Date   

Re: DST Communications tools

Nat 2733E N6BRV
 

Hello Mark,

   Like the idea about not waiting around.  I would like to set up an Omni AREDN Antenna at my QTH if that all goes well, I’ll consider the mobile. My QTH is 57 degrees to Palomar Mountain and 30 miles away, to which I believe to have a back bone for AREDN.

 

My first exposure to AREDN working with Andre K6AH back 4+ years ago. à (24) AREDN 052717 Workshop - YouTube

No further since then.

 

Please let me know what I need to do OR point me to the right people for further AREDN engagement.

I can C++, C#, MS SQL (SSMS), but only in times of need.  Well aware of à Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (arednmesh.org)

 

73' N6BRV Nat S.

 

From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io [mailto:main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mark Warrick (KM6ZPO)
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2021 8:37 AM
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARC2-SDICC] DST Communications tools

 

Hi Bruce,

I want to point everyone's attention to the Irvine area of Orange County.  See the AREDN map:

http://usercontent.arednmesh.org/K/5/K5DLQ/livemap2.html#13/33.7010/-117.7478

http://n6ipd.org

IDEC didn't wait around for people to install AREDN access points on mountain tops.  They solved a problem for a specific "customer" need.  Their high schools are used as evacuation shelters.  Every high school already had VHF / UHF radios, but they wanted to be able to dial each other via IP phones, see each location on camera and be able to transfer large data files between each other.  The installed their own AREDN mesh network with low-level nodes at each high school to form a mesh network which is all connected back to the main police station, where they have their EOC.  IDEC is connected to the "greater AREDN So-Cal mesh" through a long-range link to KE6BXT on Pleasant's Peak.  

If you scroll around Orange County, you'll notice a whole bunch of nodes in the south county area.  Our south county is similar to the San Diego area - lots of low-lying hills.

I get the push back a lot that they are waiting for "somebody" to make AREDN available to everyone.  That's not how the mesh works.  Rather, it works by individuals and organizations filling in the gaps - the valleys, the dead zones.  Unlike typical radio comms which require repeaters a high sites covering a wide line of site area, AREDN works best at a range of 5-10 miles.  The equipment most people can afford would be in that range.   Essentially, if everybody had an AREDN omni antenna their home, we would have a network that covers al of those gaps. 

I don't think it's important that we cover every area of San Diego county.  Rather, we just need to make sure that the EOC is well connected and that anyone in the parking lot of the EOC can get on the local mesh.  If there are other "served" clients in the region, they need connections as well.  AREDN, like ham radio, can be done in the field.  All of my equipment is field ready.  We already use WiFI when deploying laptop kits.  It's not a huge stretch to add an AREDN node kit. 

With thoughtful planning, we can predict where AREDN would be needed in the San Diego County region and then plan for where nodes need to be to cover those areas, whether installed permanently are as go-kits. 

P.S. I live right next door to the 600 Parkcenter Orange County chapter office.  I don't have an AREDN RF link because we have not been allowed to put the omni back up on the roof and I cannot install a dish on my apartment roof.  The chapter building has AREDN, but I don't have access to the radio room.  So essentially, unless "somebody" provides me access, I can only be useful with my field equipment.  

On the VARA side of things, I agree, the LAX ARES group has led the way for VARA around here.  I encourage everyone to join their Groups.IO groups:

https://areslax-northeast.groups.io/g/main/messages

https://areslax.groups.io/g/main/messages

Lastly, I mentioned it a couple times via this group.  I know most of you are not able to attend, but we're running a P2P relay exercise this weekend in Orange County.  This is organized by the OCRACES group.  I am running the south county relay station and my friend Scott is running the north county station.  I'm somewhat dismayed that more people don't want to practice P2P.  I agree with you Bruce, it's an essential skill to learn and practice and will be the last line of defense for transferring large amounts of information when all the RMS gateways are down.

P.S. I'm not in the LA Basin.  And the Angels are from Anaheim, not Los Angeles.  :)

---mark, KM6ZPO


Re: DST Communications tools

 

Hi Bruce,

I want to point everyone's attention to the Irvine area of Orange County.  See the AREDN map:

http://usercontent.arednmesh.org/K/5/K5DLQ/livemap2.html#13/33.7010/-117.7478

http://n6ipd.org

IDEC didn't wait around for people to install AREDN access points on mountain tops.  They solved a problem for a specific "customer" need.  Their high schools are used as evacuation shelters.  Every high school already had VHF / UHF radios, but they wanted to be able to dial each other via IP phones, see each location on camera and be able to transfer large data files between each other.  The installed their own AREDN mesh network with low-level nodes at each high school to form a mesh network which is all connected back to the main police station, where they have their EOC.  IDEC is connected to the "greater AREDN So-Cal mesh" through a long-range link to KE6BXT on Pleasant's Peak.  

