Top of the wish list
This is the stuff we need the most, and that will be most useful in expanding the mesh.
Cables and power
- PoE (Power over Ethernet) injectors
- Between 12 and 24 volts. We can definitely use more of these.
- 1000 feet of outdoor ethernet cable with shielding, ESD protection (protection from static electricity) and UV resistance.
- We need ethernet cable to hook up the routers and this stuff will ensure that our routers aren't so easily destroyed by bad weather.
- Cordless portable circular saw
- We can always use more EZ-style Ethernet cable crimpers!
- Foldable/scaffolding, minimum 24' ladder (ideally can fit on a normal car's roofrack)
- A truck!
Sorted by most expensive to least expensive. Prices include shipping:
- A single one of these can provide high-bandwidth links (150+ mbps) to several other rooftops over long distances.
- $110 - Ubiquiti Nanobridge M5
- One of these can link up to either another Nanobridge M5 or a Powerbridge M5 or Rocket M5 over long distances. There is a slightly cheaper model with a slightly smaller dish antenna, and that one is fine too!
- ~$30-$60 - Any used Ubiquiti gear. Especially 5 ghz gear (look for stuff called M5), but also 2.4 ghz gear. Best to go with routers that have 8MB of flash memory or higher.
- $44 - Asus RT N10+
- A nice 2.4 ghz indoor router. These will be put in locations like hackerspaces, makerspaces, arts spaces and other places that are open to the public.
- $24 - TP-Link WR703N
- A nice 2.4 ghz indoor router for smaller spaces. It's very small and can be hooked up to usb devices to become a mesh-based file or print server.
- For laptops that don't have dedicated ethernet ports.
- $0 - Any router you have that you don't need.
- It's extra good if it's compatible with OpenWRT (the operating system we use for the routers), but if it's not, we'll sell or trade the router for something else that we need. If you want to check for yourself if it's compatible, then see if it's on this list.
Locations for gear
We need tall locations to mount Extender Nodes on so we can extend the range of the network. Great promo for businesses (we're also a 501c3 nonprofit), and we use minimal power and equipment (roughly what you'd expect from a DirectTV dish or any given ISP's equipment).
If you have a tall rooftop or a place with a good view or a place where you'll let us mount a flagpole, and you will let us install a wireless router, then that will be very helpful to the mesh, since the high speed wireless links need good line of sight connections, preferably high up.
The gear only requires a single wire for power, and that same wire will let you connect your home wireless access point to the mesh so you can become part of it. We only require that you're willing to pay for the small amount of power and let us come swap out the router if it fails. If you're feeling even more generous, then you can choose to donate a small amount of your internet bandwidth (e.g. 10%) to the community mesh, which will strengthen the reliability of the free public internet.
We will come and install the gear in a location that we choose together, and send you pictures of the gear beforehand so you can ensure that it won't be too much of an eyesore (though it will most likely be hidden from view on your roof).
If you can donate internet bandwidth to the mesh, that would be very useful, as it would allow us to have free public internet available for everyone on the mesh and/or connect our mesh to other community meshes around the world. The software we're developing will allow you to donate a portion (for instance, 10%) of your bandwidth to the mesh.
More wish list items
Any 2.4 ghz or 5 to 5.8 ghz antennas are useful!
Directional 5 to 5.8 ghz antennas are most scarce right now.
- Inspiration: http://dev.wlan-si.net/wiki/Enclosures
Mailing Address for Donations
4799 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, CA 94609