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Post00333 HEALTH RADIO NET 9 April 2001 CONTENTS 1. HEALTH RADIO NET - CONTINUING DISCUSSION 2. MSF COMMUNICATION GUIDELINE AVAILABLE 3. THE USE OF VHF, HF, HAND HELD DEVICES, ETC? 1. HEALTH RADIO NET - CONTINUING DISCUSSION In Technet Post00321, 16 February 2001, Marcia Rock, WB, posted her colleagues request for help on the technical and user issues related to the need for the MOH in East Timor to make the technical decisions for the establishment of a health radio network. In Post00323 , 26 February 2001, Sarah Nancollas, TRANSAID, Pierre Claquin, Carlos Dierolf, UNIVALLE, Jean-Michel Durand, SPC, and John Christie, PNG/HSSP kindly responded with useful examples, suggestions, discussion, web links, and the offer of a manual. Sarah also asked about others useful experience in this key area. In todays posting Beat Streckeisen, OCHA and WHO, discusses his experience in establishing a HF radio network in DR Congo/Zaire using voice, text and data communications for disease surveillance. Beat kindly posts the details of a Pactor communication system installation. Kirsten Myhr, edrug List Moderator, kindly forwarded recent Technet Health Radio Net postings to a friend in Botswana who is currently working on the installation of radio equipment there. Kirsten has posted his comments. Other related postings follow as separate items. Opinion, comments and additions please: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] or use your reply button ___________________________________________________________________________ To: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] Subject: Health Radio Net From: "Beat Streckeisen" Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 To: Technet Moderator. I read your last issue on the matter with great interest. I would like to contribute with my experiences: In 1996 I was charged by WHO with putting in place a radio communication system in the DR Congo (then Zaire) for the epidemic surveillance. The initial project funding from the Italian Government was triggered by the outbreak of the epidemic Ebola in Kikwit, DRC. I opted for HF radio with the facility for text and data transmission. Satphones would have been an alternative but the high transmission costs would have rapidly offset the lower investment. The installations began in 1997 and in the mean time some 14 stations placed in ALL provinces form a uniform network. The central point is the WHO country representation office in Kinshasa. 14 more stations are ready to be installed. The Swiss Government has also contributed to the continuation of the project and the Italian Cooperation is still highly engaged. The transmitted data include statistic tables of systematic epidemic surveillance, daily situation reports as well as administrative matters for the field offices. The voice transmission is appreciated for personal human contacts, but experiences show clearly that the transmission of statistics and surveillance reports by voice would be virtually impossible for the volume. Besides, the Pactor transmission offers a high degree of confidentiality, much appreciated for sensible information. The transmission speed varies between 1 and 2 kByte (1000 characters) per minute , depending on propagation conditions. The system has been recognized by a majority of African health ministries and WHO representatives. Only the lack of funds has held back the installation of similar radio networks in other countries. Actually we are testing new terminal software that offers e-mail like user interface, including attachments and automatic routing. Find attached the description of a typical Pactor Radio Station. Don't hesitate to contact me for further information. Beat Streckeisen, Radio Communication Officer OCHA and WHO, Kinshasa. ___________________________________________________________________________ Beat kindly attached the file containing the text posted below ___________________________________________________________________________ WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION The Pactor communication system of WHO 4. How does the Pactor Radio system work: The Pactor system is composed of an HF (short wave) radio, commonly called "Phony", to which the Pactor (PTC-2) modem for text and data transmission is connected. Texts are created and received on a small computer that serves as terminal. The attached printer delivers hard copies of received and sent messages. The system can also be used for voice transmission. 