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Locustworld Mesh Networking

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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
October 22, 2004 8:53:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Just started reading about mesh networks for wireless 802.11b access. This
Locustworld stuff is pretty amazing/interesting.

Open source/ free software - linux based <surprised ?>

Load it on most any PC with 64 Meg memory and one of a selected list of
wireless 802.11b adapters (only works with those having linux drivers) and
you get both a) a wireless access point serving 802.11b clients and b) a
mesh network.

The mesh network is a network of these boxes. They dynamically seek other
mesh boxes out and connect. Network changes are recognized dynamically.
Any client attached to the mesh can get to the internet through any internet
connection that is connected to any mesh node. And a mesh node can funnel
internet requests to its directly connected internet connection, or pass
such requests on to other nodes in the mesh.

Software free. (did I say that already)

Preconfigured boxes about $400 or so.
http://www.ultramesh.com/catalog/default.php
http://europe5.locustworld.com/index.php?cPath=1

Weatherresistent boxes designed for outdoor use $430 + antenna.

In basic models, one MeshAP can service the mesh and serve as a wireless AP
simultaneously on a single 802.11b card. Add a second card or add an
ethernet connection to a dedicated AP such as D-link or Linksys, and one
radio serves wireless clients while another one serves mesh traffic. Might
be useful for a mesh with many clients and few internet access connections.

Monitoring and modification all via the internet

Apparently you can upgrade the software via the internet also.

Look at http://americas.locustworld.com/ for more info. In the tradition
of Linux, it is somewhat difficult to find answers to your questions and
good synopses. But I can suggest the following:

http://www.mail-archive.com/wireless@lists.bawug.org/ms...

http://wireless.ecademy.com/node.php?id=5721

http://www.reed-electronics.com/ednmag/article/CA333641

http://locustworld.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sect...

http://locustworld.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Down...



Main LocustWorld Americas site:
http://americas.locustworld.com/


I am now looking at my PCs and those of my family to find out which has a
wireless card that is supported. I downloaded the software and it seems to
boot just fine (bootable cdrom) but no wi-fi adapter working.

If you are using this I would like to hear from you. If you know of other
great sources of info, please post them also.

--
Bob Alston

bobalston9 AT aol DOT com


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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
October 23, 2004 2:28:47 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 21:07:37 -0500, "Bob Alston"
<bobalston9NOSPAM@aol.com> wrote:

>Here is an interesting link to a NE Texas implementation that appears to be
>of about 20 nodes
>
>http://www.netwi.org/

One more. Meshbox:
http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT5073214560.html
http://www.locustworld.com

I know of several other similar mesh networks. They all have the same
general characteristics. They work just fine when they're small and
have less than about 100 nodes in a single "airspace". They start to
fall apart at about 20 nodes if they use single radios in each
poletop. Those with two radios per poletop do well up to about 50
nodes. If they have an intelligent routeing algorithm, they scale to
about 200-300 nodes. Rooftop Networks (Nokia) did most of the
pioneering work. They went through two hardware mutations and gave
up. Metricom/Ricochet is a another early mesh, but differs in that
the client radios do not act as part of the mesh. I have some
experience with Ricochet and note that managing such a large network
was non-trivial. One does not need to be efficient when one is small.
"Self-Healing" and "Self-Configuring" were only buzzwords at the time.
I'm not sure if there has been any real progress in these areas.
Anyway, Metricom went from single band 900MHz ISM poletops, to 3 band
poletops (900MHz ISM, WDS band for backhaul, and 2.4GHz ISM) as soon
as they discovered that store-n-forward repeating on a single channel
just didn't scale.

The mesh idea is really attractive for municipal networks as it
eliminates much of the cost of an expensive backhaul.
http://www.muniwireless.com
Of course it pollutes the users bandwidth with excessive packets, but
that's not really a consideration as it only becomes a problem with
large systems. Sell the system, take the money, it works, and run.
Then, when it grows and becomes constipated, it's someone elses
problem (or replace everything with the latest model).

Since mesh is sufficiently popular to get the attention of the IEEE,
the 802.11s committee is working on standards. If they can't solve
some of the inherent problems with mesh networks, at least they can
identify them and reduce the hype.

In my never humble opinion, only poletops that have multiple radios
and a decent routeing algorithm have a chance of scaleing. See:
http://www.skypilot.com
http://www.belairnetworks.com
There are others but these are the only two I can remember.

Have fun with your experiments. Mesh can be made to work. But, if
you're serious, always keep in mind whether what you're doing will
scale into a larger system without hitting some limit, inefficiency,
or complication. For example, running out of routeable IP addresses
or can't get IANA to hand out some more?
http://www.wiana.org





--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
October 23, 2004 6:30:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

A "never humble" opinion is as good as any opinion. <grin>

--
Bob Alston

bobalston9 AT aol DOT com
"Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
news:im2ln0dguqe66ldu9psb7krin0ddcffehm@4ax.com...
> On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 21:07:37 -0500, "Bob Alston"
> <bobalston9NOSPAM@aol.com> wrote:
>
>>Here is an interesting link to a NE Texas implementation that appears to
>>be
>>of about 20 nodes
>>
>>http://www.netwi.org/
>
> One more. Meshbox:
> http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT5073214560.html
> http://www.locustworld.com
>
> I know of several other similar mesh networks. They all have the same
> general characteristics. They work just fine when they're small and
> have less than about 100 nodes in a single "airspace". They start to
> fall apart at about 20 nodes if they use single radios in each
> poletop. Those with two radios per poletop do well up to about 50
> nodes. If they have an intelligent routeing algorithm, they scale to
> about 200-300 nodes. Rooftop Networks (Nokia) did most of the
> pioneering work. They went through two hardware mutations and gave
> up. Metricom/Ricochet is a another early mesh, but differs in that
> the client radios do not act as part of the mesh. I have some
> experience with Ricochet and note that managing such a large network
> was non-trivial. One does not need to be efficient when one is small.
> "Self-Healing" and "Self-Configuring" were only buzzwords at the time.
> I'm not sure if there has been any real progress in these areas.
> Anyway, Metricom went from single band 900MHz ISM poletops, to 3 band
> poletops (900MHz ISM, WDS band for backhaul, and 2.4GHz ISM) as soon
> as they discovered that store-n-forward repeating on a single channel
> just didn't scale.
>
> The mesh idea is really attractive for municipal networks as it
> eliminates much of the cost of an expensive backhaul.
> http://www.muniwireless.com
> Of course it pollutes the users bandwidth with excessive packets, but
> that's not really a consideration as it only becomes a problem with
> large systems. Sell the system, take the money, it works, and run.
> Then, when it grows and becomes constipated, it's someone elses
> problem (or replace everything with the latest model).
>
> Since mesh is sufficiently popular to get the attention of the IEEE,
> the 802.11s committee is working on standards. If they can't solve
> some of the inherent problems with mesh networks, at least they can
> identify them and reduce the hype.
>
> In my never humble opinion, only poletops that have multiple radios
> and a decent routeing algorithm have a chance of scaleing. See:
> http://www.skypilot.com
> http://www.belairnetworks.com
> There are others but these are the only two I can remember.
>
> Have fun with your experiments. Mesh can be made to work. But, if
> you're serious, always keep in mind whether what you're doing will
> scale into a larger system without hitting some limit, inefficiency,
> or complication. For example, running out of routeable IP addresses
> or can't get IANA to hand out some more?
> http://www.wiana.org
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
> 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
> Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558


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