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LHC AREDN News Oct 7 2017

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k0tan's picture
LHC AREDN News Oct 7 2017

On Saturday October 7 we expanded the Lake Havasu City AREDN Mesh to the Mohave County seat in Kingman, Az.

The Mohave Amateur Radio Club (MARC) hosts an annual Hamfest, and many of us love to attend.  We get folks from around the West, including some from California and Nevada.  It's a great small hamfest, with a pretty good tailgate turnout on Saturday and Sunday. Since it's cool now, that lasts into the afternoon with a lot of eyeball QSOs, stories about this equipment and that rig.

I'm Charlie KØTAN, AREDN evangelist, ARES AEC, and ham for over 50 years.  Steve K7SWF and I headed out early, arriving at the Hamfest at 0730, bought our tickets for the radio raffle (Joe KF7RNT won, darn it! Congrats, Joe!!), and headed for the Mohave County ARES EC, Bill KD7MIA's QTH to bring up the first two nodes. 

Bill ran a long Ethernet cable from his network router out the window. I powered up a NS-M5 (5.8GHz Ubiquiti NanoSation M5), and activated an AREDN connection to Redlands California.  At the same time, K7SWF raised a 25 foot R5 + Omni (5.8 GHz Ubiquiti Rocket with omnidirectional antenna), which connected instantly to the NS-M5 on the ground. I could have done it several other ways, of course.

Then we returned to the hamfest.  Tom K7TJH LHC ARES EC and Mohave County DEC had raised a matching R + Omni!

Bill and crew had erected a very nice tent, and I began my AREDN presentation, with projector and screen to a full tent, including ARRL Arizona Section Manager Rick W7RAP.  As you might expect, in desert daylight, it was really hard to see my slides, but we talked loud and with a fair bit of arm waving, got the points across:

  • AREDN is an amazing technology to bring broadband to emergencies - and parades, walks, and other events.  
  • AREDN is "amazingly affordable" at around $100-$200 per QTH, depending on what gizmos you want.
  • AREDN can be there when the power goes out, when the Internet and phones go down.
  • AREDN can easily be extended - as we did that day - from Lake Havasu City and around the world - to Kingman and Bullhead City.
  • Amateur Radio does this today. The Feds plan a $47 Billion system ready in ten years.

My presentation was followed by Bill KD7MIA and Tom K7TJH discussing the Emergency Services implications of AREDN, and our plans to make a county-wide Mesh, from LHC's Crossman Peak, to Spirit Mountain overlooking Bullhead City and Laughlin, to Getz Peak overlooking Kingman.

We lowered our antennas and headed home. For us in AREDN and ARES, this was like a quick field day or exercise - put up some emergency nodes in an couple of hours.  Kingman, BHC and all of Arizona - we'll be back! And sooner than you think!

Charlie KØTAN


k0tan's picture

First time out - lessons learned.

Ok, I made it sound terrific, but we learned a lesson or two. 

First, the tunnel to Redlands was troublesome - perhaps a prob with Bill's ISP firewall. 

Second, UHF is line of sight.  I used Google Earth the day before to shoot an Elevation Profile from Bill's QTH to the Hamfest site. It revealed a hill in the way, but only six feet. Um. Well, maybe there were obstacles or buildings. Although we raised the Omni @ Bill's 25 feet, and the Omni at the Hamfest 30 feet, we didn't get a good signal.  Certainly not good enough to do video.

Next time we'll do better, getting Mesh Nodes and Phones up early!  We were ready with Mesh Phones, using the KØTAN PBX in LHC, and we had a video camera ready.  This will be a lot easier when we have a Rocket + 120° Sector antenna on Getz Peak!  One of these days...

WU2S's picture
Thank you

Thank you for spreading the word and demonstrating AREDN networking.

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