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JBFJ40
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Posted: 1/24/2012 8:58:23 AM EST
I ordered a WRT54GL after reading about the SHTF roving wireless server thread. It arrived and it was a piece of cake to install the mesh software. I played around with the software a while and decided to reinstall the factory firmware and install DD-WRT instead.

The HSMM MESH seems to slowly be growing in use but I live in a pretty rural area and I don't see anyone using it here anytime soon. Both my office and my house are somewhat remote, there is no line of sight with 6 air miles between locations and there aren't very many hams around either.

BUT, there are some open WiFi networks around both locations. And setting up a Universal Wireless Repeater with the DD-WRT software seems like it has more advantages as a backup assuming there was another open connection that did have internet access if mine went down. Now, the only problem is I've been playing with the setup for a number of hours so far and still don't have it working right but I'm sure it's something I'm missing in the settings.

Am I missing any good reasons to set up an HSMM-MESH network at my house?

gcw
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Posted: 1/24/2012 9:56:12 AM EST
What kind of antennas are you using? if you have a straight shot at that WIFI node 6 miles away you "should" be able to get in with a decent cantenna. No need for a repeater. Thats all assuming there isn't anything in the way.

Is your end goal to just connect to a network thats away from your QTH? Or did you have other ideas in mind?
JBFJ40
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Posted: 1/24/2012 10:08:57 AM EST
Nah, no line of sight between work/home. I used one of the mapping tools mentioned in the other thread to check the elevations. I think I'm about 60' below a ridge that's in the middle.

My radio gear is in a detached garage about 180' behind my house so I need a WiFi connection between the two anyway. And that's easy. A little USB key is enough to do it.


My interest/goal for a repeater would be to simply have a backup internet connection if mine was out for whatever reason. I wouldn't connect to it when my DSL line was up but it'd be great having a second one to try if the DSL was down. And the hardware is cheap it's just getting the firmware to work right that's the problem now.

I may still setup a MESH node and put it up in the attic at work just to see if anyone notices it and connects.

I have a parabolic dish from Ebay to play with asmall one from l-com.com to try too. But I'd probably pick up some of the 9db antennas to attach to the router if that was enough to reach.
stanprophet09
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Posted: 1/24/2012 10:56:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By JBFJ40:
Nah, no line of sight between work/home. I used one of the mapping tools mentioned in the other thread to check the elevations. I think I'm about 60' below a ridge that's in the middle.

My radio gear is in a detached garage about 180' behind my house so I need a WiFi connection between the two anyway. And that's easy. A little USB key is enough to do it.


My interest/goal for a repeater would be to simply have a backup internet connection if mine was out for whatever reason. I wouldn't connect to it when my DSL line was up but it'd be great having a second one to try if the DSL was down. And the hardware is cheap it's just getting the firmware to work right that's the problem now.

I may still setup a MESH node and put it up in the attic at work just to see if anyone notices it and connects.

I have a parabolic dish from Ebay to play with asmall one from l-com.com to try too. But I'd probably pick up some of the 9db antennas to attach to the router if that was enough to reach.


That is the problem with the none mesh firmware, it takes configuring. The HSMM firmware auto configures, and it sends an ICMP packet with your call sign every 5 minutes to be compliant. Setting up a wireless access point is quite simple also, just plug in ANY wireless router's WAN port to one of the LAN ports on the WRT and you are off and running. When I have the wireless AP up I use my call as the SSID, and use WEP authentication.

There have been some controversy on WEP because the mesh net is on ham bands, but there are many people that agree it does not violate part 97 rules since it is not to obscure the meaning, it is used to restrict access to authorized users, and is no different than a Closed repeater without public CTCSS Tones. Plus the code can be published on your QRZ page so only hams can see it, and it is therefore public knowledge.

It is one of things you will just have to play with and see what works out for you.
stanprophet09
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Posted: 1/24/2012 11:27:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/24/2012 11:29:43 AM EST by stanprophet09]
Here is some of the stuff I have put together,





The small mag mount antenna is suppose to be a 7dbi but I doubt that, it does work much better than the factory antenna so I will use that in the mobile when I get around to installing it. I will eventually upgrade to a Comet antenna, the same one that is used by the USMC for there mesh networks.

The home brew antenna did not work out, and seems to be about 5db down from the factory one, so I will go back to the original coax design. Amazon has some good deals on antenna's look for some from this http://www.premiertek.net/cat/networking-antenna-acc.htm company.

The comet antenna I am looking at for the mobile is here http://cometantenna.com/products.php?CatID=2&famID=4&childID=24

The Idea for me is to have a mobile mesh node and wireless AP in the vehicle, and the server at the house with a node.


ETA: That L-Com antenna you posted is a good price, I may have to pick a couple up for that price! One in the car for use while stationary and LOS is not good.