[HamWAN PSDR] Facts about ham fundraising

Rob Salsgiver rob at quailsoftltd.net
Thu Oct 3 12:27:57 PDT 2013

Greetings all,


What to do about lack of support?  Good question.  I would like to
contribute the following thoughts:


1)      We have 3 sites with a good starting footprint.  How many end-point
users do we have?  How many of those users are beyond the core donors and/or
implementation or design team?  The basic question here is - who is getting
the benefit?  (or is capable of getting the benefit)

2)      What do we have for marketing, implementation, and end-user support
for new users?  If I'm an "average" end user, there's a few things I'm
looking for before I shell out some cash on a one-time or recurring basis -
especially in the present economy:

a.       Who are the target users?  

b.      Do I even know about it, or how DO I find out about HamWAN?

c.       Am I in the coverage area?  Can someone do a site survey before I
dive in and buy equipment?  What will my speeds be at my location, etc, etc?

d.      Is it required that I pay?  Maybe it should be a small minimum - $5
or $10 / month, depending on data used.   This gets into a whole host of
other issues, but is a question.

e.      How resilient is the network?  Many of us know an answer from the
design standpoint, but the end-user's answer needs to be in terms of actual
experience - i.e. - in the winter of 2013 my cable went out 4 times, but my
HamWAN connection only once - during that record 4' snowfall!

3)      One of the targeted uses of the network was EMCOMM.  What EMCOMM
related locations have we targeted to get onboard?  Where are the potential
served agencies located, and how many are in our current footprint?  Success
stories breed more interest. 


Ok - enough questions for the moment.  Now for my own 2 cents worth.


1)      Financial support:  Not having additional financial support at this
point doesn't surprise me a single bit.  Ham projects are notorious for
being over-promised and under-delivered.  I do NOT believe that is the case
with HamWAN, but that IS the mindset you are operating against.  The core is
now up and running.  Support comes from answering the "what can you do for
ME" question to the end-user.  Those with enough drive and interest in the
project will not need to be convinced.  All others will.


2)      End-users (individual):  We need to get more of our core online and
well versed in the system.  From those early users we need a few in each
county or metro area that are willing to do site surveys and interact with
other potential end users to get them onboard.  We need to focus on our
marketing, getting the message out (with success stories), and more end-user
demonstrations - not just the equipment, but from an application standpoint.


3)      End-users (EMCOMM):  We need some served agencies online.  We need
advocates outside of the ham world.  Hospitals, Red Cross, Emergency
Management offices, Salvation Army, maybe even a mobile station.  If we have
3-4 hospitals, Red Cross chapters, or similar served agencies successfully
hooked up, we have a working demonstration platform to work from.  Even
then, basic connectivity isn't.  We need hams in these locations to
demonstrate on an applications basis what can be done "when all else fails"
over HamWAN.  If we can convince 30-50 different served agencies to shell
out the cost of a single cell phone each month to support a dedicated
Internet connection that is disaster-resilient, then you have up to
$2500/month coming in to support the infrastructure.  Demonstrate email, web
access, and maybe even some specialized goodies targeted at them - use
D-RATs for a tactical "chat" interface between locations - who knows?  Maybe
interface with other digital gateways or extend over other RF links


4)      End-users (Repeater owners):  Keep after these folks.  Many
repeaters aren't online because of lack of availability.  Others already
have it and could potentially save $$$.  At the same time it helps increase
the system footprint and redundancy.  We need a person or two to get a list
of the repeaters and start compiling names and how to get in touch with
them.  If a repeater owner is currently paying $50/month to have their
system on the 'net and we can save them half - it helps them AND us.  


I have to admit that I can't get online - and probably won't for some time
due to my location.  All the same, I'm still contributing to the cause
because I believe in it and it's very worthwhile.  It's amazing what you
guys have accomplished over the summer - you should be extremely proud of
yourselves.  At the same time, we need to realize that long-term success is
not going to come in 3, 6, 12, or even 24 months.  It will be a grind that
will sometimes make us want to throw in the towel, but it CAN and SHOULD be
done.  We all know how important and vital it can be - we simply need to
shift to the next phase of getting people onboard and USING it.  Winter is a
GREAT time to develop some end-user success stories.  Cable and power WILL
go out.  


If we had a network map that showed current network status including a few
hospitals, Emergency Management offices, Red Cross chapter, and a dozen
willing end-users that stayed online when 100,000 customers were out of
power around Puget Sound this winter, that would make a HUGE impact to even
the typical "tightwads" in the ham community <g>.








From: PSDR [mailto:psdr-bounces at hamwan.org] On Behalf Of Bart Kus
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2013 10:22 AM
To: psdr at hamwan.org
Subject: [HamWAN PSDR] Facts about ham fundraising



We've now deployed 3 cell sites in the Puget Sound which cover a ton of area
with microwave network service.  A 4th one is being built, albeit more
slowly than normal.  Anyone in the region can try to use the network free of
charge for digital comms and internet access.

I've also done a couple talks recently in which I've asked for support so we
may continue what we're doing and make it better over the upcoming year.  So
with the spirit of keeping my feelings out of it as much as I can, here are
some basic fundraising facts:

1) APRS Summer Gathering conference.  About 60 people in attendance.
Conference + subjects focused on digital amateur networking.  Total
donations raised in the week of Sept 7th-14th?  $0

2) ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference.  About 150 people in
attendance.  Conference clearly focused on digital amateur communications
due to its very title.  Total donations raised as a result of the
conference?  $20  That's 13 cents per attendee.  Only 1 guy donated $20
(thanks, guy!).

98% of our support to date has been from a handful of dedicated donors.
These people cannot support the whole project.  We have about $3500 of debt,
which now that it's October, has ceased to be interest-free.  The interest
rate is NOT friendly now, either.

How can this lack of support from the ham community be corrected?


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