Santa Clara County ARES/RACES
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Network Access using TCP/IP over WiFi Part 15 Radio

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Multi-megabit point-to-point and point-to-multipoint connections to the Santa Clara County data network are available using commercially available WiFi equipment and protocols. The links are operated on unlicensed spectrum using FCC Part 15 rules and are encrypted. Because of the nature of microwave propagation, connectivity is limited to locations with a clear line-of-site to one of the county sites.


Accessible Services

TCP/IP over WiFi Part 15 Radio can be used to access the following SCCo ARES/RACES network services:


How To Connect



Due to nature of microwave communications, a clear line of sight is required from the intended subscriber antenna location to one (or more) of the SCCo ARES/RACES network locations.

  • Find a location at the subscriber site that has a clear view of one (or more) of the SCCo ARES/RACES network locations.
    • The primary connection should be to your primary network site. This is the same as the primary Packet BBS site or primary E-mail site for your city/agency.
    • The best tool is a pair of binoculars. Simply go up on the roof or other structure and see if you have a visible line of sight to the SCCo ARES/RACES hub site.
    • Those who wish to examine the link more technically can try some of the online microwave link design tools listed below.
  • Submit a completed WiFi Site Information Form for the intended location:   PDF    MS-Word
  • The SCCo ARES/RACES network team will review the expected propagation path to confirm that it is likely to produce a high quality connection. If the path is valid, they will specify the WiFi radio/antenna combination to purchase.
  • There are two antenna/radios involved: one at the city/agency subscriber location and one at the network hub location
    • Hub site antenna/radio
      • In some cases, a common radio/antenna at the hub site may be used to connect multiple nearby locations
      • If the location is far from a hub site, a dedicated, higher-gain antenna/radio will be needed at the hub site
      • Funding for the hub site equipment will be on a case-by-case basis and we learn more about which sites have the ability to connect.
      • The SCCo ARES/RACES network team will handle installation at the hub site
    • Subscriber antenna/radio
      • The city/agency will be responsible for ordering the specified radio/antenna for their site
      • Order the specified radio/antenna and begin constructing the station.
      • When the radio arrives, deliver it to the SCCo ARES/RACES network team. They will configure the radio and return it to you. The configuration contains security information that can not be shared. The network demarc will be the Ethernet port on the radio.
      • Install the radio/antenna at the city/agency location
        • Coordinate with the SCCo ARES/RACES network team so they can aid with azimuth/elevation alignment
  • Conduct training for your users


Equipment and Software





Technical Reference



User Group

A discussion/e-mail group is available for SCCo ARES/RACES members interested in TCP/IP networking.

To Join: Visit our Discussion Groups page to learn how to subscribe to our main Announce group. Once approved, you can subscribe to the TCPIP group.


If you have Packet Information that you would like to have included here,
please contact the Webmaster, Phil Henderson

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This page was last updated 12-Feb-2019