Re: Critical Mass

Bryan Hoyer <bhhoyer@...>

Hi Bob,

Yes you are right about critical mass in an area, but let's talk first about the application.

You mention it as a backup to repeaters, I don't see it that way at all. Repeaters handle voice,  the UDR56k is a data radio. All of my served agencies have a need for hard copy communication, both peer to peer and via winlink. They require this in addition to voice capabilities.

As far as value goes, the proposition is simple. Boost your email capabilities 8x for less than the price of a nice dual-bander. Throw in D-STAR for free at the same time. Build your own network at 56K+. Add APRS on 440...

As for critical mass and served agencies, We are currently in discussions with San Juan, Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties. I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with the gentleman who handles emcomm for all of Southern British Columbia. If there is any place in the world with critical mass Bothell WA is in it,

So how does it work in other areas?

Check out Gary from Amateur Radio Video News, where he says they could use a couple hundred of these in North Carolina.

But you're right it has to start with some minimal group. Here's a few examples.

Budd in Blaine buys one and we set up a 56k link between us. Blaine is LOS to me on San Juan Island.

My local Radio club has a digi-peater site for 1200 baud packet on 2m and 220. They buy one unit and we add 9600 on 440 to talk to the existing RMS gateway up in Vancouver BC. A few club members want to play as well. Our 5 emcomm stations look to upgrade when funding becomes available.

We have a club $5000 D-STAR repeater near Friday Harbor. We buy one $400 unit to act as a hot-spot in Roche Harbor on the North of the Island. And maybe one in Eastsound over on Orcas. And perhaps we should do something in Lopez Village.

So how many does it take to get started? 2 or 3 interested hams in a given area. When it deploys at a hospital near you, will you buy a unit to play too?


On Aug 26, 2012, at 9:37 PM, Bob Helling wrote:


I like the idea of this product and will probably buy one just for my own experimental fun but it seems to me that this only becomes useful when you get a critical mass of people in the same geographical area that will buy and use them.

It looks like too much of a single purpose device as I see it now to get that critical mass.  I see it as a backup plan when repeaters aren't available in times of emergency.  I'm sure I'm missing some of the other uses but my question is pretty specific.  Assuming I am not able to convince an agency to buy these for all their volunteers, how do I convince my ham buddies that this is something that will be fun and/or useful in everyday use and worth spending as much as a nice dual band mobile rig.

There are a couple of ways to answer this.  First, how might we use these solely with each other.  Second how useful are these devices when interoperating with other ham devices.

Sorry if this has all been covered already.  If so, please point me to the relevant posts.
Bob Helling / K9PQ
Bothell, WA

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