If you scroll around Orange County, you'll notice a whole bunch of nodes in the south county area.  Our south county is similar to the San Diego area - lots of low-lying hills.

I get the push back a lot that they are waiting for "somebody" to make AREDN available to everyone.  That's not how the mesh works.  Rather, it works by individuals and organizations filling in the gaps - the valleys, the dead zones.  Unlike typical radio comms which require repeaters a high sites covering a wide line of site area, AREDN works best at a range of 5-10 miles.  The equipment most people can afford would be in that range.   Essentially, if everybody had an AREDN omni antenna their home, we would have a network that covers al of those gaps. 

I don't think it's important that we cover every area of San Diego county.  Rather, we just need to make sure that the EOC is well connected and that anyone in the parking lot of the EOC can get on the local mesh.  If there are other "served" clients in the region, they need connections as well.  AREDN, like ham radio, can be done in the field.  All of my equipment is field ready.  We already use WiFI when deploying laptop kits.  It's not a huge stretch to add an AREDN node kit. 

With thoughtful planning, we can predict where AREDN would be needed in the San Diego County region and then plan for where nodes need to be to cover those areas, whether installed permanently are as go-kits. 

P.S. I live right next door to the 600 Parkcenter Orange County chapter office.  I don't have an AREDN RF link because we have not been allowed to put the omni back up on the roof and I cannot install a dish on my apartment roof.  The chapter building has AREDN, but I don't have access to the radio room.  So essentially, unless "somebody" provides me access, I can only be useful with my field equipment.  

On the VARA side of things, I agree, the LAX ARES group has led the way for VARA around here.  I encourage everyone to join their Groups.IO groups:

https://areslax-northeast.groups.io/g/main/messages

https://areslax.groups.io/g/main/messages

Lastly, I mentioned it a couple times via this group.  I know most of you are not able to attend, but we're running a P2P relay exercise this weekend in Orange County.  This is organized by the OCRACES group.  I am running the south county relay station and my friend Scott is running the north county station.  I'm somewhat dismayed that more people don't want to practice P2P.  I agree with you Bruce, it's an essential skill to learn and practice and will be the last line of defense for transferring large amounts of information when all the RMS gateways are down.

P.S. I'm not in the LA Basin.  And the Angels are from Anaheim, not Los Angeles.  :)

---mark, KM6ZPO


VARA support

Bruce
 

To DST group

For those that are concerned that VARA is a "one man show" and would not be supported in the event that the author Jose EA5HVK, would become unable to support the VARA program due to illness - I have contacted the author to clarify this concern.  What follows is our communication with Jose.



-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: VARA support
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 00:23:44 +0200
From: Ronnie Osullivan <josealbertonietoros@...>
To: Bruce <wa6dnt@...>
CC: Bob Birch <rrbirch@...>


Hello Bob,

As I told Bruce, my family has several copies of VARA source code. In case of severe illness or death, they have orders to contact with Winlink (ARSFI) to sell the VARA source code in order to continue being supported for the next generations.

Please, feel free to ask me any questions in order to clarify this misunderstanding.

sincerely greets you,
Jose
EA5HVK


On 9/6/2021 2:51 PM, Ronnie Osullivan wrote:
Hello Bruce,

Thanks for contacting directly with the VARA author to clarify this.

My family has the source code. In case of severe illness or death they will contact with Winlink (ARSFI) to sell the VARA source code in order to VARA continue being supported.

You can tell this to DST lead person or any other organization that have doubts.

could you tell me the DST lead person email to write him?

thanks
Jose
EA5HVK


El lun, 6 sept 2021 a las 23:40, Bruce (<wa6dnt@...>) escribió:
Hi Jose

I have been using VARA-FM  and love its speed and usefulness especially
for Em-Comm.

I am a member of the California San Diego  Red Cross Disaster Services
Technology (DST) team.

I have been trying to encourage the DST lead person to try out VARA for
passing written disaster traffic.

He has not been willing to do so, because he says, that VARA would not
be supported in the event, something ever happened to you - like: a
severe illness or death. So my question to you is  - have you set up a
means for VARA support in case you were no longer able to continue to
support VARA??

Here in San Diego we have an AREDN network started but not completed,
because the lead person in San Diego was struck down with an illness
that has paralyzed him. With that shutdown of development in mind, Red
Cross wants to be sure any technology we invest in, will be supported -
long term.

Many thanks for your development and support of the VARA program. I will
continue to use it, even if Red Cross will not.

