I would like to request this feed for the Americas, financially focused but geopolitical too :
I am also wondering if you have considered commercializing a “channel” where you would sell feed space to groups interested in publishing over Othernet?
I am happy to sell channels, but very few groups been interested in paying content delivery.
I would be interested in understanding the current user base (I know that is difficult to know aside from units sold) and what the cost of publishing content would be. I can think of a couple groups that potentially would be interested depending on the cost of publishing.
The organizations that have paid for content delivery did so to their own network. They bought receivers and also a separate, private network. The annual cost of a private channel in one region is $25,000.
There’s really no way of knowing how many receivers are actually tuned in. I’m fairly certain it’s not a large audience.
Good to know but I was thinking on a much smaller scale, like a single RSS feed on your network rather than a dedicated network.
A single RSS feed is hard to price unless we know for certain how much content (in MB) is delivered per day. If I had to throw out a number, it would be around $100/month.
If you assumed an RSS feed that is fixed not to exceed 10mb, I think you would be in the ballpark for daily transmit size. I will see if these groups have an interest.
I had read in some older posts that there was a way or you were looking at implementing a method of users being able to place content to be transmitted, did anything ever come of that?
Lastly I am an Amateur Radio Operator and while I can appreciate the APRS functionality, have you given thought to integrating any other Amateur Radio functionality?
The current broadcast only has about 20 MB of daily capacity, so 10 MB per day from a specific RSS feed would be too much of an allotment. But I’m happy to discuss this with anyone that could be interested.
We had user-selected content in the past, when there were far more users and customers, but the feature was never really used. I’m not at all opposed to bringing it back, but it’s just not a high priority, based on past experience.
What other amateur radio functionality did you have in mind?
As a ham, I guess sending URL links in APRS with a tag…and ability to have a static filter for those tags would be against FCC rules… but an idea to explore? What if the links are to non-profits (would that still trigger the FCC part whatever rules that ban commercial - for profit? A signed MOA with the non profit for content distribution? Just a non-well-though-out-idea for someone other than me to explore the legal aspects of.
Ok so 10mb is a little overzealous as I wanted to include several images. I am certain that some reasonable content could be delivered in the 1mb range as well.
On the Amateur Radio side, I would envision a direct RF link, where an HF receiver connected to a computer that is connected to your uplink data. The RF receiver would be receiving JS8Call over HF and it would place messages on the uplink for broadcast. Similar to the APRS data you are uplinking but eliminating the internet connection. This would allow Amateurs to send messages via RF to your uplink and the satellite would broadcast that message with blanket coverage. If you have any interest in this, I have extra radio gear and expertise in writing software to interface the JS8Call software to your uplink. Of course, all of this assumes you have direct access to the uplink without using the internet, which may not be the case at all.
@Daniac You are correct that we currently access the uplink only over internet, but we could definitely host an uplink at an alternate location with more flexibility. However, I’m not convinced this is necessary. Why can’t we just set up (or access) a JS8Call terminal and then relay that data over the internet and to the teleport?
How active is JS8Call now? I was in touch with Jordan a few years ago about making a purpose-built device, but that project just never materialized.
So today there is probably around 1000 JS8Call active users on any given day…PSKReporter shows a few hundred but many do not report to PSKReporter so the number is dramatically higher. I have a couple hundred using my add on software alone. Jordan has been busy starting a family and has not released an update in some time, however JS8Call has been getting more popular over time and several of us have created add on software to increase the usefulness of his software which has attracted additional users.
The idea of Amateur Radio is to still be functional when all other infrastructure is no longer functioning. We have to assume that the internet is not incapable of failure, so radio purists like me attempt to implement solutions that do not rely on wired Infrastructure. Therefore the idea is to implement an RF only solution that does not use the Internet. I would be hopeful that your teleport/uplink is in a generator backed up data center of some kind? Adding an HF receiver & a Raspberry Pi to decode and extract Othernet directed JS8Call messages would not be difficult to home in a small data center or transmitter box. The HF antenna might not be so easy to home.
I have not tried it before but JS8Call does include an APRS bridge, might be worth investigating as well. I should have a functioning Othernet receiver this weekend, I will try pushing a JS8Call APRS message through APRSIS with the OTHERNET flag just for fun.
Having been involved with several pilots related to emergency communications, I definitely understand your perspective on internet-independent communications. A pure RF-to-uplink relay is technically trivial, but financially imprudent—unless someone else is willing to pay for it. The teleports that we currently use are owned and operated by SES and there are several layers of backup systems, considering they also host government networks.
I understand, and really JS8Call can function pretty well without including a pure RF-to-uplink relay. It was just a thought. I will spend some time with Othernet and circle back to you on small scale commercial content. Thank you for your time and explanations.
Can I get an email address?