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[linux] RE: Take a Stand

Eric S. Johansson esj at harvee.org
Fri Oct 8 22:21:10 UTC 2004

Gerry Creager n5jxs wrote:
> Apparently unknown to some, there are those of us working with Internet2 
> to acquire an IPv6 address space for Amateur Radio and start the effort 
> to do some implelentations.
> The initial thought is to get a /48 block (first 48 bits of the 128-bit 
> address reserved for prefix, then distribute /56's to networks/users 
> with network aspirations.  reserving 56 bits of the remaining 72 for 
> callsign encoding (as in, plain, readable ASCII) yields a 16-bit network 
> space for playing.  That's equivalent to a Class-B in IPv4 terms. Should 
> be enough for any individual for at least my foreseeable future, or for 
> a club/ARES team or equiavelent to build out a metro network.
> There are decided benefits already within the IPv6 mobility plans to 
> accommodate home-node relay to alternately registered systems; multicast 
> for directed point-to-multipoint dissemination, several other 
> possibilities.

while this is all very nice and I'm sure it's even useful, amateur radio 
is again missing opportunities.  For example:


IDRC Funds Project To Teach Wireless Technologists In Africa - July 3, 2004
Following attendance at a European wireless conference, the 
Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) worked closely with 
the Association for Progressive Communications, Ecole Sup㩲eure 
Multinationale des T㩬communications, and wire.less.dk, a Dutch wireless 
consulting company, to draft a proposal designed to educate wireless 
implementers in Africa. The International Development Research Centre 
(IDRC) has funded the proposal for $225,000 US over the period from July 
2004 to June 2006.


in order to gain any sort of mind share and experimentation 
possibilities again, you need to have a mission and a method.  For 
example in my astronomy efforts, I'm helping my club put together a 
control system a very nice planetary telescope.  What other members 
started going wild over a go to control system design, I had to remind 
people that the primary mission for the schupman visual and photographic 
observations of plants and the moon which are all easily found.  As a 
result, we're now designing a simple tracking system with limited 
slewing capability.

How does this apply to amateur radio?  Well, in order to have a network, 
we need a mission and a method.  So far, all are doing is coming up with 
methods that are typically embarrassingly bad compared to commercial 
offerings (i.e. packet radio).  But even with a 9600 baud network, we 
barely have enough data to fill that.

I have two suggestions for missions:

1) affinity focused spotting networks.

DX clusters are quite fascinating from a psychological perspective and 
in terms of being able to let people know what's on the air and where. 
But what if you could have a spotting network of your friends?  Or of 
other users of a common mode such as MFSK16?  by seeing that other users 
are out there of your mode would probably encourage more usage on that 
mode because you could find someone to talk to.

2) virtual repeaters.

we are all acquainted with how the current generation of repeaters 
operate, how they have limited range and how you frequently cannot get a 
contact on a repeater except during rush hour or before a club meeting.

we have started first generation virtual repeaters with echolink and 
other voice over IP tools where one can connect and form a two (or 
sometimes more) node virtual repeater.

Like a first generation virtual repeaters, the Next Generation virtual 
repeaters would be linked via TCP wireless and wired VoIP links.  But 
unlike the first generation, commercial repeaters are a mesh of nodes 
with dynamic node insertion/deletion.

but what makes the Next Generation virtual repeater architecture 
different is the modifications to the radio or user terminal.  No longer 
a simple frequency display and microphone, each user terminal displays 
information about the network, who is connected and what conversations 
are going on.  No longer would you need to hunt for machine to machine 
calling for a contact, simply putting out a request for contact would 
alert all user terminals connected to the network.  If you saw someone 
you needed to speak with on the network, you could connect with them 

Conceptually the user interface model is very similar to a buddy list on 
an instant messenger client.  The differences being the ability to 
signal an entire group and drop into and out of group conversations.

there are two benefits to heading in this direction.  First is that it 
moves us away from the "glorify taxi radio" world and gives us a more 
modern/technically astute infrastructure.  Second, it gives us an 
emergency infrastructure.  We can drop off all of the VoIP traffic, run 
standard SMTP and now we can carry emergency messages with the same 
infrastructure we were using day-to-day.  that way, our infrastructure 
is tested and ready for disasters which would increase confidence of 
emergency personnel that we can do what we say we can do

the idea is kind of rough but it's worth considering.

method ideas:

sound card modems revolutionized HF digital data transmission.  I 
believe we could use the equivalent concepts to revolutionize VHF data 
transmission if we had a relatively inexpensive "soundcard" capable of 
filling 100 kHz+ of spectrum and a simple transverter for 200 mhz on up.

inexpensive relatively high-speed medium distance data transmission 
would help keep amateur radio attract folks unsatisfied by the 
limitations of part 15.

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