Re: The need for STAR LINK

Steve K W6SJK

1. Bruce - you are preaching to the choir.  We all know of the need.  We don't set ARC policy as you know.
2. DST members have been discussing Starlink and other systems on Volunteer Connection vs dependence on cellphones.  Have you seen it?
3. At least some of the use of the Starlink in FL was donated by the State of Fl from what I've read on VC.
4. If we bought 1 or 2 Starlink systems who would fund the $110-135 service fees even if we went the $135 RV route?
5. Starlink is not likely to give us a discount.  They are already saying that the service in Ukraine is breaking the bank or words to that effect.  They have even doubled the cost of the equipment and raised the service fees there.
6. Most of southern CA is on a waitlist. The map seems to have changed in the last few weeks.
7. Yes we are in a "low capacity" area, whatever that translates to in Mbps speed.


On Sun, Jan 8, 2023 at 10:47 PM Bruce <wa6dnt@...> wrote:
Hi Group

I am still concerned about the inability of DST across the country, to
supply high speed communications during disasters see my comments below:

Red Cross (Disaster Service Technology) DST. is always is looking for
way to increase our capability to send disaster traffic. We have found
that Red Cross disaster functions like "Damage Assessment" - "Mass Care"
- "Service Centers" - "Shelter operations" are married to their cell
phones and Internet connected laptops - with the mind set that they will
NEVER FAIL! They do not want to use DST current communications  tools
and even 30 Kbps VARA-FM is too slow for them! They want internet speeds
EVEN DURING a disaster!

Recently we  had the "Border Fire" and the County of San Diego forced
Red Cross to set up a shelter in a radio hole. This High School was on
summer shut down with to drinkable water or functional Rest rooms and NO
AC during the heat of summer! Red Cross would never have chosen this
site, the County forced it to be used. In this radio hole their was NO
internet or cell service. DST had NO way to send traffic at a speed that
was useful. 1200 baud packet does NOT meet the need! At that time we had
the new IEEE/MOVE-2 communications truck stationed at Red Cross
headquarters. DST made a request for the IEEE truck to be driven down to
the border to support disaster communications. They set up their
satellite link and pulled a network cable into the shelter into a MiFi
router. We had a  number of Laptops in use at the same time with no
problem! The IEEE truck crew even set up a Internet hot-spot for the
shelter clients to use - with NO  streaming or movies allowed!  The Red
Cross clients and shelter population were VERY happy with this set up!!
It was a GREAT demonstration of what satellite communications can do
during a disaster! My hat is off for the great communications service
the IEEE team can supply!  WELL DONE!!

Fast forward to Hurricane IAN in Florida! This disaster was so severe in
taking out ALL communications options that BOTH the IEEE/MOVE 1   and 2 
communications trucks were deployed to Florida! This meant a 6 day trip
to drive the IEEE/MOVE2 truck across the country! This needed
communications asset was gone for months!!  This caused some concern
with the local DST as the Red Cross functions had been spoiled by the
communications speed available at the "Border Fire" and were even more
reluctant to use the slow speeds of VARA,and  Winlink fldigi. We
realized that the IEEE truck could ONLY support TWO disasters at a time!
Now with the addition of IEEE/MOVE-3 truck which will be stationed in
Fort Worth Texas, they can now handle three disasters whoopee!   We
thought of all the disaster events that could have a devastating effect
across the county - like a terrorist attack or Solar EMP on the power
grid. A massive Earthquake  - Then multiple hurricanes or wild fires in
different locations. -  The CA "Paradise Wildfire" took out ALL
communications!  The "Border Fire" was a VERY small event and still we
needed to call in the IEEE/move2 communications truck! DST has been
deployed to the desert in locations where there was NO Internet or cell

I like the fact that the Starlink/RV  can be stationed anywhere and can
be "Turned off" in between disasters! Even at the lower priority speeds
(like 1-10Mbps)  compared to "home" units, STILL it is vastly faster
then what DST has now!! Can the Star Link management be approached to
supply high speed communications service during a disaster at reduced
rates and higher speeds? Star Link was deployed in Florida with great
success from the reports I have heard. I think if the local DST members
all contributed, we could easily raise the funds to purchase a Starlink
set up - at the CDOC and a unit for mobile use. Other Red Cross chapters
may be able to do the same.

73 Bruce  WA6DNT@...   -  Red Cross DST  -  SHARES   -HF NNC9RC

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