Monday, February 25, 2019

Posting just to post

Is something I will not do. I know there has been a dearth of activity on this blog the past few weeks; but that's just because I have not been very active radio-wise. I will post when I think that I have something of value to offer, not just to have you read empty words.

LAST Saturday, February 16th, I attended a conference on Amateur Radio in Public Health and Medical Services Emergencies. It was help at Cooper Hospital, in Camden, NJ, which is the home of Campbell's Soup, the Battleship New Jersey and the NJ State Aquarium.

Tim AB2ZK drove us down the 50 or so minute ride to Camden. I was a bit apprehensive about attending as I had a flare up of tendinitis in my left ankle and I was pretty uncomfortable. But Tim offered a ride and the ankle was beginning to feel better, so I decided to give it a shot.

I am glad I did. There were excellent presentations by AREDN (Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network) who provides the equipment needed to set up an emergency mesh RF domain. You're probably asking yourself, "Exactly what on earth is THAT?"

I may be explaining this incorrectly, but a mesh network is kind of like a private, little closed Internet domain. By adapting routers to use the microwave frequencies in the Amateur Radio bands, we can create a little independent Internet style domain which will allow the transfer of data - e-mails, SMS as well as regular messages, pictures, etc between an emergency site or multiple associated sites and an EOC without having to rely on the regular Internet - especially when that becomes over clogged and over worked with traffic. And let's face it - when the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillating air current generating device, the Internet and cell phone networks are among the first casualties.

It's not as expensive or complicated to set up as you might think; but it IS helpful to have someone who is familiar with computer networking if you seed to get a domain set up with more than just a few access points. You can click on the AREDN link that I have above to get more information.

There was also a good talk on NVIS antennas given by Joe Everheart N2CX, one of the co-founders of NJQRP. Joe gave a good talk on what will work in order to make HF usable in an emergency when you needs to communicate with stations pretty much in just your local area.

There are a couple of other presentations that made me wonder why they were included, but that's par for the course, I guess. In all, it was a very informative day with a lot of good information made available to us who are involved in AUXCOMM.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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