What happens when the infrastructure fails?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2BLC, May 13, 2018.

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  1. W2BLC

    W2BLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Regarding DMR, D-Star, and Fusion radio (question involving only amateur operations) - when the infrastructure fails, is their a fall-back? Am I correct in understanding that the Internet is heavily involved with these systems, and of course computers at many levels?

    Is the Internet the backbone of these systems? Where will these systems be during Internet failures of various types? I am not speaking of one-on-one HF/VHF remote (over the Internet) operations.

    Thanks, Bill W2BLC
    AC1CX likes this.
  2. K1FBI

    K1FBI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't throw away your analog rig.
    NX6ED, KE0EYJ, KC8YLT and 5 others like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you have identified part of why HF has become so popular (in ham circles, anyway) at the expense of VHF+ in recent years. With a low dipole and a few watts of power, I can work any station within two or three hundred miles on 80m, even during the day during the sunspot low. As long as I and the other station have some battery power, we can make the contact. Infrastructure modes can't really offer that.

    Professional LMR installations often use their own microwave or fiber links, as well as large generators on each repeater site, to "keep going" when the grid is down.
    W9AMM, N0TZU, NL7W and 1 other person like this.
  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It might be informative to know how they fail. IRRC, some of these modes HAVE to be connected to the internet to work at all and some would become local repeaters only.
    Meanwhile HF still works ;)
  5. N2NH

    N2NH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It really depends on what type of disaster strikes. We recently had a community meeting with the county Emergency office. They seemed to have a very bad attitude when I mentioned Amateur Radio. Of course all of their remedies for nearly every disaster was to use the internet or your cell phone. In the area around lower Manhattan after 9/11, there was no power and cellphone service was the first thing to go out. And that was for a local disaster that affected two buildings. I'd hate to see how that would work out in the event of a tsunami, earthquake or worst of all a Gamma-Ray Burst.

    We'll see how that plays out. Ham radio was a very important part of the efforts after 9/11. I imagine that will be true for awhile into the future (as in always).
    N9NY, W5WN, WZ7U and 1 other person like this.
  6. AC1CX

    AC1CX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have been in a DMR net when on several occasions internet issues to particular Repeaters caused issues with stations not being able to be heard by the Net.
    N2NH likes this.
  7. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seems to me you need to separate the emergency use of those systems versus the day to day chit chat that takes place. When my internet provider goes down I wait for them to have it restored no backup. Would hope that the different ham radio related emergency services have alternate plans i.e. other means of communicating and things like emergency generators to carry out their function otherwise what would be the point .
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Vast differences in emergency communication infrastructure exist today when compared to 9/11

    They now have things like fleets of portable / mobile solar powered cell towers ( cell on wheels or "COWS") that are deployed into affected areas just as quickly as hams could ever be deployed there.

    With every disaster things are being improved and it's only a matter of time when it reaches the point where they can make communication restoration efforts become as reliable as hams using HF radio equipment.

    Everyone has cellphones, so this is the primary target they focus everything on these days. This is what reaches out and connects the most people as possible together in a disaster area, and no it's not ham radio.

    Of course, they still need volunteers during disasters but don't fool yourself into thinking they don't have any advanced capabilities available to restore communication infrastructure for large numbers of people / agencies together over a single communication network, very quickly and on the fly.

    This ain't your daddy's 9/11 anymore and here's the new "go kits"...

    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    K2CAJ, KE0EYJ, KC9VFO and 7 others like this.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes. It's called HF. If "infrastructure" fails nationwide, I and most of us will have bigger worries than missing the Sunday night D-Star net. ;)
    KG4RRH, K1TGX, WN1MB and 4 others like this.
  10. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The internet doesnt fail. How often do you experience network outages?

    I used to build carrier networks. I ran dual redundant rings around several states. Multiple peers for ingress egress. Dedicated redundant rings for LTE with dual handoffs into their mitsos.

    If the internet fails youre looking at a catastrophic event. You should assume you and your loved ones are dead and/or dismembered.

    The year is 2018 folks. Things have changed. Please adapt.
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