A few days before the eclipse, Portland’s office of the American Red Cross contacted the EVCNB asking it to join them in testing the capability
of sending e-mail via a radio link during the solar eclipse on August the 21st. Bruce Maxwell, N5GB, took a call from the ARC representative, Jenny Carver, and agreed to be the coastal link. The amateur radio community uses a protocol called Winlink for this very purpose.
Mr. Maxwell set up in the back of his car using a computer, a terminal node controller, and – believe it or not – one of our yellow radios! Operating solely on battery power, he bounced his signal through a local relay point in Manzanita to a ham station on Mt. Hebo where he connected to the internet in order to send his message to Portland. ARC headquarters in Portland picked up the message from the internet.
It is almost a cliche but it is true: “When all else fails, there is ham radio!”