[hackerspaces] Mesh network specs

The Doctor drwho at virtadpt.net
Mon Dec 26 19:08:23 CET 2011

Hash: SHA1

ObDisclaimer: I'm one of the developers of Project Byzantium.

> I am looking to build a mesh network in chicago, The way we are
> planning to do it is, we have an uplink set up in a datacenter
> downtown with a 100mbit connection, and a place for the antenna on
> the building that will go across the street to the 1st hop, which
> will then have several point to point links to the greater mesh
> network. So the plan is

That sounds like a good first draft of your backhaul.  Good.

> primarily to have many meshes, probably about 20, each with ~8
> wireless

When you say 'mesh', do you mean a true peer-to-peer wireless mesh, or
are you using 'mesh' to describe your architecture of backhauls and
access point for clients?  What mesh routing protocol are you
considering using?  Which have you tried deploying?  What is the
hardware and software of your expected client base?

> routers, which are connected via point to point bridges. None of
> this is commercial, so we will not be worrying about things like
> zoning fr the antennas since they will all be on private
> properties. My question is,

I've heard it said that perhaps you should contact the FFC to see what
they think of this because they may take a negative interest in your
repurposing bits of the consumer unlicensed spectrum for a project of
this size.

> does this sound like a good plan, and if so, what specific
> hardware should be looking to use ?

That's going to be a difficult question to answer because much of our
work has to do with repurposing and modifying off-the-shelf equipment.

What I can say is that wok-fi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi)
works pretty well for long-haul links between nodes.  You should
probably consider mounting your antennae under overhangs of some kind
to give them some protection from the elements.  If you can hide a
whole node's hardware under an overhang to protect it from rain and
snow, so much the better.

What are your power requirements looking like?  How do you plan on
powering individual nodes?

> Please be specific as in technically specific (5ghz 16.5dbi yagi 
> antenna) or list the manufacturer/link to hardware that is being
> suggested.

I don't want to assume, but my guess would be that you're going to use
802.11g links for your backhaul?  Are you going to encrypt the
backhauls or not?

- -- 
The Doctor [412/724/301/703]

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