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HSMM and Packet / Community Not Interested

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KR0SIV

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Does anyone have any tips on how to bring serious interest into HSMM or packet based networks?

I've tried to pitch this a few times to local hams and while I realize 2.4Ghz hsmm networks are expensive and fairly new I thought that I could surely get some AX25 packet nodes up...

As it turns out it doesn't seem like there is much interest at all, I tried suggesting that in the event of an emergency (emcomm is something the locals seem to enjoy) a tri-county packet network would be amazingly valuable.. Especially seeing as most of our operators had no digital operation hardware and our Emcomm center couldn't hear us through the repeater (operator error).....

My thought was with an automated packet network that could relay messages it would require fewer digital operators and a message needing to move over a county or two wouldn't require a live operator to relay it resulting in faster response times....

I was met with "we don't want infrastructure, it could go down in an emergency"....... and to that I ask, what is the point of your repeaters? They are infrastructure are they not?!?!

That's basically it in a nutshell, I did setup a small AX25 node but with only a 10 mile radius on 2m nobody uses it except me in this area.

Any thoughts? I really see this being useful in our area, I just can't seem to convince the key players.
 

zz0468

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175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
It's an interesting idea that has a lot of merit. Unfortunately, and as you're seeing, the established emcomm groups are usually pretty locked in to their way of thinking. And the fact that repeaters are "infrastructure" is frequently lost on them.

My suggestion to you would be to forget the EMCOMM aspect of this for a while. What you need to do is find people in your area that are interested in microwaves, high speed data networks and adapting IP technology to ham radio applications. In other words, find the techy types that like to experiment. If you can get enough interest and get a network build and running, THEN you go to the EMCOMM people and say "This is what we're doing".

Build it with the intention that it would be survivable in whatever sort of disaster your area is prone to (tornadoes and ice storms?). RACES, ARES, and EMCOMM type groups are seldom noted for being open minded and innovative with new technology. You have to bring it to them, rather than trying to get them to fund it and build it.

Good luck. It's a neat idea.
 

DarkStarPDX

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Oct 28, 2011
Messages
44
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
If I were you, I would set up a packet BBS node and advertise it. You should be able to get good range and if you have an opportunity at club meetings and other events to demonstrate it, you could probably drum up some interest.

The biggest issue with HSMM is the range is extremely limited, typically about 100 feet with good external antennas. Running an NAS at Field Day for logging would work well, but during an actual emergency it's usefulness is a bit limited. Also, the lack of hardware support for HSMM is limiting its future, we're still stuck with 10 year-old Linksys gear for turn-key HSMM support.
 

N8OHU

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Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
620
Does anyone have any tips on how to bring serious interest into HSMM or packet based networks?

I've tried to pitch this a few times to local hams and while I realize 2.4Ghz hsmm networks are expensive and fairly new I thought that I could surely get some AX25 packet nodes up...

As it turns out it doesn't seem like there is much interest at all, I tried suggesting that in the event of an emergency (emcomm is something the locals seem to enjoy) a tri-county packet network would be amazingly valuable.. Especially seeing as most of our operators had no digital operation hardware and our Emcomm center couldn't hear us through the repeater (operator error).....

My thought was with an automated packet network that could relay messages it would require fewer digital operators and a message needing to move over a county or two wouldn't require a live operator to relay it resulting in faster response times....

I was met with "we don't want infrastructure, it could go down in an emergency"....... and to that I ask, what is the point of your repeaters? They are infrastructure are they not?!?!

That's basically it in a nutshell, I did setup a small AX25 node but with only a 10 mile radius on 2m nobody uses it except me in this area.

Any thoughts? I really see this being useful in our area, I just can't seem to convince the key players.
Don't feel bad, my friend; I'm running into small roadblocks at higher levels on similar things. What you and I need to do is talk to ARES groups in other parts of the state and see how they are doing this; I will be doing this when I go down to Summit County in the spring to give a talk on HSMM-Mesh there. Like you, I see a big benefit to it and as you know there are areas in the US where this is more well established and any potential bugs have been worked out. We just need to learn from them and figure out how to get it functional locally. And, don't forget that I'm the ARES Digital Coordinator here, so I can put pressure on the right people in the county to get the ball rolling.
 

N8OHU

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
620
If I were you, I would set up a packet BBS node and advertise it. You should be able to get good range and if you have an opportunity at club meetings and other events to demonstrate it, you could probably drum up some interest.

The biggest issue with HSMM is the range is extremely limited, typically about 100 feet with good external antennas. Running an NAS at Field Day for logging would work well, but during an actual emergency it's usefulness is a bit limited. Also, the lack of hardware support for HSMM is limiting its future, we're still stuck with 10 year-old Linksys gear for turn-key HSMM support.
Actually, I think firmware for some of the Ubiquity stuff is in beta testing now. It would be nice to see other hardware supported, but for it to happen we need to work with the Broadband-Hamnet developers to bring it about by working on the support for hardware alongside them. Depending strictly on them to do the work is a part of the problem.
 
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