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#199192 - 03/29/10 03:52 PM Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
What's state of the art in Ham radio data? Can I reasonably expect ham radio folks to bring data connectivity to my emergency operations center? Possibly internet?

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#199202 - 03/29/10 05:55 PM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: MartinFocazio]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Depends on where you are, how your local group trains

Here in NYC, at least in Queens, we'll show up with High Power WiFi (serious gain and power - like watts), VHF Data via packet, and maybe (depending on who) HF data - IF the local VHF data nodes are up, we have a link to a bi-directional HF node that's on generators here in Queens.

We regularly drill on getting email data across the state without using the internet - but we also have like 3-4 points to bridge into the internet local

We show with a pop3/smtp that will hook right into your network, and a set of outlook/outlook express scripts to add that account to your local PCs - we setup the "post office" - we can hook it to your lan/broadband - if it sees the internet is up, it sends via that, then tries modem, then wifi, then vhf packet, then HF, then will try and fax - auto fallback

So the tech is there - just depends on how far your local guys are willing to go, and what they have trained for
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#199205 - 03/29/10 07:36 PM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: MartinFocazio]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
It's not reasonable. Many hams have data capability, but there are several flavors, and you need to let them know what data transfer mode you'll expect them to use.

I'd suggest having a meeting with them and developing a consensus on what they'll use (packet radio, WinLink2000, short messages through APRS, WINMOR, PSK31, and on and on). Some of these modes have internet nodes, mail boxes, etc. If you have hams experienced in emergency communications, you'll have some people who can talk to you about what you need and guide you in building your base.

For some information, drop by
http://www.winlink.org/
and look at their "How to ..." tab.

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#199213 - 03/30/10 12:32 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: philip]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
Phillip -

Thanks for the advice. I called our local AREAS coordinator, and he was very nice, and had a lot of information (and questions) for me. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that my concept for a medium-band backhaul to the Internet quickly ran aground - not on the technology issues, which seemed to be surmountable, but by my request that I could put a computer with, say, Skype and a mail client HERE and have the data connection go over the air to some THERE where the wires were still up.

Well, there seems to be some issue with if the person sending instant messages via Skype is a licensed ham operator, and the role of the control operator vs. the user and it all got complicated very quickly. Not to mention there seemed to be all to much complexity. We don't have the kind of setups that Charlie mentioned.

So I contacted some other folks and found out about long-range non-line of sight ethernet links as used for industrial communications. I found this gem of a device for under $1,000

http://www.industrialethernet.com/aw900x.html

Now, I am located up high at my command center, and with a 20 mile Line of sight range to a lot of possible end points and at 1.5 MB/sec, it's looking like an ideal solution - best of all, it need no license, and from the looks of it, it's a simple enough setup.

I think we can get a grant for this equipment, if we make it some kind of a shared resource. Looking into it.

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#199217 - 03/30/10 01:41 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: MartinFocazio]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Think redundancy with that backhaul. They have minor issues that generally crop up at MAJOR times.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#199218 - 03/30/10 01:43 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: MartinFocazio]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Oh, with our setup, there has to be a control operator too - BUT just like a repeater, we can set it in an auto mode, so long as there is a control operator to turn it off, or stop 'non complying' transmissions (don't surf/send porn in your emails please, or else we will have to turn you off)

Some hams/ares groups look for a reason NOT to do something, or do it "their way", and don't really bother to read what the guys at the FCC says is acceptable in an emergency. The winlink postoffice type things (which is what we are using for the multimode sending) is basically, for all intents, a setup with a control operator - we just need to be able to monitor/shut down if need be, so there has to be a ham on site by the transmitter - now, how the signal gets TO the transmitter is your business, and where it goes after that is the other hams business - but so long as I'm talking USA to USA, I can let you use my rig, so long as I'm in control to ensure things stay legal - it doesn't mean that I have to actually push the 'push to talk'
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#199223 - 03/30/10 02:40 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: KG2V]
ame Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
Before you spend all that money, see how far you can get with this:
http://www.usbwifi.orconhosting.net.nz/

That website annoys me because all of the useful information is held in the images themselves. This one talks about a 10km link experiment:
http://www.usbwifi.orconhosting.net.nz/alfaaudit.jpg

It's not 20 miles, but it's cheap to experiment. I built one, with a USB wifi dongle, a 5m USB extension cable, a garden hose joiner and a Chinese hot oil mesh skimmer. I could pick up APs over 9km away without trying too hard. Of course, if you have a parabolic reflector on the other end too then range will increase (but it's tricky to line up).

Oh, and to answer your orginal question, Hams cannot easily set up internet infrastructure at the drop of a hat. The minimum service you should expect is to be able to relay voice messages out to somewhere. Anything more than that is highly dependent on operator skill, equipment availability, terrain and location, factors which are highly variable.

HTH,

A


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#199224 - 03/30/10 02:42 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: ame]
ame Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
Oh, and Winlink is evil.

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#199227 - 03/30/10 05:09 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: ame]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
I think you should plan on expert installation of the 900 MHz, and have the expert choose the antenna and other specifics. 2.4 GHz (802.11 b/g) can also work over such distances if done right.

Why Skype? Sending out SMS messages via email is far simpler on the infrastructure, works in low bandwidth scenarios and is store & forward: Skype probably has some unknown bandwidth floor requirement the radio operator has to meet (and I think some HAM schemes are quite slow, 9600 bps nominal or less).

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#199233 - 03/30/10 09:53 AM Re: Ham Radio Folks, Please Chime In [Re: MartinFocazio]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Phillip -


So I contacted some other folks and found out about long-range non-line of sight ethernet links as used for industrial communications. I found this gem of a device for under $1,000

http://www.industrialethernet.com/aw900x.html

Now, I am located up high at my command center, and with a 20 mile Line of sight range to a lot of possible end points and at 1.5 MB/sec, it's looking like an ideal solution - best of all, it need no license, and from the looks of it, it's a simple enough setup.

I think we can get a grant for this equipment, if we make it some kind of a shared resource. Looking into it.


Let me look into a few things at work. There are other "better" options including optical LOS backhaul.

More later
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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