Our Blog / News

Don’t miss out, say what you mean

The People’s Network – low-power wide-area networks

basic-end-node

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 the development of the IoT and changes in incumbent cellular networks. LPWA is not new, in 2013 it ...

Continue reading
  251 Hits

Winlink – Mature, Stable, Reliable, what next?

hamlink-promo HF Hamlink Radio and US node map

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 there are complicated conditions and restrictions that place reasonable boundaries on its performance....

Continue reading
  248 Hits

After decades of silence, a vintage spacecraft says hello to Earth

ISEE-3-promo ISEE-3 and sample GNU Radio GUI

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 control the ISEE-3 as it returned to our planet Earth.Known as the ISEE-3 re-boot it beautifully il...

Continue reading
  247 Hits

Cell Phone Networks – What can we learn?

cellular-systems

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 people used "car phones". Typically, these were high power VHF two-way radios that could cover about 3...

Continue reading
  289 Hits

Light Up the Sky – With Your Radio

LightCube CubeSat

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. The bright Xeon Strobe should be visible from the ground letting you know that your radio triggered i...

Continue reading
  275 Hits

DAPNET - Decentralized Amateur Paging Network

DAPNET-promo DAPNET World Coverage

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 local or national emergency. I believe this project grow out of Germany from FunkrufMaster or CallM...

Continue reading
  363 Hits

APRS - Automatic Packet Reporting System

xastir-screenshot APRS data centered on New York City

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 can be forwarded to other local clusters without needing the Internet. APRS now known as Automatic P...

Continue reading
  296 Hits

Holiday Message - President Eisenhower’s Christmas Greeting 1958 – A Technological Marvel

atlas-in-orbit

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 status quo; they disrupted the traditional wisdom. Then The United States launched a unique communicati...

Continue reading
  421 Hits

Flashing Commercial Equipment – Cost Effective for Point to Point?

figure_csoti_4_from_wndw

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 with our amateur regulations. This is the most cost effective way of getting started but the longer r...

Continue reading
  349 Hits

Mesh Networking – A Ham Radio Perspective

wiki_mesh_network_possible_representation

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 for WIFi and the IoT. This technology could migrate into future emergency ham networks. The DNA of m...

Continue reading
  419 Hits

goTenna – Mesh and Pro Products

gotenna-coverage photo from goTennamesh product website

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 viable national public emergency network. GoTenna has a company mission: "Decentralize connectivity, an...

Continue reading
  388 Hits

Project NPR-H – The New Packet Radio

npr-promo

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 interconnected. The NPR protocol was introduced in 2019 to send data via IPv4 up to 300 kilometers with eas...

Continue reading
  364 Hits

LoRa – Could this Proprietary Standard Deliver the Bandwidth

lora Why LoRa by Semtech

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 (from "long range") is a proprietary low-power wide-area network modulation technique that is popular f...

Continue reading
  339 Hits

Digital Point to Point on the 33cm Amateur Band

pexels-miguel-a-padrinan-579471

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 900MHz band is the lowest frequency band that does not have a 100KHz transmission bandwidth limitation...

Continue reading
  344 Hits

Digital Point to Point on the Lower 1.25M Ham Band

coast-guard-gb2ab26b82_1280

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 large. Back sometime in the 1990's the ARRL successfully defended amateurs keeping the lower part of the...

Continue reading
  360 Hits

Emergency Ham Network – Is it Legal?

a-book-g66cff0c0f_1280

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 all know we are governed by part 97 of the relevant FCC regulations. This document clearly sets out w...

Continue reading
  381 Hits

The Younger Generation - Ham Radios Future?

pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3808128

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 quotes from an excellent 2012 study: Main findings: Teens, technology, and human potential in 2020 – Pew ...

Continue reading
  297 Hits

What is an Emergency Ham Network Smart Phone System?

emergency-phone-sample

  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 question be asked. Why might we want to do this? What problem are we trying to solve? How to communicate ...

Continue reading
  637 Hits

Making the Emergency Ham Network FUN!

stazione-meteo-bit-line

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 have spent their time and effort building out the network? Bluntly, what gratification and enjoymen...

Continue reading
  346 Hits

Autopatch or Phonepatch Matures into the Biggest EHN Customer Base?

pexels-maarten-van-den-heuvel-4254896 Photo by Maarten Van-den-Heuvel

Back in the day, more precisely the 1960's Amateur Radio Operators provided a valuable service during the Vietnam war. By coupling the local phone system to their transceivers Hams were able to allow American soldiers "free" phone calls home. Usually, you needed the help of an operator in your own state as interstate trunk calls were expensive, but...

Continue reading
  340 Hits