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Jawug - Tell me more!

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#1
Ok... I think this might come in handy for new / prospective members....

So you have somehow discovered the existance of Jawug! Probably by reading about us on the MyADSL or Jawug Websites, or from a friend perhaps? Maybe you have picked up some of our equipment during a wireless scan?

So now you want to know what its all about, and how to go about getting connected right?

Well, here it is in brief: ;-)

Jawug was formed back in 2001 or so, when Daffy, who was on the Megawan Network, wanted to help out his friend Lemon, and give him access to his internet. They managed to link their two houses together, wirelessly, and the rest is history!

At the moment, we are somewhere between 30 and 40 active users on the network, which has coverage in the following areas:

Krugersdorp
Wilro Park
Weltevreden Park
Allens Nek
Constantia Kloof
Berrario
Northcliff
Northgate
Randburg
Midrand
Edenvale
Bedfordview
Benoni
Boksburg
Kempton Park

to mention a few!

Back in mid 2006, the two largest segments of this segmented network, wanted to connect, and join (The Weltevreden Park area in Roodepoort - home to the "Wild West Mesh" and the Guys in the Bedfordview / Edenvale area.

We searched high and high for a suitable spot in the middle, and were finally able to get some kit installed on Northcliff Ridge which had LOS (Line of Sight) to both Weltevreden Park, and Bedfordview.

A team was assembled, and we managed to get everything linked successfully!

Much celebration followed, and many downloads commenced!

We have an IRC Server, were the majority of us spend our days talking about the network, new installations, new members, and future plans (plus a lot of time spent joking, talking nonsense and generally having a lekker time)

Jawug is a community, and as such, is run, managed, maintained and financed by its members. There is a core team, who are responsible for allocating IP ranges, installing sites if necessary, and keeping things operational and in order.

Each new member who arrives in the IRC channel is welcomed, and advised as to how to go about getting connected. Here are the things you need to do:

Come into our IRC Channel (irc.jawug.za.net #wnet 6667) and introduce yourself to the guys. We are all friendly, helpful people, and are there to assist. Next step is to get yourself registered on our website - http://www.wug.za.net/. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with your registration details.

The wug.za.net site also contains some information related to the various equipment which we utilise, as well as a Discussion Forum, HowTo's and an excellent Gallery which contains photos from most of our members installations, including the various WUG's around the country.

This website was created for Jawug's use - but it is also a central location where we would like to get all of the WUG's (Wireless User Groups) to have their information located.

We currently have CapeTown (CTWug), Durban, (DWC), Potchefstroom (PCN), Pretoria (PWP) to name a few. The Wugplotter tool works in each of these areas and many of the members from these different WUG's have already registered on the site, and are using it daily.

Something which we request of new prospective members, is (if possible) to get onto your roof, and take photos of the 360 degree panoroma from your property. This allows is to see exactly what you are able to see, and also to allow new members to recognise familiar locations etc.

One of the tools on this site (which incidently has been developed by Xarion in-house, after many many hours of hard work) is called the Wugplotter. This tool allows you to input your GPS co-ordinates (find your house by using Google Earth, and add a placemark. The placemark will contain your co-ordinates) Copy these co-ordinates into the Wugplotter, and you sorted!

You will then be able to download a .KML file, which, when opened with Google Earth will show you every node on the network, be it active or in planning. You will be able to see just how big Jawug really is.

Once we have determined if you are within the footprint of a node, or highsite, is to advise you as to what hardware would be best for the job. We can advise on equipment from basic wireless routers, to Mikrotik Routerboards, and even custom built PC based routers. We have access to a lot of expertise, and also have good relationships with some of the wireless equipment suppliers, which gives us access to good pricing!

Part of the fun of joining Jawug, is to get your equipment installed all by yourself. This helps the members learn, and also be in a position to offer their advice to newcomers. If you are not feeling up to the job, we will be happy to get together and assist with the installation!

