The Susquehanna Valley is prone to flooding and large populations may be cut off from access to information.
A MESH network that links the river communities together could greatly benefit emergency operations in times of disaster by providing access to a wide spread data network.
At times of peace and quiet, we as amateur radio operators would enjoy an open access data network that can be used for a variety of fun and exciting activities including voice, video, text, surfing the web, and so much more. Yes, you can MESH in your vehicle or hunting cabin!
Our goal as a community should be to cover as much of an area as possible throughout the Susquehanna Valley cities and towns. Complete coverage of the US 11 / Susquehanna Valley corridor from Scranton to Harrisburg should be the ultimate goal. This would include fleshing out the MESH in the outlying areas of all population centers. Some areas and nodes would have to use dish or yagi antennas to reach distant nodes. The more nodes that are able to communicate with each other the better.
Nodes that have internet access act as a feed line to the MESH, meaning we as a community can provide our own wireless data network which is fed from diverse locations. In an emergency your town may be cut off from the internet, your cable tv may be down, and you may have no access to information. If however, you have access to the MESH, you will have access to the internet and online news and information, as well as video feeds if your local tv station provides one.
MESH nodes do not have to be internet connected to pass or access data. Nodes can be simple repeaters that can increase the range of the MESH. Nodes that have no internet connection of their own can tap into the internet thru other connected nodes. Nodes can be placed in outdoor battery / solar powered enclosures. They can be put almost anywhere and be left alone for autonomous operation. Nodes can be remotely administered.
A great benefit would be to have internet access at remote repeater sites. If you place a MESH node at your repeater site and it can hit a node that has internet access, you can potentially control your repeater from anywhere in the world. This would eliminate the cost of the phone line that is currently being mostly wasted at your tower site. If you have an unobstructed view of your tower site from your house, you can possibly make a direct link using dish and yagi antennas. Low cost power amplifiers are also available.
We would encourage all repeater site operators to place a MESH node on your tower, and if possible link to other towers that you can see. Tower sites have the potential to do the long distance linking between communities, and in turn link to and feed from the communities that fall under the blanket of their operation.
The absolute best place to get information on the subject is http://hsmm-mesh.org Most of the info on this site came from there. We have created this site as a simple introduction. We will all need to learn together. You may be good at LINUX or automated logging, or antenna design, or any number of creative skills that we will need to grow the mesh in our area. By learning and sharing together we can build a strong and very useful network.
Some applications include....
Automated real time logging on field day
Remote control and viewing of webcams, including video chat
VOIP phone systems for station to station voice calls
Web, FTP and email servers
Remote control of repeaters and other controllers
Access to the internet for emergency services
Flood and weather watching
RTL TCP SDR listening
Remote rig control
YOU WILL think of more!