Jay Taft is leading an effort to expand mesh networking in New Hampshire in support of the NEDECN digital network. The goal of network expansion is to provide a robust, commercially independent, emergency communications backbone as well as a commercially-independent general purpose amateur radio communications facility. This effort is in parallel with similar efforts in RI and ME that are in progress.
The overall objective of the NH effort is establishing 5 GHz RF links among DMR and other sites in southern NH. During September the NH team established a 33-mile link from Crotched Mt to Walnut Hill which set up the potential to extend the mesh network to the east, north and south.
Participants in the September project were Bill Barber NE1B, Paul Blais KC1KMM, Bill Fortin KB1SGK, Ted Gamlin K1OX, Jen Herting KD2BEC, Bryan King KX1B, Wally O’Donnell N1GLT, and Jay Taft K1EHZ.
On September 9th, a joint team from New England Digital Emergency Communication Network and the Merrimack Valley Amateur Radio Association installed a 5 GHz mesh router on the K1OX tower on Walnut Hill in Chester, NH. (Photo of Wally N1GLT on the tower.) On September 21st the NEDECN and MVARA team updated the 5 GHz router configuration on South Uncanoonuc Mountain in Goffstown, NH. (Photo of Bill KB1SGK on the lift.)
The link from Uncanoonuc to the NEDECN site on Walnut Hill in Chester, NH (19 miles east of Uncanoonuc) turned out to be marginal due to obstruction by rock and foliage, and subject to RFI from other radios on the summit, however, the 5 GHz signal from the router previously installed on Crotched Mountain in Francestown, NH (14miles west of Uncanoonuc) is received at Walnut Hill (19 miles east of Uncanoonuc) with an excellent signal to noise ratio across the 33-mile path. The team is evaluating this path to see how it holds up over time.
These mesh expansion projects, eventually linking them in a New England – wide network, as well as others like them nationally are key to staking amateur radio’s claim to these frequencies and preventing encroachment by commercial interests.
The teams active in this effort meet semi-monthly on Zoom and communicate using firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in becoming involved, please consider joining the iogroup to get started.