Recently I picked up my HAM Radio technician license so I’ll probably be posting a lot about that. For now… the topic is HSMM Meshnet (or Broadband Hamnet or Hamnet)
A meshnet is essentially a group of network nodes that are connected to each other and allow communication from one to any of the other nodes. The awesomeness of a meshnet is that the nodes are auto-detecting of new nodes. Also, if one of the nodes drop out it doesn’t affect the rest of the network.
The idea behind HSMM is to use the frequencies available to a licensed amateur radio operator that overlap into wireless networks. Because these
the signals can be used at a higher power as is allowed with an amateur radio operator license, allowing for wireless signals to be sent/received at a greater distance.
Getting started is ultra easy. There are two supported radio types. The first is the Linksys WRT54G(L). The other are Ubiquity devices. See a full list of supported hardware . From what I’ve read, the Linksys has been the standard, but the Ubiquity seem to be better functioning and are quickly moving in as the primary player.
Getting started took about 15 minutes and cost me about 15 dollars. I ordered my WRT54GL off of eBay for 15 bucks with shipping and within week I had it. I then went and downloaded the appropriate firmware for the WRT54GL, logged into the Linksys admin interface (via direct ethernet connection) and flashed the new firmware.
Once that was successful, while still hardwired into the WRT54GL via ethernet, I connected to the router and visited 172.27.0.1:8080 (the address of the router) and went through the 30 second setup.
That’s basically all there was to it. It recognizes any nearby nodes and automatically joins the mesh as a node.
Next time I’ll tell about setting up basic services on the network (irc, ftp, web, etc).