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Mesh Networking - who's doing what?

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G1BYY View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26/April/2015 at 20:35
I realise that G0FJS's message on this topic last year didn't get any traction, but I believe that a lot of people are now experimenting with, or actively using, Mesh networking.  Following the FEEDNET presentation at the Spring Conference, and the Medway/Kent article in the most recent RAY-LINK, I feel we need to start finding out what others are doing.

If we ever need to link Mesh networks between groups or individuals, knowing beforehand what capabilities and configurations there may be will smooth things on the day, so I invite anyone / any group who has any Mesh experience to log the information in replies in this thread.

Mid-Herts has no group-owned Mesh equipment, so this is just my own information:

  Experimental network using Linksys routers, with a Raspberry Pi configured with FEEDNET's card image and configuration script.
  Running BroadBandHamNet version 3.1.0 using the default SSID (BroadbandHamnet-20-v3) on WiFi 2.4GHz Channel 1.  13 local IP addresses.
  Able to demonstrate:  (Asterisk) VOIP, including IP phone to PC running Zoiper, Web Server, Email, IRC, TFTP Server, all locally (no Internet or POTS connections yet).
  VOIP extension numbers 5001-5020.

73,

Howard   G1BYY
Training Coordinator
Mid-Herts RAYNET

"MERCURY" - radio van
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GM4WZG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM4WZG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/April/2015 at 00:30
We've had lots of great feedback from many who were at the convention who saw our demo of MESH Applications. Thanks to everyone who has commented.

For the benefit of those who were not at the convention, you can find out more information about the  Lothians and Fife combined MESH network on our project website http://www.feednet.org.uk


Regards

Bernie
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G7FUJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G7FUJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/May/2015 at 21:23
Wifi links have a distinct advantage in the Amateur orbit - we can use much more power.

However, where they lose out is security - we can't use any form of encryption.

As a result, Meshing is a good way of using the licence-free possibilities of wifi and keeping the system secure. At the same time, some security can be gained even with higher power, with better antenna systems - the tighter the beam, the less likely someone else will get into the connection.

I've been involved with community mesh networking, and I'd be interested to test possibilities of Mesh being liked with talk-through sites, especially if this can also be integrated with VoIP, and VoIP telephony by linking the mesh into a real network somewhere. Imagine being able to put a real, working telephone into a control tent with nothing but a car battery and inverter, and no mobile signal whatsoever, using the Talk-Through to extend the mesh. 

I know John Long at NW Hampshire has experimented with using VoIP telephony on control sites before, but wonder if this has been combined with Meshing yet?


Paul Cummins - G7FUJ

Opinions expressed are entirely personal and do not represent the views of RAYNET

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G1HUL View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G1HUL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/May/2015 at 21:38
Originally posted by G7FUJ G7FUJ wrote:

However, where they lose out is security - we can't use any form of encryption

We can now under the 2015 licence.
Jim, G1HUL
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If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
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G7FUJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G7FUJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/May/2015 at 07:23
I must have missed that... Probably because I was moving house as the licence was issued, so I still have a printed copy of the last one, at my new address.
Paul Cummins - G7FUJ

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1cqo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/August/2015 at 08:22
I have done some exeprimenting with wifi mesh networking whilst living in New Zealand.

We used the BBHN firmware on ubiquiti devices.  One advantage of the ubiquiti devices is that they are capable of woking on frequencies outside of the normal wifi channles so, as long as you keep them inside the amateur allocations, you can keep them out of sight from the normal consumer wifi kit

Mesh networking has a lot of capability as both a temporary or permenant communication tool.

In NZ there are VOIP PABX servers, VOIP reflectors, FTP servers, IM/Chat servers, web servers etc only accessible via the mesh.  I was looking into it for Civil Defence use as more electronic communication and documenting was coming in and when running a rural welfare centre in an emergency, it would benefit from a data link back to the Emergency Operations Centre. Living in an area surrounded by large hills where mesh nodes could be placed up high meant there was the possibility of having very wide network  coverage.

The downside of the wifi mesh networking is the requirement for line of sight. If you can get over that, then it has a lot of legs.

Jon


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GM4WZG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/September/2015 at 17:58
Jon.

Sounds like  a lot going on down there. Don't be discouraged by the lack of activity on the Forum - there are a lot of "lurkers" and I know from personal contacts over the last 6 months that since our talk at the technical convention there is actually quite a lot of folk playing around with this technology.  More than you might think !

We have all the applications that you mentioned and I made an image for a Raspberry PI server that folk can copy to save them a lot of configuration time.  There have been quite a few installs.

Since then we've added a few new weapons to the armory. We may be using up to date technology but we figured that a small ticker-tape type of printed messaging service might be useful - can't beat seeing something on a piece of paper that you can hand over.   So we've pressed into service some cheap (£20) POS printers at different FEEDNET locations and a web based application (our FEEDNET web, that is, not the Internet) to drive them.

We've also set up a small hand portable remote base VHF/UHF unit as a proof of concept. Its smaller and simpler than the VOIP accessible in-band repeater.

This is all going to be demonstrated at the forthcoming Emergency Services Show at NEC.  Have a look at http://www.feednet.org.uk for more info.

73

Bernie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1cqo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/October/2015 at 18:45
Hi Bernie,

It looks like you have a lot of good stuff running up there. If I still lived in Livingston I would be joining in.

Jon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/July/2017 at 13:02
We have over 30 Linksys/Ubiquiti nodes at the moment. We have used them over a small area as mesh nodes but we have also used them as standard back to back unit to drop the internet and wifi into a field about 700 yards. Not a great distance I know but we could stream video and have a solid internet connection. The only problem we had was that the initial installation co sited the Ubiquiti unit and the repeater antenna on the same mast. This screwed up the repeater receive until we relocated the antenna.

With the nodes meshed we have carried video,voip, emails and not had any major problems. The only downside at the moment is deploying them as a self contained unit.
Eddy Wane, G0OFY.
Lancashire County Coordinator.
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