Thanks for your lengthy reply.  That clarifies much, but also indicates the
exact problems I was trying to inquire about.  I, and probably most in
TCWUG, still have no idea what "availability" we will get, if any or

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mgenelin at [mailto:mgenelin at]
> Sent: Monday, October 14, 2002 2:51 PM

> > I don't think we're "5x9" yet: you don't seem to understand
> > "requirements" or "qualifications" for a multi-site community net as
> TCWUG folk have described it:

> When Ben and I approached the group, TC-WUG didn't know what
> they wanted to do either. (Perhaps this is still the case?) Some members
> argued for
> hot sport deployment. Others wanted free internet access, and
> didn't care
> how they got it. Others wanted to setup a backbone. Finally, Ben and I
> wanted to see TC-WUG doing something real, rather then just
> blathering on
> an internet email list. =)

Given the directional chaos in TCWUG, you and Ben have done a truly
excellent job.


> So, here we are. Ben has done some great work in pushing this project
> through both the ham and TC-WUG clubs. Perhaps I need to re-state the
> goal(s) here:
> 1. The ham club wants to use this as a promotional tool.

Noble goal, but not a TCWUG goal.

>    We thought that by
> partnering with
> the TC-WUG we could give TC-WUG a project to do.

TCWUG is not able to "partner" yet, and I don't think the HAM club has
presented a written partnership proposal to deal with ownership, bandwidth
control, and voting issues.

> This is a
> _direction_ to
> head in for TC-WUG, and not the only thing that TC-WUG can be
> doing. (I
> hope that there are plenty of other projects going on in
> TC-WUG land right
> now!)

I doubt that TCWUG has any project you don't see here, so yours is it for

> The ham club only has one goal in mind: To recruit
> students to our
> club.

Making HAMS probably is not a goal for TCWUG folk.

> If students want to join TC-WUG, that's awesome too. By
> joining both
> clubs together we can create an awesome project for both to do.

Problem: TCWUGs who are not UMN folk probably can't join that HAM group or
have any say so in it, however.

> 2. The original goal of the project was to do point-to-point
> linking from
> Moos Tower. The idea was to have coverage in the various
> communities on
> the east bank campus: Dinkeytown, Stadium Village and the Superblock
> areas. This way, students who live off-campus can join the
> ham club and
> use the wireless bridge.

Where would that leave TCWUG folk in competing for bandwidth utilization and
allocation?  Doesn't sound like a winner for TCWUG.

Joining is required for use?  How would TCWUG folk "join" something?  Note:
the Alumni Association (UMAA) no longer permits non-UMN members as "friends
of the U" as they once did, and some may not have graduated yet either.

> While Ben and I work out the technical and legal details of the equipment,
the goal may change, but the original goal
> stays the same.

I'd bet there's LOTS more than just legalities of equipment in order to
connect and share the UMN data and net access you mentioned.  Not real clear
that you and Ben are looking at enough of the issues in your goals yet.

> 3. We wanted to give TC-WUG a direction to head in. It seemed
> to me that
> in recent months (April 2002 - July 2002) the TC-WUG mailing
> list turned
> into an "email etiquette" course more then a wireless
> discussion group. We
> wanted to excite the minds of the bright people on the list
> that are into
> wireless and RF technologies.

Again a noble goal, but providing a means for students to access the campus
isn't a link bandwidth utilization objective for TCWUGs who can't use it at

FYI, I quit the UMAA internet ISP service last year after many years because
of the poor bandwidth availability that actual members got.

> > a) The UMN HAM club has done QSL cards and field days for a
> long time,
> but probably has never allowed non-members a voice..
> Huh? Those seem like fighting words there, Chuck.

Think first:  My original words were more complete and clear: the HAM club
hasn't yet begun to permit actual non-UMN-member participation, and hasn't
yet begun to own and manage off-site equipment, so the HAM club has less
relevant history for a community WiFi project than TCWUG does.  My point was
that QSLs and such are probably the only elements of history that the HAM
club has that go back to 1919 or whenever.  Your 2 meter repeater stuff
doesn't go that far, your transistor usage doesn't go that far, and WiFi
doesn't go that far.  The HAM club hasn't begun the things I'd expect to be
necessary for a real project with TCWUG yet.  Using TCWUG excitement and
volunteers to get a UMN student facility may not be the best TCWUG
partnership, but may be entertaining for some for now.

