Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

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Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Shirt Guy » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:44 pm

I did a little searching around to see if this has been covered before, but the thread I found is a few years old and I didn't think it necessary to necro it. It does have a lot of nice info in it, and was worth reading.

On to the point. While looking up wireless mesh networks a little while back, I came across the following guide.

http://wirelessafrica.meraka.org.za/wik ... Mesh_Guide" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This guide explains, in detail, how to set up your own wireless mesh network by using a Linksys WRT54G wireless router with modified firmware. I'm not certain if it would have much use in a PAW type scenario, but the whole idea of a mesh network is pretty interesting to me.

I figured I might as well share this with ZS and see what you guys thought of it.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by OpelBlitz » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:41 am

I could see that having some applications with neighbors, if it weren't for the inherently crappy ranges these devices/antennas usually get.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Metatron » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:13 am

I know a bit late but http://www.open-mesh.com/store/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is the cheapest way to do it, at $29 a unit its not bad, although there are better ways to cover large areas. If the internet and telecoms infrastructure did ever get destroyed, its relatively cheap to set up a village wide network, with phone and other services, and then link up other towns and villages.

As much as I like amateur radio, as the population has grown older and young people are largely not getting involved in any meaningful numbers a lot of the technology has not really progressed much. A lot of the people under the age of 35 I know that do have a license give up, as its mostly guys in their 50's and upwards talking about what they had for dinner, how much they spent on an antenna and what they have been watching on TV. Which there is nothing wrong with but does put people off. Its always worth investing in a HT as its still the best way to communicate while you are rebuilding the infrastructure, but I think its worth having a stockpile of non ham related communication equipment and understanding how it works.

(no offense to the ham people, meant)

Give it a year to progress a bit more and projects like OpenBSC will even give you the easy ability to create your own GSM network, using normal phones and your own base station.

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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by andygates » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:24 pm

Bumpomancy in light of the communications crackdowns in Egypt, which serves as a nicely paranoid "what if" case.

Here's a list of open-source ad-hoc network and routing projects - it's pretty forky and in-development, so it's more nerd food for now than tools to deploy.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:12 pm

Looks like it's down to about $19 now, less if ordered in bulk(down to $15 each).

That strikes me as quite reasonable...in conjunction with the wider availability for portable solar chargers and the like, the idea of post-PAW digital communication and systems seems to be reasonably manageable. I'm tempted to buy a few to play around with.

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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by CitizenZ » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:18 pm

OpelBlitz wrote:I could see that having some applications with neighbors, if it weren't for the inherently crappy ranges these devices/antennas usually get.
Actually one of the most hacked parts of these things is the antennas. With external mod antennas they have performed at stunning ranges (miles) with very interesting home made antennas. I wanted to build them just for the cool antennas. Some good cable and a decent reflector (wok or salad bowl) you can make a powerfull microwave antenna with just hand tools.
Directional antennas also increase security by reducing spill to unwanted areas. Instead they focus the energy in the target direction.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by alanmexico » Tue May 10, 2011 7:15 pm

Tyndmyr wrote:Looks like it's down to about $19 now, less if ordered in bulk(down to $15 each).

That strikes me as quite reasonable...in conjunction with the wider availability for portable solar chargers and the like, the idea of post-PAW digital communication and systems seems to be reasonably manageable. I'm tempted to buy a few to play around with.
It's the router stand that's $19/$15. The router is $59.

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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by tryme » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:58 am

I have a question for all the people who want to make a wireless mesh net???????? What are you going to be hosting and why?
My understanding is the internet will be down and you want to create your own is this right?
Just curious what you are going to be doing with it.

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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by jamoni » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:25 pm

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Duh. :P
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:41 pm

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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Stercutus » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:47 pm

Image

I think it would be handy for all the same reasons it is handy now. Library, research, communication etc. It would be a real pain to keep up though.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by nacho » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:33 am

tryme wrote:I have a question for all the people who want to make a wireless mesh net???????? What are you going to be hosting and why?
My understanding is the internet will be down and you want to create your own is this right?
Just curious what you are going to be doing with it.
For the same reason companies and cities have local networks. If you could cover a downtown area of a small community and build out a larger coverage area it could be a great way of sharing information. Even a simple server hosting a message board could be used to pass info.

I have participated in events where teams of operators are able to network dozens or computers spread out over a hundred miles or so and share packet data over amateur radio. Just because you don't have access to the world wide inter-toobz doesn't negate the handiness of local and not so local computers being able to communicate.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:09 am

It's faster than smoke signals to send out a "OMG WTF RAIDERS W CHAPS N NO UNDIES."
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Blast » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:29 am

tryme wrote:I have a question for all the people who want to make a wireless mesh net???????? What are you going to be hosting and why?
My understanding is the internet will be down and you want to create your own is this right?
Just curious what you are going to be doing with it.
I see it as a quick, easy way to distribute to my neighbors all the emergency preparedness files I currently have on my computer along with the ability for people to communicate with each other 9asking questions, putting out warnings, etc...)

Something like this would have been very useful in my neighborhood after hurricane Ike knocked out our phone & cables lines.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by CapnKlay » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:53 pm

Doc Torr wrote:It's faster than smoke signals to send out a "OMG WTF RAIDERS W CHAPS N NO UNDIES."
:rofl: :awesome:

or send, "APROX 50 MZB (Mutant Zombie Bikers - "Lights Out" by Halffast) OP5 WPNS AK47 TELL MY WIFE I LOVE HER"
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:09 pm

When I was the IT manager at Palomar Observatory, I built and managed a 900MHz network that covered 19 locations and a had a long link at 14 miles. The better equipment is actually not to expensive. I ran Mikrotik Routerboard wireless routers in AP Bridge mode and it worked pretty well with 19db flat panels and for the head end of two networks I used large baskets. At one point I even had a relay going from the top of Palomar all the way to the Cibola National wildlife refuge, which is over 100 miles, that has since been moved into the 6GHz range.

A good vendor is http://www.wlanparts.com/

Here are a couple pics of the head end.
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Chicago Zombie » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:00 pm

After my RACES meeting this month- there was a quick presentation on mesh net for ham radio operators.

This is the website that the presentation referenced:
http://broadband-hamnet.org/just-starti ... -this.html
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by Stercutus » Tue May 08, 2018 6:11 am

The spammers really, really love this thread for some reason. :(
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Re: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Post by davidradio » Thu May 10, 2018 11:28 am

Stercutus wrote:Image

I think it would be handy for all the same reasons it is handy now. Library, research, communication etc. It would be a real pain to keep up though.
So funny picture LOL :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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