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My latest email, from the MI-DRG...


Hi James,

Thanks for getting back with me. You pose some great questions! I'll comment in-line, below...

On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 8:42 AM, James French wrote:

Hello Jeff.

Got your message to Jay, WB8TKL, about your interest in doing HSMM and testing out a transcontinental Hinternet link sometime in the future.

I would be interested more on what your thoughts are about this and what you think it would take to do it? Might thoughts:

1) How many HSMM nodes do you think it will take to get from say Newark (ARRL) to California? Texas or Key West to Chicago, Detroit, or Minneapolis? Key West to Bangore, Maine? Into Canada and Mexico?

Well, lets start by playing with some numbers:

  1. Longest wifi link on record - I see a 237-mile record, so that seems like a good point of reference, but 60 miles sounds like a good starting point.
  2. 2. Road Distances - Newington, CT to SF, CA is 3000 miles, Minneapolis, MN is to Houston, TX is 1200 miles, Seattle, OR to Miami, FL is 3300 miles.
  3. 3. Averages - CT to CA = 50, OR to FL = 55, MN to TX = 20. Makes me wonder how that compares to 2m repeater coverage along the same routes?
  4. 4. Tallest points in geographic and club areas, along 2. Height reduces the number of nodes for the backbone but would probably require fill nodes within/between area communities for local coverage.

2) Your planned possible routes? Interstates routes might be a good suggestion here.

See my link below. Keep in mind that most of it was written before I got my license. the WirelessWeekendRally? link there is from last year. There are many paths to the same goal. Sounds like a good brainstorming session for clubs to do. For a contest however, I think it'd be cool to have categories for creative and themed locations. Have Designators represent the number of organizations got together to sponsor the station(s).

3) Could use Interstate rest areas as possible sites for nodes?

Sure! Club sites, rest areas, trail-heads, individual QTHs?... Meshes don't require tall towers, just more nodes. I love the idea of "mobile nodes" that can as store-and-forward systems able to fill-in gaps between traditional nodes. Never underestimate the bandwidth of a minivan full of USB flash drives! Someone needing to transfer big files can have it shipped OTR, broken up into as many pieces as there are mobile units going "that way", and the mobile storage capacity.

4) Do you want to use mixed HSMM-Mesh nodes? I am referring to modified (crystal modification) and unmodified routers here.

Well, in a contest situation, it provides two distinct classes. :) In a "let's build build this thing, already" perspective, I'm all for using the resources at hand. I'm thinking that experimenting with analog repeaters for digital traffic over long-haul in traditional amateur microwave allocations. There will be a certain gimmick factor to all this at first, but as the simplicity of nodes increases, so do the deployed numbers. Hams are notoriously frugal, but I have a feeling we may be able to talk a few into an HSMM-Mesh node for less than the price of a Chinese HT.

5) Do you want to do video streaming or just email and http?

Everything! Experimental amateur web content, real-time antenna propagation visualization tools (ala VRML/Second Life), ATVd?, echolink/irlp, D*, HF-101 (that online virtual hf rig...not sure of the name), etc. I know Mesh Networking is going to be involved, so some collaboration between the FOSS communities doing that stuff and our communities that can help in interesting ways.

Imagine Field Day video teleconference between stations. Ever see the commercial with the two live video walls, maybe it was during the Beijing Olympics? And HDTV, too, if the video will allow. It's would be nice to be able to provide a service to our troops wanting to keep in touch with their loved ones! Like MWR traffic... Hams could volunteer their services as a control operator at USO Clubs. A high-tech way of doing ARRL Radiograms! I wonder how many numbered radiograms were sent as a result of Katrina?

The last couple (4 and 5) are just random thoughts there but might be viable also.