5. The transmission in Pactor mode offers the following advantages: * Save and error free transmission of documents in text form. * Opposed to Fax, the addressed Pactor station holds not only a printed document but also a computer file that can be reprinted anytime and may be further processed by any word processor. * The Pactor transmission resists much better to radio interferences and propagation variations. Texts are still transmitted even under so poor conditions that would make voice transmission impossible. * It offers a high degree of confidentiality because considerable costly equipment would be required for the decoding of Pactor transmissions, witch is not accessible to the public. * Pactor transmissions are free of transmission charges. * The UNDP/WHO Pactor network includes a gateway (interface) station to the Internet e-mail system. Every WHO and UNDP pactor field station owns an Internet address and can thus be addressed by any Internet user. 6. Pactor station material specification [US$]: 1 Radio Barrett 550L or 950L (Barrett) 2450.00 1 Modem PTC-2 (UNDP private Mode)(Sch?in) 1500.00 1 Wavemail terminal program (Sch?in) 600.00 1 Laptop computer Toshiba Satellite 4000CDS 1950.00 1 Printer Epson LX-300 withsingle sheet feeder 13184 500.00 1 Antenna B&W with installation accessories (Torcom) 330.00 1 SWR meter Daiva CN-1011 (Torcom) 150.00 1 DC/AC converter PDA 150, 12-230 (Torcom) 200.00 1 Power supply Astron SS-18 (Torcom) 200.00 1 Antenna pole (Torcom) 100.00 1 Battery 300.00 Installation material 100.00 Subtotal 8380.00 Shipping costs 840.00 Total US$ 9220.00 8. Installation and basic user training takes approx. one week. Travel and living costs of approx. US$ 2000.- $ must be added. 27.1.2000. Beat Streckeisen BSEE, Radio Telecommunication Consultant ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Kirsten Myhr To: "'[email protected]'" Subject: RE: Post00323 RE: HEALTH RADIO NETS Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 Dear colleagues, My knowledge of radios is limited, but I sent this and a previous list to a friend in Botswana whose company is doing radios, solar-powered, for most of the safari camps and a lot of other institutions needing radio communication. And Botswana is quite a sunny country.... This is what he replied: I have found these (this one and the ones you sent me in the past) very interesting. Some of the advise given is very good (in my opinion) but some is dreadful. For example - one guy is saying use a 20 watt solar panel & another is saying use a 48 watt panel (and this is also for a few lights !!) Here they talk a lot and such small powers would be a joke! (Kirsten's comment: what he means by this is that if people have access to radios, they are also tempted to use them for a chat.) We have to use at least 100 watts for one clinic radio alone - with no lights, high sunshine hours, little overcast etc. There was quite a lot that was incorrect (I assume these people are "health" trained so I do not expect them to be very "technical";). For example - one person said that their 100 watt HF radio draws about 6 amps when transmitting - this is definitely wrong - such a radio needs about 25 amps at a full 100 watts output - it is a VHF radio putting out about 25 watts that will use about 6 amps. One person said they burnt out a radio from a mismatched antenna - yes this will definitely happen if there is a mismatch but it can be avoided altogether if a "wide band" antenna is used - this is matched for all HF frequencies, is relatively inexpensive (P700.00) and very effective. I was quite surprised at the grasp one had on the difference between HF & VHF - but it is not quite as simple as she said - problem with HF is that it is not good short range: unreliable & other problems. HF uses the atmosphere to bounce the radio signal around the globe and is therefore very susceptible to atmospheric conditions - when the "ozone hole" is over us here we have almost no HF communications - a complete failure. One said that HF is more expensive than VHF - this is true of the equipment but normally VHF/UHF must have masts - taking these into account VHF normally costs more - depends on the ranges required and terrain. Also - as someone said - theft is a very real problem worldwide for remote masts - solar panels and batteries are simply irresistible !! Botswana Telecoms now has a couple of guards camping at each mast throughout the country. A South African company is working on cheap tracking devices that will enable the perpetrators to be located - but it often needs a helicopter ! Some solar module manufacturers make panels out of a different colour - green or red instead of the standard grey/black - these different colours make the modules easy to see from the air (helicopter again !) - eg only Government is allowed to use green panels - any panel that is green belongs to the government/para-statal. The coloured panels have the same efficiency as regular ones. Someone was pushing Codan equipment - Codan is good but extremely expensive compared to several other good makes. The make of radio to go for is the one with the best local support, backup and after sales service. All too often a system is installed & proved working only to fail because