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The Emergency Ham Network can benefit Ham Radio in many ways. One of the main advantages is that it can provide a way for non-emergency messages such as who is safe and wanting to let loved ones know, through to potentially lifesaving requests for medicine or help. It can also lower the tension and anxiety of the general public during an emergency that has taken down the Cell Phone and local internet by providing a pocket of cell phone text messaging.

Amateur radio operators use their training, skills, and equipment to provide communications during emergencies when all else fails. Hams serve our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers, and wired and wireless networks. Amateur radio can function completely independently of the internet and phone systems. An amateur radio station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes.

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Emergency Ham Network 2.0

I proposed the Emergency Ham Network motivated to provide some level of support to the general public when things got broken. I was sure that first responders and such would have communications, but there might be a period where local information and connectivity for ordinary people would not exist. The internet backbone is resilient by design. The main weakness is the last mile to my house. If that breaks, I lose all contact. If my local tower fails, I lose contact. Can radio, the Emergency Ham Network, substitute for the last mile for all people in a district so that they continue to connect for emergency information and essential communications? I imagined that if sufficient Ham Operators could organize to have a low data rate digital link together, they could share important emergency information and maintain a local collection of community Wi-Fi networks. Then anybody with a cell phone and a suitable browser could connect and exchange information.

Almost as an after thought I felt the plan needed a role when there was no emergency and so proposed using it as a gateway for the IoT and other Part 15 systems. This seemed a great way of providing a base load, keeping the network busy and operational and perhaps getting a few younger members to join Ham Radio.

Now, one year later, I wonder if the focus of the whole proposal should be shifted, so that a prime role or selling point is serving that group of IoT/STEM experimenters. So, now I plan  a re-launch to see if I can garner more interest with Ham operators providing a service to Part 15 devices, offering them more range and opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Just to help get us all on the same page.

What Is the Emergency Ham Network?

Think of the EHN as a volunteer network provider. Providing the IoT and STEM/Hobbyists an alternative to Cellular networks or the Internet. Using a collection of EHN gateways linked through existing Ham Radio Networks people could send their information locally or throughout the world. The EHN would become the modern equivalent of the Phone Patch.  Users would connect using Part 15 licensed equipment which would connect to their local EHN gateway. This gateway would be able to provide access to other local users but also link to other gateways across Ham Radio networks. The EHN gateway is a new development of open-source software running supported on multiple platforms. This software would be responsible for converting formats and protocols as well as ensuring all incoming traffic was de-encrypted for transmission in the clear on the ham Radio frequencies.

Learn More

What is the Emergency Ham Network Road Map?

This website has been live for just over a year, the early planning and concept of the EHN has been developing and has shifted from being an emergency service to an enabler for those interested in expanding their reach as hobbyists. At this time we are looking for supporters from the Ham Community, those teaching STEM and users of the IoT. If we get sufficient support or a core team of enthusiasts, we will continue to experiment and produce prototypes.  Locally we will trial Ham Networks and link Part 15 technologies.  The clock is ticking and if we do not achieve 100 members by mid-2024 the project will close.

