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Mesh Networking Over Ham Radio, Our OWN Emergency Backbone Network

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4YZI, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. W8QZ

    W8QZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, is this sorta like the packet networks were supposed to be, back in the day - only better, and much higher data rates? As far as nodes - how about re-purposing those rarely-used VHF repeater sites as a mesh node site a.k.a. mesh repeater? Lots of line-of-sight locations there. Seems like there could be some good possibilities there, especially with off-grid / emergency power sources.
    KK4HPY likes this.
  2. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a good idea to me.
  3. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    In a real emergency people are sitting around with charged smart phones , tablets, laptops, and no wifi. The government has their own radio communications and they don't need hams. The general public is who needs our help and they need WIFI. With mesh we can give them WIFI.
    If you buy new Ubiquity hardware and use the AREDN firmware you can easily get 10 mile range. Brand new Ubiquity hardware with directional antenna built in , designed for outdoor installation, and power over ethernet , under $100 for a base model.
  4. WY7BG

    WY7BG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    25 years ago, I founded the world's first WISP, or wireless ISP, here in Laramie, Wyoming. It uses unlicensed spectrum, not the ham bands, but the principles are exactly the same for any band. We've experimented extensively with "mesh" networking, and have determined that while it sounds like a good idea when enthusiasts describe it, it doesn't work well in practice. Too little spectral efficiency; too much QRM; too much latency; poor reliability; high susceptibility to overloading even by well-meaning devices and software; serious security concerns that can only be remedied by substantial increases in overhead. After doing the math and then verifying it experimentally, we went back to other topologies which worked much better. I would not rely on it for normal use, much less emcomm. It's fine for hams to experiment with it (though they must be extremely careful, because if one connects almost ANY modern Internet device to it there's a real danger that commercial traffic will cross the network and therefore violate the Part 97 FCC regs), but they'll doubtless reach the same conclusion as we did: meshes are, in practice, a bad idea.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mesh is bad for a permanent commercial use case if you can avoid it. Mesh is good when you want to throw up an ad hoc network without a lot of coordination and without much expert knowledge.

    If you want something commercial grade checkout HamWAN , they are pro engineers duplicating commercial infrastructure. It may be that HamWAN becomes the backbone and mesh is only used around the edges to fill in dead spots.
  7. KL7YY

    KL7YY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Over the past 5 years I have accumulated over 50 Linksys WRT54G/GS/GL routers and they all have the V3.1.0 firmware on them now. Hopefully I can put them to use here in the Colorado Springs area soon. Acquired all of them from garage sales, goodwill, salavation army and ARC stores that I usually visit weekly. My average price for all the ones I bought are around $7.00. I recently acquired a WRT54GV3 that was programmed with a ham call from the Denver area that showed up in a Colorado Springs Goodwill store. I am having trouble putting my call on it. Any suggestions?
  8. KL7YY

    KL7YY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a WRT54G TM router. Is it use able for broadband hamnet?
    Their is no other version number on this unit.
  9. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, give them wifi and they'll take care of themselves knew this was coming.......ANY connection to the internet is encrypted. No one seems to care about rules anymore
    but chances of getting busted at 2 or 5G are slim to none and it happens on HF all the time with no consequences. As long as you're not actually in the ham allocations no problem, knock yourself out but it's no longer "ham" radio.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  10. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think people do care about the rule. It's just that the rule was originally intended for another era and had a different kind of meaning / intention then.

    Could this be an outdated rule that needs revision with certain exceptions permitted for modern times?

    No, I am not advocating breaking the rules, just examining the original intent for creating the rule in the first place.

    The idea was not to obscure communications but even something like requiring a password to access another mesh router could be interpreted as a form of encryption.

    Of course the password is public knowledge but that isn't the point I am making. It's still technically using a method of "encryption." I guess the same could be said for DMR?

    On the other hand, one might even argue requiring a PL tone to access a repeater is a form of encryption for that matter.

    It's just an interesting point you brought up to think about. Nothing confrontational, these are just my wandering thoughts.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018

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