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[liberationtech] Can HAM radio be used for communication between health workers in rural areas with no cell connectivity?

Sky (Jim Schuyler) sky at
Thu Mar 7 10:31:19 PST 2013

Nice, Erich.

In a sense, radio waves are the -ultimate- in liberation, crossing national boundaries in (single or multiple) bounds. That may be a subrosa reason governments fight so hard to control them. That is clearly why some shortwave broadcasts are jammed. It's why the amateur service was cut off during WWII. That's also my conclusion about why amateurs are not allowed to use codes and ciphers (speaking of US here). And many amateurs are so blasted conservative politically, but I don't know why that is! This is experimentation, and tinkering, and hacking, and potentially liberation, but in the electronics sphere. There is a ton of potential that should not be ignored.

Much as an interest in sci-fi may lead to certain kinds of mindsets, experimentation and curiosity, an interest in amateur radio is frequently correlated with an interest in other people, other cultures, science, engineering, electronics, software and other skills that can be immensely valuable to our efforts.

There are certainly lots more folks on the list who have licenses, and there are lots of amateur operators who aid liberation technologies without advertising it.

-Keeping the flame of free speech 
      and human rights alive online

On Mar 7, 2013, at 9:50 AM, "Erich M." <erich at> wrote:

> On 03/07/2013 09:26 AM, Griffin Boyce wrote:
>>  How far is the distance being covered, and in what kind of terrain (flat
>> plains, hills)? HAM might not even be necessary if it's fairly close
>> (relatively speaking).  GMRS radios can cover several miles.  Other
>> small/cheap handhelds can cover a couple of miles in ideal conditions.
> Think I can add a few bits of info here. Of course are these analog
> walkie talkies an absolute no go if you have to relay sensible information.
> But ham operators _can_ help with their skills and Know-how. Here in AT
> our ham radio club - my callsign is OE3EMB - operates a nationwide
> wireless broadband backbone ring using TCP/IP. The ring is connected to
> the German HAMnet, the network reaches from Southern Italy to
> Scandinavia already. Self built self owned.
> This is in German but there is an infrastucture graph
> This is English showing the German HAMnet in 2009
> Essential is the availability of electrical power, of course. If that is
> a tribal areal area I have some doubts.
> Components are off the shelf outdoor WiFI routers. The backbone operates
> in the 5 GHz WiFi band with directed antennas. At 5 GHz a much higher
> power output ist allowed than on 2,4 GHz which is used to distribute
> locally.
> All in all the whole network consumes rather little power, one unit or
> node - WiFi-Router and two planar directional antennas - is around USD
> 200 or less.
> The antennas MUST look into "each others eye" that is another
> difficulty. But if so you can bridge 20 kilometers safely using 4-7
> stations, depending on terrain, offering 50 Mbit/sec - conservative
> calculation.
> - The net works like the internet, whether connected to the internet at
> some single node, or without that.
> - There is neither a problem with encryption nor with licenses. This
> part of the frequency spectrum is open. Everbody can use it for wireless
> broadband purposes.
> my two Groschen and 73s
> de
> Erich OE3EMB
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