MAWCG is trying to build an AREDN network for Amateur Radio Operators.
We currently have 2 nodes on top of Gambrill Mountain at the repeater site. One is a 2.4 Ghz Radio and the other a 5 Ghz Radio. The radios are Ubiquity Rocket M2 and Rocket M5 respectively.
Both radios are mounted on sector antennas that are aimed at 100 degrees from the site. This angle should cover Walkersville and down into Frederick Maryland.
Unfortunately the antennas at this location are currently only about 20′ off the ground. This will limit the coverage.
Both of these are ready for public use and open to any amateur that is interested.
We would like to expand this network over the area and build a network of amateur radio nodes. If you are interested, please let us know.
If you have an AREDN node and cannot reach any of the current nodes, we can connect your node via the internet and you can experiment with the cluster of nodes.
We are adding devices to the nodes so they can be used to experiment with how things work. As of this time, there is one camera connected to one of the nodes at the repeater site. Watch the news feed, twitter or discord to see when we add more devices.
This method is not good for emergency communications but works just fine for learning, testing and experimenting.
Contact us via the contact us page or via Discord to get setup to connect via the internet.
If AREDN is new to you, you can read below to lean a little more about AREDN.
Services We Have Setup
We are setting up some common services that are used in AREDN Mesh networks.
These services are there for everyone to learn and play with. Some of the tools have similar functionality. Different groups use different tools that do similar things, but we decided to put up the common tools.
|Camera||AVAILABLE||A Camera at the repeater site|
|MeshMap||AVAILABLE||Draws a map of the nodes, their connections and services|
|Wiki||AVAILABLE||A wiki that can be used to put documentation on for everyone to collaborate with|
|MeshChat||AVAILABLE||A very simple chat program designed for Mesh Networks|
|TeamTalk||AVAILABLE||Another Chat program that has video and audio|
|Files||AVAILABLE||A file storage area to place files for anyone to have access to|
|Citadel BBS||AVAILABLE||An old fashioned BBS converted to Web|
|VOIP||AVAILABLE||WE have FreePBX up and running on the AREDN network. It connects to a larger system via IAX.|
|MatterMost||90% Complete||Another group chat with video, audio, screen sharing and more. Similar to Discord or Slack|
|Weather||In-Progress||A weather dashboard|
If you have a service you think wold be good to add, let us know. If you connect up your node you can also create your own services that will be made available to the network.
Below is a very high level of the network and services. Realtime information can be gotten from the MeshMap interface on the network.
What is AREDN?
AREDN is an acronym that stands for Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network.
AREDN is a wireless mesh technology that uses off the shelf hardware to create a wireless mesh between access points.
There are people on both sides of the fence when it comes to AREDN.
Here are some Pro’s and Con’s:
- Uses Inexpensive off the shelf hardware that can easily be re-flashed with the AREDN firmware.
- Can use frequencies that are designated only for Amateur Radio so you are not competing with existing Wifi frequencies.
- Automatically builds a mesh between nodes it detects.
- Uses frequencies that are designated to Amateur Radio. This means that you cannot encrypt any data over the network. No SSH and no HTTPS.
- The mesh can many times not use the most efficient path between the mesh nodes.
- IP Addressing is confusing and not flexible.
There are probably many more on both sides but this is not about debating the value of AREDN because there is no doubt it has benefits.
You can learn more about AREDN by going to arednmesh.org
Below are some videos about AREDN. The first one is a little long but it has a lot of good information in it.
Pictures of the Install
Sandy (KC3EOF) and Kurt (K3KOH) putting up the sector antennas. Thank you guys, great job and much appreciated.