You are here

Puerto Rico needs an AREDN Network

20 posts / 0 new
Last post
K6AH
K6AH's picture
Puerto Rico needs an AREDN Network

I am putting together a team in response to the ARRL's request for Hams to deploy to Puerto Rico for the express purpose of building an AREDN network in order to restore data and voice communications to shelters, law enforcement, and other emergency service agencies.

I am looking for 4-5 additional hams to assist me with specific experience in deploying wide-area AREDN networks and associated services.  This would include:
  • Building out of a network backbone - those who have designed and built parts of the federated Southern California network, or similar, would be ideal;
  • An expert in setting up and managing VoIP PBXs for use over the mesh
  • An expert in running propagation predictions using Radio Mobile - must have a local PC installation (no Internet access available for the web-based version)
I expect we will be provided transportation, lodging, and meals.  I am also looking to fill a capital requirement of $30K in equipment which we would need to procure and ship before our departure.   While I am hoping to find an agency able and willing to fund this, I am prepared to personally contribute 25% to that requirement.  Any well-heeled hams wishing to contribute are welcomed to and will be appreciated.  If we are able to obtain local transportation and knowledge of the country's terrain, then I believe we can have the network rolled out in about 3 weeks. 

If this sounds like something you are qualified for and you feel a yearning to help the people of Puerto Rico like I do, then please send me an email (callsign@aredn.org) with a summary of your qualifications and you will be considered.  While I expect many may feel called, only 4-5 will be chosen.

Thanks and 73,

Andre, K6AH
 
n7ie
Puerto Rico AREDN Emergency Mesh Fund

How is money for this relief effort being collected?

K6AH
K6AH's picture
Through a 501c3 agency

It is still being worked out, but will be either through the ARRL or a disaster agency such as the American Red Cross.
 

ke6bxt
ke6bxt's picture
Getting the cart before the hourse

Before you start securing funding, or start spending money on equipment, or planning on deploying people to install several pallets of equipment you need to MAP out the project.

Get a map (a Google map will do fine) and put a pin in the map for:
1.  Each served agency (shelters, law enforcement, and other emergency service agencies)
2.  Each HAM that has a site (or QTH) that is willing to host one or more nodes.
3.  Each radio tower site that would be willing to host one or more mesh nodes.  This may require site agreements and monthly or annual fees.  You can't just show up and start installing equipment without the site owner agreeing beforehand.

Using Radio Mobile or the airLink planning tool or heywhatsthat.com tool is not something you should start using when you get feet on the ground in Puerto Rico, but something you should do long BEFORE you start buying equipment.  How many sites you will have is a question you need to answer before you even ask the question of how many nodes (and what kind of nodes) you should buy.

According to QRZ.com, there are 61 HAMs/clubs in Puerto Rico. Here they are:

