Release 3.1.0 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 22:41

Broadband-Hamnet has a new release of Ham-oriented data networking firmware for the Linksys and Ubiquiti products!

Broadband-Hamnet (BBHN) has released version 3.1.0 firmware for the Linksys WRT54G and Ubiquiti families of products. This firmware returns to the use of patch updates, while also supporting add-on tools such as HamChat created by Nikolai, VE3NKL and a tunneling solution optimized by Darryl, K5DLQ.

This firmware release continues support for EMCOM data networking in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 900 MHz bands using Ubiquiti equipment and in the 2.4 GHz band using Linksys equipment.

Many Hams were concerned about future Broadband-Hamnet support of the Linksys units; the core team has listened to these concerns and has decided to continue support of Linksys devices.

Additionally, with the recent frequency of updates, the lack of available patches became very apparent. There are two items here:

  1. In order to focus on Broadband-Hamnet as an EMCOM tool we have resolved to limit our major (non-compatible) updates to no more frequently than every 6 months.

  2. By returning to our patch capability we expect to make all of the minor updates much more friendly to existing networks, especially those with hard-to-reach installed locations.

By creating solutions with Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware and Broadband-Hamnet firmware, a high-speed IP network can be deployed in the time required to set it in place and power it on.

There have been many requests for tunneling capability to allow interaction between remote Broadband-Hamnet networks. While this has been done before, the resources and complexity were quite high. With the new VTUN capability this feature becomes feasible for all Broadband-Hamnet users.

The HamChat server is a real innovation that allows keyboard-to-keyboard chats between any connected users on the same mesh. By using your web browser instead of chat client software, the complexity is reduced and the speed to deploy is increased. The HamChat server is not installed but is a downloadable package option for the Broadband-Hamnet 3.1.0 firmware.

We hope that Hams interested in high-speed data networks look at the new Broadband-Hamnet 3.1.0 firmware!

For more information, please take a look at

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 22:47
Apology PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 22:47

There has been some angst recently over an email apparently sent to the registered users of the Broadband-Hamnet website. This spam (for lack of a better term) was delivered to a list of users apparently procured by a developer that formerly had privileged access to the website. This developer is no longer associated with the Broadband-Hamnet project and no longer has privileged access to the website.

The entire Broadband-Hamnet core team would like to apologize for this transgression. We understand that you have placed a great deal of trust in us by both using our product and registering on the site. We choose to treat you like we like to be treated, so we will continue to restrain ourselves from mass mailings.

We appreciate your continued participation in the project as we continue to lead the way in Ham centric high-speed data networking.


Broadband-Hamnet Core Team

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 22:48
Moving Forward PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 14 March 2015 18:46

As many of you are seeing, there have been some changes to the Broadband-Hamnet team recently.  A little over a year and a half ago the BBHN core team added members that drove the development of the BBHN port to some of the Ubiquiti hardware family.  With a strong effort from both the old and new members, this firmware was successfully released on both the Linksys and Ubiquiti 2.4 GHz products, with a subsequent delivery for the Ubiquiti 5 GHZ and 900 MHz families.

Since these successes, there have been differences of opinion on where to take the BBHN product.  The new members have decided to leave and develop their own product.

Broadband-Hamnet will continue to grow and thrive.  On the immediate front:

  • We plan a slower schedule for releases.  This is intended to reduce the software churn that many of you have complained about.  We believe the goal for non-compatible releases (major release) should be no more often than every 12 months.  This is intended to allow meshing of units that may have been loaded at different times.  We know that many of you have been frustrated to have the level of recent revision churn and be forced to reload frequently.  Or worse, showing up to an event and not be able to mesh.  We have noticed this; the goal of BBHN is to have connectivity between as many units as possible.
  • We intend to push hard to include utility for the Linksys WRT products into the future.  The Linksys units have served yeoman duty for many of us over the years, and the core team as individuals probably own as many of the Linksys units as any other individual – we all would like to see the utility  of these units continue.  There may be features that are not supported on the Linksys, but we desire to have basic connectivity between the Linksys and Ubiquiti units .  Keep in mind that the Linksys units will only support the 2.4 GHz band.
  • We desire to provide patch files for regular upgrades.  Patching the firmware is much less risky (in addition to quicker) than replacing the full load.  For those of you that have hard to reach units or have many units, this capability will be greatly appreciated.

