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9th EAI International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services

February 28–March 2, 2018 | Osaka, Japan
Amateur Radio in Mobile and Temporary-Fixed Situations
28 February 2018 (Day 1) 13:00 – 16:00
Motivation and objective
In this session the audience will learn about how to establish computer communications with correspondents in local neighborhoods, other cities, countries & continents - without using commercial and governmental infrastructures; How to take advantage of amateur radio satellites; How to exchange urgent e-mails without the Internet or telephone connections; How to use amateur radio to bring help, and save human lives and properties; How to create a local AMUNET (AMateur radio University NETwork) and expand visibility of an academic institution; How to participate in APRS (Amateur Packet/Position Reporting System); And how to do most of the above in mobile (walking, driving) and temporary-fixed situations.
What will the audience learn?
- What is the amateur radio, who are the radio amateurs, how to find and join them;
- What is needed to establish a simple computer communication between two users;
- How to solve the problem of natural or artificial obstacle between two (or more) users;
- What are the features of communication over amateur radio satellites;
- How to choose the proper modem, radio, antenna and computer;
- How to fight against potential amateur radio 'pirates' (hackers);
- How to participate in APRS – the amateur radio 'Internet of Things';
- and more ...
According to the instructor’s two-decade experience in the amateur radio, the significant percentage of school kids (and youngsters in general) – being involved in that traditional and useful technical hobby – continues with their education in areas of telecommunications, computing, mathematics, electronics and other engineering disciplines. On the other side, after the initial investments in the amateur radio communicating equipment, described in the tutorial – there are almost no other costs – either before, during and after establishing exciting amateur radio communications because there are no fixed and cell telephony infrastructure included, nor the commercial Internet service providers. Besides that, radio amateurs regularly travel by using various means of transportation: cars, buses, trains, motorcycles, etc. In many situations they want their friends, relatives, and families know their whereabouts – even they may be located on the other side of globe, as well as to be informed about positions of their peers, either individual or groups in unknown environments such as while visiting foreign countries and so on. Having in mind that the radio amateurs live all around the world, their equipment and knowledge are often used on behalf local and global communications and emergency situations.
Outline and tentative schedule
1st hour
  • Brief introduction of the amateur radio (basic principles, main ideas and goals)
    • How to find and join an amateur radio group? (a local ‘ham club’, a national union, etc.)
    • Increasing the popularity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) by the amateur radio activity
  • Computer-driven radio communications (focused on ‘packet-radio’)
    • Direct link between two correspondents
    • Splitting information to smaller ‘packets’
    • Indirect link over a repeater (incl. 3D simulation)
    • Security and privacy in the amateur radio digital networks
  • Opportunities of amateur packet-radio satellites (PACSATs)
    • Equipment requirements (special antennas and positioning devices)
    • Protocols (‘broadcast’ and ‘ftpl0’)
    • Signal flow at a ground station (description of a complete setup)
  • Exchanging e-mail using an amateur radio BBS system 
2nd hour
  • Hardware for the amateur computer-related communications
    • Computers (PC XT, AT, i386, i486, Pentium, non-PC, etc.)
    • Radio stations (types, output capabilities, power supply, etc.) – practical demo
    • Antennas – personal low-cost experience
    • Radio modems (several examples related to overall types, data throughput, connectivity etc.)
    • GPS receivers – various types and opportunities
    • Implementation of sound-cards and various interfaces – practical demo from a 'kitchen table'
  • Software solutions
    • Server side (DOS, Windows, Linux systems) – several examples
    • Client side (OS-included software, other software) – several examples
    • Installing 'factory-made' software, or compiling it by yourself? - advantages of Linux & open-source solutions
    • Repeaters’ programs
3rd hour
  • Domestic & international experience
    • Universities on the West (examples on what they have been doing in the amateur radio)
    • Humanitarian role of the radio amateur communications: examples on disasters such as hurricanes in the USA – where the amateurs voluntarily helped to the local community to save human lives, etc
    • Winlink 2000 – a global emergency email service (how to join it - examples)
  • Networking opportunities
    • AMUNET – Amateur University Network (local area, MAN etc)
    • Widening the network (surrounding countries, global connections)
    • Adaptation to Wi-Fi (802.11) technology
    • Scientific expeditions to remote and developing areas
    • Connecting with scientists at the International Space Station, ship crews, etc.
    • Interconnections to/from the TCP/IP world ('gatewaying' with the Internet)
    • Academic future: International summer (winter) school on the amateur radio
Tutorial speaker
Miroslav Skoric, member of IEEE Austria Section & NIAR India
Miroslav Skoric has more than two decades of experience in computer network administration and system maintenance (Diploma in Business Computing) and 25+ years of practice in the amateur radio (licensed amateur since 1989, amateur radio call sign YT7MPB). He has been maintaining various types of amateur radio bulletin board systems (MS DOS, Windows and Linux platforms) at VHF/HF radio frequencies and Internet inputs/outputs in his local amateur radio union and clubs-societies. The instructor voluntarily served as the union’s secretary and information manager during the nineties – when he was compiling technical and scientific information for broadcasting via local amateur radio frequencies and repeaters. Teaching experience includes several classes in a local highschool amateur radio club; technical paper presentations in domestic and international events; tutorials & workshops on the amateur radio in engineering education, one roundtable session, several magazine/journal articles, five book chapters, and a web page featuring popular amateur radio software. Social activities include the membership in IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Communications Society, IEEE Education Society, ACM, NIAR, and IAENG.
Duration, targeted audience
Half-day, open to public: students & teaching personnel of academia, high-grade and elementary schools; authorities and institutions in developing countries and rural areas, humanitarian entities (first aid etc), scientific expeditions organizers etc; radio amateurs, local clubs and national radio union(s); non-for-profit societies, and other technical-related volunteers; agencies and ministries of communications, science and education; businesses like civil engineering, road and train builders etc., which can also build their own radio infrastructure and private networks – using the same or similar principles as the amateur packet-radio.
Supplementary materials
The audiovisual support for this tutorial is designed in Linux LibreOffice Impress format (compatible to Microsoft Office PowerPoint). The program includes 200 slides and several short videos. The speaker uses his Linux-based laptop (standard VGA connectivity to the wall projector), as well as some electronics for practical demo (portable radio transceiver, modem, and sound-card interface). Tutorial notes in form of a 20-page PDF brochure will be provided, as well as quiz awards for most active participants - in form of technical literature. (The 'examination – quiz' session will be performed at the end of the lecture.)
Depending on availability of local radio amateurs, there is a value-added option of establishing an ad-hoc radio facility at the conference venue to give the audience an opportunity to see & hear more amateur radio signals and get familiar with high-uality transmitting equipment.