Tutorial: Designing Amateur Radio Communication Networks at Home, School, and Work

Miroslav Skoric
Radio Amateur Specialist,
Serbia

May 11th, 2018, Dawliz hotel, Rabat, Morocco

by Miroslav Skoric, Radio Amateur Specialist (IEEE Senior Member).

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In this tutorial you will learn how to establish wireless computer communications with your peers in local neighborhoods, other cities, countries & continents – without using commercial and governmental infrastructure; How to take advantage of amateur radio satellites; How to exchange urgent e-mails without the Internet or telephone connections; How to use amateur radio in a school to save human lives and properties; How to create a local AMUNET (AMateur radio University NETwork) and expand visibility of your academic institution; How to contribute to weather observation (amateur radio meteorology) and tourism (amateur radio positioning & reporting systems); How to choose most proper hardware and software for all the above, and how to win over potential radio ‘pirates’ (hackers).
Outline

Morning

  • Brief introduction of the amateur radio (basic principles, main ideas and goals)
    • Increasing the popularity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) by the amateur radio activity
    • How to find and join an amateur radio group? (a local ‘ham club’, a national union, etc.)
  • Computer-driven radio communications (focused on ‘packet-radio’)
    • Direct link between two correspondents
    • Splitting information to smaller ‘packets’
    • Indirect link over a repeater (incl. 3D simulation)
    • Security and privacy in the amateur radio digital networks
  • Opportunities of amateur packet-radio satellites (PACSATs)
    • Equipment requirements (special antennas and positioning devices)
    • Protocols (‘broadcast’ and ‘ftpl0’)
    • Signal flow at a ground station (description of a complete setup)
  • Exchanging e-mail using an amateur radio BBS system
    • Hardware for the amateur computer-related communications
    • Computers (PC XT, AT, i386, i486, Pentium, non-PC, etc.)
    • Radio stations (types, output capabilities, power supply, etc.) – practical demo
    • Antennas – personal low-cost experience
    • Radio modems (several examples related to overall types, data throughput, connectivity etc.)

Afternoon

  • Hardware for the amateur computer-related communications (cont.)
    • GPS receivers – practical demo
    • Implementation of sound-cards and various interfaces – practical demo from a ‘kitchen table’
  • Software solutions
    • Server side (DOS, Windows, Linux systems) – several examples
    • Client side (OS-included software, other software) – several examples
    • Installing ‘factory-made’ software, or compiling it by yourself? – advantages of Linux & open-source solutions
    • Repeaters’ programs
  • Foreign experience
    • Universities on the West (examples on what they have been doing in the amateur radio)
    • Humanitarian role of the radio amateur communications: examples on disasters such as hurricanes in the USA – where the amateurs voluntarily helped to the local community to save human lives, etc1
    • Winlink 2000 – a global emergency email service (how to join it – examples)
  • Networking opportunities
    • AMUNET – Amateur University Network (local area, MAN etc)
    • APRS – Automatic Position Reporting System – practical demo
    • Widening the network (surrounding countries, global connections)
    • Scientific expeditions to remote and developing areas
    • Connecting with scientists at the International Space Station, ship crews, etc.
    • Interconnections to/from the TCP/IP world (‘gatewaying’ with the Internet)
    • Academic future: International summer (winter) school on the amateur radio

1 “Ham radio volunteers help re-establish communications after Katrina” (“Computerworld”)
– Volunteer ham radio operators are coming to the aid of relief agencies and emergency officials to help with badly needed communications in areas of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi ravaged early last week. by Hurricane Katrina.

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Biography

Miroslav Skoric is a retired engineer. He had almost three decades of experience in computer network administration and system maintenance (Diploma in Business Computing) and a lot of practice in the amateur radio (licensed amateur since 1989, amateur radio call sign YT7MPB). He has been maintaining various types of amateur radio bulletin board systems (MS DOS, Windows and Linux platforms) at VHF/HF radio frequencies and Internet inputs/outputs in his local amateur radio union and clubs-societies. The instructor voluntarily served as the union’s secretary and information manager during the nineties – when he was compiling technical and scientific information for broadcasting via local amateur radio frequencies and repeaters. Teaching experience includes several classes in a local high-school amateur radio club; technical paper presentations in domestic and international events; tutorials & workshops on the amateur radio in engineering education, one round-table session, several magazine/journal articles, five book chapters, and a web page featuring popular amateur radio software. Social activities include the membership in IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Communications Society, IEEE Education Society, ACM, NIAR, and IAENG.

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Video announcement

Important dates

Submission deadline March 14 18, 2018
Notification to authors March 31 April 6, 2018
Final version due April 10, 2018
Registration deadline April 16, 2018
ICMCS'18 Conference May, 10-12, 2018

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