> Correct, this is the first time that the ham club has setup an 802.11b
> wireless network of any kind. But it's not the first time that we have
> experimented with new digital modes.

Understood: HAM clubs always experiment.  My comment was directed at LONG
TERM installations off-campus, not short-term experimental ones and not the
on-campus ones.

> We actively
> work with the Minnesota Repeater Council, another ham group
> in town and a
> favorite part of the hobby for me.

THAT's what TCWUG should develop partnership with!  That's what the Gopher
Club can help with!  WiFi that the MRC could support fully is what TCWUG
would be interested in.. .  That probably would require HAM licensing for
some aspects of participation in an MRC WiFi net, but I doubt that MRC would
be doing much that only UMN students could use.

> Many of our members are
> involved with
> other ham clubs...

Good!  That's where the GARC role as TCWUG partner can be most productive,
IMHO.  Available bandwidth on Moos would be nice too!

> So -- we _do_ have experience working with other groups and
> have had a lot
> of fun working on projects and volunteering for activities
> with and for
> other people.

I'm sure of that, but..   Nothing written, nothing permanent for OFF-CAMPUS
= near or at zero for that kind of thing.

. "Could [we] be open to a peer-level TC-WUG
> partnership and
> Wi-Fi"? I believe *we* approached *you*. As a matter of fact, I *know*
> that *we* approached *you* since I was there pitching this to
> the group
> with Ben a few months ago.

No: I heard words and see more words written, but have yet to see the Gopher
Club actually write or DO something that amounts to sharing equipment and
bandwidth in a real way with TCWUG.  What you outline seems like GARC
holding out its hand for donations from us and for GARC purposes alone: GARC
hasn't put in writing yet just what TCWUG might get by donating time and
equipment to GARC.

> > d) the UMN HAM club alumni and board doesn't seem to have TCWUG's
> interests as top priorities... only a few people there do.

> Huh? I didn't know that the Gopher Amateur Radio Club had a "board".
> Perhaps this is something I'll have to chat with the rest of the gang
> about. You'd think I would know about a "board" being the
> president of the
> Gopher Amateur Radio Club. =)

If GARC is a real non-profit thing, it has legal and other accountabilities
to UMN and to the state of MN and to IRS.  Otherwise, it's wholly owned by
UMN, and under UMN insurance, etc.  In either case, there's an official
governing body and reporting of annual finances under some set of laws.  As
Pres, you should know when or how (or whether) GARC is legal.  How to make a
long-term agreement would be described in those top-level and next level
legal papers (Articles of Inc and ByLaws - or equiv).

> Since you have elevated yourself to be the email spokesperson
> for TC-WUG...

Speaking out of curiosity and constructive intent ONLY.  Knowledgeable but
NOT "elevating".
The web site needs some FAQs or equiv.  I would help with that if asked by
the leaders.

> what exactly _are_ the "TC-WUG's interests"?

No idea.  Only looking to see what's visible here, whatever it may be.  If
it becomes a real group with a stated mission, I might be interested or
might not.  Depends on what the mission may be.  So far it's just a rag-tag
online technical forum and that's OK.   We should recognize when or whether
or how it becomes more.

> If the only interests are "I
> want free internet access" I think you are hanging out with the wrong
> group. =)

We're no more sure what kind of access or availability that hanging out with
GARC will get for non-members either  :-)

> "Clearly presented" must mean that Chuck wants something in writing.
> Perhaps we can discuss "writing things down" at the next
> TC-WUG meeting,
> if everyone really wants to get all-formal-like-that-and-stuff.

Right in the following sense  :-)

  A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.          -Samuel

(note that GARC may not be legally able to execute written agreements with
off-campus groups!)

Regards, and thanks much for helping to clarify!  This clarifying effort
should help GARC also.
What you and Ben want to do may not be legally possible for GARC to do with
any TCWUG access.