[HamWAN PSDR] College Students interested in Mesh Networking
Nigel Vander Houwen
nigel at nigelvh.com
Sat Apr 22 17:57:21 PDT 2017
I think it’s important to note some differences that exist between HamWAN and what people usually call “Mesh”.
You can imagine HamWAN to be more like a cell network, the cells are all routed between each other and have redundant paths, and clients will connect to the cell towers, but they don’t participate in routing for the overall network. We designed HamWAN this way because it offers a number of technical advantages around frequency use, throughput, signal strength, and others.
“Mesh” as most people know it treats every node as a router on the network, and uses a single wireless channel. This somewhat forces the use of Omni antennas so that things can talk to each other. Low gain in the antennas, plus low output power from the common gear folks use (the stereotypical WRT54G), means that it’s very difficult to actually form a “Mesh” over any sort of real world distance. Once you do have a connection, then you start running into issues with contention from the single wireless frequency, and throughput halving for each hop in the network.
I think in your case, it’s going to be important to determine what the use cases are, and the area you want to cover. HamWAN has the cost structure shifted towards the cell sites being expensive to keep the client side cheap. We believe we’ve engineered it to provide a better, more reliable and performant network than Mesh can provide at any sort of real world distance, but your use case or situation may vary.
I’d encourage you to join us on our IRC channel, where there are folks online most anytime, who are happy to answer more specific questions. We’re #hamwan on freenode, or you can click this link to join via web chat: http://webchat.freenode.net/?nick=HamWAN..&channels=%23HamWAN <http://webchat.freenode.net/?nick=HamWAN..&channels=#HamWAN>
> On Apr 22, 2017, at 08:40, Katz, Joshua <jk369 at njit.edu> wrote:
> I'm a one of the board members for the K2MFF ARC which is a school
> club at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. We are the owners of
> the K2MFF repeater/tower/shack and currently have a stong member base.
> I've always wanted to setup or use a mesh network. It's one of the
> main reasons I got my ticket and became a HAM. I had put that aside
> for some time to work on a few other things (college seems to take up
> just a little bit of your free time) until I recently found a book in
> our shack called High Speed Multimedia for Amateur Radio. This group
> is mentioned within the book.
> I was interested in knowing what kind of gear would be required to set
> up a mesh-network base station on our tower that could start routing
> traffic for other HAMs near us. We have access to some tall buildings,
> backup power, and fast internet at NJIT. I'm assuming you need more
> then just a weatherized WRT54G.
> Thanks for your time,
> - Joshua Katz
> PSDR mailing list
> PSDR at hamwan.org
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