Mesh Networking Over Ham Radio, Our OWN Emergency Backbone Network

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4YZI, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. K3KIC

    K3KIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Once you get into directional antennas the network isn't so "meshy". 5.8 suffers a lot from foliage and 2.4 does enough to hinder distance. The 900 MHz band has more promise. Better bet would be to have dual radios 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz. Use 900 MHz to mesh and 2.4 for uplink. You would want an outdoor unit that can be mounted on a tower. Similar to what we do in commercial space.
    K2NCC likes this.
  2. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    There have been advances in hardware and software that dramatically increase range. Check out the AREDN project.
  3. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is my setup and its fairly common. I have two nodes with directional antennas connected to the same POE switch and a neighbor that has the same setup. We each have one node pointed at each other that makes our "backbone" link and then another node at each side with omni antenna or sector antenna. Check out the AREDN project.
    K3CRM likes this.
  4. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    And no nodes with in 125 miles...
  5. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Good Will stores here in my area have tripled their prices in the last 10 years. Good Will policy in this area is to not sell used computers and computer peripherals. They throw all that stuff in a huge bin out back and every so often a recycler comes and takes it all away. The precious metal recovery is probably more than what they would make by selling the stuff. Most microprocessors contain gold. I have never seen a Linksys or any other brand of WiFi router/switch for sale at a thrift store in NC. Anyone know of an online place to buy one other than the obvious, eBay?
  6. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know about online thrift stores, but try the smaller less corporate physical thrift stores. Habitat for Humanity around here have them for sale. Also try ARC.
  7. KK4HPY

    KK4HPY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seriously do not waste your time and money on the old Linksys stuff, it is not worth it. Check out the AREDN project and buy new Ubiquity hardware that is compatible.
    K6CLS likes this.
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Linksys WRT54G router sitting in a box stored in my garage, because I gave up and could never get IPv6 tunneling working on this router.

    So any computers connected on the network through this WRT54G router can't use IPv6. At least not with DD-WRT firmware anyways. I'm not sure if this ham radio mesh network firmware supports IPv6 tunneling or not though.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  9. W2TTT

    W2TTT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Linksys nodes are around 27 mW with a matching receiver sensitivity. They only operate on channels 1-11 with a 20 MHz bandwidth. Further, there is limited memory and CPU. These factors combine to really limit what you can do to desktop training, in-building networks and highly local networks without external weatherproofing, antennas, bi-directional amplifiers and power distribution hassles.

    For a whole lot less money and effort and for higher receiver performance roughly 600 mW of power and superior functionality, an AREDN mesh node on a Ubiquiti platform is better in EVERY way. Add to these factors, a more active development community producing DAILY builds and the choice to use a broad selection of devices and antennas on 900 MHz, 2.4, 3.3 or 5 GHz, makes it foolish to use WRT-54G/GL/GS devices except to extend a mesh indoors or to instruct folks. Frankly, I only use them as secure Wi-Fi user access points running DD-WRT, or as Wi-Fi transmitter hunt targets running BBHN. Scouts and other youth, and even some adults like to go on transmitter hunts using the FREE Android app, Wi-Fi Analyzer to hunt down a series of meshed nodes. They need to read the tag on the device and take a GPS reading that are texted back to the judges. Fun stuff!

    Gordon Beattie, W2TTT
  10. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think with the Linksys WRT54G, you can crank up the power output in the firmware from the default 27 mW to a maximum 250 mW. However, to ensure continued reliable operation and error free signals, setting the output power somewhere in the middle is best. I ran mine at the standard 100mW walkie talkie power level which I found was plenty enough. Anything more than that didn't make any real world difference and wasn't needed, but it was significantly better than the default 27mW setting out of the box.

    Of course the physical location of the router antenna's, line of sight and use of effective external antenna's is what ultimately determines actual signal performance anyways.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018

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