73 Bruce    WA6DNT@...    WA6DNT@...


Re: DST Communications tools

Bruce
 

Hi Mark
I was impressed with your web site and the you tube presentation on using AREDN to connect computer networks!.
I totally agree with you, that AREDN is VASTLY superior  to any of the current Amateur radio digital message programs currently in use. I also agree that there is a large number of Packet stations and gateways across the nation. Packet has been with us for over 30 years, where as VARA is just getting started. Addressing your concern that VARA has "one guy controls the market" I have been in communications with the author of VARA - Jose EA5HVK. I will post his reply - be assured the source code is safe and would be given to responsible people who would continue to support the program in the event that Jose could no longer support the VARA program.
 
The Los Angeles basin, where most of the people live is huge, and mostly flat. It is surrounded by mountain top repeaters sites to the North ,East, and South where AREDN systems can be set up. Also there is a lot of skilled talent available to set up AREDN systems. If an 8.0 Earthquake should ever hit your area, the Em-Comm traffic load would be huge and AREDN is the only system that could hope to meet the demand! (That is assuming the earthquake had not misaligned the dish antennas!) 

In San Diego it is a totally different  story. San Diego County is by no means flat. It is covered with hills, canyons, and valleys.
There are relatively few good available mountaintop sites that have any space in the vault for a lowly Amateur Radio system. Vault space cost is measured by the square inch! The cost would be beyond reach for any new technology like AREDN. The AREDN network was started years ago,  and sites on T.J. - Palomar and Otay Mt were obtained, but that is as far as it went. Only those who had LOS to these sites could get AREDN. Most of the Amateur Radio population could not benefit from the AREDN due to trees, hills, valleys, and canyons, all it takes is a tree branch to stop the signal. I have been waiting for years for the AREDN network to deliver  a usable signal to my roof in Mira Mesa. The LOS path from Palomar is blocked by Black Mt - which has 4 Amateur repeaters on it. Since Andre illness has sidelined him, all development work on AREDN has stopped in San Diego, to my knowledge. 

So what is left for em-com communications? The ONLY Packet and VARA gate way in the San Diego, is in T.J. Mexico. (there is a new UHF VARA gateway on Palomar Mt - but it is in the noise - blocked by Black MT). The Mexican gateway site is a long reach from North San Diego. From Mira Mesa, I can get very good VARA speeds on VHF VARA-FM thru XE2BNC. But what about a real life disaster? There is NO guarantee that any gateways will be available. AREDN in San Diego, the backbone works, but signals are too weak for general use. In a disaster, any communications tool that gives fast, efficient, and accurate message delivery to the key staff working a disaster, should be used. When a disaster has destroyed ALL the normal communications infrastructure, there is a need to get critical communications out of the "last mile" (During Katrina the "last mile" was more like 50 miles) out to an area that still has Internet connectivity. This may require HF PACTOR or HF VARA.   I realize in some rural areas, there may be more Packet gateways available than VARA, If that is the communications tool available, then it should be used. But I have noticed that the number of VARA stations  are  increasing, especially in the larger cities, while packet is decreasing.  I used to use APRS on 144.39 MHz when I drove across country, but now there are so few active Packet nodes left, I have given up on its usefulness. 

 But back to the realities of a disaster. If there are NO gateways available for Packet or VARA, then we must learn how to pass and relay  traffic using P2P to send traffic in the disaster zone. This is where VARA wins the speed contest, but if packet is all you have, then use it.  I am hoping to get a simplex VHF net going to learn how to pass traffic using VHF VARA P2P relay.  That is a much needed skill to develop. 

Thanks for letting me share my opinions on this important subject, and I appreciate all you and others have done in the L.A. area to set up a very reliable communications network. I am especially impressed with the VHF-VARA network that Oliver K6OLI and others have set up in N.E. L.A. to support Hospital communications. I would sure like to see a network like that in San Diego, but we are hindered by the topography.

73 Bruce    WA6DNT@...    WA6DNT@...


On 9/7/2021 9:12 AM, Mark Warrick (KM6ZPO) wrote:
Hi Bruce,

I disagree with your assessment that packet is "obsolete".  There are currently 1,063 packet FM gateways vs. 349 VARA FM stations.   I'm not discounting VARA as a possible future replacement of packet 1200/9600.  I am a little concerned that one guy controls the market though.  For that reason, I don't see VARA as the future replacement of packet.  What i see here instead is a story of VHF vs. BETAMAX.  Remember, BETAMAX was better, but VHS ultimately dominated the market as an inferior product because more than one company was able to produce it.  Eventually, the DVD kicked both of them to the curb and then streaming took over.

