Is there anybody out there willing to help us put together a radio station in Cobb, operated 24/7 by teams of young people?
CRF* is now starting (1Q2021) to develop a partnership (WIP) with another small local nonprofit which includes the goal of putting “RadioCobb“online and on the airwaves from a location in Cobb (near the Post Office) and possibly getting some kind of support from Lake County. It will be connected to the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network, which will be able to interrupt the radio station’s broadcast with brief CAVERN emergency alerts (in case of fire) as well as send out a “siren tone” over the airwaves in case of a major disaster or evacuation order.
We need feedback from the Cobb Area community.Would you please take 2 minutes to let us know a few quick things using the handy form below? We really need a few radio-savvy local people to help us launch this public information and safety service that gives young people the opportunity to serve the community both creatively and with an important purpose.
CryptoRights (CAVERN’s sponsoring nonprofit) has a small VERN development team working on the design for the prototype (alpha) hardware nodes that will (go up on rooftops and in attics) to form a mesh radio network. More info is under development at VERN.org.
Here’s a photo of the (early alpha) prototype mesh node hardware we’re using to begin development at our satellite lab:
Pretty simple… so far! Three prototype nodes (see bottom photo) have been built for development and lab testing. Just buying the components for these first prototypes on AmazonSmile, the total is around $150 each, which is why we’re working on designs to get the per-unit cost way lower so anyone can easily afford one. The more nodes, the denser the mesh, and thus the better the mesh’s performance and reliability, resulting in a safer community from wildfires, big storms and other emergencies.
CryptoRights is now asking for tax-deductible donations (see the right side of this page) and preparing to apply for grants. CRF is also developing a crowdfunding campaign to fund the manufacture of two dozen test nodes. We can place them with CAVERN Project volunteers on every side of the mountainous region centered on Cobb, which was selected partly on the basis of the challenging topography!
We will next start work on: • 100% Off-Grid Operation (a big project goal) by adding a Solar Panel (or existing panel tie-in) and a compact Charger/Inverter (make yourself a ‘wikiname’ login at the Harmless Little Project and see “SoRad“). • Weatherproof Enclosure: once the technology is ready for outside testing, it will have a weatherproof enclosure that can easily be mounted onto a roof, bolted to a tower or even screwed onto a deck rail or tree branch if that’s what you have handy. A very large property could operate several nodes to connect (with enhanced privacy) family, employees and friends ‘behind’ nearby hills… and you’d be adding density to the mesh for everyone else nearby as well.
For now, the (most basic) alpha nodes will be positioned up in your attic and will be powered from your house’s 120V circuit. A battery option could keep the unit operating during an extended power outage.
We should have more progress to report soon!
N.B.: If you are subscribed to one of our Announcement lists, you’ll know as soon as we begin asking for the first few volunteer Alpha Node operators.
Come visit our CAVERN table at the Blackberry COBBler event on 24 August 2019. We may have FRS and GMRS radios, and possibly even CAVERN tee shirts available (for a tax-deductible donation to support the project).
CAVERN Radio Checks continue weekly on Wednesdays at 6:30PM all year around — and we’re also now doing a second weekly Radio Check on Saturdays at 1:00PM during fire season (which is roughly June through when the rains arrive around November). Thanks to Larry S, we have a good repeater high over Cobb where a lot of people can reach it by radio. Mel and I are hoping to expand this with two more repeaters once we solve the “tone problem”. If you are a radio nerd and can help us with that, please email me.
Meanwhile, we’re working on some prototypes of the first mesh network nodes. (see photo). They are magnificently crude, but we will be testing them in 2021. If you get a tee shirt, you’ll be signed up to help test a very early prototype of the mesh node.
The first three CAVERN mesh network node prototypes starting to talk to each other in our lead developer’s lab.
___________ PS: get on our CAVERN Announcements list so you get the latest news! GOTO — lists.CAVERN.mobi