Once your equipment is connected, we will advise, step by step, on how to configure your ip address allocations, routes etc and you will be part of Jawug in no time! We can also connect directly into your equipment and sort all of these settings out for you!

C'mon, keep reading! I'm almost done...

What can you do on this network? You will be able to do basically anything you can do on a LAN (Local Area Network) You can share files with other members, you can play network games against each other, you can access specific resources like streaming audio, security cameras, websites, etc etc... The list just goes on and on... You can host your own services - Think of it as a mini internet. If you perhaps wanted to host your own game server - feel free. If you want to setup a VOiP server, If you want to offer a video feed of your goldfish, then go for it! The more things we have running on this network, the better!

All that we ask, is that you contribute to Jawug - we do not mean financially - there are no costs in joining, besides the cost of your own hardware, which you buy, and which remains your property.
When we refer to contributing, we mean being a part of the community - advising new members, offering services on the network, spreading the word, and chatting with us in IRC!

We will always welcome financial contributions, but it is by no means a condition of you joining.. Jawug is financed by the members (out of their own pockets) - and when a new highsite is required to link different areas together, this does cost money - Some members spend as much money as they can, some members contribute R100 here, or R50 there - but every cent helps.

We try and have a social event at least once a month, where we get together at a suitable venue, and have a braai, and a drink or two - and get to meet new members, discuss future plans, swap hardware etc.

I have been on Jawug for a couple of years now, and I do not know how I lived without it. It has become part of my life, and I will stick with it, and improve it as best as I can!

One of these days, we will link the entire country together! watch this space!

This has been my little contribution for the day!

Ryder, June 13th 2007

See my sig for links to our websites...
 
Last edited:

chiskop

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2006
Messages
9,221
#2
Interesting Ryder, and I see I'm in an area that is covered. Just scooting of to the website to read more...

Looking at the hardware listed there, can you give me an idea of costs, I mean are we talking R1000, R2000?

I have a wireless router (linksys WRT54G3G), would that be a start?
 
Last edited:

Moederloos

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
12,476
#4
Chiskop - you need a router that can be flashed with new software.
openWRT and FreiFunk are the most popular - go to their web sites and look up your router.

If you have an old PC to use (P1 / P2) then you may just need a radio card - should be cheaper. Keep in mind that the external antenna and the PC / router need to be as close as possible, especially on 5.8Ghz. On 2.4Ghz, I have them 3m apart with no loss.

This will of course influence what you use - a PC is much more difficult to mount on the roof near an antenna than a router!

Look at the gallery pics for other people's installs to get an idea.
 

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#5
Interesting Ryder, and I see I'm in an area that is covered. Just scooting of to the website to read more...

Looking at the hardware listed there, can you give me an idea of costs, I mean are we talking R1000, R2000?

I have a wireless router (linksys WRT54G3G), would that be a start?
I had a quick look, and it appears that the WRT54G3G will take a firmware upgrade to OpenWRT (link)
so there is a pretty good chance you could use it...

Pricewise, it all depends - but we estimate that a complete kit (depending on the requirements, your LOS, etc) could be about R1000 to R1500 (Linksys with an antenna and a few odds and ends) - Come talk to us in IRC!
 

Moederloos

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
12,476
#6
I had a quick look, and it appears that the WRT54G3G will take a firmware upgrade to OpenWRT (link)
so there is a pretty good chance you could use it...

Pricewise, it all depends - but we estimate that a complete kit (depending on the requirements, your LOS, etc) could be about R1000 to R1500 (Linksys with an antenna and a few odds and ends) - Come talk to us in IRC!
And the Linksys makes up like R600 of that, so might be as low as R400.
Nice.
 

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#7
Yeah, depends on the antenna required, the enclosure, cabling, connectors, poles, brackets etc... but u could prob get away with R1000 if u lucky...

