Arizona Mesh Organization


One day in 2016 a ham friend of mine stopped by the house to chat for a while. Somewhere in the conversation he mentioned something about Mesh Networking.
Although I knew about mesh systems being used in commercial applications, I had no idea that as Hams we had some privileges in the 13 centimeter portion of the WI-Fi bands.
My friend began telling me how some hams are using this area of the bands to create their own Mesh network. I thought this was the coolest thing since sliced bread.

After my friend left I went inside the house and started Google searching what a Ham radio Mesh net is. I thought this would be a great mode of operations in the event of a emergency. I called my friend Larry AB7C and talked to him for about two hours about this WI-Fi thing. While on the phone with him he began searching the net as well. He too thought this is a great idea.
Within a week Larry and I programmed a couple of old Linksys routers and put them on a pole and stuck them up in the air. Larry is about 4 miles away from me. All be darned if we didn't connect to each other on our little Mesh.

Now that we were connected we thought, now what do we do. As time went on Larry and I thought of how a Ham Radio Mesh Network could benefit the public in the event of an emergency. Of course we live in Mesa Arizona and just about the only emergency that we could have that could use a Mesh Network would be a power outage.

We soon found out that if we did this right we could do just about everything you can do on the Internet over the Mesh Network. We started with our own phone PBX and email,which are both are still running today.

In 2018 we started getting more and more people involved in Mesh Networking and in 2019 we co-founded the Arizona Mesh Organization with the help of others and now is a 501 (c) (3) non for profit ham radio club exclusively for Ham Radio Mesh Networking. We have around 50 members at the time of this writing and we have multiple Mesh Nodes up around the East Valley. Although we want to cover the entire state of Arizona, we do not exactly mean that we would have a Mesh covering the entire state. We would like to see ham radio operators in individual cities in the state start their own mesh with means to connect to all cities if needed. Each group of hams would be part of Arizona Mesh Organization and follow the guidelines set forth by the Organization.
The following members are founders of the Arizona Meah Organization.


Officers

Stephen Estes KB7KWK President
Gary Hinton AC7R Vice President
Scott Gillins W2KP Treasurer
Michael Bailey KI7LXY Secretary
Larry Fort AB7C Technical Committee Chairman

Board Members

Dale Schmidt N7QJK
Heidi Brewer K7ZAE
Paul Lowe N7NLY
Robert Fridell N3BZ
Rodney Fritz WB9KMO