If we truly care about the speed of communications, the usefulness of those channels (multi-purpose) and the cost involved in getting up to speed, the AREDN data network is thousands of times faster and costs less to implement.  In the same amount of time you can send one VARA FM message at its fastest possible throughput, I could submit hundreds, maybe thousands of the same type of message over AREDN while conducting a video conference call!  Currently, there is no technology I'm aware of (aside from the Internet itself) faster than AREDN.  AREDN is simple. The adoption of this data network is going to be a lot smoother as the AREDN network develops further.

Therefore, I'm not focussing upon trying to convince people to adopt a technology that is, at best, only four times faster than the best packet FM technology available.   Packet 1200 is common, reliable, and a lot faster than passing information with your voice.  For that reason I strongly recommend that people at least have 1200 baud capabilities.   I discourage 9600 baud stations because of the lack of 9600 baud gateways, and the cost of the radios you need to use 9600.   I am not going to push VARA.  I will, however, push AREDN.  See my website http://km6zpo.com for examples of how I have put AREDN to work in EMCOMMs.

---mark
KM6ZPO


Joe AI6ZE

Nat 2733E N6BRV
 

To Joe AI6ZE,

    Please see attached screen captured picture reported from BrandMeister 3103 server into my ZumSpot still has your (old) assigned callsign.  In case you want to talk to the DMRID volunteer.  Maybe the 3103 server needs to be updated?

 

My radios (D878UV, D878UV BT) have been updated with the Digital Call List (8/23/2021) and also the Firmware (V1.24) so my radios show your correct current AI6ZE callsign with your full name and DMRID from my internal radio’s Dig Call List look up table.

 

It’s only a small glitch but thought you might like to know.

 

73' N6BRV Nat S.

 

From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io [mailto:main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io] On Behalf Of main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2021 5:30 PM
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] Event: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

 

Reminder: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
So. Cal Region DMR Talkgroup 311057

Organizer: Bob Birch Bob.Birch3@...

View Event

Description:
Net Control:   Joe AI6ZE


Re: Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

johndking
 

Please give me an email check in  

John D. King
 KG6QAE 

-------- Original message --------
From: "main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar" <noreply@groups.io>
Date: 9/7/21 2:00 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

Reminder: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:00pm to 8:30pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
PAPA System Analog Repeaters #7, 9, 10, 11, 15 & 18

View Event

Description:
Net Control - KG6RGI
North Check-Ins - KI6LAV
South Check-Ins - KJ6MVB
Sysop - AK6QJ

If the PAPA System is unavailable please migrate to the PARC 130 machine (147.130 MHz, "+" offset, PL 107.2).


Event: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
So. Cal Region DMR Talkgroup 311057

Organizer: Bob Birch Bob.Birch3@...

View Event

Description:
Net Control:   Joe AI6ZE


Re: Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

Kathy Payne
 

Gotcha Rosalinda.  Have a great evening.

Kathy, KJ6MVB
Souh

On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 2:43 PM Rosalinda via groups.io <rsteve9904=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Grant me an email check in
KI6WVA
Rosalinda


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@groups.io>
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io <main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 2:00 pm
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

Reminder: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net
When:
09/07/2021
8:00pm to 8:30pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles
Where:
PAPA System Analog Repeaters #7, 9, 10, 11, 15 & 18
Description:
Net Control - KG6RGI
North Check-Ins - KI6LAV
South Check-Ins - KJ6MVB
Sysop - AK6QJ

If the PAPA System is unavailable please migrate to the PARC 130 machine (147.130 MHz, "+" offset, PL 107.2).


Re: Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

Rosalinda
 

Grant me an email check in
KI6WVA
Rosalinda


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@groups.io>
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io <main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 2:00 pm
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

Reminder: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net
When:
09/07/2021
8:00pm to 8:30pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles
Where:
PAPA System Analog Repeaters #7, 9, 10, 11, 15 & 18
Description:
Net Control - KG6RGI
North Check-Ins - KI6LAV
South Check-Ins - KJ6MVB
Sysop - AK6QJ

If the PAPA System is unavailable please migrate to the PARC 130 machine (147.130 MHz, "+" offset, PL 107.2).


Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:00pm to 8:30pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
PAPA System Analog Repeaters #7, 9, 10, 11, 15 & 18

View Event

Description:
Net Control - KG6RGI
North Check-Ins - KI6LAV
South Check-Ins - KJ6MVB
Sysop - AK6QJ

If the PAPA System is unavailable please migrate to the PARC 130 machine (147.130 MHz, "+" offset, PL 107.2).


