham Radio

Why does Ham Radio work "when all else fails"?  Most other communication systems are built on the principle of centralized control and centralized infrastructure.  Amateur Radio, by comparison, lacks centralized control, organization, or structure and yet often outperforms commercial systems which are specifically designed to work during a disaster.  This talk will explore the notion that it is the lack of central organization which makes our radio service well suited to perform in circumstances where order has been replaced by chaos.  A new area of research has been gaining popularity recently that investigates the dynamics of decentralized complex systems.  This research when applied to Amateur Radio can help us to understand why our radios continue to work when other systems fail. 



Who: Stanford Prof. David Leeson


"Stanford and Silicon Valley: How Amateur Radio
Launched the Chain of Events"

Where:   Zoom (link)
Meeting ID: 958 6960 4465
Password: 590327
Tues, Nov. 10th at 7:30pm PT


David Leeson


Stanford and Silicon Valley: How Amateur Radio Launched the Chain of Events

Today's monumental eminence of Stanford and Silicon Valley did not happen overnight; rather, it is the outcome of a hundred-year chain of contingent events that arose from an early nurturing fertile environment. A consideration of the roots and prehistory of the present-day outcome can provide valuable guidance for individuals, entities and regions seeking to identify new emerging areas of opportunity before everything is cast in concrete.

In the period from the 1920s through the 1950s, momentous societal events included the revolution in atomic and nuclear scientific understanding, the Depression and WWII. In the Depression, Stanford was facing great financial difficulties. In radio and electronics, little room was available in those days for independent development in the face of the established patent monopolies of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and the national telephone utility (AT&T).

But on the US West Coast, a unique cooperative regional culture, especially of radio amateurs, enabled a small number of research and business enterprises to respond and seed fertile new ground in vacuum tubes, radio, microwaves and particle accelerators. Then in WWII, these individuals and companies played greatly increased national roles, establishing their claim to further advances in these areas on a much larger scale.

The postwar business successes of Stanford Industrial Park microwave companies, coupled with the historic $100 million funding of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, brought the area to readiness for the next phase, the establishment of semiconductor and computer businesses here. This chain of events resulted in the emergence of Stanford as an international research institution and of Silicon Valley as the model of overarching success in new technologies.

With the technological changes now underway in response to our current novel world situation, might this be a similar time of the emergence of new opportunities? If so, what can we learn from the prehistory of Silicon Valley about the hallmarks of a supportive culture that might support fruitful new beginnings?

Slides available here



Who: Invited Speaker, Bruce Perens


Building Your Own Remote Ham Radio Site,
Where You Can Have Antennas As Big As You Want!

Where:   Zoom (link)
When: Tues, Oct. 13th, 7:30pm



Building Your Own Remote Ham Radio Site, Where You Can Have Antennas As Big As You Want!

Wouldn't it be fun to have the space for a half-wave vertical at 160 meters, or some really large wire antennas, and legal limit power, and not worry about how the neighbors feel about it? Bruce Perens made the jump, and bought 10 acres of cheap land in far-Northern California, sight-unseen on eBay! He has since been building an off-grid station on the land. Having a personal remote station is within the reach of many hams, and a remote station is a great club project!
He will discuss:
  • Pitfalls of buying land on eBay, why it sometimes really can be a bargain and why it often isn't.
  • Is farmland really RF-quiet?
  • Is there dark sky for astronomy?
  • How will you remote-control your off-grid station?
  • How will you power your remote station?
  • Getting there.
  • What will you use for the shelter for your equipment?
  • Dealing with legal requirements: you can't do everything you want on your own land, you might not be able to do anything.
  • Meeting the neighbors: some are really nice! Oops, there are pot farmers on three sides! Oops, everyone has guns
  • Construction projects.
  • Temperature in your shelter.
  • Owning an unsupervised site, security issues.
  • Camping there.
  • Burying antenna wires and other pipes and wires.
  • The potential of fire on your site.


This month's meeting is an excellent opportunity to hear from a Ham who is very active in communications and has made significant contributions in many areas. Mr Perens is one of the founders of the Open Source movement, and has been involved in Linux development, and communication standards.