Re: Narrow Band Emergency Messages
Sarah,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Thanks for your comments. My concern with mesh networks is the heavy reliance on infrastructure. As I understand mesh networks, you have a bunch of tiny cells making a network. Without those cells, you have no coverage. The beauty of ham radio is generally its lack of infrastructure. Generic radios talking to generic radios. Sure, there are repeaters on VHF/UHF, but emergency systems cannot totally rely on them. And, they can easily be replaced with basic radios. Mesh networks take a lot of specialized equipment and still only cover a relatively small area per radio. In a major disaster environment, you have to be able to make up networks with "Run What You Brung" equipment. Lose a repeater and you can cobble one together with a couple mobile radios and some junk box parts to get back on the air with county wide coverage. How many mesh nodes does it take to give county wide coverage and how many hams would be able to use it?
Don't get me wrong, I love playing with mesh stuff, although I haven't had much opportunities in my rural area. I encourage everyone to play in whatever aspect of ham radio they enjoy. But don't look at exotic systems like mesh networks to be viable in SHTF situations.
With NBEMS systems, one can take pretty much any generic ham radio and laptop computer and communicate over a wide area to pass traffic, files, and images. I just saw it tonight on the ORCA network. Great fun with basic equipment.
Good luck with your mesh network. In a highly populated area like L.A. with thousands of people per square mile, it might have moderate success for day-to-day operations. In areas like mine with dozens of square miles per ham, not so much.
Sarah wrote on 09/18/2018 07:39 PM: