[Olsr-users] ham radio and community wifi

Kim Hawtin (spam-protected)
Thu Oct 2 06:33:32 CEST 2008

Hi Bob,

Bob Keyes wrote:
> any ham radio users on this list?

I think you will find a few.

There are many folks that have trod the path to HAM radio via
WiFi after needing to understand more about radio and radio systems
in the quest for better WiFi systems =)

> I've got my license. I am trying to
> revive the slowly dying ham radio club at my university. It's got a lot of 
> resources but not many members, and is particularly short of 
> undergraduates. It's the oldest club in the US (centennial in 2009), the 
> Harvard Wireless Club (W1AF). I am thinking that the club can attract new 
> members by expanding its projects in terms of datacomm, particularly by 
> branching out into areas which are not ham radio per se, such as 
> community wifi.

The main issue that I have come across is the requirement not to carry
'third party' traffic on HAM networks.

Otherwise some countries have limitations on not carrying commercial
traffic on WiFi networks, but as long as its all for 'hobbyist' purposes
you should be fine =)

> Those of you who are University students may want to see if you have a ham 
> radio club. Most universities which are medium or large do, particularly 
> if they are schools with a strong engineering program. Colleges known more 
> for liberal arts often have ham radio clubs, but they are often 
> atrophying. I recall that the Dartmouth club was in danger of death.

Many clubs are undergoing change. We have seen some clubs shrink and merge.
Others grow significantly.

The change to the regs. to change the 'novice' type license to a new 'foundation'
license in VK land has created all sorts of interest from 'community wireless' clubs
and associations (read using WiFi for computer networking).

> I have to repeat, that this club has an amazing amount of resources (radio 
> gear, test equipment, computers, space, money).

I was surprised to see the same when I joined my local club =)

> -Bob N1YRK


Operating Systems, Services and Operations
Information Technology Services, The University of Adelaide

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