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#SDR2020: the first French SDR Winter School

More than 30 “SDR Geeks” attended the first SDR Winter School, organized jointly by RCN-EG, the R.E.F. and group of trainers (Sylvain F4GKR, Eric F5HSV, Evariste F5OEO and Mehdi F4IHX) in the south suburbs of Paris from the 17th to the 21st of February.

The event was open to everybody and was attended by a very wide audience: whilst there was just a majority of licensed amateurs, there were 14 non-amateur attendees, some having no idea of what amateur radio is. Those attending ranged from 19 to 74 years old, coming from 4 countries (France, Belgium, Algeria and Senegal), many by train and plane.

Participants at the SDR Winter School

The teaching program was structured in two parallel tracks:

  • The initiation track, dedicated to overview existing applications and tools (GnuRadio, LuaRadio, AdalmPluto, DATV etc.);
  • The expert track, focused on theory, DSP tips and tricks, covering topics like sampling, decimation and interpolation, demodulation, FFT processing, software architecture etc. For each topic a set of Jupyter Notebook Python examples were provided to implement the theory.

We also welcomed three guests for special sessions:

  • Satellite communication, presented by AMSAT‑F;
  • SDR Hardware, presented by Yannick F4HDA;
  • Radio astronomy by Jean-Jacques F1EHN.

While the entire program was free, it was possible at a limited cost to use the facilities available at the venue (restaurant and bedrooms). IARU R1 and REF also sponsored a few of the youngest visitors who could not afford the full cost.

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