GhostNet - HF Digital Communications
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 Operators by establishing new procedures using data communications and existing Ham Radio communications.
I sense the author some frustration with the FCC regarding encryption and restrictions, but a cheerful realization it is the world we live in. Just that his repetition of "the FCC is no longer here" sends a chill down my neck.
Of course, I am envious of his latest YouTube video that has 4k plus views in a month and almost 1k comments, clearly I have a lot to learn about marketing. More seriously it is great to see interest in taking Ham Radio to a new place and trying out new things. I don't think the GhostNet does conflict with much of the EHN, indeed if it GhostNet succeeded it would make it much simpler for operators to use it for sending a base load of traffic from the IoT and Part 15 technologies. GhostNet calls out Meshtastic as a link into what it calls the Public Sphere.
To quote his document: GhostNet is the overarching term for a collection of communications networks set up to allow users around the world to exchange information without relying on pre-established infrastructure. Far from being just an emergency plan, GhostNet is intended to ease the transition of radio technology into everyday life. Though radio networks cannot truly replace the internet, we hope that we can replace a substantial portion of a person's daily information requirements and promote a culture of off-grid information sharing.
From what I have read it has maturity and would offer a practicable way of an Operator to quickly learn and use the digital forms of licensed modes. I particularly warmed to using RTTY since I grew up using it during the glory years in the 70's.
This recent Blog is my start of continuing the EHN, to put an end to the unexpected two year planning phase and now make or break the endeavor by reaching back out to the 50 or so interested people who have responded to work out where we go next.
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Hey Steve! This is great! Well, I tried a little of everything for local emergency communications. It's hard to have a specific application of these technologies and languages etc. I have a suggestion, can we create a "fail proof" off-grid communication for commuters between NYC and tri-state suburbs? It's a challenge with the hills etc. I believe it would be a cool challenge to start a "bridge". I tested Meshtatic, AREDN, Winlink and APRS. My best experience was with APRS using just a Baofeng, a phone and a BTECH APRS-K1 cable. Meshtastic is great but not enough nodes yet, AREDN has a very limited range and requires very specialized hardware and Winlink is a little more complicated than APRS. APRS also can be linked with HF and offers bridges to WhatsApp, Winlink and regular email. With dozens of of repeaters and igates, APRS is my choice for Emergency communications. Any thoughts ?