Having worked with this product for over a decade now, the founders are very appreciative of the kind words and success stories that are shared by you. Rest assured, the commitment to Ham goals (EMCOMM/growth of technical development/etc.) has not wavered in all of the years and has actually grown stronger over time.  Scrolling to the bottom of the forum pages, you will notice over 5000 registered users. Registration is only necessary to post. Tens of thousands more read these pages and download our free software. The International Association of Emergency Managers and the Emergency Management Association of Texas have granted awards to our Broadband-Hamnet software. It was also featured as the cover story for QST in July, 2013. We all are very appreciative of the trust you place in us and we will strive hard to continue to earn that trust.

This is completely a labor of love and we are all very excited to continue the growth of Broadband-Hamnet.  

The Broadband-Hamnet Core Team

Glenn Currie, KD5MFW        Founder
Rick Kirchhof, NG5V              Founder             
Dave Rivenburg, AD5OO     Founder  
Bob Morgan, WB5AOH         Founder                                                          
Rusty Haddock, AE5AE  
Kipton Moravec, AE5IB
Jim Kinter, K5KTF            
Paul Schattenberg, KF5JIM         
Clint Anderson, AE5CA
Brian Wood, KF5GAH

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 March 2015 19:03
Welcome to the Broadband-Hamnet™ web site PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Kinter, K5KTF   
Monday, 18 January 2010 23:34

Broadband-Hamnet™ (formerly called HSMM-Mesh™)  is a high speed, self discovering, self configuring, fault tolerant, wireless computer network that can run for days from a fully charged car battery, or indefinitely with the addition of a modest solar array or other supplemental power source. The focus is on emergency communications.

In its current form it is built using the Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS wireless routers and operates on channels 1-6 of the 2.4GHz ISM band, which overlaps with the upper portion of the 13cm amateur radio band. Other platforms and bands include several types of Ubiquiti equipment in the 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.7GHz band. Adidtional features let signals come in on one band and leave on another without additional configuration. All mesh nodes on all bands exchange data so long as they are within range. We will be adding support for Ubiquiti 3.4GHz gear as well.

OLSR is used for auto linking of the mesh node radios.

OpenWRT firmware tools are used for firmware development.

Broadband-Hamnet™ is currently being designed, developed and deployed as an amateur radio broadband communications system. It originated in Austin, Texas but has spread all across the USA and many other countries around the world.

Glenn KD5MFW, David AD5OO, Bob WB5AOH and Rick NG5V are the gents spearheading the efforts, while yours truly, Jim K5KTF keeps the website up and running to provide information about the project.  There is a distributed development community with users in a number of areas of the USA and other continents.

If you have questions, our forums would be a great place to research and ask questions. You will need to register and login to post to them but reading online is available without an account. Expanded search abilities are now available to find topics and keywords. Just use the search option at the top of most pages.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 22:44
First time visitor? PDF Print E-mail

This technology is amazingly popular, having a true Worked all Continents, (including Antarctica) thousands of users overseas, and a huge number of users in the USA. Anyone can read from the site. If you want to see how many users have registered to post on the forums, click the forums link in the main menu and scroll all the way to the bottom. As of 3/1/2015, there are over 5100 registered users for the site. In the upper left corner of the home page, logged in users and guests are shown. These numbers regularly run between 50 and many hundreds of concurrent guests.

Regardless of your experience level, please take a moment to learn a bit about how our firmware works. The biggest source of confusion is the notion that our project is application software. It is not an application, but rather a network. As a network, it can transport data or use application software residing at another location just like your home or office network The page linked above contains a significant list of what it is/is not and will give you a good overview of Broadband-Hamnet™ operations. Mesh networks are different than normal WiFi. Microwave networks are different than UHF/VHF or HF networks. Different rules apply concerning propagation and RF safety. Adding an amplifier rarely improves communications and is never your first choice. You may want to read the linked page completely, do some exploring around the web site and then go back to re-read info on the link above to lock in your understanding. As you begin to think about how a network can be used, your options for employing Broadband-Hamnet™ will continue to expand.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 22:17
Get on the map PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Kinter, K5KTF   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 10:59

If you have a mesh node (or 3) installed, and would like to have it put on our Googlemap (viewable by registered and logged in users), fill out the form.

