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From: Richard Webb (1:116/901)
To: All
Date: Wed, 15.02.12 16:07
POTS only node - question.
HI Mark,

On Tue 2012-Feb-14 07:25, Mark Hofmann (1:261/1304) wrote to Mark Lewis:

MH> If I had no VoIP working, I would go to the cell phone. I have
MH> never had both out at the same time.

Depends, after Katrina that system was quite overloaded.
The most reliable method of using cellular was text
messages, when you could get out. Folks on upper floors of
the hospital were having it a bit easier there, as thanks to tropospheric
ducting they could reach cell towers still in

MH> Around here, the POTS lines are more unreliable than my Internet
MH> connection. Much of that is due to Verizon not caring about the
MH> copper infrastructure and has very few people servicing it.

Probably, contrast that with where my parents live, the
cable is overhead, phone lines are buried. Qwest might not
be one of the brightest lights in the maintenance of
infrastructure, but those buried lines help.

MH> If I required very high availability, I would get an additional
MH> Internet connection with a different provider to be used as a
MH> backup.

I'll still take my pstn line, but notice I also have ham
radio here, including the capability to use continuous wave
Morse code .

Were I to take your approach or have it as my only options
here's what I'd do in addition.

#1: When you need it, you need it! TO keep whichever
internet connection you've got humming, and your voip you
need power. I'd plan my power system so that I had 8 hours
from the moment the mains juice went out.Whether that be a
generator, or battery backup for my ups. That would entail
replacing that 12 vdc battery in your ups with a larger one. Within 8 hours
you'll know that either mains power is coming back, or be able to make other
plans, but I'd give myself at least 8 hours of breathing room.

#2. I'd back that up with some form of radio that
didn't depend on choke points, even if that were
conventional 11 meter cb.

Around here I've probably got 24 hours backup power, at
least for radios, if any computer would be operating it
would be this one with the fido node because of email and
reference material on it. Our biggest weakness isn't comms
related, but Kathy's oxygen supply. Were I to run her
oxygen concentrator off an inverter that 24 hours would be
much reduced, but I estimate we keep about 48 hours worth of bottled oxygen
handy just in case.
We do have one cell phone, a pay as you go type for Kathy in case of emergency.
Because of the number it's issued though if one dials 911 with it you get the
answering point two
counties to the east of us and they'd have to relay the
information. Even if its cell site was still standing I'd
have direct comms with the county emergency ops center
directly even if all my antennas were taken down by the big
shake, because it's only about a mile from me.

Because of the proximity to the new Madrid fault one
exercise we had our local hams who are hospital auxiliary
communicators do was to survey their route to their assigned location from home
or work, with an eye toward choosing an
alternate that didn't require them to go over or under a

* Origin: (1:116/901)


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