Mesh/05 July 2016

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sudomesh meeting - July 5th of June 2016

mtg with nycmesh =

  • intros - brian from nycmesh, marc, jenny & will
  • they use qmp, added a config file & added tinc for tunneling over the internet
  • very few over-the-air connections, so made it more of a virtual mesh using tunneling
  • sudomesh: we have a little mini-mesh in west oak (~5 nodes), focusing on allowing people to share their own bandwidth and creating hotspots, then sharing over the internet
  • nycmesh: growing in the east village, ~14 nodes connected over the air, just a few sparse connections throughout the city
    • have two in my window, north and one south, 4 or 5 apartments that have routers, plus a bar half a block away
    • have tried every strategy on how to build out the network, organic growth from one point seems to be the way to go
  • sudomesh: trouble finding affordable gigabit to share over the mesh
  • nycmesh: have one gateway here, and one guy downstairs has a gateway as well. trying ot get a suprnode going (using guifi's terminology) using a gig exchange point
  • sudomesh: prices for fiber are so high, internet access cheap but the routing of that bandwidth through to oakland is difficult and expensive
    • nycmesh: def more expensive than we hoped - got free gig connection through de-cix - gigabit is a tiny thing for them. can get cheap connections, but have to deal with an isp to get a full table of ip addresses. hurricane electric is giving us $400/month
      • sudomesh: same with us!
  • nycmesh: we're renting a rooftop antenna there, about $630/month. problem with exchange points is they keep adding on these little charges. that's on the verizon building.. they don't own it anymore. has incredible views, can see brooklyn and all of downtown manhattan
    • sudomesh: we have a couple of leads, but has been hard for us to find rooftop access in a place that has fiber. the ones that have access don't own access to their rooftops, and owners won't deal with us
  • nycmesh: downtown manhattan is a weird world... they all own their rooftops.
    • sudomesh: need to find a tall rooftop, and fiber access. $2200 is the cheapest we've been quoted for fiber access. if we could get free fiber access we could deal with it
      • nycmesh: thinking of a kind of package we could present to churches
        • Jenny: how could we collaborate on handouts and materials to present to institutions such as churchs and schools
          • nycmesh: spent so long making this tiny brochure, need to work on this church one as well
  • sudomesh: how do you organize? do you have regular meetups?
    • nycmesh: don't really have a space, up to me to organize
  • discussion of meeting up after HOPE, connections with, wlan-slovenija, tp-link lockdown, alternative routers eg felix, using different chipsets
    • sudomesh: every 802.11ac router out there requires some binary blob
      • nycmesh: looking at linksys routers which have promised not to lock them down, dual band you can get for $55, ac1200
        • sudomesh: NEXX WT3020F - $12.50, great routers but have no external antenna plugs, 2 antennas, only 2 ethernet ports, single band. outdoors using all ubiquiti gear, investingating microtik... patches floating around for openwrt but haven't been well-integrated. discussion of home&extender node firmware
  • nycmesh: turnover's hard to take, I've been the only consistent one. people disappear
  • sudomesh: how do you manage your network? problem we have is that we have root access to peoples routers, but don't want to have root access in the beta phase but want an automatic update system
    • nycmesh: just the two of us who have root access to every router, not addressing that problem. one problem we have is 40+ nodes slowed down the network, broke it down to 2+ meshes.. issues with routing tables
      • sudomesh: any nodes repeating on a single frequency? we haven't had a node with less than 2 radios. babel understands that when it receives on one frequency, should forward on a non-overlapping frequency whenever possible. if you have directional gear, can point in two different directions. no limits wrt channels thus far - would need to be a fairly big buildout to approach that limit. only a few places where the 5ghz antennas overlap each other
        • nycmesh: that's very well-organized, we're just keeping it simple on the 5ghz freq, 6 routers on one frequency seems to be the capacity.
  • sudomesh: want to implement automated scanning to find next best available frequency when a connections falls back. have a ui where people can scan and see which channels they can next connect to. lot of stuff not sorted out yet. also starting to work on low-bandwidth LoRa radios for low-bandwidth connectivity. radios with LoRa standard just hitting the market - could probably run off solar, go 1-3miles in an urban environment up high
  • nycmesh: working with brooklyn microgrid, doing solar installs in brooklyn, partnering with them to include mesh routers on the panel installs
  • nycmesh: interference definitely an issue, sometimes ssid list doesn't load cuz there are so many
  • nymesh: longest connection is 3rd to 8th st, not even LoS, get about 5-8megabit. that's on 5GHz. one across the street that's 60megabit
    • sudomesh: getting around 100megabit on 5GHz. but 2.4 is getting jammed up
  • sudomesh: equip to send things over the powerline
  • discussion of commotion / oti / tidepools
  • discussion of 501c3 vs fiscal sponsorship - income & liability concerns. nycmesh is fiscally-sponsored, sudomesh applying for 501c3.
    • sudomesh planning to do a crowdfunding campaign
      • big successful things are the little boxes that do encryption :D
        • nycmesh: ISOC is becoming our fiscal sponsor


  • pursue another small solar company to work with
  • collaborate on a brochure for presenting to churches & schools
  • meet up after HOPE!


post-meeting ideas

  • dream magic box: 4 plugs at the back for 4 radio antennas (2 2.4 & 2 5GHz), at least 3 ethernet plugs, USB to micro powered,
  • location discovery using an SSID database

hacking on hardware

  • $11 yagi antenna
  • dual-band router (price?)
  • usb-powered wifi chip
  • $15 solar panel giving out 3.5-4W
  • $14 panel antenna
  • $2 5Ghz cone antenna
  • we took a bunch of stuff apart
  • wardriving raspberry pi to scan for nodes and output to a heatmap on the frontpage

later attendees

  • jason, liz, dale, james


  • The pollination project founders reached out to us because they're visiting the Bay Area in August. We invited them to come by for our hacknight on Tuesday 2nd of August :)
  • We should send an email to and see if they can get us bandwidth -