Internet hunt- the story of two VPWA Volunteers

Post date: Mar 06, 2014 9:1:39 PM

Wednesday 5th March

Alex and I returned to Darmang with the intention of locating an internet signal - which the orphanage does not currently have - and taking

accurate measurements of the neighbouring field, which VPWA are developing into a school.We brought a standard TV satellite dish to catch as many radio frequencies as possible and focused them into a small used tomato paste tin where a cheap USB mobile phone modem captured the signals. Suddenly from a remote village where you are lucky if you can send a simple text message and rarely a voice call, we were able to connect to the high speed GSM mobile network.  It was a first. 

Knowing that we can now capture a signal, the goal is to find or design a dedicated satellite antenna on the 900mhz range and not just enable the school with internet, but also with the village nearby using the free 2.4Ghz spectrum for wifi.

To measure the site we used CAT5e cabling (very little stretch) with cable ties at 5m intervals to measure distances and a metal rod with an iPhone spirit level to give us an accurate reading of the gradient. Very difficult work in 35 degree heat but with a few calculations we should have a pretty accurate idea of the site dimensions.