Re: DST Communications tools

 

Hi Bruce,

I disagree with your assessment that packet is "obsolete".  There are currently 1,063 packet FM gateways vs. 349 VARA FM stations.   I'm not discounting VARA as a possible future replacement of packet 1200/9600.  I am a little concerned that one guy controls the market though.  For that reason, I don't see VARA as the future replacement of packet.  What i see here instead is a story of VHF vs. BETAMAX.  Remember, BETAMAX was better, but VHS ultimately dominated the market as an inferior product because more than one company was able to produce it.  Eventually, the DVD kicked both of them to the curb and then streaming took over.

If we truly care about the speed of communications, the usefulness of those channels (multi-purpose) and the cost involved in getting up to speed, the AREDN data network is thousands of times faster and costs less to implement.  In the same amount of time you can send one VARA FM message at its fastest possible throughput, I could submit hundreds, maybe thousands of the same type of message over AREDN while conducting a video conference call!  Currently, there is no technology I'm aware of (aside from the Internet itself) faster than AREDN.  AREDN is simple. The adoption of this data network is going to be a lot smoother as the AREDN network develops further.

Therefore, I'm not focussing upon trying to convince people to adopt a technology that is, at best, only four times faster than the best packet FM technology available.   Packet 1200 is common, reliable, and a lot faster than passing information with your voice.  For that reason I strongly recommend that people at least have 1200 baud capabilities.   I discourage 9600 baud stations because of the lack of 9600 baud gateways, and the cost of the radios you need to use 9600.   I am not going to push VARA.  I will, however, push AREDN.  See my website http://km6zpo.com for examples of how I have put AREDN to work in EMCOMMs.

---mark
KM6ZPO


Event: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: Red Cross So. Cal Region Weekly DMR Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
So. Cal Region DMR Talkgroup 311057

Organizer: Bob Birch Bob.Birch3@...

View Event

Description:
Net Control:   Joe AI6ZE


Event: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net - 09/07/2021 #cal-reminder

main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: Red Cross Communications Team Weekly Net

When:
09/07/2021
8:00pm to 8:30pm
(UTC-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:
PAPA System Analog Repeaters #7, 9, 10, 11, 15 & 18

View Event

Description:
Net Control - KG6RGI
North Check-Ins - KI6LAV
South Check-Ins - KJ6MVB
Sysop - AK6QJ

If the PAPA System is unavailable please migrate to the PARC 130 machine (147.130 MHz, "+" offset, PL 107.2).


File /Weekly Nets/RCCT WEEKLY ANLG NET ROSTER 2021_09_06.pdf uploaded #file-notice

main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io Notification <noreply@...>
 

The following files have been uploaded to the Files area of the main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io group.

By: Jer Kostro - Red Cross <jer.kostro.AK6QJ@...>

Description:
Weekly Net Roster & Assignments September/October 2021. Net Controls please use this roster until further notice.


Major Fire Near Pala

Bob Birch
 

There is a major fire near Pala with immediate structure threat. The fire currents has a rapid rate of spread.

We have not been asked to activate at this time. They have requested Red Cross Rep to ICP. Do not respond but standby just in case DST us requested.

Bib



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


Re: DST Communications tools

Bruce
 

Hi Bob
I do not believe you are giving VARA a fair chance. If you could really experience what it can do on a good path, you would be convinced of its usefulness.
As for creating a drill - I guess square one - would be to poll the DST members both in San Diego and up North, to see who has or would like to get VARA capabilities. From that list,  then some drill or exercise could be created. If you have the updated VARA program in your computer then you have P2P capability - It even shows up as a selection in the Winlink program when VARA is selected. If we can get enough DST members active on VARA then we should be able to easily pass message traffic around San Diego County using P2P, on VHF (with no gateway needed) - which is a skill I would like to practice. Eventually, I would like to see a regular  Red Cross DST digital net on VHF, where these skills could be learned and practiced.

The Palomar gateway is "N2DDS-10 on 431.070. I gave a listen to it and it was barely breaking squelch, like 10 % quieting.  
This is because it is blocked by "Black Mt"  to my Mira Mesa roof, just like it blocks AREDN. Also it being on UHF causes a lot of signal attenuation because of foliage and trees. I keep hoping an AREDN node could be put in at one of the four Amateur repeater vaults on Black Mt. Lacking that, there is a tall building next to the I-15 near Mira Mesa Blvd. This building might be able to "see" Otay - as Red Cross does. Then a node could be put up there to cover Mira Mesa, and Scripps Ranch, area. Speaking of AREDN, After the Red Cross building becomes available, could a AREDN node dish be added pointing towards Mira Mesa, to see if a path could be established to my roof? After seeing what was in the chapter radio room and its very high HF noise floor and the lack of Internet capabilities, I do not see how you are going to get HF SHARES to work there. There needs to be Internet available to be able to connect with the "KIWI" SDR  so the radio operator can hear the net stations. Also a computer is needed to copy the digital traffic that is sent on the HF nets. lacking that capability, then If a reliable high speed AREDN link can be established between Red Cross headquarters and my house, then I could relay SHARES HF radio traffic from my station to the Red Cross radio room. Speaking of SHARES,  I NEED THAT FORM 1 SIGNED! it is been over a year waiting! I cannot access the SHARES data base files until that Form 1 is signed!! Because of help from other SHARES members, I am now checking into four HF SHARES nets representing San Diego Red Cross DST. They hold drills that I have not been able to participate in - because the drill info is not available to me - all for the want of getting that form 1 signed!
Also my bruce.haupt@...  is STILL non functional.

