[HamWAN PSDR] Looking to borrow some hardware

Carl carl at n7kuw.com
Fri Jul 5 15:05:39 PDT 2019

You have a couple of options to consider for your “local WAN”. You could keep it entirely on Part 95 (Wifi) frequencies and not have the constraints of using amateur radio frequencies. Basically, you would be setting up point-to-point links and routing however you choose.  If you put those links outside of the Wifi channels (on amateur frequencies), then you have all of the applicable constraints (e.g., no encryption – https – for example).  There are multiple vendors and equipment that support this type of system, including Mikrotik.


Connecting to HamWAN, you must have the non-US version of whatever dish/panel you choose to use. In order to obtain that, you typically need to submit your amateur license to the vendor to purchase the equipment.  Honestly, I would not use the non-US equipment for your local WAN implementation.


Before borrowing equipment, the first thing to do is run elevation profiles using whatever tool you wish (Google Earth works).  Unless you have TRUE LINE OF SIGHT (you can look through binoculars and see the other end with nothing in between), it won’t work (except for very short distances, under 500 feet or so).  Once it looks probable on paper, get your roof access and go check line of sight.


After you have confirmed line of sight, then borrow applicable equipment and make arrangements to do the tests.  Applicable equipment will depend on the distance of the shots mostly. A 5 inch square panel will work for a mile or two, a 12 inch square panel for a number of miles, a Dynadish 5 for maybe 15 miles, a 2 foot dish for 20+ miles.


You might also evaluate if you want multiple point-to-point or a point-to-multipoint installation. If there is someplace that can see all of the other locations, then putting up a single multi-point access point may serve you better. That requires a different license level (level 4) from Mikrotik, but there is equipment that comes standard with that license level.


When you think you are ready to borrow equipment and do actual testing, post back. I can loan some, but mostly would prefer bringing it and helping as opposed to handing it off.


Carl, N7KUW


From: PSDR [mailto:psdr-bounces at hamwan.org] On Behalf Of Kevin Kutzera
Sent: Friday, July 5, 2019 2:36 PM
To: psdr at hamwan.org
Subject: [HamWAN PSDR] Looking to borrow some hardware


Hello PSDR!

First a brief introduction. 

I have been a Ham operator for over 15 years. During the day I am a personal computer network and systems administrator. At my current place of employment we extensively use the MikroTik line of switches and routers.  


I purchased a MikroTik LHG 5 dish about 18 months ago. Made a few attempts to get connected, then other personal projects took priority.  I live in Kenmore. (47.743601, -122.259885 if anyone has a suggestion regarding which way I should point my antenna in my next attempt).  Possibly as soon as this weekend I'm going to try and get connected again.


My primary reason for this message:

I am a member of the Northshore Emergency Management Coalition (NEMCo) which supports emergency communications for City of Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, local Fire stations, and the Northshore Utility District.  We are looking into ways (independent of the Internet, and land lines) to transfer larger files (pictures, resource reports, supply requests) between the various operations centers in and around Kenmore. We currently have 1200 baud winlink in place.  One thing we're researching is the use of the HamWan technology to setup our own WAN between these buildings.  Before investing in the equipment we'd like to conduct some site tests between the buildings.  To that end I was wondering if anyone out there has a spare antenna/radio that we could borrow.  We would need it for a few weeks as we setup the experiments on the weekends and evenings.  We have to arrange building and roof access with the employees of the various agencies.


Our secondary goal in the project would be to connect at least one of these locations to the Puget Sound Ring (if possible). The city Kenmore is kind of in a hole relative to the surrounding terrain. We have access to a water town on Finn Hill for a 70cm repeater that we might be able to take advantage of.


I appreciate any feedback, and certainly any equipment loan offer.  

If the price is right a couple of us in the team might consider a purchase if someone has extra equipment they'd like to sell. 



Kevin  Kutzera



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