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Amateur “Ham” Radio

by JP Coetzee 0 Comments

What is Amateur “Ham” Radio:

Amateur Radio is a great way to learn about communications technology and make friends all over the world. Getting involved in this fascinating hobby is very easy and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Radio Amateurs, or “hams” use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. The wonderful thing is that a radio amateur can do this from home, or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.

What Do They Have:

Radio Hams have a full range of communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. As a licensed amateur radio operator you will be able to join in experiments using all these modes.

Amateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female, even the most severely disabled can make friends around the world from their own home. This hobby knows no boundaries.

Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and in contests. Through Hamnet, they may be called upon to handle messages for police and other public service organisations during all kinds of emergencies.

http://w2wcr.org/Members/KD2BVA/broadband-hamnet-hsmm-mesh-photos/a-hypothetical-mesh/@@images/c1fd43cf-dc9e-4042-a3f9-f1348bc70e1d.jpeg

A mesh with broadband Hamnet and how one can immediately see the similarity to PTAWUG’s mesh layout.

How to Get Your License:

Because radio amateurs are permitted to use a wide range of frequencies and types of transmission, they must be qualified operators. In South Africa like most countries around the world, Amateur Radio is regulated by the Government Department of Communication and licensing is dealt with by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

South African regulations require you to write a small exam, which is set to test your understanding of the basic principles of radio and the regulations governing amateur radio operators.

The Exam:

This exam is simple enough for anyone with high school education and an interest in the hobby to pass. In most cities and towns around the country and there are also clubs that provide classes for the RAE and facilitate the writing of the test.

For more detailed information about exams contact Vincent Harris @ 012-998-8165 Cell 083-754-0115 or Fritz Southerland @ 012-811-3875 cell 083-304-0028.

Activities Hams Take Part Of:

  • Rallies.
  • Fox Hunting. (not that type of one!).
  • Regular Contests.
  • Satellites like these.
  • D-Star (Digital Radio).
  • IRLP (VoIP).
  • Echo Link (VoIP).
  • Broadband Hamnet – find more info here.
  • Club Meetings and Get-togethers.
Related image

Basic Broadband Hamnet setup:

Amateur Radio Swapshops and Fleamarkets:

Swop Shop – Hans ZS6KR is the guy that handles the swops 012-333-2612.

Radio amateurs regularly get together to swap and buy equipment, obtain components for projects and socialize to chat/brag about their latest achievements in radio communication or contests.

Venues for such activity are club meetings, amateur fleamarkets and making use of the club website swap pages. Most dealers also advertise here or on the South African Radio League (SARL) swap page at especially if they have second-hand equipment to dispose of.

Image result for amateur radio flea market

An example of a flea market:

As there are various clubs in the Highveld area there is always a choice of fleamarket to go to on a regular basis. Last but not least, on-the-air offers-and-wants session that takes place every Sunday morning after the Pretoria Club news bulletin on 145,725 MHz and 7,066 MHz.

Note: This article has been modified from the original wiki article located at http://172.24.1.1/mediawiki/index.php/Amateur_Radio and that all credits go to the original author RM (aka “RadioMan”).

How to Limit the Bandwidth Speed for a User After A Cap Has Been Reached

by JP Coetzee 0 Comments

This is not used on the WUG, so do not worry about it!


Based on https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Limiting_a_user_to_a_given_amount_of_traffic_II

Modified the script for Cavelynx to help manage his internet users at a guest house. Fixed for latest ROS (6.41), added variables.

First create the simple queues you need (create script, run ONCE only):

:for e from=20 to=253 do={
/queue simple add name="user $e" target="192.168.1.$e" queue=default/default total-queue=default
}

Then create a schedule to run this daily (23:59):

/que simple reset-counters

The script itself I’d recommend running every 5-20 minutes, depending on your RB’s CPU(s):

:local traf;
:local throttledSpeed;
:local unthrottledSpeed;
:local cap;

# cap in megaBYTEs
:local theCap 200;
# speed limit in megaBIT/s
:local throttledSpeedLimit 5;
:local unthrottledSpeedLimit 20;
:local upThrottledSpeedLimit 5;
:local upUnthrottledSpeedLimit 20;

# the ip range to use
:local cLevel 1;
:local startRange 20;
:local endRange 253;

:local dTemp ($throttledSpeedLimit * 1000000);
:local uTemp ($upThrottledSpeedLimit * 1000000);