73  Bruce   WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...  
 


On 9/4/2021 4:37 PM, Bob Birch wrote:

Bruce understand I’m not against VARA. It’s up to each member to determine if they would be willing to spend around $160 to get that capability. The lack of gateways here in San Diego/Imperial Counties is also an issue if you can’t do P2P. The is a new gateway on Palomar Mtn that came on the available list, I will have to try it when I have time.

 

As I stated during the meeting, which I will stand by is Jose is one person. Yes he has done a great job of developing software and supporting it. My issue is if god forbid he were to get extremely sick or pass on, who would continue the VARA software.

 

My other question would be, how many in DST have VARA capabilities?

 

Next, if you would like to create and coordinate a VARA P2P exercise here in San Diego, I will support you and help anyway I can. I or Jer don’t have to be the individuals that create the exercise/drills

 

Bob

 

 

From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io [mailto:main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: Saturday, September 4, 2021 4:05 PM
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] DST Communications tools

 

Red Cross Disaster Service Technology (DST) by definition supplies communications capabilities to our "served agency" which is to Red Cross functions such as Mass Care, Shelter management, Damage Assessment. When "All else fail's" during a disaster, Red Cross functions look to DST for communications to enable them to serve their clients - those who have been affected by the disaster event. The "Technology" part of DST means we are to develop, test, train and use, what ever technology that is  possible, to pass accurately and  efficiently, disaster message traffic using the communications tool that best meets the current need. If cell phones and the Internet are available then they can be used. But on the front end of a disaster, when ALL normal means of communications are destroyed, just how is message traffic to be passed out of the "Last Mile" in the disaster zone - out to where normal communications path's are available? (including no gateways)  Then DST MUST utilize what ever communications tool will meet the need. This can be the use of the obsolete 40 year old slow 1200 baud Packet, or FLDIGI, PACTOR, or High Speed VARA, on HF or VHF.  At this morning "Teams" meeting the efficient accurate high speed VARA communications "tool" - was rejected out of hand because it was "controlled" by one person. There are many communications technologies that have been "developed" by "one Person" We should be thankful that these highly skilled software developers have created communications tools that can be used during a disaster! Would I quit using my cell phone because it is "controlled" by Verizon? Should FLDIGI be avoided because is is "controlled" by "Dave W1HJK"? Should I quit using "Winlink, because it is "controlled by "Mike "XE2/N6KZB"? Should PC-ALE be avoided because it is "controlled" by  "Steve N2CKH", Should MARS-ALE not be used because it is "controlled' by "Steve N2CKH", Should PACTOR not to be used because it is "controlled" by SCS? Should we not use "Shares" because it is "controlled by "Steve" K4CJX? Should we then also reject Hi Speed VARA  because it was developed by "EA5HVK"? Yes VARA is "Controlled" by Jose after all HE WROTE the computer code for it! Who else would you choose to make upgrades to the program?? I have found Jose VERY responsive in making needed upgrades. Just this week, an issue came up when users of VARA-FM  had, (when trying to pass VARA traffic thru a FM Voice repeater)- of the VARA HF "time limits" dropping the connection because of the repeater "turn-around" time." Jose was notified of this problem, and in less than one day had changed the computer code to accommodate the transmission of VARA thru voice FM repeaters!!

The other complaint was the "cost" of VARA. Should Jose after hundred of hours of software development and on going maintenance, be deprived a small $69 dollar fee?? Speaking of costs: The "Masters Communications DRA50" modem kit is $50 or fully assembled and tested with case is $95. Would you prefer it yo be free?  The "Sgnalink USB" is $114.95. The Packet KPC3 is $199.95. 