of lack of local backup once the "maintenance" part of the supply/installation contract is over (if there is a maintenance clause!). One person was saying about using different HF frequencies at different times of the day and setting up a schedule as to what time/what frequencies etc. I have found that this simply does not work for non radio people - they always get it wrong ! There are however quite expensive ( P30 000.00) radios that "talk to each other" (they have to be allocated a range of frequencies to choose from - a "spread" ) until they locate the best possible quality signal/frequency at a particular time. It takes 4 radios about 4 seconds to find the best option at any one time - then they "lock on" and conversation is normal. If anyone is interested in getting in touch with him, please let me know. Regards Kirsten Kirsten Myhr, MScPharm, MPH Bygdoy alle 58B 0265 Oslo, Norway Tel.: +47 22 56 05 85 [email protected] ____________________________________*______________________________________ 2. MSF COMMUNICATION GUIDELINE AVAILABLE Menno Goedhart, MSF/Amsterdam, has kindly posted the MSF Field Support Unit Communications Guidelines. Communication Guideline (3rd edition).zip [333 Kb] The file is available for download at: This file contains a 5.6 Mb MS Word document. It has been virus scanned with the latest Norton AV update. ___________________________________________________________________________ Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 From: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] (Menno GOEDHART) To: Technet Moderator Subject: Re: Post00323 RE: HEALTH RADIO NETS Dear Allan, For all people interested I attach an MSF communication guideline (as an executable file) it contains information about set-up of HF/ VHF/ and satellite communication. With relative simple antenna configurations and (reliable) power set-up. We are happy to supply further (tailor-made) comms information for the needy. Our e-mail addresses: [email protected] [email protected] Kind regards, Menno Goedhart MSF Amsterdam ___________________________________________________________________________ Extract from the MSF Communications Guideline ___________________________________________________________________________ 3RD EDITION 1999 PREFACE This guideline is a supplement to the MSF Holland 'Logistic Guideline', published in 1994. This 3rd version was printed in 1999 and deals with Communication. We revised this guideline in order to synchronize it with the various training modules we provide (PPD/LMC). In addition to this we up-dated this guideline with the Logadmin Kit. You are kindly invited to send all your comments and recommendations about the contents and set-up of this guideline to the Field Support Unit, Amsterdam. ? 1999 Field Support Unit Amsterdam September 1999 ___________________________________________________________________________ Other Guidelines published by the FSU An Introduction to the Cold Chain - 1st Edition A practical Format Guide for Logistic Reporting - Co-days Edition Drug Purchase Policy - 1st Edition Energy Guideline - 1st Edition Logadmin Kit - 2.0 for Windows 3.1x Logadmin Kit - 3.0 for Windows NT Logistic Management of Drug Distribution Programmes - 2nd Edition Logistics in Perspective - Workshop Edition Monitoring & Evaluating Logistics - 2nd Edition Order Management - 5th edition Satellite Voice/Data or Inmarsat Mini-M - Revised 2nd Edition Transport & Freight Management - 5th Edition Warehouse & Stock Management - 5th Edition ____________________________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. GENERAL 5 1.1 Key Points 5 1.2 Msf Telecommunications Policy In Practice 6 1.3 When Security Is Poor..... 6 1.4 Confidentiality 8 1.5 Selection Of Equipment 8 1.6 Faulty Or Damaged Equipment 9 2. POWER SUPPLY 11 2.1 Lead-Acid Batteries 11 2.2 Charging Lead-Acid Batteries 12 2.3 Battery Maintenance 13 2.4 Nickel-Cadmium Batteries 13 2.5 General Recommendations 14 2.6 Voltage Limiter (Mains Protection Unit, Mpu) 15 3. HIGH FREQUENCY RADIO COMMUNICATION 16 3.1 Starting And Managing An HF Comm's Network 16 3.2 Transceivers 17 3.3 The Codan Selcall Option 18 3.4 The Emergency Call Option 20 3.5 Frequencies 20 3.6 Propagation: Skip Zone 21 3.7 Propagation: Day And Night Frequencies 22 3.8 Antennas 24 3.9 Mobile Antennas 24 3.10 Base Antennas 24 3.11 Tuned Loop And Long Wire Antennas 25 3.12 Noise Suppression 27 3.13 Trouble Shooting (Codan) 27 4. VERY HIGH FREQUENCY RADIO COMMUNICATION 29 4.1 Starting And Managing A Vhf Network 29 4.2 Range 30 4.3 Transceivers 31 4.4 Frequency Programming 32 4.5 Antennas 33 4.6 Repeaters 34 5. SATELLITE COMMUNICATION 36 5.1 Inmarsat Mini-M Satellite Phone 36 5.2 Inmarsat M4 37 5.3 Iridium 37 6. TELEPHONE NETWORK 39 6.1 Introduction 39 6.2 Electronic Mail 39 6.3 Internet 40 6.4 International phone connection 41 6.5 Trouble Shooting 42 6.6 Call Back 43 6.7 