 
EA8AKU José Cordero Puerto Rico / Gran Canaria
EA8BLW MARIA JESUS HORMIGA GONZALEZ 38009 S/C DE TENERIFE
EB1FDY JUAN CARLOS FUENTES CASTRO CORUNA 15007
G3YVA BNV Edwards San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00921,USA PR
KP3DX PUERTO RICO DX CLUB SAN JUAN PR
KP3LH Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Team Maunabo PR
KP3Z PUERTO RICO CONTEST CLUB RIO PIEDRAS PR
KP4ARS PUERTO RICO AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY BAYAMON PR
KP4AW ARRL Puerto Rico Section Convention Inc Guayama PR
KP4BO Asociacion De Radioaficionados De Puerto Rico Inc Las Piedras PR
KP4BSA PUERTO RICO BOY SCOUT RADIO CLUB BAYAMON PR
KP4BY Puerto Rico CW And Contest Group Caguas PR
KP4CK AMATEUR LEAGUE FOUNDERS OF PUERTO RICO SAN JUAN PR
KP4CL AMATEUR LEAGUE FOUNDERS OF PUERTO RICO San Juan PR
KP4DJ PUERTO RICO TELEGRAPHY SOCIETY BAYAMON PR
KP4ES PUERTO RICO AMATEUR RADIO LEAGUE Humacao PR
KP4FD Puerto Rico Field Day Group Trujillo Alto PR
KP4FD/IARU Puerto Rico Field Day Group Trujillo Alto PR
KP4ID PUERTO RICO AMATEUR RADIO CLUB INC CIDRA PR
KP4KK Puerto Rico Conservation Amateur Radio Group San Juan PR
KP4NWS PUERTO RICO SKYWARN SAN JUAN PR
KP4PRE Puerto Rico Elite Amateur Radio Club Coto Laurel PR
KP4PRS PUERTO RICO SATERN San Juan PR
KP4QQ Puerto Rico QRP DX Radio Club Bayamon PR
KP4ROS Radio Operators Del Sur De Puerto Rico Coamo PR
KP4VJ Amateur Radio Educational Society Of Puerto Rico Mayaguez PR
LA9DT Norås Gunvall Annar E-35130 PUERTO RICO
LU1IAT ALFREDO OSCAR ERHARD Puerto Rico MISIONES CP:3334
LU1IAW EDUARDO RAUBER PUERTO RICO MS 3334
LU1IFL JULIO RAMON VENTURA PUERTO RICO MS 3334
LU1VHV BETTY GLADYS GUI¤AZU CIPOLLETTI RN 8324
LU1VHW SISTO PASCUAL JOSE DI CIPOLLETTI RN 8324
LU1VKG SISTO FERNANDO PASCUAL DI CIPOLLETTI RN 8324
LU1VKH SISTO MARTIN ALEJANDRO DI CIPOLLETTI RN 8324
LU6IBY WALTER ENRIQUE STECKLER PUERTO RICO MS 3334
LU9TBD JUAN CARLOS ANTONIO SALABERRY SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY JJ 4600
LW9EJN JUAN CARLOS CASTRO MARTINEZ BA 1640
N5RYD RAYMOND E AUSTIN, SR ALAMOGORDO NM
NP3PR Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Operators Sabana Seca PR
NP3RC Advanced Radio Club De Puerto Rico Inc Bayamon PR
NP4S AMSAT Puerto Rico San Juan PR
VQ9RU JAMES THIESSEN also (KH2RU) RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO. 00745. USA
WP3Q PVRC PUERTO RICO Mitchellville MD
WP4EE Puerto Rico CW Club San Sebastian PR
WP4MR Movimiento Radioaficionado De Puerto Rico Inc Vega Alta PR
WP4NPC Movimiento Radioaficionado De Puerto Rico Inc Vega Alta PR
WP4NWF PUERTO RICO HAM AMATEUR GROUP QUEBRADILLAS PR
WP4NYA SATERN Puerto Rico Emergency Group San Juan PR
WP4OEP Puerto Rico Radio Scouting Manati PR
WP4OII Radio Operators DX De Puerto Rico Las Piedras PR
WP4OPM Puerto Rico D Star Club Cayey PR
WP4OQY Puerto Rico Ham Radio Community Club Las Piedras PR
WP4PEQ ARRL Puerto Rico Section Convention, Inc Arecibo PR
WP4PQI Puerto Rico Digital Network Vega Alta PR
WP4PUJ Radio Operadores Del Sur De Puerto Rico Coamo PR
WP4Y Puerto Rico RTTY Club Carolina PR
YV1EPX ARMIN E LIZARDO G MBO ZUL
YV2DAA PEDRO L GASPERI U SCM MER
YV5DMK Iris N. Becerra Cardenas San juan de los Morros-Guarico
YV5NEL NAYDINE ELIZABETH BECERRA CARDENAS SAN JUAN DE LOS MORROS, EDO. GUARICO
YV6OY ARELIS SANTOS SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO


Print out this list and see how many are HAMs and how many are clubs.  There is even a Digital Network 'club?'.  What kind of digital network do they already have?  It looks like there are about 20 HAMs and 40 HAM clubs/organizations.

How many (clubs/HAMs) would be willing to support the ARDENization of Puerto Rico?

How many of them have repeater sites that could host  AREDN backbone nodes?

What funding sources within Puerto Rico are available for this project?

Is power available at all of the proposed sites or do you also need to plan for generator, or solar/battery power?

