ricochet modems

Tad G tad at planetisuzoo.com
Tue Oct 13 20:15:39 CDT 2009

Max speed was in the ISDN range, with internet access in the range of dialup speeds and ptp links around 128k.  The later USB modems I believe could get near or to that speed for internet access as well.  The serial modems could be used ptp without authenticating with the Ricochet network, possibly the USB modems as well but I never owned one.  

In my travels I'm seeing more and more of the light-pole transceivers with their power cords hanging free.  It seems as though Dominion isn't keeping all, if any of them around anymore.  Probably converting to BPL :)

Was a neat technology at one point.  We used it as a dialup replacement for internet access as it was cheaper than an ISP account + phone line.  

A few years ago someone had reactivated the network in some city, I think it was Denver.  Not sure what happened there other than I suspect it was overtaken by other technologies.


----- Original Message -----
From: fgentges at mindspring.com
To: "Alex Fraser" <beatnic at comcast.net>
Cc: "tacos" <tacos at amrad.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:51:15 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: ricochet modems


I was interested in the idea of AMRAD keeping up the Ricochet network
after the company closed down.  What I found was that Virginia Dominion
Power had installed the transceivers and was using them to read electric
meters.  I still see the transceivers on some street lights and probably
get their power off of the light circuit. So far as I know, they are
still using the system for this.  I do not know if it also connects to
the Internet or if they are using an Internet like protocol to read the

Ricochet is kinda slow compared to today's Fifi.  Perhaps as-is or with
a simple tweak they can be QSYed into the 900 MHz ham band.  There may
be a pony in that pile of yours.  Detailed documentation would be very
useful in any such pursuit.

Frank K0BRA

Alex Fraser wrote:
>     I have a collection of Ricochet modems (30?).  I have most models 
> including the older serial cable versions that don't depend on the 
> Ricochet net for authentication.  The operate on 900 MHz spread 
> spectrum.   Many local Metricom sites just wasted away as far as I could 
> tell, there might even be remaining infrastructure on your local water 
> tower.  My intention was to set up a linux network with them, but never 
> got around to it.  I believe they are still supported in Linux, but 
> haven't checked in a while. 
>     I'd like to get some money out of this and I think I can get a 
> little from my local computer junk shop.   Some are new in box.  Battery 
> condition varies from good to dead.  Any offers?
> -- 
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