GSM And Cellular Phones 44 7. ANNEXES 45 7.1 Portishead Radio Aeronautical Service 45 7.2 Technical Details HF/VHF Equipment 46 7.3 Quick Programming Guide For Icom Ic-F30lt 47 7.4 Quick Programming Guide For Kenwood Tk 250 49 7.5 Quick Programming Guide For Yeasu Ft 2500 51 7.6 Basic Instructions For Radio Operators 52 7.7 Maintenance Of Radio Equipment 53 7.8 What You Need To Know About Cc-Mail Through Internet 55 7.9 Quick Programming Guide For Codan 9780 Or 9360 58 ___________________________________________________________________________ DESCRIPTION OF MAIN UPDATES Additional information: Cc:mail through the Internet Internet and providers Updates Codan mobile antennas New Codan transceivers New VHF standard References Mini-M guideline MSF-H 1999 Where there is no telephone - John R.G. Corbett OBJECTIVE OF THIS COMMUNICATION GUIDELINE Good communications are essential for the effective running of a project. Often the existing telecommunication infrastructure in a project country is not suitable and therefore MSF must set up its own facilities. The objective of this communication guideline is to give a clear overview of all managerial, organisational and technical aspects of setting up and operating a communication system or network. To make the proper choices, you should base them on the overall 'communication policy', as adopted by all MSF-sections in 1998. A country specific more detailed communication policy must be made by the Logistic Co-ordinator and ratified by the CMT (Country Management Team). The target group of this guideline is MSF-Holland field personnel, in particular those who will be ordering, installing or operating communication equipment. Special emphasis is put on the power supply of communication equipment. Failures in power supplies are seen as the main reason of malfunctioning communication equipment. This guideline should be read together with the installation and operating manuals supplied with the specific equipment. After full understanding of this guideline and with the help of the installation and operating guidelines of the specific equipment, logisticians should be able to set up communication systems. For further information on technical adjustments on specialised equipment and configurations not shown in this guideline, please contact the Field Support Unit in Amsterdam. At present all MSF sections have standardised communication equipment and wherever MSF codes are used, they refer to the 'LOGISTIC CATALOGUE' 1st English/French edition or the 'GUIDE OF KITS AND EMERGENCY ITEMS' 99. ____________________________________*______________________________________ 3. THE USE OF VHF, HF, HAND HELD DEVICES, ETC? Paul S. Lalvani, MSH, asks about the potential use of radio connected hand held devices for the management of drug supplies in small rural drug outlets. Do you envisage a solar or fuel cell powered handheld computer running a version of the Commodities Logistics Module [developed for hand held computers] connected by radio to the central warehouse and distribution terminal? Would it work...? Is it affordable...? * replies to Paul Lalvani, c/o: Peter Evans, WHO at: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] ___________________________________________________________________________ From: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] To: [[email protected]][email protected][/email] Subject: Use of radio Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 Background: MSH, a non-profit group, working on a grant from the Gates Foundation, is exploring the idea of establishing a franchise of small drug outlets in rural areas, all of whom will be reporting to a central office. Estimate about 300 outlets per country. It is important to receive daily reports from these outlets, which should ideally be a small spreadsheet like file indicating sales, number of customers serviced, new orders, etc. Our vision is to have a handheld device (like a psion or small Compaq hand held computer), which runs a basic spreadsheet, accounting program. The unit will run on batteries, which should last a few months at least. The unit should be able to transmit data on a daily basis (any time during the day or night). It is probably not necessary to download information into this unit, although it is not a bad option to have. I would like to request any ideas the group may have re: the use of VHF, HF, hand held devices, etc. The emphasis is on a simple, low cost, high uptime (not have to rely on tel, electricity) solution. If you have a sense of the cost of the equipment and maintenance costs, that would be useful. Regards Paul S. Lalvani Pharmacist, MBA MSH Immeuble Keynes 13 Chemin du Levant 01210 Ferney France Tel: 33 4 50 40 92 89; dir 5040 2273 Fax: 33-4-5042-9874 ____________________________________*______________________________________

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