Then there is speed of the traffic flow. If you had a stack of ICS213 and Red Cross 6409 forms to send - as well as H&W message traffic to send - which would you prefer? An Obsolete 1200 baud Packet link with all its overhead "handshaking"? OR would you prefer VARA-FM which can move traffic at over 25,000 bps!   The VARA HF can pass traffic at over 4000 bps.  VARA also offers high speed traffic using P2P direct or even thru a voice repeater, or on the existing gateway network.!  PACTOR can almost match VARA speeds on HF but the cost is $1628! 

I want to put this to a VOTE!    How many DST members would prefer passing disaster traffic on Packet or on VARA??   

73 Bruce   WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...     


Re: DST Communications tools

Bob Birch
 

Bruce understand I’m not against VARA. It’s up to each member to determine if they would be willing to spend around $160 to get that capability. The lack of gateways here in San Diego/Imperial Counties is also an issue if you can’t do P2P. The is a new gateway on Palomar Mtn that came on the available list, I will have to try it when I have time.

 

As I stated during the meeting, which I will stand by is Jose is one person. Yes he has done a great job of developing software and supporting it. My issue is if god forbid he were to get extremely sick or pass on, who would continue the VARA software.

 

My other question would be, how many in DST have VARA capabilities?

 

Next, if you would like to create and coordinate a VARA P2P exercise here in San Diego, I will support you and help anyway I can. I or Jer don’t have to be the individuals that create the exercise/drills

 

Bob

 

 

From: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io [mailto:main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: Saturday, September 4, 2021 4:05 PM
To: main@ARC2-SDICC.groups.io
Subject: [ARC2-SDICC] DST Communications tools

 

Red Cross Disaster Service Technology (DST) by definition supplies communications capabilities to our "served agency" which is to Red Cross functions such as Mass Care, Shelter management, Damage Assessment. When "All else fail's" during a disaster, Red Cross functions look to DST for communications to enable them to serve their clients - those who have been affected by the disaster event. The "Technology" part of DST means we are to develop, test, train and use, what ever technology that is  possible, to pass accurately and  efficiently, disaster message traffic using the communications tool that best meets the current need. If cell phones and the Internet are available then they can be used. But on the front end of a disaster, when ALL normal means of communications are destroyed, just how is message traffic to be passed out of the "Last Mile" in the disaster zone - out to where normal communications path's are available? (including no gateways)  Then DST MUST utilize what ever communications tool will meet the need. This can be the use of the obsolete 40 year old slow 1200 baud Packet, or FLDIGI, PACTOR, or High Speed VARA, on HF or VHF.  At this morning "Teams" meeting the efficient accurate high speed VARA communications "tool" - was rejected out of hand because it was "controlled" by one person. There are many communications technologies that have been "developed" by "one Person" We should be thankful that these highly skilled software developers have created communications tools that can be used during a disaster! Would I quit using my cell phone because it is "controlled" by Verizon? Should FLDIGI be avoided because is is "controlled" by "Dave W1HJK"? Should I quit using "Winlink, because it is "controlled by "Mike "XE2/N6KZB"? Should PC-ALE be avoided because it is "controlled" by  "Steve N2CKH", Should MARS-ALE not be used because it is "controlled' by "Steve N2CKH", Should PACTOR not to be used because it is "controlled" by SCS? Should we not use "Shares" because it is "controlled by "Steve" K4CJX? Should we then also reject Hi Speed VARA  because it was developed by "EA5HVK"? Yes VARA is "Controlled" by Jose after all HE WROTE the computer code for it! Who else would you choose to make upgrades to the program?? I have found Jose VERY responsive in making needed upgrades. Just this week, an issue came up when users of VARA-FM  had, (when trying to pass VARA traffic thru a FM Voice repeater)- of the VARA HF "time limits" dropping the connection because of the repeater "turn-around" time." Jose was notified of this problem, and in less than one day had changed the computer code to accommodate the transmission of VARA thru voice FM repeaters!!

The other complaint was the "cost" of VARA. Should Jose after hundred of hours of software development and on going maintenance, be deprived a small $69 dollar fee?? Speaking of costs: The "Masters Communications DRA50" modem kit is $50 or fully assembled and tested with case is $95. Would you prefer it yo be free?  The "Sgnalink USB" is $114.95. The Packet KPC3 is $199.95. 

Then there is speed of the traffic flow. If you had a stack of ICS213 and Red Cross 6409 forms to send - as well as H&W message traffic to send - which would you prefer? An Obsolete 1200 baud Packet link with all its overhead "handshaking"? OR would you prefer VARA-FM which can move traffic at over 25,000 bps!   The VARA HF can pass traffic at over 4000 bps.  VARA also offers high speed traffic using P2P direct or even thru a voice repeater, or on the existing gateway network.!  PACTOR can almost match VARA speeds on HF but the cost is $1628! 