How soon is this network needed? Is this network needed ASAP as a result of the recent weather event or deploying a system that would survive the next similar weather event?

I would think all of these questions should be answered before a call for volunteers to go to Puerto Rico is made.

You also might consider ordering equipment (once you have a full parts list) and having the equipment shipped to a staging area in Puerto Rico, rather than ordering and having the equipment shipped to, say California, and then have to pay for shipping from California to Puerto Rico.

Who (or what group/organization) in Puerto Rico has requested an outside team from the United States go to Puerto Rico?  Are they able to answer the questions I have raised?  Have they committed to hosting the team that goes to Puerto Rico?



 

K6AH
K6AH's picture
I appreciate your comments, Don

I appreciate your comments, Don.  Puerto Rico has been devastated.  Support has become, or soon will be, a matter of life and death for many. Communicaitons and supply lines in and out have left these people cutoff.  With 80% of the island without power, the people have been thrust back into the dark ages.  Soon, most people will be worrying more about where their next meal or drink of fresh water will come from than how they can help build a data network.  The Red Cross has asked the ARRL to supply them 50 radio amateurs who can deploy and help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the their Safe and Well system [ http://www.arrl.org/news/american-red-cross-asks-arrl-s-assistance-with-puerto-rico-relief-effort ].  Wow, really?  Without intending to disparage their effort, I submit the collective talent represented in these forums can do better for Puerto Rico than that.

An AREDN deployment team in this environment will be on-its-own to make it happen.  Power will likely be supplied from batteries of cars otherwise destroyed in the disaster.  With the limited communications available, the permissions and coordination you propose would take weeks or months to track down and obtain.  A likely alternative could soon be Marshall Law... curfews are already in place.

Quoted from an email thread I received, "The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Washington DC (currently the only functioning PR governmental entity) is trying to set up a communications network using ham radios, because Puerto Rico’s phones lines are down (two subsea cables destroyed), no Internet, no communications across the island. They are working with a number of NGOs, who are hoping to airlift (via C-130 etc.) solar panels, radios, antennas, repeaters, and whatever is necessary to activate ham radio amateurs in Puerto Rico so that an island-wide communications network can be put in place to replace the destroyed fire, police, phone communications network."

As for Radio Mobile, the high-level plan is to construct a pre-designed backbone and then locate mid-mile relay nodes based on the demand for these services.  Finding these mid-mile locations will be greatly simplified by propagation prediction.

BTW, I will have little time to respond to these posts going forward.  There are too many other details to be concerned about.  If you feel you have a significant contribution to add to this effort, then I ask that you submit an email with your volunteer credentials. Thank you to those who have already done so.

Thanks,

Andre, K6AH
 

ke4lwt
Number of amateurs in PR

OM.

The FCC shows 4580 active licensed hams in PR. 

73,
KE4LWT
Jack Smith, PEM

ke6bxt
ke6bxt's picture
Update
wa2ise
wa2ise's picture
Hopefully PR is not as hilly

Hopefully PR is not as hilly and full of trees like northeast NJ is.  Else you may have problems getting links of any distance to work...

WP4QAJ
WP4QAJ's picture
Trees

Hilly yes, full of trees. Not so much anymore, but give it a few years...

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
Anyone have further info on

Anyone have further info on this up and coming mesh deployment?:

"US Virgin Islands Section Manager Fred Kleber, K9VV, said the USVI are in much better shape than Puerto Rico. “They really got slammed hard,” he said. Kleber said he still has antennas that were not destroyed by the storm and that he can hit Puerto Rico on 2 meters from his location. He also has announced plans to deploy some 20 mesh wireless network nodes in the US Virgin Islands."

N1TEW
N1TEW's picture
Arrgh...

I wish I had thought to look here sooner for such deployment.  

I would imagine it's too late, but I'll respond nonetheless.  

K6AH
K6AH's picture
Puerto Rico deployment status

Our efforts to secure a sponsor for the Puerto Rico deployment have come up short.  It has been frustrating... to say the least.  There is still a possibility we may have a willing sponsor later in the disaster lifecycle.  I have asked the team to stay together until that time.  At some point in the future I intend to write-up "lessons learned" for everyone's benefit.  

