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
Don Beswick ZL2BL spoke on underground activities at Wrights Hill, the possibility of an underground tunnel complex in Mt Cook (under the former Dominion Museum) and the No. 10 set used at the end of the second world war (and which was installed in several locations around Wellington).
Doug McNeil ZL2AOV noted in his report of the evening:
“Don Beswick ZL2BL entertained and informed members with a wide range of photocopied images from the Wrights Hill project and the No 10 set – a valve-based eight-channel multiplexed voice transmission and reception system operating around 4500MHz. He also outlined his research into what the military and/or civilians built under the Dominion Museum building in Buckle St, Mt Cook. Don is convinced there are still tunnels down there; though public records point only to several air raid shelters. Don is writing a book on the topic – “there’s a lot more down there than we’ve been led to believe” and is seeking Massey University (the site’s occupiers) support to excavate spots on the site. Don’s talk, and members’ comments, extended to similar developments at Palmer Head and elsewhere in New Zealand.”
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!
An Arduino is a small computer, primarily used in controller applications. Arduinos are now very cheap to buy (from about $9 each for a clone on Trademe) and their application to Ham Radio can be quite varied. Mike ZL1AXG gave a brief talk about the Arduino. Bernard ZL2BD and Mike ZL1AXG then assisted members with a “hands on” project involving passing CW from one end of a long table to the other on 433Mhz, using an Arduino. Members found that working with arduinos wasn’t as difficult as they thought.