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'[OT]grassroots wireless networking mesh device?'
2006\10\04@192801 by Blair J. Weiss

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Hello -
I want to draw on some experience of others.

A little background... I live in the woods of New Hampshire I dial up to my
ISP at 28.8K. I have a 56K modem, but the lines don't even support that
speed and it negotiates down to 28.8.

There isn't cable out this far from town, however most of the town enjoys
cable access. I live 27,000 feet from the CO, so DSL isn't an option.

I have a friend "as the crow flies" about 1.5 miles through the deep, hilly
woods (no line of site). What I think I am looking for a some sort of solar
or very low powered device(s) (and cheap) I can place out in the woods
between the two houses to network them and bug into his high speed
connection.

Has anyone any experience or know of such a device?

Thanks,
Blair

2006\10\04@194958 by Zik Saleeba

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Look into OpenWrt. This allows you to reprogram cheap commodity
routers for use as wireless infrastructure.

http://openwrt.org/

There are other similar projects but OpenWrt is the one I'm using. If
you want to place it outdoors you'll need to package it carefully or
maybe choose a router intended for outdoor use. For example:

www1.linksys.com/cn/product.asp?coid=7&ipid=864
http://www.yawarra.com.au/hw-wrapoutdoor.php
http://www.inpath.com/accesspoints.html

Cheers,
Zik

On 10/5/06, Blair J. Weiss <spam_OUTblairTakeThisOuTspamifd.mv.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\04@212259 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Blair J. Weiss wrote:

> I have a friend "as the crow flies" about 1.5 miles through the deep, hilly
> woods (no line of site). What I think I am looking for a some sort of solar
> or very low powered device(s) (and cheap) I can place out in the woods
> between the two houses to network them and bug into his high speed
> connection.

Can you lay a network cable? May be cheaper than other options...
Maintenance may be an issue, though :)

Gerhard

2006\10\04@225633 by David VanHorn

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A pair of motorola WR850G routers, and DD-WRT firmware, using "client
bridge" on your side.
Look on ebay, there's a fellow selling them with the fimware already on for
$40
They use a single RPSMA connector.

Then pop over to here: http://www.wlanparts.com/product/1CO-24002
Apparently I got the last one for now, but they have others, and they have
RPSMA connectors for LMR-400, but you will need the right crimp tool.
LMR400 is a low loss, high frequency, semi-rigid cable.

Without a line of sight it's dicey, and very little wifi stuff is low power,
but you may be able to do a bounce off something like a building, water
tower, billboard, etc that you both can see.

Southern Ca foxhunters know all about the "Baldy Bounce", reflecting signals
at 144 MHz off Mt Baldy.
Been there, done that, literally. :)

2006\10\05@001646 by Alex Harford

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On 10/4/06, Blair J. Weiss <.....blairKILLspamspam@spam@ifd.mv.com> wrote:

> I have a friend "as the crow flies" about 1.5 miles through the deep, hilly
> woods (no line of site). What I think I am looking for a some sort of solar
> or very low powered device(s) (and cheap) I can place out in the woods
> between the two houses to network them and bug into his high speed
> connection.
>
> Has anyone any experience or know of such a device?

I have been looking into this to provide net access for my parents cabin.

Cheapest option IMO would be Linksys WRT54GL routers, and using the
Freifunk firmware.  It uses the OLSR mesh routing protocol.  The
drawback to the protocol is that you cut your speed in half each hop,
although if you are running at 54Mbps into a cable modem at 6Mbps, you
have > 3 hops before reducing your bandwidth.

Basically you flash the devices with the firmware, reboot, punch in
some IP addresses, and they will all talk to each other automatically.
When one is connected to the internet, it will announce itself as a
gateway, and all of the nodes will use it.

The one problem (for me at least) is the WRTs are actually fairly
power hungry, since they are not made to run from batteries/solar.  Up
here in Vancouver, the days get short in the winter.

There are some boxes out there made to be run from batteries
(Soekris), and they use much less power on standby.

Alex

2006\10\05@101228 by M. Adam Davis

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You'll find that 802.11 equipment is very power hungry, and after you
purchase solar panels, batteries, and expend many hours in making them
work you'll have put more time and money into it than if you simply
purchased equipment made to do what you need.  Of course, if you plan
on setting up other nearby neighbors on the mesh and all go in on a
faster connection for the source, etc, then it might be worthwhile.

If not, you might consider the following two products:

www.maxstream.net/products/xpress/rf-modem-indoor-ethernet-bridge.php
$700 for a pair of 1.5Mbps ethernet bridges, line of sight 15 miles.
900MHz so it travels through obstacles a little better than 2.4GHz.
Depending on how many nodes you have in the mesh, if one drops to the
slowest data rate it won't be faster than this solution anyway.

www.maxstream.net/products/xtend/dev-kit.php
$500 for a dev kit (two radios).  115Kbps, line of sight 40 miles.
900MHz, 1W transmitter.  Faster than what you have, but not broadband.

