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RE: Going Digital... Ham Radio?



> One of the principal focuses of this project (Which I will 
> never claim full
> ownership of, because that would just be outright arrogant) 
> imho is that we
> create an entirely wireless network, in which the internet 
> has nothing to do
> with it.  That is why I described it as a private IP network. 

This is similar to what a few of us down here want to do.  A wireless IP
network, no Internet connectivity whatsoever (except for the odd 'wormhole,
where no suitable alternative exists).  Such a network would be an exclusive
amateur network, for amateurs and civil emergency use, as per the rest of
amateur radio.

>  At no point
> did I ever insinuate that there wouldn't be Internet 
> gateways, however, my
> principal concern is that of keeping everything free of current
> infrastructure, that would go away in the event of any 
> natural or man made
> disaster.

Good idea.  That wasn't our thoughts, but more the opportunity to build a
high speed network from scratch, which would mean the opportunity to
configure routers to optimise the network for the type of traffic we'd want
to carry (e.g. multicast throughout the network without need for "mBone"
tunneling).  With the advent of Linux and similar open source software, this
is not beyond the realms of possibility, and a potential point of interest
for a new generation of computer oriented hams.

> The internet is only international, because a great number of 
> countries have
> allowed it to be so.  At the first sign of disaster, I 
> wouldn't be surprised
> if all the sudden, countries started falling off.  This is 
> also true for
> anything that we as Ham Radio operators would be faced with, 
> however, the
> reality is, we don't work for a government agency, and we 
> more often than
> not, take the high road when it comes to emergency traffic, 
> regardless of
> what Big Brother wants.

True, and landlines are turned off more easily than radio waves.  Just ask
any shortwave broadcaster...

> With that in mind, remember that the idea here was to create 
> our own Wide
> Area Network, that would be a viable tool for communications 
> in time of
> emergency, which is what all Ham Radio operations prepare us 
> for.  When you
> get past the fact that most of us treat our radios like an 
> over glorified
> CB, that's what it's purpose truely is.

The advantages of a digital network could be immense, not to mention the
interest in experimentation.  No doubt, it would be a _huge_ undertaking,
and one which would require cooperation on an unprecedented scale.

> 
> So we chew a little sat time...  The reality is, most of the 
> traffic would
> be handled by terrestrial networks.  What I'm seeing, is that 

I'd see almost all the traffic being terrestrial, and only long haul
international links or links over sparsely populated areas needing satellite
assistance.  There may even be some scope for low bandwidth "trickle"
channels over HF, or the ability to use wormholes in times of availability
(with fallback to HF or satellite, should the Net go offline for some
reason).  Again, properly programmed routers could make intelligent
decisions as to what traffic to drop, should traffic exceed available
bandwidth, in the event of an emergency (obviously, priority to emergency
traffic).

> Stepping off of soapbox....

:-)
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