That way, any nearby meshers (or potential meshers) will have an idea which way to point.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:15
Legal Information regarding Broadband-Hamnet™ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Currie, KD5MFW   
Saturday, 29 December 2012 08:44

Broadband-Hamnet™ is intended for amateur radio use and passing amateur radio traffic. It is NOT intended to replace your personal Internet connection. It is a “feature” that Broadband-Hamnet™ can be connected to the Internet. General Internet access is not its primary purpose. Use your personal Internet connection under Part-15 FCC rules, to serve that purpose.

There are many ways to use Broadband-Hamnet™, in compliance with Amateur Radio Part-97 FCC rules - without connecting to the Internet. The system is designed to be a robust, stand alone wireless network - that CAN be connected to the Internet.

If an operator connects their mesh network to the Internet, here are some ways, under FCC Part-97 rules, that it can be used: Echolink, Winlink/RMS Packet, tunnel meshing, remote control of radios/equipment, video relay, VoIP connections, APRS.

 The operator of a mesh node has to make an active software configuration selection to pass Internet traffic onto the mesh network. Providing an Internet link is NOT the default mode in the Broadband-Hamnet™ software. Additionally, the operator must attach a live Internet connection to the mesh node to pass Internet traffic.

 If an operator takes these multiple active steps to connect their radio to the Internet, then they will need to understand what traffic is being passed and that it is covered by their Amateur Radio license.

 If they join a mesh that has Internet access, each radio operator should do what is needed to keep operations legal.

 If you need help operating your radio correctly, others can try to help, but ultimately, it is your license and your responsibility to operate legally.

As with ANY piece of Ham radio gear, Broadband-Hamnet™ COULD be used illegally, and it is the control operator's duty to make sure it is being used in accordance with FCC Part-97 Amateur Radio rules.

 This website is not in a position to offer any definitive legal advice. Only a duly appointed person, empowered to interpret the rules and regulations, can do that. That means that for most of us, our opinion has no legal standing – no more than any personal opinion on tax law.

 Since we cannot offer any definitive legal advice, we wish to avoid the fruitless legal arguments that have raged in multiple ham radio forums, and  only served to get people upset. To do so, would be to expend resources that cost real money, for no useful purpose.

The moderators and administrators of the website will limit non-productive lines of discussion, and/or may pull postings of such nature. Rulings made by a moderator/administrator of this website are final.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2013 15:36
General Disclaimer PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Rivenburg, AD5OO   
Saturday, 13 February 2010 14:18

In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency. At this stage there are relatively few developers and users, and they are already stretched thin with their current contributions. While we have made the system as easy to use as possible, it can still be a complex system and we cannot offer any basic network training. As our user and developer base grows we may collectively be able to offer such support but at this time you are responsible for your own education in the fundamentals of computer networking.

HSMM-MESH™ is not a fully mature, time tested, finished product. However, its basic functionality is proven and it is quite useful in its current state. It provides a network infrastructure upon which numerous applications can be built. This project is in its infancy and requires contributions from its users and developers before it will be suitable for a wider audience. If you have a specific application in mind, hop on board and help us grow the capabilities of the mesh.

HSMM-MESH™ is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It may or may not be suitable for your application. You will be better served by changing your application to fit the mesh than the other way around. Using a mesh node is relatively easy. Setting up its internal structure and services to create the mesh is not easy, but it is very easy to break if not done correctly. While it is essential to have an understanding of general networking principles to use the mesh effectively, the mesh is not a conventional network. You will have to learn some new ways of thinking about networking. I strongly recommend reading the HSMM-MESH Design Philosophy article for an overview of how the system is designed.

All that being said, this is a new way to HAVE FUN with ham radio! For $60 you will not be able to find a more capable radio than that contained in a WRT54G. If you have grown weary of the colossally slow pace of digital communications with HF and VHF radio, give HSMM-MESH™ a try!

Unfortunately, all this needs to be said as well:


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 22:14