Initial Communication

A project log for Project Boondock Echo

Remote Radio Message Recording, Queueing, and Transmission (for Normal and Emergency Communications)

Mark J HughesMark J Hughes 08/12/2022 at 22:300 Comments

Hello Kaushlesh,     Thanks for replying back so quickly!  You mentioned you were looking for a project -- I have one that is 95% software based (using COTS equipment).

I am net controller for the La Habra Heights Fire Watch.  We're in a very dry, very hilly area and I have a need, and an idea of how to accomplish it.  But don't have the time or requisite programming experience to make it happen.  I'm not insistent on the solution -- this is just a proposal.

Here's the scenario:
     La Habra Heights and the surrounding area are in an area of local peaks and valleys.  We actually service three or four communities with a local "fire watch" -- think CERT.  We have a commercial radio license so we don't have to individually license each member, but many of us are practicing hams.

1) During an emergency (fire or otherwise), we cannot reach all of our members with a single repeater.  There is no one location that will work.  And since we are in an urban/wildland interface, we can only put repeaters in non-ideal locations.  

2) Also during an emergency, all hell breaks loose as far as communications go.  It's not unusual for me to have to monitor 6-8 frequencies (2-3 repeater frequencies, fire from 3 agencies, police gen & tac, ham freqs) and when they all talk at once, which invariably happens, it's a stressful mess.)

Here's my proposed solution to both issues (but I'm open to other solutions, including SDR).  
1)  I get a group of 6 Baofengs and feed the audio into RPi picos that stream it to a server on the internet with time stamps.  We could even drop additional packages off at random places through the local area as "listening posts".  
The ones scattered throughout the city would be tuned to our repeater frequency.  
The ones in the communications tent would be tuned to police/fire/ham bands.
All audio gets tagged with freq & time stamp and sent to a internet server via RPis (or similar)
2)  A computer & web interface in the com tent that can prioritize and playback the messages one after another, so nothing gets lost.
3)  Separate Pis & Radios that can transmit to all the repeaters at once.  The command tent would push a message to the internet, the pis would see it, and play it back over the repeaters when they were quiet.

There of course might already be a solution out there, I don't know.  I've been trying to research and investigate, but my time is limited.  Any advice or direction you could offer would be appreciated.  And if it's something you'd be interested in, and want it for a personal project, by all means, claim it.