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 Subject :Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2013-12-11- 08:26:53 
KQ9P
Member
Joined: 2013-07-17- 20:16:02
Posts: 3
Location: Charlottesville, VA
 

There is a group of us in Central Virginia (ARES/RACES of Virginia District 3, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, and Greene Counties) who are in the design phase of a large-scale mesh network for EmComm primary use here.  The current home for our activities is my personal site, http://www.kq9p.us.  Have a look!  Comments, suggestions, accusations of insanity are welcome at mike@kq9p.us!

73, Mike KQ9P


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Last Edited On: 2013-12-11- 08:27:39 By KQ9P for the Reason
 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2013-12-21- 21:09:02 
KK4URZ
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Joined: 2013-11-23- 20:24:41
Posts: 23
Location
I'm just starting to get into this and I'm in Culpeper area. Would be nice to be able to get a larger scale mesh going around the region.
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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-02-06- 11:59:14 
KQ9P
Member
Joined: 2013-07-17- 20:16:02
Posts: 3
Location: Charlottesville, VA
 
It's a bit of a drive, but I'll be presenting on ARES/RACES at the AARC club meeting next Tuesday evening in Charlottesville. I plan to talk in some detail about the developing plan for digital communications. See albemarleradio.org. I'll post whatever I can on the club Web site after the talk. 73, Mike KQ9P
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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-02-27- 12:40:58 
kk4qgd
Member
Joined: 2013-05-15- 07:25:14
Posts: 2
Location: Northern Virginia
     
Hello out here from Manassas. I am definitely interested in setting up a Mesh. I was at the Vienna Winter Fest out in Annandale and spoke with a few others who were interested in this as well. Hopefully we can set something up. How do I find out who has set up a Mesh and reported it?
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Derek B. Velez KK4QGD (CCNA, Security+)
Sh1n0b1 Network o.O
 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-03-01- 08:20:23 
KK4URZ
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Joined: 2013-11-23- 20:24:41
Posts: 23
Location
Not to go off topic, but how was the Winterfest? I was thinking about going but couldn't manage it. I just have been setting up the software for nodes etc. Not sure what to do about antenna hardware yet etc as I haven't bothered to look.
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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-03-01- 08:49:43 
KQ9P
Member
Joined: 2013-07-17- 20:16:02
Posts: 3
Location: Charlottesville, VA
 
We're working toward a multilayer digital network for EmComm here in Central Virginia ARES District 3. We're looking at 5.8GHz mesh for high speed sites, 70cm mesh for better coverage and more sites, and 70cm/2m Winlink for broad coverage at lower data rates. These three networks would be linked together into a single network. We would be delighted to peer with mesh networks in neighboring districts to begin to create a statewide network. Our network is still in a developmental stage, but I would be happy to talk any time. 73, Mike KQ9P
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 Subject :Re:Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-03-14- 20:31:20 
KK4URZ
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Joined: 2013-11-23- 20:24:41
Posts: 23
Location

I've been in development/test stages of my mesh nodes. Got a PBX up and going along with two voip phones as proof of concept. With any luck tomorrow I might be able to show case it to some of the club members. 


If you go the 5.8ghz route what hardware are you using? Would 2.4ghz be able to join that mesh?



[KQ9P 2014-03-01- 02:49:43]:

We're working toward a multilayer digital network for EmComm here in Central Virginia ARES District 3. We're looking at 5.8GHz mesh for high speed sites, 70cm mesh for better coverage and more sites, and 70cm/2m Winlink for broad coverage at lower data rates. These three networks would be linked together into a single network. We would be delighted to peer with mesh networks in neighboring districts to begin to create a statewide network. Our network is still in a developmental stage, but I would be happy to talk any time. 73, Mike KQ9P

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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-04-12- 15:45:03 
K4TFJ
Member
Joined: 2014-04-12- 12:10:01
Posts: 2
Location: Williamsburg, VA
 
Possible interest in the Tidewater Area, ARES D7. If you are thinking state-wide... definitely need D6 to get involved. Maybe a forum for Frostfest???? Tj, K4TFJ
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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-05-15- 08:57:18 
KB5LNC
Member
Joined: 2012-04-09- 20:28:15
Posts: 9
Location: Stafford, VA
 
I'm in Stafford County. We have just started working with our EOC and our hospital about setting something up between the Stafford County EOC and Stafford Hospital Center. Tomorrow, we, our club, county, and hospital personnel, will have our second meeting at Mary Washington Hospital Center to see their site and add them into the mix. We are looking to pass voice and data between the EOC and SHC, and SHC wants to be able to do the same between them and MWHC. Everything looks good for line of site connections. I have a few WRT54Gs flashed with BBHN firmware and just flashed the first Ubiquiti Rocket M2. Out inital thoughts are Rockets for links between sites. We are just in the initial stages so looking at what others in the area, might be doing to either leverage off of or for possible, future connectivity. KB5LNC
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 Subject :Re:Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-05-16- 09:23:59 
K5LXP
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Joined: 2014-01-01- 13:06:12
Posts: 41
Location: Albuquerque NM


> setting something up between the Stafford County EOC and Stafford Hospital Center.


Saw this post on the list and can't help but think what a terrible idea this is.


I know that one of the primary selling points of mesh is emcomm but it's a bad idea on several levels.  It's not secure, and for the most part uses off the shelf consumer gear at Part 15 power levels in an ISM band. That's fine for Field Day, not fine as a critical link.

