FEEDNET

Forth Estuary Experimental Data Network


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Most of what can be achieved via FEEDNET is courtesy of open source software. The sheer hard work, altruism and inventiveness of all open source authors is gratefully acknowledged here.

 

 

 

 

FEEDNET is a project with the aim of developing a MESH data network covering the Forth Estuary and its environs.

FEEDNET is operated by volunteers who use their technical skills and knowledge to assist the local community in times of need.

They do this by providing additional means of communication to the public sector agencies responsible for resilience and continuity planning

FEEDNET is independent of the public internet and therefore provides a resilient method of communication in the event of major outage of public systems.

FEEDNET is built and managed by radio amateurs, the majority of them members of RAYNET.  Just one tool in RAYNET's armory of resilient communications, the MESH network is built on several key fixed backbone links connecting important locations 24x7. Network coverage is then tailored to meet specific demands by sending out RAYNET mobile operators to run temporary nodes.

The MESH nodes that form FEEDNET are self discovering, self configuring, self advertising and fault tolerant.  Most tasks that you can do over a wired or wireless network at your home or office can be done on our network.  

FEEDNET is NOT an alternative to commercial services for general communications. It is an experimental system.  It is a means for RAYNET to provide its services to its users. These services comprise file sharing facilities, email, webcams, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and a VOIP telephone service accessible across the network.  Click on the Feednet Services menu link at the left to find out more.

Picture Right - node installation
on a cold,wet, windy  winter's day !

Recent developments:

USBtran

Bernie, GM4WZG  has recently completed a RoIP VHF transceiver projectWith an on-board programmable VHF transceiver and a built in soundcard interface USBtran is a convenient and easy to use method of interfacing VoIP systems to Radio. Further details here.

 

 

We have implemented Teamspeak PTT app on FEEDNET. We also have been asked recently about VoIP, RoIP and PTT technologies. We also get regularly asked about Broadnet  and other public systems. We have put together a small guide to try and explain the various technologies.

 

VTUN

We can now use standard VTUN technology to merge two geographically remote Mesh networks into one via a ground based Internet or a Satellite  link. This served us well when doing a demonstration at the recent RAYNET AGM in Grangemouth. There was no direct RF link from the AGM location but the mini-network that we assembled for demonstration purposes seamlessly linked up with the main FEEDNET network via a small 3G modem plugged into the back of a node.

 

MeshPrint.  We have added another useful application to the armory.  RAYNET sites can be busy places and messages are often being handled in a variety of ways, always keeping the RAYNET operators busy.  We thought that a simple ticket printer at each FEEDNET location could be used as a way of sending messages accurately and in a form that requires absolutely no technical knowledge on the part of the recipient.

How does it work ? Anyone on the network uses a web page to enter their message and its destination(s). On clicking "send" the message appears as a printout at the message destination to be torn off and handed to the recipient.  Think of it as the old fashioned ticker tape of the early 20th Century, but brought forward into a modern setting.

 

 

RemoteBase. A self contained VHF/UHF transceiver combined with a Linux single board server (PI2) running Asterisk VOIP.   So what does it do ? Well anyone on the network can dial into this transceiver using their telephone (perhaps an old mobile phone with the SIM card removed) and monitor the radio channel, or, by pressing "*" on their telephone, can transmit through it.  The unit runs from 12v, is very portable and plugs into any FEEDNET node (or a home router for that matter).

It is a simple remote base, but there is much scope for different modes of use. How about two, or more of these, placed at distant locations but linked via FEEDNET.  Depending on how you configure them you  have a large, distributed conference/repeater system or several access points into different sites.

 

 

Archive of Recent Developments

 interesting article about Ham Radio and where it sits with high tech experimentation.

See our 3G Mobile page for info about how to make a reverse SSH 3G link into a mesh network.

See our streaming page for details of how we stream local FM RF channels via both FEEDNET and the public internet. DTMF control is an important part of this project and allows us to turn on and off a variety of devces, send emails, update websites - in fact anything you can do with your Linux Computer you can do by sending a DTMF command on VHF or UHF.

Other recent Innovations from the FEEDNET team

VOIP Linked UHF Repeater

(GM4WZG)

Self-contained MESH node Access Point

GM8ZQY

Noditor - A simple, stand alone method for checking that a node is online and connected.


A recent innovation is an in-band 70cm FM repeater that provides connectivity to the FEEDNET network. This operates just as an in-band repeater with the addition of a FEEDNET connection. Users can patch the repeater input/output to the FEEDNET VOIP network. A user with a 70cm handheld can talk to someone on their telephone, controlling the link through DTMF dialling. The telephone could even be an ordinary mobile telephone connected to FEEDNET through its WiFi (via non-public RAYNET medium).

 

 
 
Well the show has been and gone. A big thank you to all those who visited us during the show and also to those who entered the free draw for a Raspberry PI Model B+. Here is the winning ticket number

Winner 235846

If you have the winning ticket, please send an email to raffle@paceprofessional.org.uk and let us know the Checksum number printed on your ticket, together with your name and address for delivery. Thanks !

 

 

 

Real time link status from GM4WZG Dalgety Bay

 

 

 
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