We are pleased to announce that CPARC has set up an Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) node at the Clark Valley repeater site in Los Osos! AREDN is a mesh network that uses consumer Wi-Fi gear (such as Ubiquiti and MikroTik brands) with custom firmware to operate in the Part 97 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz Ham bands.
This mesh network node has been set up on 5 GHz with a 10 MHz wide channel. It communicates on Wi-Fi channel 178 using a 120 degree sector antenna (pointing roughly northeast) offering coverage of Los Osos/Morro Bay area. It offers a wireless network connection to other devices connected on the mesh for ham radio-related purposes. The node is currently connected via an internet tunnel to the Southern California Mesh (see https://mapping.kg6wxc.net/meshmap/), but eventually we hope to bridge the local mesh via RF to SoCal. Even now, you will see a few nodes starting to pop up locally on the mesh map as people start to connect to the SLO mesh. Eventually, we see a use case for AREDN augmenting some SLO county ARES/RACES operations as a high-speed packet system.
If you live in an area serviced by one of these nodes and want to get on the air (and/or would like to provide access to a site which could provide an AREDN signal to others), we highly recommend you join the CQ805 Slack channel (instructions can be found on https://cq805.radio/). There you will find most of the coordination for SLO county AREDN operations and you can get in touch with people who will help you plan links and set up equipment.
Marcel AI6MS has a collection of network equipment for AREDN use that has been donated by the San Francisco Wireless Emergency Mesh (SFWEM) available for local deployments.
If you connect to the mesh, you should check out the camera snapshot from the site (available at http://w6bhz-aprs-pi.local.mesh/camera_stream.html)!
In related news, we have also set up an APRS I-gate at the site with the callsign W6SLO-5. This I-gate augments coverage north on Highway 1 and parts of Los Osos Valley Rd towards San Luis Obispo. Thank you to SLOECC for their financial support of the I-gate.
More info about AREDN can be found at www.arednmesh.org.
We would like to thank the following:
-Doug KE6UBF and Outback Wireless for their support of this project and site access.
-KM6FTS,W2AMY,KN6REG,KM6FRE,KN6RJA,KM6RMW,KM6WIU,AI6MS,WB9VXY,W6DGE,KK6YWG, and everyone else who helped out for their labor on this project.
-Orv W6BI and Bob KB6CIO for their help on AREDN configuration