ARRL East Bay Section


The ARRL East Bay Section is establishing a Speakers Bureau to provide knowledgeable and effective speakers who are available to address amateur radio clubs and community groups about Amateur Radio.  Our Speakers are listed below.  Please contact them directly to make arrangements for their speaking engagement with your organization.

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 an ARRL Technical Coordinator for the East Bay Section, 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.  Here are various talks and abstracts.

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the lack of central organization which makes our radio service well suited to perform in circumstances where order has been replaced by chaos.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.

A Wire In The Air – what matters most
The magic of radio happens when we couple RF into the fabric of spacetime.  We do that with an antenna.  These devices are simultaneously simple and complex.  It’s easy to get lost in the theory or fooled by the latest anecdote.  Let’s look at what’s important in antenna choice and design.  There are things that matter more than others, and it’s never perfect.  And a bit of theory will guide us.  Radiation resistance, loss, pattern gain, terrain, polarization, coupling, loading – they all play a role.  Join me to find out what happens and what matters when we put a wire in the air.

Again, Again!  Why do some modes work better?
Ever wonder why CW works better than SSB, and SSB better than FM?  For that matter, why is PSK-31 pretty good, but modes like JT-65 and Olivia even better?  It turns out that there are reasons for this founded in Information Theory, which began with a study of Morse Code. We’ll look at spectral power densities, information theory, the Shannon-Harley theorem, noise cliffs, coding theory, maximum likelihood decoding, convolutional coding, self-synchronizing codes, and more.  We’ll even take a look at Fisher information and its relation to physics. Join me and explore why some modes work better, not just in how we experience them, but how they are impacted by their relationship to information theory.

Kristen McIntyreK6WX is prepared to share a wide range of other  Amateur Radio presentations with your organization.  Please contact Kristen at:

Kristen A McIntyre, K6WX
40711 Witherspoon Ter
Fremont, CA 94538-3513
(510) 703-4942