The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 24

Feature

GREAT IMPEDANCE MATCH FOR KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER:
Amateur Radio as Part of Electrical and Computer Engineering Education

their communities. Amateur radio operators are
often called in to perform communications service
for events such as bike races and marathons. Their
ability to set up communications systems relatively
quickly without much infrastructure makes them
well-suited for the task. Operating radio repeaters,
which extend voice coverage beyond line of sight,
communications ranges upwards of 50 miles are not
uncommon for these type of events. Lately, lowcost networking equipment and digital technologies

Fig. 8: Cal Poly Students, Celestial Rodriguez (KM6MKR) (left) and AJ
Fite (N7AJF) (right) as radio operators providing event logistics
support for the 2018 Wildflower Triathlons.
Photo Credit: Marcel Stieber (AI6MS).

have allowed operators to introduce vehicle tracking
using the Automatic Packet Reporting System
(APRS) and exchanging data using IEEE 802.11 wifi
mesh networks. Their FCC license privileges allow
volunteers to use power limits and frequencies
not available to consumers, further extending
their communications abilities. As a result, student
amateur radio operators fill crucial gaps where
cellular coverage and conventional communication
methods fall short. Students will often support the
event logistics teams, seeing the ins and outs of the
organization and emergency response behind these
events. Often the volunteers will setup a dispatch
operating position which is setup completely offthe-grid and powered by solar systems and battery
banks designed and setup by the students.
For some, the public service side of amateur
radio offers an opportunity to construct complex
communications networks. For the Cal Poly Amateur
Radio Club in San Luis Obispo, CA, this has allowed

THE BRIDGE

Fig. 9: Cal Poly Students setting up a temporary radio site for the 2018
Wildflower Triathlons. Left to right: Chris Blackmer (KJ6MNK),
Jissell Jose (KM6GKN), and Davide Lanfranconi (KM6FLL). Photo
Credit: Marcel Stieber (AI6MS).

student operators to set up communications
equipment for the yearly Wildflower Triathlon
(Figures 8, 9, and 10). As the event site is in a
remote location with virtually no connection to the
outside world, club members assist in setting up an
entire off-grid radio site; complete with an antenna
tower and portable radio repeater installations.
Students gain experience setting up solar panels,
power distribution systems, troubleshooting
antennas, weatherproofing RF cable assemblies, RF
safety, and much more. In past years, students have
also set up APRS vehicle tracking, Wi-Fi networking
equipment, and computer-aided dispatch servers,
allowing for data from medical/public safety
agencies to be handled seamlessly across event
staff and increasing situational awareness during
the event. During the event, student operators work
with alumni and community members to provide
communications service, ensuring the safety and
security of thousands of event goers.


http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/index.php?title=College_and_University_Amateur_Radio_Clubs http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/index.php?title=College_and_University_Amateur_Radio_Clubs http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/index.php?title=College_and_University_Amateur_Radio_Clubs https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARRLCARI/files https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARRLCARI/files https://peer.asee.org http://www.arrl.org/licensing-education-training http://www.arrl.org/licensing-education-training http://www.ee.calpoly.edu/news/cparc-club-responds-slo-power-outage/ http://www.ee.calpoly.edu/news/cparc-club-responds-slo-power-outage/ https://hkn.ieee.org/ https://hkn.ieee.org/

The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019

Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover1
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover2
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 4
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 5
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 6
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 7
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 8
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The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover3
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