There are a ton of other companies that offer such solutions as well.
Personally I'd like to see you do the mesh thing, though, since next
year I'll be in a similar situation.  My current best option is
Verizon's EV-DO service, which I suspect will be throttled if I use it
as my primary connection.  I'm seriously considering a T1 to share
with my neighbors, but the costs would be higher than the return
unless I can figure out a mesh solution that works for about a mile
radius area around my property...

I am indirectly related to maxstream (my employer is a subsidiary of
the company that just purchased maxstream) so take what I say with a
grain of salt.  I have no experience with their stuff, though I'm
hoping to get some for evaluation soon... :-D

Also, a high, passive antenna repeater midway between you and your
neighbor would probably be the ultimate solution for a maintenance
free, cheap solution.  Use high gain (parabolic or yagi) antennas at
each end, and then put a tower in the middle with two high gain
antennas connected by a short length of coax.  Point the various
antennas correctly, use good high power 802.11b or g devices on either
end, and you'll be all set.  If it isn't as good as you'd like (maybe
it drops to 2Mbps or loses sync occasionaly) then just use a solar
cell and battery setup with an active 802.11 repeater, the tower will
already be in place.  You really don't need "mesh" unless you need
redundancy, or peer-to-peer connections with more than 2 parties.

-Adam

On 10/4/06, Blair J. Weiss <blairspamKILLspamifd.mv.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\05@121942 by peter green

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> Can you lay a network cable? May be cheaper than other options...
> Maintenance may be an issue, though :)
range will be a big issue, ethernet over cat5 only goes to 100m (though i
belive some manufacturers have products that can boost this further).
repeaters would be tricky to power.

ethernet over fiber is a possible way arround this but its rather pricey.

dsl is another possible soloution but the head end kit may be expensive.

and ofc there may be legal issues with running the cable through the woods.

2006\10\05@125515 by Mat

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I'd probably buy a couple of Ethernet fibre adapters (2mile range) there
about £40 each, and some optical cabling. Will give you full 100mbit/s data
rate.

I found some on ebuyer.com the other day but cant seem to find them now.

Mat

{Original Message removed}

2006\10\05@133021 by Gerhard Fiedler

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peter green wrote:

>> Can you lay a network cable? May be cheaper than other options...
>> Maintenance may be an issue, though :)
>
> range will be a big issue, ethernet over cat5 only goes to 100m (though
> i belive some manufacturers have products that can boost this further).

http://www.patton.com/products/pe_products.asp?category=160&MiDAS_SessionID=8e03e0fd1ed6442993af440ae9e21342

"4.6 Mbps over just a single twisted pair of copper. Extension distances up
to 32,000 feet (10 km)."

> repeaters would be tricky to power.

In a typical 10BASE-T connection, you have 2 unused pairs that you can use
to power repeaters.

> and ofc there may be legal issues with running the cable through the woods.

Aren't there also similar legal issues with placing solar-powered mesh
devices in the woods?

Gerhard

2006\10\05@141420 by peter green

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> I'd probably buy a couple of Ethernet fibre adapters (2mile range) there
> about £40 each, and some optical cabling. Will give you full
> 100mbit/s data
> rate.
don't you also need special tools to terminate the cabling?

2006\10\05@193033 by Mat

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Depends, but I believe you can buy standard snap on connectors now, but
don’t quote me on that all the ones I've done used glass and they are a
tricky to couple correctly.

Mat

-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu] On Behalf Of
peter green
Sent: 05 October 2006 19:14
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: RE: [OT]grassroots wireless networking mesh device?


> I'd probably buy a couple of Ethernet fibre adapters (2mile range) there
> about £40 each, and some optical cabling. Will give you full
> 100mbit/s data
> rate.
don't you also need special tools to terminate the cabling?

2006\10\05@194626 by peter green

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> Depends, but I believe you can buy standard snap on connectors now, but
> don’t quote me on that all the ones I've done used glass and they are a
> tricky to couple correctly.
pretty sure that all fiber optic network cables use glass, plastic fiber is
iirc only usable for short distances and low data rates.

i know older fiber connectors required special ovens, i guess this may have
changed though (i'd think you'd still need a special polishing kit for the
ends though)

2006\10\09@104446 by alan smith

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 http://www.adhocelectronics.com/Products/XPress-Ethernet-Bridge-900MHz-100mW-1Mbps_2;jsessionid=ac112b2a1f43db4873d6f4be4447b65388832cc50d11.e3eSbNyQc3mLe34Pb34KbNyQa310n6jAmljGr5XDqQLvpAe

               
---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Everyone is raving about the  all-new Yahoo! Mail.

2006\10\20@003047 by Robert Rolf

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Search on 'neighborhood area networks'. There are many who have done what you want.
http://www.lns.com/papers/nans101/

*IF* you can put up a radio tower (or find a line of sight by reflecting off a
mountain or building)
the easiest (and quite workable) is to use USB WiFi dongles at the focal point
of largish (70cm+) satellite dishes. Use a USB repeater (or hacked up cat five
cable) to get the needed distance).
Some Australians managed a 100km? point to point link using 12' dishes.

The other (expensive) option is of course, satellite service.

R

Zik Saleeba wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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