The first three nodes of the Wellington Amateur Radio Mesh Network went live on 18 November 2014. So the mesh is now a year old. From 3 to 35 nodes in a year is not too bad!
James ZL2ET, Doug ZL2AOV, Ted Zl2TB and Mike ZL1AXG were up on Mt Climie on Saturday 26 September at the invitation of Branch 63. We installed a temporary 20dBi Airgrid M2 at the site pointing towards Colonial Knob.
We were somewhat surprised to find that the radio lock in (at least intermittently) with the tell-tale red light showing on the Airgrid.
However, we had issues in connecting a PC at the “shack” end. The cold and sleet meant we didn’t pursue this any further when we had trouble removing the Airgrid from its extension shaft.
On arrival back in Wellington it became clear that the Airgrid was actually connecting intermittently with the Ngaio node. This had not been anticipated or we would have aimed the dish in a slightly different direction!
It is hoped to install an Airgrid soon at Colonial Knob to connect more reliably with Mt Climie.
The Broadband-Hamnet mesh network is continuing to attract interest and new amateur operators. The committee of the Wellington Amateur Radio Club Inc has purchased two Ubiquiti Nanostation M2 devices
- one to be installed on Colonial Knob facing north to open up the mesh northwards to the Kapiti coast. Expansion in this direction is required to provide a path back to Wellington for a remote HF station (a QHUG project). An OM from the coast is already interested in linking up.
- the other to be used as a portable unit at monthly meetings and in testing the mesh. This will be able to be borrowed by members (talk to our equipment custodian James ZL2ET)
A special interest group (SIG) meeting on 17 September, at the Tawa Community Centre, was again well attended and included new faces. John ZL2HD, James ZL2ET and Mike ZL1AXG, all WARC committee members, talked about existing services on the mesh.
Things to check out:
- Saturday 19 September, 7.30pm – Teamspeak 3 QSO party on celestial.
- Every Saturday, 8pm – UHF National System Mesh Net
- WLG Mesh node view from James ZL2ET here.
There’s lots of things going on with Broadband-Hamnet. The mesh network is expanding. On 22 August 2015) new nodes were established at Gloaming Hill (to provide coverage in the Titahi Bay area) and at the Titahi Bay Branch 42 clubrooms. This also brought on board another amateur station. In addition an additional node in Johnsonville has resulted in improved stability for the link to Ngaio (with Nanostation M2s in Johnsonville pointing both north and south to provide the bridging path).
A successful SIG meeting was held in Tawa on 6 August with 18 enthusiasts turning out. A range of speakers whipped up interest amongst a range of local hams from branches across the region to join the mesh. The next Mesh net SIG meeting is scheduled for Thursday 17 September. Catch you there!
Several Wellington amateurs also caught up with Rob ZL1FLY on 24 August over some 807s. Rob is a mesh champion in Auckland and has an active role in providing IP services to NZ amateurs on the mesh. Since meeting up with Rob, James ZL2ET has extended on of his mesh nodes to be a virtual tunnelling (VTUN) client and has connected the Wellington mesh to the global mesh scene. This provides even more services and amateur connections. Fun!
A range of services are now available on the Wellington section of the mesh, including websites, VOIP and chat services. Check out the NZ Broadband Hamnet website for more information and to keep up to date on mesh happenings!