Amateur Radio Wireless

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I'm interested in doing wireless in a hilly, wooded area where there is
often not good line of sight.  (I understand that I would have to get an
amateur radio license.)  Google produces some info, but mostly in the UK
and Australia.  Anyone know if US regulations prohibit doing this and/or
US-specific websites?

Example:
http://www.frars.org.uk/cgi-bin/render.pl?action=link&url=999999&goback=1046

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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The ARRL calls it their "High Speed Multi-Media" network:
  http://www.arrl.org/hsmm /
To the best of my knowledge, it's legal.

http://www.houstonwireless.org/Members/erewhon/presentations/wifi-ham-20030114 /
  http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/01/10/3/?nc=1
  http://www.eham.net/articles/4924

I personally do not approve.  Ham radio operators are allowed to use
much higher power levels on 2.4GHz than unlicensed users.  In
addition, the letter of the law claims that in cases of conflict, the
licensed operator always wins.  The problem is that any abuse of this
anomaly in the rules is most likely going to be judged by the FCC in
favor of approximately 50 million unlicensed 801.11b users, with large
corporations behind them, instead of a few ham radio operators.
Getting a ham radio license and operating at very high power levels is
also not going to make you very popular.  Most hams are voluntarily
staying within the 15.247 power limits and are being very careful to
not compete with commercial services.

If you have a lousy line of sight over an unspecified path, you might
look into 900Mhz wireless:
  http://www.avalanwireless.com
  http://www.freewave.com
  http://www.maxstream.net
It's not broadband but it will go through a forest.  However, it won't
go through a pile of dirt very well.



--
Jeff Liebermann    jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D   http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060    AE6KS  831-336-2558

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


Interesting thread.  I had a general ham license for probably 30 yrs (damn,
dating myself, got it when I was 15).  Unfortunatly lost it about 10 ago
since I was busy and failed to renew.  It used to be a fun hobby,  but the
internet offers a lot I think.  I ran across this link a few days ago about
a 30 mile cordless phone.

http://www.goodbyelongdistance.com/catalog/item/1441280/975984.htm

From my memory of FCC regulations, I would think this would be illegal in
the US, and I doubt it work any distance only with line of sight.


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http://www.houstonwireless.org/Members/erewhon/presentations/wifi-ham-20030114 /
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Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 09:57:14 -0800, Jeff Liebermann

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Its an interesting website, but it would not be legal to interface amateur radio
to the
general internet nor to use amateur radio for commercial purposes.

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Barry

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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I guess if internet connections to ham radios are "illegal" all hams
should immediately disconnect their APRS trackers, Winlink email,
Echolink remotes, IRLP connected repeaters, and all manner of remote
base and repeater operation.
  http://www.aprs.net
  http://www.echolink.org
  http://winlink.org
  http://www.irlp.net
  http://cqinet.sourceforge.net
and more that are connect to the internet.

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Now, that's correct.  Hams cannot charge money for communications
services nor act as transit for commercial services (i.e. advertising,
commerical email, purchases, etc).


--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831.336.2558 voice  http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
#                         jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
#                           jeffl@cruzio.com     AE6KS

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 12:41:24 +1100, Barry OGrady wrote:
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But wouldn't a private, non-commercial, "home" network be ok?  And perhaps
even websites (www.*.gov, etc) that have no commercial content?  Other
restrictions I've run across is that one can't encrypt and one must
transmit his/her call sign periodically.

<...>

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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Not all that much more power; only up to 1 W without automatic power
control, but up to 100 W if APC is used. Of course, if APC is being used,
the chances of actually running 100W is small.

The big deal is that hams can use any sort of antennas they can dream up
or get into the air. Since directional antennas are the order of the day,
the opportunity for interference is minimized.

Whose fault is it if the 802.11 manufacturers chose to use an "unlicenced"
band that was already occupied by a licensed service with rights to run
high power?

--
Bert Hyman    St. Paul, MN    bert@iphouse.com

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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Actually, that's only for 802.11 and 802.11b.  You can go 1500 watts
with other modulation methods (i.e. frequency hopping).  I know of
several high power 2.4GHz ham stations with big dishes.  Mostly used
for 9600 baud satellite work.
  http://www.qsl.net/kb9mwr/projects/wireless/pwr.html

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Yep.  Directional antennas are a good thing.
  
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Oh, assigning the blame is easy.  The FCC had a problem.  Hundreds of
manufacturers, inventors, hams, and experimenters had all these really
great ideas for communications.  Just one problem, there were no
frequencies available for them to play.  Most did their testing on ham
frequencies, but eventually everyone came to the FCC for an
allocation.  Lacking the technical abilities to evaluate the merits of
all these proposals, and getting armtisted by corporate influence
peddlers, the FCC took the easy way out and dumped everything into the
ISM bands.  I once saw a staff report claiming that the 900MHz ISM
band was "under-utilized".  The theory was for each of these great
ideas to prove themselves in the ISM bands, and then the FCC will
consider allocating additional frequencies.  

Well, along came the spectrum auctions and spectrum suddenly became
valueable.  There was no revenue in unlicensed operation (spectrum
auctions are essentially license auctions).  Predictably, there was no
spectrum for those not willing to pay for it.  Meanwhile, much of the
spectrum was sold for pennies, while other spectrum went for prices
well beyond economical.  The spectrum auctions soon became a fiasco.

