few months ago during a local radio club meeting in Sorrento (Italy) the idea popped up to start some experiments on new radio techologies...
after some thinking and researching our attention landed on the AREDN project..
It was appearing as the the perfect candidate for a trial to stimulate new interest in radio entusiasts wishing to revive the original radio ham spirit in a 2000 years fashion !
We started a feasibility study to investigate the state-of-the-art on wifi based technologies and digital techniques; the main objective was to find a topic sufficiently state-of.the-art and in the mean time sufficiently still "under development and investigation" and then able to provide some areas in which contribute with some original experience and possibly innovation.
The MESH networks was for sure the best candidate thanks to the still under-development status all.over.the world and the intrinsic characteristics that make them one of the best choices for emergency applications and low-investment and eventually non-commercial deploiment... an area where traditionally HAMs always tried to be present and available to contribute...
Based on this feasibility study we setup a small road map to start a network trial based on the AREDN technology and strictly limited to the local radio club members in order to evaluate in practice the technology and have an hands-on experience.
After 5 months we have setup a more then 10 nodes network and have made some experience with its management... so we feel it is time to try to get out from the strictly local focus of this experiment and try to extend the trial a little bit more in the near surrounding areas..
After some thinking we decided to ask AREDN mainteiners to give us the chance to create a venue point for other HAMs wishing to join our experiment in Italy... infact based on googling around it appeared that very little interest in Italy is devoted to HAMs sponsored wifi experimentation, while most of the existing wifi activity was devoted to setup free wifi networks, that is a completely different topic.
Summarizing we are deploing a small AREDN mesh in southern Italy as a trial at moment limited to our local radio club in Sorrento(Naples/Salerno area); we call this network SARIMESH that stands for "Sorrento Amateur Radio Internode MESH". It is based on the AREDN technology and is aimed to be used as a internode network joining HAM radio shacks; it is also available an internet gateway in order to connect to the big network.
We have also created a web site / blog to support this experiment: http://www.sarimesh.net ; at present the access to this site is limited only to local radio club members or invited persons. Any interested HAM can ask for an account should it be of interest.
A support web site is also available at http://meshtest.sarimesh.net, where a view of actual network operation is made available for general access either via the SARIMESH connected users or via general internet; some sections on this site are only available for SARIMESH connected users.
All these web sites are at present only available in italian due to the local interest we was starting with; BTW thanks to google translate anybody can access the actual contents over the internet.
Based on the first results of this experiment we are now trying to extend this mesh and are looking for interest on it !
So our first target are HAMs close to our region in order to smoothly extend the experiment; we are also open to get in touch with other region's HAMS interested in trying this technology and possibly share experiences and future projects.
Thanks again to AREDN for welcoming us in the AREDN community and for making available a really interesting technology !!!!!