What is AREDN?
AREDN is the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network. It is made up of node that form a self healing mesh. This creates a stable working computer network much like the internet, but does not rely on existing infrastructure and repairs itself if some nodes in the system drop out. This network of nodes and computers allows us to connect the modern digital world over the air with radios. With the mesh we are able to send emails, transfer files, make phone calls, and much more without the use of the internet or cellular telephone systems.
To lean more about the AREDN project visit arednmesh.org.
SCC AREDN Mesh Network Standards
St. Clair County is one of the first county's in the state of Michigan to start implementation of a mesh network operating on 2.4GHz and 5.8Ghz in the amateur radio bands. As we are building this system from the ground up we have devised our mesh operations as follows:
Frequencies/Channel Widths and Their Uses
2.4GHz band is used for wide area coverage and will be the most common. While the 5.8GHz band will be used for long distant hauls and liking node sites.
2.4GHz Band - Channel -1 (2.402GHz) Please use 5MHz bandwidth until further notice.
5.8GHz Band - Channel 174 (5.870GHz)
Radios in Use
While any AREDN supported radio/transceiver will work with the SCC AREDN Mesh Network, we recommend the devices found below based on personal trial and their cost to purchase and deploy.
5.8 GHz Devices
- Ubiquity Litebeam M5 - High gain dish antenna
Types of Stations
The AREDN mesh network is made up of many different types of stations. The following is a list of station types and each of their functions.
Main Stations are large coverage stations that usually serve a general 360° area. These stations consist of larger and higher power antennas and radios.
Relay Stations are stations that fill in smaller areas and voids that do not get coverage by a main station. These can also serve as a backbone if a local or all of the main stations are to fail.
Services is software that runs on a node or a device connected to a node. Below are our standards for some cross county services we are running on the SCCARPSC node network.
- County wide MeshChat Zone name: SCCMeshChat - This zone includes multiple chat channels for ARPSC and general messaging use.
Mesh Node Setup Procedure
Setting up your AREDN mesh node requires a small amount of computer networking knowledge. If you feel you are able to setup and install the new AREDN firmware onto your device yourself visit the AREDN website here to get started. If you would like assistance setting your mesh node, feel free to contact Andrew Thomson KE8JOT at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by one of the ARPSC Digital Group meetings (details on the calendar page).