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Open Post To AREDN Powers That Be

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Open Post To AREDN Powers That Be
Dear Aredn- the process for installing aredn firmware on hardware is a huge barrier to massive adoption. Renew/release ip config, turn off network adapter, get a dumb switch, install and do the pxe, etc and etc and the rest of it is not a process non computer science people want to do. I figured it out in order to flash my hap in the spirit of ham learning and someone gave me a NSM5 for an antenna, already flashed. The instructions and video I found made it very clear to me but it is not a good process. There are a lot a brilliant and gifted computer minds here and when you are on that level it probably seems like No Big Deal, but it is excluding a lot of hams who might otherwise be on the mesh. You need a ham license to use aredn on a mesh but this flashing is not ham, it is computer science. The current manual flashing was maybe fine when this was early adoption but Aredn is not a hobby, it is a serious tool for emergency situations and non emergency situations like races and the more people on the better. Is it possible to make an install wizard? Adoption would probably double. An alternative would be to sell a few items pre-flashed: the hap ac lite, NSM5 and the LHG 5.

I'm thinking it would be quite difficult to do this, just because of all the different combinations of devices, manufacturers, OEM firmware, platform, and AREDN firmware.  Anytime anything in this list changed then the "installer" would have to change.  It would be a like climbing a snow packed mountain but the further up you go the steeper it gets , eventually you are going to cause an avalanche.

In my limited experience there seems to be lots of people willing to help newbs get set up.  And I think that someone who doesn't have the knowledge to do the initial install probably won't understand the proper settings to use.  They are dependent on so many factors and using the wrong settings can degrade the whole network, not just the one node.  

I think what the org could provide is better "marketing" at a national level and discovery at a local level.  For instance, if I was  a ham that just saw maybe an ad for the org in say a ham magazine, or website, I could easily find my way here.  Or if I was a tech guy (IT/CS/Hobbiest) and I saw a banner ad on an IT/CS/Hobbiest website, it might make me look at getting my tech license  and joining a net. I could find the map and see if there is a network I can join in my area.  But how do I contact someone in that network that can help me get set up and online?  In ham this is an Elmer, in IT (or CS) they are a greybeard.  Helping make that connection would seem like a good focus point.

This could be financed by sales of pre-configured hardware, as you suggest.

Since I'm on a soapbox, I don't think the FCC should require a license for this (you can go two bands up and not need one) or have a new "digital" class license where you can only get on the digital network bands.  This would let in a whle bunch of people that kinda don't see the point of ham radio, they have a cell phone.  But an off-grid wireless network not controlled by corporate ISPs I think would have LOTS of appeal.

And finally, the FCC should issue a definitive ruling on encryption on amateur digital networks.  This is 2022, this isn't a "hiding illegal activity" issue.  This is a cybersecurity issue, period.  Again, go up two bands and you can use encryption.  


nc8q's picture
Open reply to AREDN prospects in the San Francisco, CA, area

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73, Chuck


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