:local eTemp ($unthrottledSpeedLimit * 1000000);
:local vTemp ($upUnthrottledSpeedLimit * 1000000);

:set throttledSpeed  "$dTemp/$uTemp";
:set unthrottledSpeed "$eTemp/$vTemp";
:set cap  ($theCap * 1000000 * 8);

/queue simple
  :for i from=$startRange to= $endRange do={
    :if ([/queue simple find target=("192.168." . $cLevel . "." . $i . "/32")] != "") do={
      :set traf [get [find target=("192.168." . $cLevel . "." . $i . "/32")] total-bytes]
# limit people who have reached the "cap"
      :if ($traf  > $cap) do={
:log warning "User $i has reached cap, throttling."
        set [find target=("192.168." . $cLevel . "." . $i . "/32")] max-limit=$throttledSpeed
      }
# we still want to limit people who have not reached the "cap"
      :if ($traf  < $cap) do={
        set [find target=("192.168." . $cLevel . "." . $i . "/32")] max-limit=$unthrottledSpeed
      }
    }
  }

RL & RF Issues

by JP Coetzee 0 Comments

We are aware about the issues at RL and RF, there is a new owner at RL who we are currently speaking with to be able to access the site. RF we are not yet aware of the issue but might be fixed when RL comes back online.

– shock

May Network Status

Network status brings the following:

The users page reports 84 unique routerboards excluding highsite routerboards, in general families use the wug together so this is not much of an issue but it has decreased from 93 last month.

The users not connected in two days is 66, which is between two and six months. We are working to get these users “back” and once not only these are back to start expanding again.

We require a Facebook and Twitter page manager, along with all other types of social networks. Anybody, do not be afraid of it – we welcome any of you PTAWUG members to help us once again.

PTAWUG Constitution

by admin 0 Comments
PTAWUG Constitution

THE CONSTITUTION OF PRETORIA WIRELESS
USER GROUP (PTAWUG)

PTAWUG

PTAWUG – Pretoria Wireless User Group

We, the WUG, hereby pronounce this document and its content
as our Constitution, that we will endeavour to abide by it, and
that we instate it as the only legal, enforceable and valid
agreement between the WUG and its members.
This constitution sets out the objectives, organization and general
conduct of PTAWUG, which is based upon democratic, fair, equal
and dignified principles and every member is required to read and
abide by the principles set out herein.

1. Definitions

1.1

A “WUG member”, “wugger” or “member” in this constitution shall be any person who has the animus or mindset to be part of the WUG, makes use of the WUG, or actively participates in the activities of the WUG.

1.2

The “WUG” or “wireless user group” shall be Pretoria Wireless User Group as well as any of its members.

1.3

The primary communications medium shall for all purposes be Internet Relay Chat (IRC), within the set out channels on the specified server. The usage of any other means of communication by members shall not be deemed official in terms of this constitution unless the contrary is proved.

1.4

An official WUG decision shall be any decision taken by, attempted by, proposed by or affected by any person or group of people, claiming to be taking, attempting, proposing or affecting the decision. This is in the capacity as representative or member of the WUG.

1.5

A “Highsite” as referred to in this constitution shall be a single location where donated equipment is installed in order to connect multiple members to a single entry point into the network and at the same time provide connectivity to the rest of the network.

PTAWUG April Network Status

PTAWUG April Network Status
favicon

Network status brings the following:

The users page reports 93 unique routerboards excluding highsite routerboards, in general families use the wug together so this is not much of an issue but it has increased from 75 last month.

The users not connected in two days is 73, which is between two and six months. We are working to get these users “back” and once not only these are back to start expanding again.

We require a Facebook and Twitter page manager, along with all other types of social networks. Anybody, do not be afraid of it – we welcome any of you PTAWUG members to help us once again.

PTAWUG on Google Groups – What Went Wrong

Many of the posts on Google Groups have not been answered. While I would like to answer each one of them I do not currently have the time and I will just be “bumping” dead posts.
So here’s what I would like to provide you with info as there has been a LOT of confusion regarding who to contact for what. In a short summary I will provide infomation on what’s still left of the WUG. Your posts and the reason there is/was no response. Where you can get IMMEDIATE support easily for wug-related stuff. Who to contact when desperate. Who the administrators are. What the plans for the WUG are in the future.