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Durban WiFi Mesh

lewstherin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
966
#1
This thread is for Durbanites keen to build a mesh network.

We already have 4 guys that are interested, but obviously we need to more ppl to build a decent city-wide mesh [:)]

Indicate your willingness to participate by plotting your location at:
http://www.nodedb.com/africa/za/durban

Spamtheman in CT is busy putting together a guide to build links at around R500 per location. While waiting for that, I'll be doing some investigations and will post outcomes here.

<font color="blue">Telkom needs a leash, ICASA needs some guts, and the </font id="blue"><font color="red">SA consumer</font id="red"><font color="blue"> needs to make it happen</font id="blue">
 

lewstherin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
966
#3
Spam, what brand are you buying, how much and from where?
Also are you only doing point to point (ie. wireless adapter + antenna) at the moment?

<font color="blue">Telkom needs a leash, ICASA needs some guts, and the </font id="blue"><font color="red">SA consumer</font id="red"><font color="blue"> needs to make it happen</font id="blue">
 

Spamtheman

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
571
#4
I'm buying X-Micro USB 802.11g adapters they're available from Genex for R175 ex VAT. The point of the excercise is to do this as cheaply as possible though and they also have 802.11b adapters for R140. If the cost of entry into a wireless mesh scheme is low enough you could get enough people involved to turn it into some form of usefull network. At the moment it looks like I may be able to do the one end of a link for about R300 which would be awesome. Who can't afford R300 once off? Here's a hint don't use your telkom line for about 2 weeks and you should have it covered.
 

georgelza

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
579
#5
Spam, what is the distance/range going to be like.

G

You Have The Obligation to Inform One Honestly of the risk, And As a Person
You Are Committed to Educate Yourself to the Total Risk In Any Activity!
Once Informed & Totally Aware of the Risk,
Every Fool Has the Right to Kill or Injure Themselves as They See Fit!
 

Spamtheman

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
571
#6
Erm, we'll see :p. On a point to point connection we should manage about 8km barring LoS issues, but I only need to get about 1.1 km for my link.
 

georgelza

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
579
#7
hmm, that sounds great,

how would we go about omni directional, point to point i assume is from one user to other pointed in correct direction,

i would like something where i can get x people connecting to me,

G

You Have The Obligation to Inform One Honestly of the risk, And As a Person
You Are Committed to Educate Yourself to the Total Risk In Any Activity!
Once Informed & Totally Aware of the Risk,
Every Fool Has the Right to Kill or Injure Themselves as They See Fit!
 

Spamtheman

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
571
#8
Well one could simply purchase an omni-directional antenna and connect it to an access point. My idea is more of a poor man's WiFi link, doing it as cheaply and easily as possible.
 

lewstherin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
966
#9
I'm looking into getting hold of dual band A + G APs.

The reason is that for a mesh to scale, u need to seperate backhaul and local access.
The ideal way of doing this is to set the AP to allow all local users to connect through 2.4Ghz 802.11b/g, and then to use the more powerful 5Ghz 802.11a radio in long distance point to point backhaul. To dedicate the 802.11a radio, all one need to do is restrict access to the MAC address of the AP on the other side of the backhaul...

Trying to find prices now...

<font color="blue">Telkom needs a leash, ICASA needs some guts, and the </font id="blue"><font color="red">SA consumer</font id="red"><font color="blue"> needs to make it happen</font id="blue">
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
19,811
#12
the mountain... ehehehehe

**** :)

lewstherin, use the "mail me" button and write up a spec please? im @ one of the former megawan high sites, and this daffy dude has been very quiet and not much of a help answering my questions re: how to set something like this up

thanks

Hell, my gran on a scooter with a memory stick is faster than Sentech's MyWireless!
 

lewstherin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
966
#13
noone, I'll publish a guide in this forum once I've done a bit of experimenting myself...still trying to get gear and find guys to connect to [:)]

<font color="blue">Telkom needs a leash, ICASA needs some guts, and the </font id="blue"><font color="red">SA consumer</font id="red"><font color="blue"> needs to make it happen</font id="blue">
 

John

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
124
#14
http://www.stanford.edu/~jstockdl/tmp/usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/

This link describes using USB adaptors and Chinese cookware to create
cheap long distance links

http://sawireless.tripod.com
 

Rtaxerxes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
Messages
108
#18
It seems, provided you are happy to spend a bit of cash you can get up to about 22km links using the stuff available already. But what if you don't have Line of Sight. Then what? Is there equipment that can get around that? Does LOS mean you should literally be able to see the other aerial, or can there be the odd building or trees in the way?

How would you connect this stuff without LoS?
 

Spamtheman

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
571
#19
Simple answer, you can't. Most WiFi equipment does support nLoS (non Line of Sight) but only at very minimal ranges say 30m - 100m (dependant on a number of factors). WiMax, which should be available 1h 2005, claims to be able to do 3 miles nLoS but numerous people already in the field are very suspicious of those claims.
 

skydog

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
996
#20
lewstherin..... I'm game to start meshing Durban
Please send me a mail or anyone else that is interested to skydog at webmail dot co.za
 
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