Thank you again to all who have joined or committed support for this effort.

Andre, K6AH
 

W6RUF
W6RUF's picture
While the delay may not be

While the delay may not be good news for the residents, I can't help but think it could be a blessing in disguise.
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/09/30/puerto-rico-teamsters-un...

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
hmmm.    I'd look for another

hmmm.    I'd look for another news source that will give you the full picture.  The facts reported a couple days ago by fema sept 30 status do not align with this news source referenced -- deliveries are being made by local trucks necessary to achieve this result:

- Stores are opening with more than 60 percent of gas stations operating and providing fuel, and 49 percent of grocery and big box stores on the island now open.

The full picture also would account for these facts in fema Sept ~28th status:

 
- 90% of electricity infrastructure damaged
- 91% of cell sites out of service
Like our EMCOMM training says, only ~1/3 of our group would be available in an incident to deploy--and hams would have an ability to communicate.  It would be lower % for truck drivers (unless their CB radios were still working :) ). 
 


Other relevant facts include the roads still impassable around the island preventing supplies from being delivered by truck:
https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/images/143781
Still a lot of major roads blocked.

Joe AE6XE
 

ke4lwt
Puerto Rico system deployments

I'm writing this on 28 March, and from Oct 12 through 2 March was the FEMA division supervisor for the areas of Juncos, Humacao, Las Piedras, Maunabo, Naguabo, San Lorenzo and Yabucoa, or to put it another way, Landfall. Much of Naguabo, Yabucoa and Humacao are still without power, All of Maunabo is without power except for FEMA/Army Corps of Engineers installed micro-grid. Many of those municipalities are still at or below 75% cellular phone coverage. All of PR is very mountainous, but our site surveys showed that all PR EMA Zone Offces except the one in Utuado were suitable for a terrestrial wifi system with the repeaters/backbones along the central mountains. There is a commercial system being installed at this time, but in the interim there were MERS units installed at those locations (encrypted Hughes-Net systems) to provide comms. The bigger problem was at the municipality (county equivalent) level, where they had no comms until a non-profit, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC.org) installed systems island wide for them, and those systems are the same as the MERS units, minus the encryption. 

We (amateur radio) need to come up with something deployable in the truest sense that can fill that need.I would envision a cooperative effort with us and someone like ITDRC where we would provide the "last mile" and also the ability to link other facilities into the system. The MERS and ITDRC units are a single location, and do not provide for the fire dept., police dept., etc. to tie in. The Mayor or highest elected official (per NIMS doctrine) decides where it goes, and sometimes that is a difficult choice. Having the ability to branch off is an important consideration. Another key concern in deployability (can it be flown into an area and set up rapidly?), security concerns (cable was being stripped off poles and transformers gutted for copper. Batteries stolen from generators. Fuel from hospitals), and ease of set-up, operation and maintenance. 

As a note, during the extremely brief time the "Force of Fifty" were down our way, at least one was using my APRS data to try and determine active coverage areas.

73,
KE4LWT
Jack Smith, PEM

N1TEW
N1TEW's picture
I was there with SHARES for 3

I was there with SHARES for 3 weeks directly after the "Force of Fifty".   

I can't really add anything useful, but it was interesting to walk around the roof of the EOC at the Convention Center looking at the various microwave setups.  I think I melted a chocolate bar or two.  ;)

WP4QAJ
WP4QAJ's picture
Thanks

Thanks for the help. I would love to hear more about your observations. I'm so green I don't even have a radio.  frown I got my license just for this. Crazy right? When I started I didn't know that AREDN existed, but I had a hunch...

WP4QAJ
WP4QAJ's picture
I'm new to radio and AREDN, but I live in Puerto Rico

I'm restarting this project and would love everyone's help. 

​Should I continue here or start a new thread?

 

K6AH
K6AH's picture
New Thread

Hi Kevin,

i recommend starting a new post.  And I suggest you start by telling everyone your story and why your passionate about this.

Andre, K6AH
 

WP4QAJ
WP4QAJ's picture
Will do

Thanks

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer