Hello and Welcome to Ventura County
This is a short review of what we have accomplished here in Ventura County since June 2014 with lots of pictures. We have seen growth from a small pocket of activity in the Ojai Valley to a fantastic growth of activity throughout the county. Currently we are connecting from the West to the East through a part-15 5.8GHz microwave BackBone system that I have installed specifically to support the MESH activity. There are then part-97 high level 2.4GHz MESH sector antenna connected to the backbone providing covering to the users throughout the County. There is also a high level standalone node which provided good interconnectivity.
Here are some of the major accomplishments since last summer geared towards MESH.
Sulphur Mtn, 2,200ft
It has always been difficult to communicate in or out of the Ojai Valley. With the introduction of the MESH technology, communication on this mode posed many challenges. The Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club stepped up and took on the task of a tower located on Sulphur Mountain. From here we can now interconnect the Ojai Valley to the Coastal area of the County. This site has a 2.4GHz MESH Sector antenna and a part-15 5.8GHz Sector antenna pointed south to the Oxnard – Ventura Area. Additionally part -15 5.8GHz Dish antennas to the Ojai Site, the Oxnard relay (15 miles) and to Chatsworth Peak (32 miles). This MESH equipment was installed in November 2014
Ojai Valley, 1,572 ft
On Saturday February 21, 2015 the long awaited Solar MESH relay installation was completed in the Ojai Valley by the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club. It took several months of planning and construction. We took our time and have a first class site for the MESH technology.
This site accommodates about 15 users and the Ojai PD, Ojai Hospital and the Ojai ARC.
West Chatsworth Peak, 2,300 ft
This site was obtained during the Christmas holiday of 2014. In January 2015 I had a great work crew from Simi Valley on the mountain to pour the concrete for the Tower. February the tower was setup. By the middle of March the following items have been installed and are operational. This is on the West Face of Chatsworth Peak to try to block some of the Valley RF.
- A 32 mile part-15 link to Sulphur Mtn on 5.8GHz (shown).
- A part-15 5.8GHz Sector antenna pointed west to cover Simi Valley (shown)
- A 2.4GHz Mesh Sector antenna pointed west to cover Simi Valley (not shown)
- A security camera and a Simi Valley camera (not shown)
The biggest issue with this site is the amount of traffic on the part-15 WiFi channel 1 that is seen from here. I can be heard very well in Simi Valley but the part-15 users are so abundant that we can’t easily overcome them. Once the programmers figure how to move the 2.4GHz units in frequency to a part-97 only channel only, this site will really perform.
Current Links and Diagrams
As you can see we have been focusing a lot on getting the County interconnected this past year. I will let others chime in as to that they have been doing with the MESH technology. As for me, I have really enjoying this mode of Amateur Radio Communications.
Paul Strauss, WD6EBY, pgstrauss at verizon.net