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[aprssig] APRS for One-Laptop-Per-Child

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun Nov 11 23:58:13 UTC 2007


At the AMSAT meeting (or was it DCC?), it was announced that the $100 laptops-per-child mass production gets underway in Novermber for every kid on the planet.  In my mind, this is a UNIQUE opportunity for HAM radio and should be the ham-radio target machine for just about everything we do.

I can think of no better investment in ham radio, than making sure our stuff can run on these machines.  And thereby get kids involved in HAM radio.  As they come, they have 802.11g wireless for a self-building network from nothing.  Out of the box, they will network, and the ads say, the 802.11 is more powerful than conventional wireless lans.  Ham radio can bring some RF expertise to these networks.

Because the laptop is supposed to be able to form this peer-to-peer social network throughtout a villiage as is.  We can add some longer links...  Basically it is APRS out of the box...

My first thought is a USB PSK-31 device that links that laptop, not just to he next hut in the villiage, but can use 5W radios on PSK-31 to reach the world.  I think the target power for the whole laptop is around 1 watt.  So it can be recharged on solar power.

This thing just jumps out at me as a fundamental building block for ad-hoc emergnecy comms and funn coms and just about everything else we do with ham radio.  Then we overlay on top of that, all the neat things we do in ham radio.  As tom points, out, AMSATS etc.  (And of course APRS) Winlink and all our other EMCOMM toys...

Of course until they get to the millions of quantities, they are now costing $200 each, and you have to buy two for a total of $400 to get yours (the other one goes to a kid)...

But its a great way to get one... and start developing code...  Actually get two (4), so you can play both ends...

WB4APR, Bob




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