AREDN – Part One

What is AREDN?

A very good question. In Amateur Radio it means Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network. It is a modern way to communicate using radio rather than the internet, but the tools used in AREDN are those used on the internet. At the technical level it is a mesh of nodes that when setup will link with each other if they have RF visibility with neighbouring nodes.

In Oklahoma we are in the process of building out this network. At this point in time we have nodes in central Oklahoma, Enid, Duncan, Lawton, and all through Potawatomi County. The services offered are e-mail, texting, VoIP, video, video cameras, file transfer, remote access and remote command and control.

This is a map of the active nodes in Oklahoma as seen on the dynamic map, you may visit it at the following URL:

This map also will allow you to view all of the active station on the planet that are interconnected over the network.  The dashed lines are tunnels we use them to get folks on the air. Then we start the process of moving them to RF. We have had a lot of growth, we need RF sites to get more folks on line. Below are some pictures of node sites (some future) and gear used in the nodes

Edmond South Node Stack, radios are the white dishes on top of the tower. Notice the solar panel, this site is totally off grid.

This is the equipment box mounted on one of the legs of the tower. The white box is the AREDN router, the rest is to manage the solar panels and battery which is on the ground next to the tower.

This is a future node site. We have been given permission to put node gear on the deck below the cell site. This will give us RF connectivity with OKC and both a launch point for a link northward and also links to the east and west.

The cost of the devices used in the networking part is very reasonable, you can assemble a single antenna station for well under $200. The router in the shack will cost about $57, the antenna to link into the RF network is about $70. the rest is cat5/cat6 weather proof for the tower and perhaps a low cost dumb switch to accommodate more devices on the AREDN lan if you have more than 3.

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