I want to put this to a VOTE!    How many DST members would prefer passing disaster traffic on Packet or on VARA??   

73 Bruce   WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...     


Re: [EXTERNAL] [ARC2-SDICC] DST Communications tools

Behrends, Kent
 


On Sep 4, 2021, at 16:05, Bruce <wa6dnt@...> wrote:

How many DST members would prefer passing disaster traffic on Packet or on VARA??  

I’e been using Vara FM for all out WinLink drills. I have a fully, and happily, paid Vara license. I say, Vara!

For all of your IT support needs, please submit a ticket online via The Exchange, initiate a chat session online or call the Service Desk at 1-888-778-7762

Kent Behrends
American Red Cross Volunteer #883263
Desert to the Sea Region, CA, US, Sol-3, Milky Way
DST, DAT (W200), IT-EUS
Volunteer Connection: kent@...
Red Cross: kent.behrends@...
Ham Call sign: N6ROQ
DMR ID: 3152949






VARA FM Autobahn

Bruce
 

To DST group. 
So what really can be done with VARA P2P ?? 
View the you tube below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAn8eg3Lk3A 

VARA FM for Emcomm- "Oliver Dully, K6OLI", 07-15-2021 

73 Bruce   WA6DNT@...     WA6DNT@...   


DST Communications tools

Bruce
 

Red Cross Disaster Service Technology (DST) by definition supplies communications capabilities to our "served agency" which is to Red Cross functions such as Mass Care, Shelter management, Damage Assessment. When "All else fail's" during a disaster, Red Cross functions look to DST for communications to enable them to serve their clients - those who have been affected by the disaster event. The "Technology" part of DST means we are to develop, test, train and use, what ever technology that is  possible, to pass accurately and  efficiently, disaster message traffic using the communications tool that best meets the current need. If cell phones and the Internet are available then they can be used. But on the front end of a disaster, when ALL normal means of communications are destroyed, just how is message traffic to be passed out of the "Last Mile" in the disaster zone - out to where normal communications path's are available? (including no gateways)  Then DST MUST utilize what ever communications tool will meet the need. This can be the use of the obsolete 40 year old slow 1200 baud Packet, or FLDIGI, PACTOR, or High Speed VARA, on HF or VHF.  At this morning "Teams" meeting the efficient accurate high speed VARA communications "tool" - was rejected out of hand because it was "controlled" by one person. There are many communications technologies that have been "developed" by "one Person" We should be thankful that these highly skilled software developers have created communications tools that can be used during a disaster! Would I quit using my cell phone because it is "controlled" by Verizon? Should FLDIGI be avoided because is is "controlled" by "Dave W1HJK"? Should I quit using "Winlink, because it is "controlled by "Mike "XE2/N6KZB"? Should PC-ALE be avoided because it is "controlled" by  "Steve N2CKH", Should MARS-ALE not be used because it is "controlled' by "Steve N2CKH", Should PACTOR not to be used because it is "controlled" by SCS? Should we not use "Shares" because it is "controlled by "Steve" K4CJX? Should we then also reject Hi Speed VARA  because it was developed by "EA5HVK"? Yes VARA is "Controlled" by Jose after all HE WROTE the computer code for it! Who else would you choose to make upgrades to the program?? I have found Jose VERY responsive in making needed upgrades. Just this week, an issue came up when users of VARA-FM  had, (when trying to pass VARA traffic thru a FM Voice repeater)- of the VARA HF "time limits" dropping the connection because of the repeater "turn-around" time." Jose was notified of this problem, and in less than one day had changed the computer code to accommodate the transmission of VARA thru voice FM repeaters!!

The other complaint was the "cost" of VARA. Should Jose after hundred of hours of software development and on going maintenance, be deprived a small $69 dollar fee?? Speaking of costs: The "Masters Communications DRA50" modem kit is $50 or fully assembled and tested with case is $95. Would you prefer it yo be free?  The "Sgnalink USB" is $114.95. The Packet KPC3 is $199.95. 

Then there is speed of the traffic flow. If you had a stack of ICS213 and Red Cross 6409 forms to send - as well as H&W message traffic to send - which would you prefer? An Obsolete 1200 baud Packet link with all its overhead "handshaking"? OR would you prefer VARA-FM which can move traffic at over 25,000 bps!   The VARA HF can pass traffic at over 4000 bps.  VARA also offers high speed traffic using P2P direct or even thru a voice repeater, or on the existing gateway network.!  PACTOR can almost match VARA speeds on HF but the cost is $1628! 

I want to put this to a VOTE!    How many DST members would prefer passing disaster traffic on Packet or on VARA??   

73 Bruce   WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...     

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