We’re in a hilly area and since 900mhz doesn’t bounce, this has become a major problem.
We’ve done 2 nets so far:
- First net failed miserably from my end but I think the area that has a goTenna density had a few sucessful contacts.
- Second net we did with the support of a drone but we had high winds that limited drone flight (see reports of the several uncontrolled wind-driven wild fires currently burning in the Los Angeles area) and I was finally able to ping some people over in that area BUT the guy running the drone had 3 goTennas on over there so we likely hit the relay cap and had trouble getting back to me.
We have about a dozen goTennas deployed currently.
The net is run over the Emergency Chat feature. I’ll send out a message:
THIS IS A TEST OF THE EMERGENCY BROADCAST MESH NETWORK.
THIS IS ONLY A TEST.
Please respond back with your neighborhood location and FRS call sign.
We’re using the following format for FRS call signs:
(if CERT trained) CERT-<fire station #>--#
This allows us to know that someone is CERT trained, what fire station first-in they are in, and what street they are on.
Of course, that format is completely optional and some existing teams do something completely different but it’s a good start for those coming on board and new teams we’re beginning to build.
This Monday night after the nets I’m running a goTenna mesh class https://www.facebook.com/events/1874707799210494/
- To go over placement of the units inside the house (in a window vs. under the couch cushion) and outside (on a bag vs. in a pocket), how we should always keep them charged and on and check the app to make sure it didn’t disconnect.
- We’ll get eachother on our contact lists so we know who to ping.
- We’ll go over the differences between a 1-to-1, ping, group, shout, and emergency chat.
- What the goTenna plus subscription is and why they should get it (we’ll need them to subscribe in order for them to tether their location to the Incident Command Post during an exercise or event).
- How a relay node works and why you should not use the “Relay Mode” but actually document the GID so you can (and we can) ping it to know if it is reachable and how they don’t need to be connected to a phone to be pingable.
- We’ll run some tests to make sure everyone is working before we leave.
We’ll also go over trying to get dedicated stationary nodes in key areas and the Project MOAN option. One guy is already interested in trying to build one.
And then hopefully the following Monday we’ll have a really good net.