[hackerspaces] Mesh network specs

The Doctor drwho at virtadpt.net
Wed Dec 28 19:30:00 CET 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 12/28/2011 05:49 AM, Todd wrote:

> For the mesh, I do envision as being peer to peer, the only reason
> to use backhauls is because I am anticipating that we may not be
> able have good enough coverage that the speed won't suck, so it
> should still be peer to peer and the backhauls, of which should be
> few and just to make large distance jumps,  would be transparent
> bridges.

That is the general plan that we chose to go with at Project
Byzantium.  You can't count on having total coverage for a given area,
and in fact this may not be an ideal situation because wireless is a
shared medium.

> I have not worked with mesh networking before, not have I had
> enough routers to test anything out yet, although that will change
> in the next

Might I suggest that you prototype using wi-fi enabled laptops and
netbooks before you lay out the cash for hackable access points?
It'll be cheaper and you'll have a better idea of what you're getting
into so when they do arrive you'll be able to hit the ground running
(and make all new mistakes). :)

> 2 weeks, I want it to be as transparent as possible to the end
> users, and we will be setting up each router (with openWRT)
> personally, the people who host the nodes shouldn't ever touch
> them. So it should work like a normal hotspot with captive portal,
> at least that is what I am hoping for.

What captive portal software are you going with?  We've tried a bunch
of them and nothing we've used has worked with IP aliases (i.e., wlan0:1).

> The assumption here is that the mesh would be handing out IPs via
> DHCP, or would that not work ?

If you mean network configuration for clients, yes.  If you mean for
other mesh nodes, I don't recommend it because you'll run into a
chicken and egg problem over and over again.

Here's how we solved that problem:


> For the backhaul links I am going with professional (read
> expensive) hardware,

Any particular reason?

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

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