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About Ham Radio‎ > ‎


High-speed multimedia radio (HSMM), colloquially referred to as the hinternet, is the implementation of wireless data networks over amateur radio frequencies using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware such as 802.11 access points and D-Star equipment. Licensed amateur radio operators may use high power amplifiers and specialized antennas to increase the power and coverage of the 802.11 signal many many times beyond normal 802.11 wifi.

The name hinternet comes from a combination of the words ham and Internet and can be used to refer to any high speed data network over amateur radio, not just 802.11 networks.

The idea behind this implementation is to use the 900 MHz (33 cm), 2.4 GHz (13 cm), 3.4 GHz (9 cm), and 5.8 GHz (5 cm) amateur radio bands under the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Part 97 rules (amateur radio service) instead of the Part 15 rules (unlicensed) used by regular commercial wifi networking. 

This enables amateur operators to legally use higher output power for wireless devices and allows for longer-range communications. Such communications can be used to assist in emergency communications and disaster relief operations and in everyday amateur radio communications.

In fact the same channels used in Part 15 802.11 B/G can be used by hams under Part 97 allowing up 1500 Watts of power.  There are also a number of 802.11 A channels assigned that overlap the amateur 5cm band.  These are often more desirable to use for HSMM because there is much less noise than the 802.11 B/G frequencies due to the sheer number of commercial products in use at homes and businesses in the B/G frequencies.

What can it do?

The "hinternet" can support most of the traffic that the Internet currently does, including video chat, voice, instant messaging, the Web (HTTP), file transfer (FTP), and forums. The only differences being that on the hinternet such services are community instead of commercially implemented and the "hinternet" ismostly wireless. The hinternet can even be connected to the Internet and used for "Web surfing", although because of the FCC regulations on permitted content, this is rarely done. Using high gain antennas and amplifiers, reliable long-distance wireless links over many miles are possible and only limited by the radio horizon.

Here is an example of a very interesting projects being worked on by amateure radio operators to create network meshes using high power 802.11 signals.  They are using this setup to create a system to provide emergency communications and networking between the hospitals in the Austin, TX area:  http://hsmm-mesh.org/