Free 2 way Email via Ham Radio


#1

Outernet is very interesting and I can only hope it will develop with time. However there are many great technologies that already exists and if you have the right equipment you can try them out right now. Below is an example of 2 way E-mail via Ham Radio.

Found this example although a little boring the tech behind it is amazing:
This is not my video but it is a great start.

There is also a project from 2012 called OneBeep. The software is ready and tested. It pretty much does what Outernet is able to do right now but with AM and FM radio. Only requires a radio a laptop and a 3.5 male to male cable.
Not to mention onebeep a software that downloads via radio
http://www.onebeep.org/

E-mail can also be sent for free via Satellite however I belive it is one way and only one line of text. Document link below:

http://www.aprs.org/astars/email.txt


#3

http://www.winlink.org - is a worldwide radio messaging system that mixes internet technology and appropriate amateur radio radio frequency (RF) technologies its a idea .


#4

It would be interesting to incorporate this (or something similar) as a way to send requests for content, even if it’s just simply sending email to Outernet. I’m not a radio guy so I’m not sure what is required for this to work on global scale.

We originally though USSD would be a good idea, but I think this would give more independence to users since they wouldn’t need to depend on mobile network operators.


#5

There are some pros and cons to something like this. One con is in the United States you must be certified to use these types of radios and be assigned a call sign. it is about $15 and 35 questions. Not sure what the rules are in other countries.

One pro to this is you can send information and get one piece of equipment very cheap. Here is an example of a $40 two way radio that could be used to send E-mail and Text messages one way or lets say one way to (Outernet)

How this is accomplished is you send to the call sign of EMAIL followed by the address and a short message. The message can only be one line but even just one line could make a huge difference.

Example of how you would send an e-mail using this type of radio
EMAIL [email protected] Hello how are you

Example of how to send a text message using this type of radio
EMAIL [email protected] Hello how are you


Now if you want two way messaging then you need a computer, a ham radio w/ antenna and a radio modem or external signalink device. This can get expensive.


#6

Already is on a semi global scale,

http://www2.winlink.org:8081/maps/WinlinkGateways.aspx


#7

Using packet radio over HF is definitely in the roadmap. And as you’ve all pointed out, there is a very robust and time-tested messaging network that works globally. But there are a few issues to think about.

  1. Contention: APRS works well because there is a fairly small group of users. Imagine what would happen to the traffic and congestion if we increase usage by multiple orders of magnitude. I don’t know exactly how much traffic APRS can handle, but my hunch tells me that it wouldn’t scale all that well.

  2. Licensing: In the US, it’s pretty easy to acquire an amateur radio license. But what about the rest of the world? Although anti-censorship is not the only use-case for Outernet, one thing to point out is that the local licensing body would know exactly who has what equipment. And since all transmissions must be encryption-free, the expressed opinions or requests for additional information could not be all that free.

But I say this not at all to discourage this line of thought. This is very much something we will be looking into. And if you’d like to run with this in the near-term, then please do.