Maine ASM Cory Golob, KU1U, writes:
Mesh Network Communication Update 4
Monday June 5, 2023
Bill NG1P went to Blackstrap Mountain in Falmouth on Thursday June 1, 2023 to get the site online. The Switch and Point-to-Point dish were installed. The dish is pointing at Brunswick, however, they are not optimized at the moment. The connection will be improved when the smaller
lightweight dish for Brunswick comes in.
The key task is making sure we do not have to visit sites more than once (to keep costs down). We do not have permission to install panel antennas at the moment, only an agreement in place is to install one antenna. Waiting for approval on panel antennas.
The Falmouth Site is operational and shows up on the Mesh dashboard, however, signal strength will be low until equipment comes in for Brunswick.
Lightweight Dishes are expected to arrive at the end of June. The Rocket Radios are not due to arrive until September.
The next step will be to start making a path from Brunswick to either Litchfield or Wales, depending on which site makes it easier to approve getting equipment installed. Talks are being held to use the Litchfield site.
The green light has been given to build the connection between Dixmont to Dedham.
Bill NG1P has submitted an invoice for the tower work done on Blackstrap in Falmouth and is pending payment from MARF. There is a major concern about the tower costs. When quotes were obtained it was $100 per hour once the climber arrived on scene plus travel costs, but the travel cost on the initial bill showed the $100 per hour as part of travel time. The grant will not be sustainable for the project at this rate. If anyone knows of insured climbers that can keep the costs more in line with what was quoted, please contact me.
We are also seeking assistance from people who can help out going to tower sites and assist with installation and also those who are interested in helping with the programming of equipment. Please let me know if you are interested, or know somebody, who may be interested in these duties. This should not be a one person job and it would be nice to see the community pitch in to offer technical assistance.