Then again, as you suggested - an old PC with a radio card in will work fine as well!
 

chiskop

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2006
Messages
9,221
#8
Cool, got plenty of old pcs, not sure about how mrs chiskop would feel about me mounting old puter on a mast on the roof. Aesthethics / Shmaesthetics. :p

But I'm registered on the site and will add my location etc and we can chat there.
 

Xarion

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
155
#9
hey chiskop

Do yo have your coordinates? log onto the website and add them to the wugplotter then we can see which ap u would need to connect to

Xarion
 

The_Omlette

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
218
#11
Ryder_JHB I just wanted to say thanks for the post. I had a sales director at a previous company that I worked for that was a member of Jawug and he was always punting the wug concept.

It always appeared to be a complicated process to get yourself started but the post clears up a lot of my previous misapprehensions. My only problem was weather I really want to climb up onto my roof. I am a touch insecure about heights and the concept of climbing roofs doesnt quite appeal to me :D

Is there a company/person that I can outsource the installation/setup process to (for a cost of course)? I am technically challenged and more of a plug and play kind of guy anyway :eek:
 

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#12
Ryder_JHB I just wanted to say thanks for the post. I had a sales director at a previous company that I worked for that was a member of Jawug and he was always punting the wug concept.

It always appeared to be a complicated process to get yourself started but the post clears up a lot of my previous misapprehensions. My only problem was weather I really want to climb up onto my roof. I am a touch insecure about heights and the concept of climbing roofs doesnt quite appeal to me :D

Is there a company/person that I can outsource the installation/setup process to (for a cost of course)? I am technically challenged and more of a plug and play kind of guy anyway :eek:
Hey Dude,

I'm glad my post helped - That was the whole point! We would be happy to assist with your installation (provided we have you covered)! And dont worry, I have a fear of heights myself! All the guys in IRC are there to answer any questions you may have!
 

Xarion

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
155
#13
you might not even have to climb your roof if you have line of sight to one of the our nodes from your window or balcony :)
 

Moederloos

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
12,476
#14
Roof is ok - Ryder has like 4 or 5 antennas up and he needs to ask his wife to get the Cremora off the fridge - such is his fear...
 

The_Omlette

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
218
#16
Roof is ok - Ryder has like 4 or 5 antennas up and he needs to ask his wife to get the Cremora off the fridge - such is his fear...
LOL, I have visions of falling off my roof and breaking my ass all to install an antenna.. :eek: But then again at the time I lived in a three storey complex and the roof was frikking high up, now its only a double storey :)

Question: Must I have clear LOS to a node (no trees, buildings etc) in order to be able to link to it. Reason I ask is I have a few rather large trees in my yard that may present a problem..

Ermm another question (perhaps I should join the IRC!!) what is the risk of that nice metal pole on your roof attached to your computer getting wacked by lightning and frying your PC??

Oh and I live in Northriding and from what i remember that area is pretty well covered. I am sure if I look past all the trees and stuff in my yard I would be able to see Northcliff Ridge..
 

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#17
Lol... Clear LOS is recommended, but it is possible to get through a tree (not ideal) but we have done it in the past We dont stress too much about lightning as the equipment is pretty cheap - Its cheaper to replace a damaged router than it is to buy expensive lightning protection - but I can honestly say that I have never lost any wifi kit to lightning, and I live in "Lightning Alley"!!

Its easy to ground your antenna - push a spike into the ground etc... but these are all things we can advise on in IRC
 

Newb-lite

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
556
#19
hmm as soon as i figure out this whole google earth thingy ill see if i can add to your boksburg nodes...

im just an absolute nub when it comes to the wireless concept ... so i will need mucho assistance ...

cant people on the network for eg: drain all my expensive telkom gigabytes?
 

Ryder_JHB

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,118
#20
Hehe, welcome dude.. We'll help to get you sorted so dont stress about that! As for draining your cap, we would advise you to have your "WUG" connection seperate from your internet - very easy to implement an old computer as a dedicated linux firewall etc....
 
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