I had a wiki once pointed to a domain at one time called "" that can still be seen at that has a lot of my early notes, inspired by the road trip moving to my current QTH. Having multiple options is a good thing. If we can get the cost down to something a club could "buy" into in a significant way just up by passing a hat at the next meeting, things could happen. We need to do the experimentation and hacking, as well as finding ways of authenticating securely over the network, how to keep it FCC Part 97 Compliant, etc. and this gives amateurs with varied interests to participate on different levels, share field notes, and use collaborative, "h"on-line collaborative tools, scientific measurements of networked signal propagation, object tracking, networked interferometry, solar power, circuit/antenna design, and who knows what else. :)

I would be willing to make a day trip to help provide a link if needed within three hundred miles of my house if that helps out. Detroit is basically at my back door to say...:) My grid square is En82jg if that helps out.

Great! I will be attempting to contact a specific neighbor to negotiate putting a solar-powered HSMM node on the nearest hill, 700' higher than here, so I can practice what I preach. :)

I will be doing local evangelism and networking, finding clubs and repeater trustees... testing the waters. I wonder if anyone out there plays with LoS? propagation and GIS tools. We really don't have a centralized web presence to out our collaborative field notes at yet. I maintain the server that is hosted on, and could whip up a full-service site in under an hour. So could several of the other organizations involved. :) Know anyone that designs logos? ;)

Here's a few links that might give you some ideas about planning this out: http://www.cq-

Thanks for the links. The Golden Packet event passed thru the area, but j-pole couldn't pull it in. I believe my neighbor and fellow enthusiast N2QFD may have, tho. If they do it again, I have a GP-9 now. :)

James W8ISS ===== On Monday 31 January 2011 08:55:22 Jay Nugent wrote: > Greetings all, > The Michigan DRG continues to be a showcase for what CAN be done and > other states and organizations look at us as an example. My > congratulations go out to all of you who are a contributing part, no > matter large or small, to this network!!! :) > > Thanks! > --- Jay WB8TKL > Chair, ARRL Michigan Section "Digital Radio Group" (DRG) > ARRL Michigan Section ASM - Digital Technologies >

The outlines of a community project are coming together, it would seem. Groups like the Maker Community, flash-mobs, and barcamps, as well as ham contesters and field day enthusiasts provide some great possibilities for community networking, in more ways than one!

Your people really need to contact the Austin TX people ASAP, if you haven't already. They are going to be part of the southern chain with you! :) They are heavy into the equipment design and planning.

I'll pass the word out through my network about our communication and help negotiate some handshaking ;)

  • de Jeff KC2SDS
  • Jeff Archambeault

    > > ---------- Forwarded message ---------- > Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 13:08:03 -0500 > From: Jeff Archambeault > To: > Subject: Interest in mi-drg

    > > Hi Jay,

    > > I would like to thank you for your group's inspiration and I'm very pleased > to see Michigan taking a leading role in digital messaging and networking. > When discussing HSMM and packet technologies, I direct fellow hams to the > website. I just emailed the guys and would like > to share that email with your group. Yours is really the only contact > info I see on the website, so perhaps you are able to forward this on to a > wider audience?

    > > Thanks and Best 73,

    > Jeff Archambeault, KC2SDS

    > > --------------------------------------- >

    Greetings! > > I'm interested in joining the HSMM-Mesh mailing list. I am a member of > Warren County RACES and Saratoga County ARES in northern (well, ENY) NY. > My first interest is to help coordinate a national/continental > contest-type weekend to deploy an HSMM backbone from coast-to-coast. My > broader goal is to promote interested amateur radio operators in > contributing to > leading-edge research into HSMM-mesh (routing) technology to help make the > "net neutrality" argument null and void (and obsolete). Yeah, I'm an > altruist at heart :) > > I'm not really in the best location to take advantage of HSMM, but have > promoted the concept locally and have found a few interested hams. > Regardless, I have been active in collaborating with several hams in the > US and Canada in spreading interest in this technology. I built a packet > radio node within the past year and an progressing in that direction until > I can get a usable HSMM solution in the area, and will support HSMM/Packet > gateways.

    > > There has been a lot of interest by several groups, including >,, >, and others, and I'm active in discussing > the topic on in both #hamradio and the recently created > #hinternet channels.

    > > 73 and Thanks! > Jeff, KC2SDS

    > ----------------------------------------------------- > >

    > > Jeff Archambeault >

    > > > -- > * Sent from * > to unsubscribe: `echo "unsubscribe" | mail`