Latest Blogs

21 November 2023
EHN Blog
During a recent literature search as I re-boot myself back into the Emergency Ham Network headspace I came across GhostNet. Perhaps this is a complimentary track to help the EMH? Who knows but I feel good reading about someone else organizing Operato...
19 April 2022
EHN Blog
The term "Peoples Network" has been used by some new players in the emerging private network infrastructure termed low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) or the older term low power wide Area (LPWA). These have re-emerged as a growth segment because of...
26 March 2022
EHN Blog
Winlink is a hard topic to discuss in part because of its complexity but also because it can be used and configured in many ways. It is available 24/7, 100% reliable, functions without the Internet and provides communications across the world, BUT th...
11 March 2022
EHN Blog
This was the headline in 2014 when a small group of engineers began communicating with a 36-year-old space probe. The Planetary Society details the fascinating story of how modern communications systems recreated the complex control systems needed to...
08 March 2022
EHN Blog
The magic of the cellular system is the division of a coverage area into small cells. This allows for low power and extensive frequency reuse across the cells, so that many users can use their cell phones simultaneously. Prior to cellular networks pe...
24 February 2022
EHN Blog
The planned launch of LightCube, a CubeSat, will be the latest man-made object in the sky that will flash on command. The command will be a coded radio transmission sent from something as simple as your handheld operating in the licensed Ham bands. T...
02 February 2022
EHN Blog
DAPNET is a mature once popular Paging system that has evolved into a resilient network suitable for short messages. It would be an ideal candidate for the Emergency Ham Network which could offer redundancy with the Internet for operation in times of...
11 January 2022
EHN Blog
APRS would be an ideal candidate to travel over a new digital network which has the potential to offer higher bandwidth and connectivity. Connection to the EHN would likely be through some form of IGate and supporting network so that local APRS data ...
20 December 2021
EHN Blog
63 years separate the first voice message from a satellite to the almost total world coverage of the Internet from Starlink. Such technology is born from men like Elon Musk who believed in an idea and helped others follow. They did not accept the sta...
14 December 2021
EHN Blog
Buying used UHF and Microwave commercial base stations that are supported by groups like AREDN will provide point to point and multi-endpoint systems for as low as $100. This is possible because the firmware can be exchanged to make them compatible w...
12 December 2021
EHN Blog
For radio packet network the use of a mesh network topology can provide longer range and tolerance to interference. Such systems are not commonly used in Ham Radio, AREDN is the notable exception. Low-cost commercial mesh systems have become popular ...
11 December 2021
EHN Blog
goTennaMESH offers a deployed network of mesh communities that would integrate into an Emergency Ham Network. This would allow the public to communicate between local networks. A win for the communities, the radio operators and a step closer to a via...
10 December 2021
EHN Blog
The NPR system would allow a single master station connected to a high-speed backbone, to serve up to seven clients through TDMA and achieve data rates of 65Kb/s on 70cm, economically priced this might be the solution for local clusters to be interco...
10 December 2021
EHN Blog
LoRa is a system finding some uses in Amateur Radio, but this is limited to operation over poor links and lower bandwidths. It does seem a good fit for point-to-point links on the 920MHz. band where its spread spectrum potential can be used. LoRa (fr...
07 December 2021
EHN Blog
The 33cm band offers unspecified bandwidth for unspecified digital transmissions using conventional modulation types as well as unspecified Spread Spectrum modulation although limited to 10W pep to the antenna. In my reading of Part 97 the 33cm or 90...
06 December 2021
EHN Blog
Despite the need for approval, the lower part of the 1.25M band could offer interesting possibilities for digital links particularly in urban areas as the frequency has good penetration and coverage although high gain antennas will be physically larg...
06 December 2021
EHN Blog
I have been doing my due diligence on the legality of operating the imagined Emergency Ham Network (EHN). The short answer is yes if there is an emergency and probably if there is not. Since all licensed radio operators have passed examinations, we a...
29 November 2021
EHN Blog
As an atypical white male in my 60's I struggle to remain connected with young people, I read about Millennials and what our experts predict will result from the changes in society. The best I can conclude comes in the form of the following two quote...
24 November 2021
EHN Blog
  Overview This document describes a possible peripheral for the imagined Emergency Ham Network. This could be the killer application for the network or just some ideas that is looking to find a problem. Only by writing this paper can that quest...
23 November 2021
EHN Blog
We talked about the value in using the EHN 24/7 even without an emergency, primarily because of the "use it or loose it" theory on our licensed spectrum. But what would we use for traffic, how can we give some reward to all our contributors who would...

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I am US Licensed Radio Amateur N2DH who wants to connect with others to build out a digital network across America. Using Mesh Networks and Packet Networks.


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