A Proposal for a Mesh Network Class

On tonight’s FLARC Near & Far net I proposed conducting a series of classes on mesh networking.

This idea is a response to the latest membership survey results which indicate that FLARC members share a strong interest in learning about and using computers to extend their enjoyment of ham radio. Thanks again Ed WX2R for the terrific job in designing and conducting the survey!

My thought is that I would hold 1 or 2 online video conferences, or webinars, each month using the facility provided by Zoom.us.  Why online? Well, it may be a lot easier for many FLARC members to stay engaged with the topic if they don’t have to travel to the Fair Lawn Community Center to attend the class. Why online? It’s the 21st century – this is how we connect and collaborate today.

What does the Zoom video conferencing cost you to attend? Nothing for you.

How hard is it to use Zoom? Not difficult at all. You need to download an application to connect. The Zoom app runs on pretty much every computer and operating system available. It also runs on all smartphones. I have already tested and used it my self on an iPhone, and iMac OSX computer, a Linux computer and a Windows 10 computer.

What if I don’t have a computer or a smartphone. Well you can always dial in to the class and participate with audio only if that is your choice.

The suggestions from tonight’s net discussion leaned toward starting with the very basics of computers and mesh networks – what is it an d how would I use it. So that is where we will start.

Over time, we can cover more challenging aspects of mesh networking or branch out to address other aspects of how computers are used in amateur radio. I am open to all suggestions about topics to be covered.

I think that we may also need to do a monthly face-to-face meeting at FLARC to give the participants a change to see, touch, configure and play with the equipment we talk about in our online classes.

So, what do you think?

If you are interested in participating, let me know.

The items I need your feedback on are:

  1. Days and times for classes
    a. Suggestion A – Saturday at 1600 Eastern
    b. Suggestion B – Thursday at 2000 Eastern
    c. Suggestion C – your ideas
  2.  One or Two video classes per month
  3.  One face-to-face meeting monthly at FLARC
  4.  Topics
    a. Suggestion A – Introduction to Mesh Networking – probably 3 to 5 lessons
    b. Suggestion B – your ideas

Let’s work together to see if this approach addresses some of the needs of the FLARC membership.

Randy WU2S

About WU2S

Amateur Radio operator "Always Certain, Often Wrong"
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1 Response to A Proposal for a Mesh Network Class

  1. Paul Cottone says:

    Great idea Randy. This is a great way to get club time without being at the club. For myself, I am tied up on Thursdays and weekends. I would like to propose Tuesday or Wednesday nights. Zoom is a great idea, it practically installs itself from an email link.

    Other topics I can think of:
    Some satellite work. Brad has a nice setup that he used at field day. Detail on that would be awesome. What is out there, how to track, antenna ideas, working duplex, and the various types of software used.

    I think there are also some DMR experts in the group. In addition to that some may want more information on System Fusion -C4FM and even DSTAR.

    Thanks, Paul K2PJC

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