Ham Spread Spectrum WiFi Question

Tom Azlin N4ZPT tom at n4zpt.org
Wed Jun 27 21:00:09 CDT 2012

Thanks Maitland.

Your reply seems sound to me especially for using ham radio to 
substitute for paid internet service. Lifeline email maybe. That 
Ubiquity link is pretty extreme and awesome!  Might cost more to just 
hook it to an ISP pipe than to get Hughes satellite internet service! 
Not to mention buying the 1.5 gb/s link!

Kirk, That's a hard one.  Number of microwave tcp/ip bridges available 
for 1-10 mb/s with 10-30 mile range but you have to have a place to put 
the other end and a good path along the way. And hope there is no 
interference on the part 15 bands. Splat! can help look at your path to 
some other location.

http://splat.ecok.edu/ = you will have to read the instructions, load in 
your location, likely other ends and see what works.

Or go to just simple text email and use WinLink2k via a 2m or 70cm 
packet link. If no Winlink2k location reachable via packet then HF 
Winlink2k works well for just email. Or pay for the same Hughes service 
that RVers and country folks get. And rent videos.

I've friends and family that live out in the country. They go with 
Hughes with dial up as a backup. Or if they are lucky get a 3G cell 
phone card. Still fair $ cost either way.

73, tom n4zpt

On 6/27/2012 8:48 PM, Maitland Bottoms wrote:
>>>>>> "AML" == Kirk Fraser <overcomer.man at gmail.com> writes:
> AML> Hi,
> AML>
> AML> I'm newly relocated to a rural area without affordable internet service.  As a
> AML> ham, I thought perhaps 2 meter with directional spread spectrum from town
> AML> might enable me to get WiFi for non-commercial purposes.  Is there a circuit
> AML> or plans somewhere I can look at that will enable me to get WiFi at a rural
> AML> location via 2 meter spread spectrum?
> Sorry to rain on your parade, but there is no 2 meter spread spectrum.
> Current rules allow for spread spectrum in Amateur Radio only on
> frequencies above 420 MHz. (There were 2 meter spread spectrum
> experiemnts once - but they were done using what's called an STA, that
> might stand for Special Temporary Authority, which actually isn't part
> of the Amateur Radio Service.)
> Certainly Amateur Radio communications travels over the Internet all
> the time.  From the 2m band, this is most often done with 1200 baud
> half-duplex packet radio, but Digital Voice at low bandwidths is
> becoming more common.
> However, the converse isn't so common. You'll need a control operator
> checking the communications at both ends to comply with the rules,
> such as making sure no prohibited communications occurs:
> http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2007-title47-vol5/xml/CFR-2007-title47-vol5-sec97-113.xml
> It's really easy to stumble across music and encrypted data on the
> Internet, and those things are prohibited in the Amateur Radio
> Service.
> Oh, and under 2400 MHz it's not easy to find much spectrum in the Ham
> bands. It is important to share the bands with other hams, and not
> interfere with the QRP and satellite operations going on.
> So, in general, your Amateur Radio digital network will have less
> usability than a dial-up internet connection. That's still great, in
> an emergency, but for everyday use not so enjoyable.
> You like WiFi, so the good news it you can do WiFi in the 13cm ham
> band. Check out http://hsmm-mesh.org/ Of course, if you use high gain
> antennas and WiFi amplifiers to put your link into Amateur Radio
> service then WEP and WPA need to be disabled. Just because Part 15
> users must accept any interference that comes along on a legal basis
> doesn't mean they aren't going to be mad at you for making
> their WiFi not work.
> AML> On non-commercial internet use, I mean for example, viewing Christian and
> AML> political videos would be easier to do at home where time is unlimited, while
> AML> relegating commercial work to free access at the library which limits access to
> AML> an hour a day.  Or is there a ruling on the definition of commercial that
> AML> enables purchase of products for a hobby but not for profit?
> Yes. From the regulations on the link above:
> "Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be
> furnished alternatively through other radio services."
> If you want to pay lawyers to argue the merits of your personal
> definition of "affordable" and the definition of "reasonably be
> furnished alternatively" in the Code of Federal Regulations then go
> right ahead. Let us know how that turns out.
> Now I'm enough of a libertarian to let slide your comments about
> sending religious and political videos over the ham bands. I've
> even ordered pizza over the repeater's autopatch. But I must say,
> my ordering pizza using the ham bands made some of my fellow
> ham neighbors very mad at me. What we do via Radio Waves we do
> in public - and before doing things in public we should probably
> ask ousrselves how our mother would like us to act in public.
> So, rather than make enemies while you hog our shared radio spectrum
> from your "home where time is unlimited" - take all the money you've
> saved by not spending it on unaffordable internet service and
> invest in equipment and skills to move data over the ham bands
> in an emergency. Do practice on an irregular basis with other hams to
> be ready for emergency service and you could be a hero.
> AML>
> AML> Thanks much.
> AML>
> AML> Kirk Fraser
> All that said, it seems a common way for hams to get internet
> connectivity from "in town" to remote repeater sites is to use
> commercial equipmment from http://www.ubnt.com/
> Yeah, it's not Part 97, but then again you are allowed to encrypt your
> link and safely use the Internet for email, banking or anything.
> -Maitland
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