Then, somone at the FCC noticed that the most successful thing they
ever did was to get out of the way and let the IEEE handle the
technical part of unlicensed wireless.  This is terrible for the FCC
as it neither generates revenue or actually requires any FCC
involvement beyond rubber stamping type certification on equipment.
So, the FCC has finally, after 8 years of f*****g around, released a
fabulous 50MHz of former military bandwidth, with a minimum of
licensing (they just can't let go of the license game), and enough
grandfathered ground stations to make the spectrum useless in
metropolitan areas.  Great praise should be given to the attorneys at
the FCC for having done this much.

So, what should a manufactory do with literally millions of customers
waiting for the FCC to throw together some sane spectrum policy?  I
dunno.  I seriously don't expect the attorneys that are running the
FCC to give much consideration any such technical considerations like
co-channel users, adjacent user protection, and service compatibility.
Spectrum is politically motivated, horded by the commissioners, and
technical considerations are secondary.  (I can supply examples but
then this rant would last forever).

Bottom line is the manufactories did not "choose" to use 2.4Ghz.  They
were told that it's 2.4GHz or go fly a kite by the FCC.  Since two tin
cans and a string were not selling well, they decided 2.4Ghz was
better than nothing.


--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831.336.2558 voice  http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
#                         jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
#                           jeffl@cruzio.com     AE6KS

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 02:25:07 +0000, Jeff Liebermann wrote: <...>
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Speaking of the FCC, over the air HDTV will be potentially beneficial to
me if the proposal to open vacant tv channels to unlicensed wireless goes
through.  The bad news is that digital transmission will likely kill 3 of
my 5 channels.  Even if it doesn't, I'm guessing that 85 miles will be
outside the protected zone.

Thanks to the group for your comments.  I've Googled to point of glazing
over but do now have a better sense of what's available.  Am satisfied
I've not missed something (in my price range).  


Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 09:57:14 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
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Haven't gotten to all thest yet but I'm getting the sense of an
interesting idea that never quite got off the ground.  Not much dated
after 2003 and lots of dead reference links.

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Nearest house is 1/4 mile away.  Though I wish there was, there is no
commercial wireless.  The nearest hot-spot I'm aware of is 9 miles away.

I'm not clear on "line-of-sight". The trees here are mostly hardwoods and
when the leaves are off, I can receive FRS radios (on a radio scanner) 1-2
miles away. (Read in an article about packet radio that VHF is considered
l-o-s.)  So how is the FRS signal getting through trees so thick
(collectively) that I can't see a pole light only 1/4 mile away?  What am
I missing?
 
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Thank you ... wasn't aware of that option.  Now if only it would get very
popular so the price drops like a stop. <g>  

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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Yep, that's about it.  We have a local group of hams that are involved
in 802.11 type wireless networks.  It's difficult and tricky keeping
the ham radio and commercial sides seperate.  At this point, they're
seperate networks, with a gateway that only allows ham radio related
traffic.  In my opinion, it's a waste of time and effort.

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Can you see the other end of the radio link?  If not, what's in the
way?  Trees or hills?  2.4GHz does not go though anything with water
very well and does not go through dirt at all.

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FRS/GMRS and 2.4Ghz are VERY different.

FRS is 462MHz.  There's very little water absorption at this
frequency.  It bounces around quite well, and defracts from knife
edges.  However, the resultant multipath does not totally destroy
communictions.  If used for data, FRS/GMRS can do about 9.6Kbits/sec.
FRS radios run 0.5 watts.  Similar GMRS radios run up to 5 watts.  

2.4Ghz 802.11 wireless is blocked by water.  It bounces quite well but
is seriously affected by multipath.  Most access points run about
0.035 watts xmit power.  Data rates are up to 54Mbits/sec or 5000
times faster than FRS/GMRS.  Totally different animals.

Ham packet radio is mostly 1200 and 9600 baud.  That's really slow
when compared to broadband wireless.

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For 900Mhz also look into:
  http://www.waverider.com
They're a Canadian company that provides 900MHz systems used mostly in
the trees.  The units can often be found on eBay.  Typical is a
central base unit, plus 5 CPE radios for about $2000.  About
2Mbits/sec thruput maximum.  Not cheap, but that's what works in the
forest.

  

--
Jeff Liebermann    jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D   http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060    AE6KS  831-336-2558

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 11:15:06 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
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Understood about the frequency part.  Wasn't aware of the major difference
in power.
 
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What I mainly want to do is (serially) monitor different areas (on 200
acres) to see what wildlife is using them.  Could just set up a computer,
camera and power source and store periodic snapshots, but "live" would
make it a lot more interesting.  Have decided to go ahead and get two
WAP11s; more bandwidth than I need and the antenna(s) is removable.
(Cantenna on the client?)

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless



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Ummm, did you look into various network web cams with 802.11a/g
wireless built in?  For example:
  http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=60&sec=0
  http://www.axis.com/products/video/index.htm
  http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/gate/cameras.asp

--
Jeff Liebermann    jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D   http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060    AE6KS  831-336-2558

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 18:26:01 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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I do already have an Axis, sans wifi.  Undecided if that's what I'll use
but imo what would be the best place for it (up a tree) would not be the
best place for the antenna.  

Re: Amateur Radio Wireless


Oopa, FRS is UHF, not UHF.

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