I can't believe anyone in an official capacity (hospital and EOC staff) trying to establish a link for a hospital would even entertain the idea of hams showing up with modified consumer routers as a solution.  And, consider the ramifications if for whatever reason it doesn't work when they need it most.

My opinion, if this was a plausible idea they could do it themselves with commercial gear running a secure link and not have the inherent limitations this ham system has.


Mark K5LXP

Albuquerque, NM


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Mark K5LXP
 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-05-16- 10:36:48 
K6AH
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Joined: 2012-03-05- 10:47:45
Posts: 181
Location: San Diego, CA
Mark, Assuming you feel the same toward all unsecured communications utilizing non-commercial products, what role do you see ham radio playing in an Emcomm environment? Andre
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 Subject :Re:Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-05-16- 11:35:26 
K5LXP
Member
Joined: 2014-01-01- 13:06:12
Posts: 41
Location: Albuquerque NM


In my opinion, ham radio is great at ad-hoc, in the moment immediate communications.

But it seems in this case and many others ham radio is being sold as a replacement or backup to existing commercial systems, which I believe is wrong and anymore, not even technically viable.  I believe it is negligent that any official entity would write ham radio into any kind of backup plan instead of engineering a proper solution.  Ham radio is indeed "when all else fails", not when just the primary system fails or when there's no budget for the backup, so get the hams to do it for free.

As time goes on I see this issue waning, as ham radio becomes more and more technically irrelevant and it becomes wholly impractical to consider.  But I wince at the idea of a group of hams today showing a hospital, city or other group a pretty powerpoint show on mesh networking and seriously selling them on the idea this is a valid backup plan.  The only reason I'm sure they'd entertain it is because it's "free" or nominal hardware cost.  I see this as a situation where the hams end up quickly over their head, or laughed out of the place if the group/agency does due diligence and sees just what they're getting on a hardware and networking level.

Now, if this was a system intended to be used between hams and not directly by a "served agency", then I would see no problem with it.  But there's a user expectation that when given a TCP/IP connection you can run whatever you want over it, and in the case of BBHN you can't.  Now, to show the flip side of this anyone can take off the shelf wifi gear, create a link or network and run secure and commercial data over it.  Make it a BBHN network, and now you can't.  What value is this adding for any served agency?  They'd be better served to just do it themselves (and they should be).


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Mark K5LXP
 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-05-16- 13:26:51 
KB5LNC
Member
Joined: 2012-04-09- 20:28:15
Posts: 9
Location: Stafford, VA
 
K5LXP, Thanks for the input and thoughts. Based on what I typed, I understand and agree with a lot of what you said. We should not be looking at providing something they can provided themselves should they choose to pay for it. Let me fill in a few gaps from my earlier post. Since I didn't specify what were were looking to transmit, what type of data is being sent, or anything else, let me provide a bit more background. We were asked by our county emergency manage to come and meet with them, not us pushing what we could provide and/or should set up. These were initial visits to find out what is currently at the new hospital (nothing) and what is at the older hospital, packet and three radios. No powerpoints or anything pre-prepared to present. We went there to find out what they wanted/needed since they asked us to visit. BBHN was only a small portion of the conversation and since we weren't actively using the system, we wanted to see is currently in the area and to "piggyback" off of them as needed or for integation. These were information gathering meetings to see if we could meet the needs of the county and hospitals. My only mention of equipment was to say that I am "toying" with it. Both of the hospitals have several, redundant system including, but not limited to, redundant fiber and internet links, satelite phones, local and state radio and messanging systems, etc. Most likely, by the time they would need an additional system, it would be time to abandon the building. They weren't looking, and we weren't offering, yet another "flip a switch" stand alone system to replace what they have should their system go down. And yes, to your point in the second post, this would be primarily for ham operators to assist the EOC and hospitals, not a "turn over to them" system. Lastly, you brought up a great point, and I will look into the Part 15 aspects of it, you can run secured/encrypted data all day long if you stay part 15. Ron,
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 Subject :Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-06-18- 18:09:34 
kk4zuu
Member
Joined: 2014-06-08- 18:16:22
Posts: 2
Location: FM18gt

Hi Derek, The Ole Virginia Hams in Manassas is discussing setting up a BBHN node at their repeater location at NOVEC, 10323 Lomond Drive. Ole Virginia Hams: w4ovh.net My node is up in Centreville, its posted on remoteamateur and here on this sites googlemap mesh map. 73, David, kk4zuu

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Last Edited On: 2014-07-17- 14:05:06 By kk4zuu for the Reason
 Subject :Re:Re:Central Virginia EmComm Mesh.. 2014-06-23- 12:31:09 
kk4qgd
Member
Joined: 2013-05-15- 07:25:14
Posts: 2
Location: Northern Virginia
     


Hey sorry I dropped off the radar. My emails are a mess and trying to clean and sort things out. Yeah I'll look into this project. I am definitely interested in seeing what can be done. 73 kk4qgd




[kk4zuu 2014-06-18- 13:09:34]:

Hi Derek, The Ole Virginia Hams in Manassas is discussing setting up a BBHN node at their repeater location at NOVEC, 10323 Lomond Drive. Ole Virginia Hams: w4ovh.com My node is up in Centreville, its posted on remoteamateur and here on this sites googlemap mesh map. 73, David, kk4zuu

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Derek B. Velez KK4QGD (CCNA, Security+)
Sh1n0b1 Network o.O
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