[islandlabs] Mesh WiFi talk at HRU?

Burns, William burns
Tue Oct 14 21:50:14 EDT 2014


Giving a mesh talk would be strange since I haven't used the mesh that I'd be talking about.
I suppose I could use the opportunity to promote Jeff's mesh WiFi project at HRU.
But that would make it even stranger, being that Jeff will be in the room but doesn't want to do the talk himself.

The context of HRU might be a saving grace.
My impression of HRU is that it attracts a large number of people who feel they have technical chops but apparently can't see (or don't care about?) the large-ish holes in the presentations they sit through.
I can hope that there won't be any insightful questions.

Jeff has been working w/ the Ubiquiti Bullet since it is outdoor equipment that's arguably cheaper to use than a WRT54G.
The mesh system/software he's using is BBHN.

Standard commercial WiFi is limited to 1000mW (1 Watt) EIRP.
You're allowed to go a *little* beyond that for point-to-point directional antennas but for any omnidirectional antenna, you're not allowed to use any antenna gain that would give you a signal stronger than a 1-Watt radio with no antenna gain.
That's a very large limitation.

RF performance wise:
You can blow that 1-Watt limitation away w/ the power you're allowed to use w/ a HAM license.
The big limitation when you're operating w/ a HAM license is that:
All encryption is illegal.

For all practical purposes, being internet connected over a HAM licensed system is illegal.

The challenge for HAM WiFi is finding a useful application that the network can support without being internet connected and without using any encryption.
Possibly there are HAM field-day applications. (logging radio contacts, 1 day out of the year)
Possibly there are emergency communications applications. (as long as they carry no confidential information)

Outside of that, I'm kind-of stumped for uses of HAM WiFi.
Or how to spend a half-hour talking about it.

re: SDR:
What's the B100?

..and why not the HackRF One?


From: List [list-bounces at freeculture.org] on behalf of Jonathan Dahan [jonathan at jedahan.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 6:22 PM
To: Island Labs main mailing list
Subject: Re: [islandlabs] LILUG.org today, Island Labs tomorrow

Even if you don't have any practical experience, as long as you are up front about that and use it as an opportunity to co-learn with people around HRU, i'd definitely encourage island labs taking a wifi mesh table. "Hey this is what we've researched, here is what we want to do, who else is interested / knows stuff to help move this forward". Of course I don't know the full context of HRU, but I can't see anyone knocking you for exploring mesh networks, no matter what experience level you're at.

What meshing solutions are you playing around with? I've used BATMAN (very limited) and have been messing around with ubiquiti routers + cjdns, but would really love to find some people who could help do more long range, point-to-point-y backbones on HAM licensed frequencies. I'm waiting to hear back on this grant that might help fund some serious equipment too, in addition to the B100 SDR I just picked up...


On Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 5:50 PM, Burns, William <burns at cshl.edu<mailto:burns at cshl.edu>> wrote:
It's the second Tuesday of the month, so there's a LILUG.org meeting today.

I'll see some of you there,

Tomorrow we'll be having our usual Island Labs meeting at the usual time + place.

At the last meeting:


We saw that the quadcopter's new airframe supports it very well but the flight controller doesn't seem to be able to keep it steady + balanced.

I'm wondering if this has to do w/ the supports/standoffs that the flight controller is sitting on.

The supports (all being the same length and pointed in the same direction) might be allowing a vibration to creep into the flight controller.

If that's the problem, then the solution might be to change where the standoffs are attached to the airframe so that they're all angled in towards the center of the quadcopter where they meet the foam box of the flight controller.

Vibrating standoffs would then work against each other and dampen that vibration.


There was a discussion of Island Labs taking a "wifi mesh" table at HRU


raising the question:

What could I say to a room full of people about a mesh networking solution I've never used?

A) You can use it under a HAM licenses as long as you don't connect it to the internet.
(and don't use any encryption)

B) You can use it without a HAM license as long as you keep it under 1000mW (A.K.A 1 watt) EIRP.
I.E. less than 1 watt radio power when you're using an antenna that gives you any gain.
(decrease your radio power by at least the amount of dB gain on your antenna)

It could be used for field-day databases as long as there's no encryption.

I don't want to pass up another opportunity to promote Island Labs but I don't want to embarrass myself either.

I think Jeff is working on a way to tunnel our mesh traffic to another mesh somewhere in order to provide a better demo of a "live" network.

Got anything else?

Let me know at the meeting in Mineola tomorrow.

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