thoughts on a mesh network

by Jim Morgan

from http://jimmorgan.us

Here are some of my thoughts on the proposed mesh network.

I acquired an old satellite dish. My initial aims for this dish was to modify it by the plans at this place. Admittedly, my original plan was to get a decent enough antenna to steal wifi from the three hotels and one commercial operation about a mile away from my house.

As I told a friend about it he told me that with the equipment I have we could start a mesh network easily. He informed me that with some tweaks on the equipment they can make a mesh network of roughly 12 miles out in the oilfield. We began to discuss the possibilty of creating a network of our own to play with.

The first thing that I will need on the newtowrk (besides some hardware) is a server. I admit that I am a little scared at this point. Servers are confusing to me. I have a good superficial knowledge so I guess it is time to jump in and do it. On this server I want to have an XMPP service. That will allow those of us experimenting to communicate without resorting to cellphones and email to do the job. I also want to have a statusnet on there as well. A sample of this is here. I have an account on this service.

My initial thought on this mesh network was to replicate ham radio emcomms. I figured that the combination of XMPP and statusnet would replicate the messaging and bulletin board of APRS.

Since this project has started I have discovered The Serval ProjectThis project allows you to make phone calls with your cell phone even though you may be in an area with no cell towers or other infrastrure. I read that this projec can tie into a mesh network and greatly increase the normal range of the radio in the phone, depending of course on the range of the mesh

This is of course all theoretical. I will be working sporadically on this project for a while. Anyone that wants to join in is more than welcome. I will soon begin working on my antenna…

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