[TriLUG] Mesh Networking hardware
robdale at gmail.com
Thu Nov 6 00:19:30 EST 2008
This probably isn't worth pursuing, but in the late 1900s / early
2000s there was a company called Rootftop Communications that was
building military-grade mesh network (mulipoint to multipoint) routers
funded by a DARPA grant. Nokia bought the company. I have no idea
what happened to the product after that. The latest Google pulls up
is from 2002. But we served wireless in the Carnegie, PA area
successfully back then (before Nokia buy-out).
On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 9:02 PM, Neil L. Little <nllittle at embarqmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Michael,
> Take a look at open-mesh.com. From my research on the subject, meraki
> jacked up the price of their routers and started pushing ads and such.
> Apparently reflashing the hardware violates their TOS. This also goes
> for the Fon as well. I found that a company called accton manufactures a
> meraki/fon clone and comes preflashed with the ROBIN firmware. It seems
> to be the best solution.
> I am no stranger to the subject of reflashing of embedded devices to
> repurpose them for other uses. I cut my teeth on the Linksys NSLU2 to
> turn it into a Debian box running the Apache HTTPD server to
> pre-position content.
> This also got me to purchase a WRT54GL so that I could repurpose it for
> a server/router on my home network.
> I think that there is a utility from the NSLU2 world that you could
> use/adapt to make it easier to gain access to the boot loader.
> I think the windows version is called Sercomm. There is a linux utility
> called Upslug that lets you put the device on an ethernet network and
> then just upload the firmware with a minimum of problems. I am not
> certain as to if this will work on other devices. I have only used it on
> the slug so far.
> Here is the link:
> I am having to reconstruct some of these notes as they were on another
> system that suffered a motherboard failure and I have not gotten that
> system back in service yet.
> Thanks for the information on the FON. I am discovering that this is
> only scratching the service of mesh networking. I have been reading
> about several other projects such as the CUWiN project and then there is
> the OLSR (OLSR.org) project and the thing about it is every single one
> of these projects are using a different routing scheme.
> Michael Ansel wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 8:18 PM, Neil L. Little <nllittle at embarqmail.com> wrote:
>>> I have a project that I have been doing some research on. The goal is to
>>> create a small mesh network that can be used at small business events to
>>> provide internet access. The Internet connectivity will be provided
>>> using one of the wireless 3G WWAN solutions.
>>> For the FON to mesh it must be reflashed. I have found a firmware
>>> package called ROBIN that uses the BATMAN mesh algorithm and is built on
>>> top of OpenWRT Kamakazi. It is said to be 0-config/Plug-and-Play.
>>> Does anyone have experience with either of these devices.
>>> Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.
>>> JARS Forever!!
>> I've never worked with the Meraki routers, but I've done a lot of
>> playing around with a couple of Fon routers I got for free a while
>> back. Thanks to the telnet-enabled Redboot bootloader, I've been able
>> to reflash them countless times (to repair my wonderful screw ups)
>> without needing any special hardware.
>> In order to turn on telnet (called boot_wait), you have to get inside
>> Fon's default firmware. There are countless exploits listed online;
>> you just have to find the one that works with your version. (One tip:
>> reset the router as soon as you get it, and don't connect it to the
>> internet until you've gotten inside the firmware. This frequently
>> resets it to an older firmware that has more holes in it)
>> Once you're inside the firmware (so that you can just SSH in), there
>> is a HowTo on the OpenWrt wiki explaining how to reflash the RedBoot
>> configuration over SSH (otherwise you need a serial cable). Following
>> the directions on there worked perfectly for me.
>> Finally, once you've got telnet enabled, you can load up RedBoot and
>> reflash different firmwares to your heart's desire. I've attached my
>> notes for reflashing my routers with OpenWrt (openwrt-atheros-2.6). I
>> /think/ it all makes sense, but I just use it for cut-and-paste now.
>> Feel free to let me know if you've got any questions.
>> Overall, I think the Fon routers are excellent little routers to do
>> all kinds of fun projects with, though I wish a company would actually
>> sell boxes like this that are completely open and supported (the
>> Netgear Open Router stuff is cool.... but I like my tiny box!). USB
>> would also be a super plus. Anyways, enough dreaming!
>> Hope that helps you out a little bit with your decision!
>> E-mail: michael.ansel at gmail.com
>> AIM: mransel89
>> Website: http://www.anselcomputers.com
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