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[Ham-80211] Why? (was Handoff between access point? )

Daron J. Wilson daron at wilson.org
Wed Nov 24 23:09:42 UTC 2004

> Daron,
> The key  phrase was
> "Possible technically, but not doable at this time by hams."

What, specifically, is preventing Hams from doing this and where do you
get the 'fact' that this is NOT doable by hams?	
> I also have some paid networking experience. Rollouts! Upgrades!  Rah
rah rah!


> How do you build and maintain a WAN with $0 funding and NO paid staff?

"No paid staff".  I must assume by your question that you are implying
that every WAN must have paid staff in order to exist, also that you
must have 'funding' from somewhere for a WAN to exist.  That's just
hogwash.  There are many free WiFi services here on the west coast here
is one as an example http://www.personaltelco.net/static/ where people
volunteer their time for the project.  That's right, volunteer.  No Pay.

I'm not sure where you got the $0 funding idea, obviously this hardware
costs someone money, all hardware does.  In the example above, a
majority of the 'hardware' is provided by people participating in the
model by sharing their existing equipment and bandwidth.  This involved
personal and business participation to share the bandwidth.  Am I saying
this can be done for $0?  Probably not, most other ham projects are done
'with $0 funding', someone buys equipment, donates equipment and labor,
and they make it work.

Could 20 hams in a small town enable wireless at their homes and build a
WAN for other Hams? Yup, sure could.  Even Hams could do that :)

> How have you done this?

I know at least three other hams in my little town that have wireless
access points that are deliberately left open like mine to share, the
start of a WAN if you will, for our community.

I've not build the model of an entire town, yet, but have done campuses
for commercial use.  It goes together well, allows travel between nodes,
and works.

> Could you give an example?

I just did.
> Most important, if you did create and maintain this free network, then
I must
> ask why? What made you do it?

At the risk of making this even more of a philosophical study, I suppose
I share mine for the same reason I put up voice repeaters, and APRS
digi's, and remote camera systems, and everything else I do for free.
Simply because I enjoy it.  

> Is the need to experiment enough?

The need to experiment is one reason, it's strong, it did get me through
high school :)

On a more practical note, we often get our bandwidth donated to avoid
the monthly charges, and we donate the equipment to make it work.
Currently at one site we have a 2.4ghz microwave shot 18 miles to get
broadband up there.  On that broadband, we pump out pictures from our
cameras and soon an ATV receiver to our web site.  On the sea level end
we are sharing a T1 with a ham owned business in town who 'donated' some
bandwidth to our effort.  Free.  No paid staff.  Our next step is an
access point on the mountain top and see how far away we can connect
people up.

You sounded a bit like a 'glass half empty' kinda guy, all this stuff is
possible if you have some ambition and desire to see it work.  It is
what Ham radio used to be about, and some of us still perceive it that




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