Major microwave network milestone achieved in New Mexico

On October 3, members of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio (RMHAM) and Taos Amateur Radio Club (TARC) expanded RMHAM’s 5-GHz microwave network with the addition of a link between Pajarito mountain near Los Alamos and Picuris peak outside of Taos. With this installation, a major milestone has been achieved: RMHAM’s New Mexico microwave network now spans from Albuquerque to the southern Colorado border…all RF, utilizing all Part 97 spectrum, averaging 60 Mbit/sec throughput, and no commercial internet required.

Along the way, New Mexico’s RMHAM team has partnered with several amateur radio clubs to expand their capabilities and offerings to the amateur radio community through the use of the microwave network. Hung off of the microwave network are three DMR repeaters, six D-STAR repeater modules, one analog repeater, one APRS iGate, a mountaintop camera, and a realtime diagnostics dashboard for a mountaintop solar system. Though not required for its operation, RMHAM’s New Mexico network is tied to commercial internet in two locations  to facilitate realtime performance monitoring and automatic fail-over if a microwave span is temporary degraded or lost.

RMHAM is now just one or two microwave hops away from merging its Colorado microwave network (which spans southern Colorado all the way up to Cheyenne, Wyoming and west along I-70 out to Grand Junction…similarly all RF, utilizing all Part 97 spectrum, averaging 60 Mbit/sec throughput, and no commercial internet required) with its New Mexico microwave network.  We plan to further expand this enabling infrastructure for the benefit of the amateur radio community.

Special thanks to the following who assisted with this latest install: Ron NR5ON, Erik KE5ZBG, Alan N5BGC, Brian NB5R, Tim W5TNM, and Brian N5ZGT. Ed James KA8JMW provided remote support with network configuration and microwave dish alignment, Pat W5RMY loaned tools to get the job done on Picuris, and Willem AC0KQ near Denver provided additional network configuration support. New Mexico’s two northern-most microwave spans would not have been possible without the close partnership that has been formed between RMHAM and Taos Amateur Radio Club. We are grateful to Taos ARC’s members and leadership.

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio and the Taos Amateur Radio Club are 501(c)(3) registered non-profit charitable organizations.  If you would like to learn more about these organizations or support their missions, please contact RMHAM-NM president Brian Mileshosky N5ZGT or Taos ARC president Michael Kittredge NM5MK.

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio website: https://www.rmham.org
Taos Amateur Radio Club website:  https://www.taosarc.org