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[Freedombox-discuss] Japan

On 03/14/11 13:14, jonathan d p ferguson wrote:

> As an Amateur Radio operator, I've long been interested in emergency
> communications and decentralization. What can you do with Amateur
> Radio? Using only a 5 watt handheld transceiver, I've spoken with
> astronauts.  Using a 10 watt 6 meter radio, I've spoken with people
> more than 5000 km away. Amateur Radio operators the world over have

  I worked in several relief camps for Katrina as a tech and medic, and
for the first 6 weeks, it was all 5w handhelds, one cross-band repeater,
and a few mobile rigs for a huge area. All our medical traffic ran on
this radio network. But the wifi network turned to be useful in ways you
wouldn't imagine, and I think that I would have loved to have Freedombox
systems instead of gluing everything together by hand. (with little
sleep and donated parts...)

  I wound up building two small cybercafe's, one ran off generators
unfortunately, the other I tapped an underground power line I found that
still had juice... This let people email their families that they had
survived, as there was no phone service for over a month. I wanted to do
a mesh network, but at that time couldn't find good software for it. Our
biggest problem, which I assume is true in Japan, was finding the
upstream connection. Water towers, if still standing, turned out to be
great. Most of our connections were real long shots... far more than
you'd usually use with a traditional mesh network. High-gain directional
antennas and linear amps are your friend. :-)

  Sorry for the off-topic hardware discussion, but I think many of the
goals of the Freedombox make it as useful in disaster situations. We've
since deployed in other disasters as we coordinate with FEMA now, so one
of these days I'll be able to give one a good field test. :-)

	- rob -

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