Your Thoughts on MeshAP

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Your Thoughts on MeshAP

Postby tomcat69 » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:19 pm

Hi everyone.

I'm looking for input from persons that have used the "MeshAP" software available at http://locustworld.com.

I hope to use MeshAP at several locations to develop an emergency wireless network for County Emergency Services. I like the idea of overlapping coverage areas and redundant Internet gateways offered by the mesh system. My hope is that with this network, even if NO Internet access is available, the wireless mesh can still be used to deliver traffic between all points in the mesh, and that it would dynamic reconfigure the routing if additional nodes would be added.

I experimented with MeshAP a bit on my own over the past few days, and so far have found the hardware support and general workmanship to be a little lacking (doesn't seem to hand out DHCP leases when using an Orinoco Gold Card, doesn't always pick up the config from Wiana correctly, etc.) It's very possible I just don't know what I'm doing at this point.

I read through the FAQs on the MeshAP board, but I'm still left with a few questions.

1. Is the wireless mesh technology too good to be true?

2. What is your viewpoint on wireless mesh networks?

3. Is MeshAP in particular a reliable technology?

4. In my "No Internet" scenario listed above, would all the nodes in the one mesh be on the same subnet, or would all this have to be statically set and coordinated beforehand?

5. A more specific MeshAP question: Where can I find a bootable floppy disk image that will turn over control to finish booting MeshAP off of the CD-ROM? One of the computers I have access to use for this project does not offer an option in BIOS to boot from CD.

I respect the expertise on this board, and am looking for your recommendations. If the response is favorable, the network will start out with us local hams setting up the network, and then soliciting other volunteers to fill in the gaps.

Brian Klier, N0QVC
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Postby tomcat69 » Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:56 am

No comments anyone?
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Postby hydro27405 » Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:50 pm

I was gonna take a look at the site but seems to be a bad link or site is down now.
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Postby tomcat69 » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:21 am

Looks like the trailing period got in the link...

Here's one that works:

http://locustworld.com
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Postby sparafina » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:01 am

This doesn't seem to be so big in the US because broadband is readily available in most urban areas.

Its big in Europe, and I spoke to someone yesterday where they were going to try to deploy the largest mesh network at conference in Denmark. They were going to use the one from Mitre, said it was very stable.

http://mitre.org/work/tech_transfer/mobilemesh/
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Postby Novilio » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Mesh networks may make more of an appearance here in the US once Wi-Fi starts to hit saturation in urban/suburban areas, and multiple APs overlap. My guess is that groups of kids in close proximity will create mesh networks just for the hell of it--or perhaps for covert file-sharing.

I've often wondered if it would be possible to create a spyware app or virus that sets up a mesh network automatically, in a region of overlapping Wi-Fi fields, with others of its own kind. Not sure why that would be useful, but it's a fascinating idea.

Radio amateurs are talking about a 2.4 GHz ham radio mesh network, which might make some interesting software generally available. Of course, they don't move quickly, so it could be awhile.

Mesh networks are one of those odd concepts that seems like it could be used for all sorts of interesting things, but I can't quite put my finger on any of them.

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Postby wpj » Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:45 am

tomcat69

sounds like we are working on the same project R U a ham?

we are lookign at using MobileMesh (linux) and it's sister IPMesh (windows)

we are working on this in a SIG of my local ham club it's very interestign once we can work out the bugs, it looks like we could run an emerg net with it incase soemthign happens to the fiber lines.

anyhow let me know we have done a ton of research onthis now

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Postby Novilio » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:29 pm

Yes, I've been a ham for 31 years now, and have held calls WN9MQY, WB9MQY, KB2JN, KI6RA, KG7JF, and now K7JPD. I'm interested in HSMM radio, and follow it closely, and hope to do some hands-on work with it later this year after I get settled in my new house.

I have MobileMesh bookmarked, though I haven't tried it yet. I took a quick look around for IPMesh and didn't see a site for it; I'd be interested in reading more about that. Also, if your club has a Web site where some of that research is posted I'd love to see it.

Thanks for posting and good luck with it. If you get something lively going a status report here would always be welcome!

--73--

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Postby wpj » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:50 pm

Just go tmy ticket last summer, but it is ipmesh.sourgefource.net I think. It is a windows verison of MobileMesh and both play nicely together, PM me and I'll send over my addy and then we can keep in touch we will have a site up soon on with our HSMM project on it in detail.

We are still looking at the best software to use and hardware platform I really like the WRT54G with custom firmware on it. Thinking of doing out own maybe.

let you know how things work out.

73
VE3WPJ

PS we wre gogin to link our mesh pops via vpn to a central site maybe we coudl link in ours once you get one up and have a nice little mesh happening,

I asusme you have read the ww.arrl.com/hsmm site.

'73
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