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How to keep up interest?

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How to keep up interest?

OK so now we have our mesh network set up and operating and we do occasional public service events.
But the events are few and far between.  And our hams are not very interested in mock events.
So what applications can we run on the mesh that hams can and will use routinely?  This is necessary
to keep up interest and so we don't forget how everything works when we actually need it.


w6bi's picture
Stuff that's fun
  • We're putting up web cams for folks to look at.
  • We have an every other week net about mesh stuff that's run on linked repeaters.  I'd like to try to move that to a VOIP server of some sort (We had a TeamTalk server up as a test for a while and it worked well).

What else?  I'm open to suggestions.

k1ky's picture
More fun stuff you can do on a MESH network

Lots of things - only limited by your imagination
1. WINLINK Post Offices either stand-alone, synchronized or with gateway to the larger WINLINK system.
2. VOIP Phones - either stand-alone direct IP dialing or put a PBX on the system and have more functions - voicemail, conferencing, dial by callsign or extension
3. Repeater links
4. SDR Receivers
5. HF Station remote control - or any station for that matter
6. APRS Gateways
7. Repeater or station site monitoring, including Weather Stations, site security monitoring, cameras
8. Repeater linking and control
9. Emergency internet
10. MESH Chat - keep in touch with fellow MESHers, public service event support & logging, nets
11. File storage/sharing
12. Interoperability with your served agencies

Just to name a few...

Repeater Linking

Any thoughts on repeater linking hardware/software?  We have been looking at the AllStar Link network, which has a version that can be used without internet access.  It would be nice if there were a plug-and-play solution that would work after perhaps configuring IP addresses.

w8erw's picture
MESH Uses Keeping the interest alive

In the Dallas Fort Worth area several of us are linked via Tunnel.  There are some 30 or so nodes connected most of the time.  Nodes have anything from MeshChat to Cameras, Remote access to applications including SDR receivers etc. and about anything you might think of that can be connected to a normal network.  Of course, support for public service events is always viable where needed.
Like you however, I wish we had more interest.  There is so much that can and could be done on the MESH. 
Hang in there.  I think the best tool to garner more interest is to be able to demonstrate how we use the technology.


K5DLQ's picture
we use it in our weekly ARES

we use it in our weekly ARES nets.  One mode that we practice is checking in via MeshChat.

I recently added this to one

I recently added this to one of my nodes. Quite a few people like it.

Image Attachments: 
Flight info

How do you do that?


Fun & Games to generate interest?

It seems like keeping interest in the mesh is a recurring job.  We all like to play with radios and experiment with gear, but once the mesh is running we need to use it on a regular basis.  I've heard it said that "a mesh isn't really a mesh unless you're using its services."  So I suppose services and applications are a huge deal for keeping up interest.  I've been experimenting with some ideas for "fun & games" scenarios that might help people use the mesh, maybe a simulation of an event or emergency.  See attached PDF.  The idea is to provide some structure for people who want to use mesh network services, either by themselves or with a chosen group.  Some of the activities could require some pre-configuration, and I think "Setup Instructions" could be provided for those.  These sample exercises are just drafts, so any thoughts would be appreciated.  Many thanks!
Steve  KC0EUW

K6AH's picture

Nicely done Steve!

w6bi's picture
Weekly Teamtalk net

We have a weekly Teamtalk net which seems to help keep interest up.  Attendance is not huge, but is growing slowly.  
In the near future, we're going to start taking ACS check-ins via the texting area in TeamTalk.

Orv W6BI

K6CCC's picture
Use it every day

If all you every do is haul out the equipment a couple times a year for some drill or actual deployments, you are doomed to failure.  Put it into service as often as possible.  If the network is always available, and there are people around to communicate with most of the time, you are far more likely to keep people involved.  Whether it's video chatting, voice chatting, cameras to look at, VOIP phones, or other stuff, get activity every day.

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