Monday, 23 March 2015

WL2K Mobile

The VE3CLQ digital Go-Box
It was a pretty good day yesterday, the Frontenac Emcomm Group held their first WL2K deployed exercise of the year after doing a lot of RMS Express classroom work, and I deployed up to Perth Road Village, about 28 km north of Kingston.

We had eight stations up and running on the air, several from their home QTH and several from deployed locations around Frontenac County.  Over the past 18 months we have been building up a digital network here so we can stop using the archaic ARRL message forms and take Emcomm into the 21st Century.

So far in Frontenac County we have the following Gateways and Nodes:

VE3UDO-7, located in Clarendon Station this Node covers all of Northern Frontenac, most of Northern Lennox-Addington County, and a good portion of Lanark-North Leeds.

VE3FPN-7, the Node is located at the Sydenham Firehall and covers all of Central Frontenac as well as most of Central Lennox-Addington County.

VE3FRG-7, this Node is located in South Frontenac and covers all South Frontenac, the Frontenac Islands, the City of Kingston, South Lennox-Addington County, and Northern Jefferson County in New York State as far south as Watertown.

VE3MNE-10, this Gateway is located in West Kingston and covers a very large area.  The Gateway is able to connect to all of our Nodes.

VE3DTG-10, this Gateway is located in Central Kingston and is able to connect to our Nodes.

The Frontenac Club recently authorized the purchasing of equipment to build two portable Nodes which will help fill in a few holes in our coverage, and they will be able to be moved and placed where they are most needed to extend our coverage in an emergency.

All of our WL2K Gateways and Nodes operate on 145.070 and are on the air 24/7/365.

My Digital Go-Box consists of a Motorola CDM-1250 VHF radio along with a Coastal ChipWorks TNC-X and a ACER Notebook.  It performed very well.

We had a few learning experiences, we found that the Gateways will support heavy traffic with little problem.  The Nodes did get overloaded so we have a few issues to work out there.  Overall we passed the traffic we were supposed to with only a few hiccups.  It was a good training exercise and I'm looking forward to the second half of it in April.

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