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 Ham Radio protocol for Netc - when no internet available 
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:51 pm
Posts: 731
Location: Arkansas
Netc is looking into the process to transfer radiation data and emergency messages over the Amateur Ham Radio instead of the Internet. Last year when all the fires where burning in Colorado, the only method of data was the Amateur radio operators. Now I have my license and we are going to give the PI another way to send radiation, weather information to the public.

Anyone that wants to be part of this adventure, please respond with your call sign and location and PI/Mac address if you have one. All others, we will tell you how to take the test, its simple, Jeff passed the tech, and general after two days of study. I was not so luckly, I only passed the tech license. Total cost for the license was $15
Second, we plan on modifying the outside units to use the amateur radio to transmit emergency radiation data so that a car battery will be able to power the remote station at any location as long as the amateur radio channels are available.

Please posts your information.
Remember the Amateur ham radio transmissions are only a backup safeguard for emergency nuclear events and is not for business and daily use.


Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:14 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:40 pm
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Location: Illinois
It is great to see that you are still moving forward while so many others just sit on the sidelines and question their local radiation readings without a geiger counter. :shock:

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MY OUTSIDE RADIATION MONITORING STATION:
South Beloit, Illinois - GMC200 Outside on HEPA air purifier, ground level, facing West.
http://netc.com/chart/view.php?n=1%3AEB5A139C


Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:27 am
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Location: Arkansas
We pass the test but have not received our license. So we will build the hardware to send packet radio messeges.


Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:37 am
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 11:42 pm
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Location: USA
I would love to get my amateur radio license. My grandpa was a Ham operator for yearsssss. Too bad my grandma sold all his equipment when he passed away. How much does a modest set up cost? I think we still have the linear antenna.


Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:34 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:51 pm
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Location: Arkansas
Here are the steps I took to get my Amateur Radio License.

1. Take the practice test over and over until you get passing scores. You can miss 9 out of 35 questions. Here is the website: http://aa9pw.com/radio/ Click on Technician and Take exam. I took the practice test about 15 times and passed.

2. Find a place to take the exam: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-rad ... am-session
Fill in the zipcode and click on Search

3. What type of radio to buy? We are going to use the Baofeng uv-5ra model for $30.84 on Amazon. Until I learn the reason for the $200 radio, these units work great on repeaters and connecting to the Net. The antenna is the most important part so I will get a better one for $9.00 that the Ham members recommend.

Netc.com will give away the information to convert the PI/GMC-xxx package to amateur radio channels instead of the Internet for FREE while we are developing the software on the Rasberry PI computer. Post your interest now on this thread.

Harlan


Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:25 am
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I thought that the test was pretty easy; at least we're no longer required to learn Morse code. I did download the documents that had every single question in them and read through them (they were big--the one for the General test was 97 pages long) studying the questions. No, you can't just memorize "hey, that one's answer was C" because in the real test they mix up the answers a bit--you need to memorize what the answer actually is out of the choices. Still, I think that just about anyone could pass at least the Tech exam just from a couple of days of study.


As for the hardware....

It is quite possible that I'm having too much fun working on this. :mrgreen:

I've already investigated hooking the server up to noam.aprs2.net to receive updates, that part is going to be pretty easy.

I've found that there are at least 3 Ham operators out there that already have geiger counters reporting over aprs for their own use.

Here's one of them, he's using an arduino with custom code and a TNC-capable radio. He's also reporting Temperature, Humidity and Dew Point.

There are two packet types in use to report radiation counts (and the one above actually sends both, at different intervals): as a weather report and as Telemetry. (Actually, the one above is the only one I found using a weather packet). Added bonus is that we'll be able to use aprs.fi/telemetry to view charts for sites reporting over aprs.

Our initial version is going to be using Telemetry packets I think unless someone has a really good reason we should use the weather packet. I'm open to suggestions on this point.


After some wrestling with alsa, snd-usb-audio, and asound.conf I now have my Pi receiving APRS packets from the radio using a usb soundcard (The one I have working is this one). This way you don't need a TNC-capable radio, you can use the $30 LCR. We're going to have to be carefull about self-interference, the radio doesn't receive too well from inside my computer room. I ended up having to lay the radio on it's side to receive packets (I think the rubber duck antenna that comes with these are circularly polarized)


Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:50 am
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Location: Waterford, MI.
I just picked up a small handled TVT TH-F5, which is similar to the Baofeng. Got it off Craigslist to use in case of an emergency for about $20.00. Not sure it is data packet comparable but i plan on getting my license something this summer, time permitting. As soon s I do I would be interesteind in setting thus up for my stations as well.

-Randy
Station ID 1:EB072480 Waterford, MI, US

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Station ID 1:EB072480 Waterford, MI, US
http://netc.com/chart/view.php?n=1%3AEB072480
Prepare, plan, stay informed and safe!


Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:57 am
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Location: Arkansas
good, you are on the list to get the free information as we develop it.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:50 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:31 pm
Posts: 22
Sounds like a great idea. I have my tech and have not had time to get my general. I am rarely on, but am interested in the idea of emergency communications and would need someone knowledgeable to instruct me.
Carl B.
Billings, MT
KF7TQY 2 Meter
WQTQ589 GMRS


Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:34 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:51 pm
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Location: Arkansas
thank you for the information and we will keep you informed on our progress.

Here is the radio that I like and the price is great.
Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black)
on Amazon the cost is less than $30. I bought 3 of them. The one problem is how to recharge the battery, but we are working on it.

harlan


Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:30 am
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