Mesh/30 May 2017

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people's open network hacknight - 30 May 2017

attendees

  • will, eve, grant[2] (from baltimore/tucscon - recovering sysadmin, just quit his job), juul (find someone who will let you build a yurt in their backyard), brad (sysadmin in need of recovery, still have corp job), daniel (wannabe sysadmin), patrick (studying electrical engineering, lives in santa cruz), scott, jehan (working on a system for incentivized mesh, babeld lab, outreach), grant (also just quit his job as a sysadmin, wanna work on disaster radio), taylor (visitor from cleveland), jenny (property tax exemption for omni complete! interested in scheming on apps we can host on mesh. brainstorming on apps, e.g. etherpad light), sierk (web developer / programmer, some experience with ubiquity. also an activist / community organizer and interested in helping with outreach), bullitt (do whatever i want. sailing right now. talking to people at the fifth ave marina. will talk to berkeley yacht club as well), jorrit (made an analog map! built babeld lab. open to talk with newcomers).

intro

  • Jorrit: Figuring out ways to create a community-owned internet in the East Bay (specifically). Currently a network called Peoples Open that's using sudo mesh's software and hardware as the technical infrastructure. [shows map] - maintained by people running nodes - spreading the idea that you don't have to rely on ATT or Comcast but can DIY. Started 4 years ago - right now the hardware & the software that runs on top of it seems to be running okay. Figuring out how to get more nodes out there, get more people involved.
  • Marc: Main focus on the software dev is to make it incredibly easy to set up nodes, so that almost anybody can do it. Jehan headed up an effort to create a dashboard to visualize the nodes.
  • Jorrit: in an ideal scenario, would have enough knowledge and savvy to run a local resilient network. Going onto the real internet is shielded through a VPN run by sudo mesh. In the MAN (mesh area network)
  • Jenny: used to run monthly cryptoparties to encourage security hygiene / end user security
  • Grant: Making configurable options for flashing...
  • Juul: We do want some info on the user - configure on first bootup. But could be encouraged to go to a website to add the info about their contact info etc themselves.
  • Jorrit: Most important thing is having a group of people to hang out with and build stuff and learn things.. beyond that 1) education - making people aware of how a network works and how to DIY, and 2) running a network and related goals. Can't build a computer network without a human network.
  • Juul: Disaster Radio is a very low bandwidth, resilient, long range network. 1 channel shared between all nodes. Bandwidth is a few kilo/second, hopefully to hook into the mesh eventually

updates

outreach

  • jehan: there's a few different elements to outreach: one is getting home nodes out that are going to use the network. me will and andy went out and handed out nodes to people in the neighborhood. don't know if they actually work
  • will: don't think they are actually online
  • juul: and the one that we just set up is *receiving* internet from the opposite direction
  • jehan: we can reach more people by going behind the building. but more fun to go longer distances. there's a porch over on a taller building next to omni (we know them). went to reed brothers and they gave permission for us to put a node on their roof. talked to storquest management person and he said if you want to put something on the roof we could discuss rates (they already sell to cell providers). (discussion about how we could hack it as a tax write-off... issues with it not being legal to write off rent as a donation. can we call it a service?)
    • anybody interested in robotic self-aiming antennae?
      • personal telco gave us some units for controllable panel antennas

disaster radio

  • juul: got stuck on a couple of issues this weekend. radio chip comes up in a weird state on first boot. need a way to switch on the radio after system initiation. high side switching, didn't have the components, have to unplug and replug both bins on the radio chip each time. ordered chips but they won't come in for a few weeks. no solid solution from hardware hack night folks. ran a node for ~10 hours and then it stopped being usable (that's bad) - hoping it's because the voltage regular was not properly rated for what we want to do.
    • scheming on a mass produced design for disaster radio... going to shenzen at the end of the year... trying to figure out a solar system for it. [shows 6V PV panels] - problem with solar cells is that they're not weatherized and only half a volt... only 4.8watts, but >$2... but boosting voltage is hard... could only find one chip on the market but is tiny and hard to solder. these ones are $4 more per unit, but pre-weatherized. auuposed to generate 2.5 watts, got some others that output 3 and 6.5(?). in full CA sun they generate as much power as they say they do. disaster radio nodes use 6.5watts, newer ones about half of that. or half a watt? i got confused
    • scott: could use board from SEED studios.
      • juul: adafruit u
  • juul: component list i spec'd out came out around $60 for components... based on ali express single unit prices
  • info on running ubiquiti nodes off solar is at https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Mesh/Power
  • jenny: juul also specc'd out setup for running a node off a car battery

jake intervention

  • Jake: haz house with an extender node mounted on the street, pointed to Pete's, which has a business line... but moving out. when we go, can take the home node and reprogram it to associate with the wifi of the comcast connection at old spot, the
    • juul: major modification of the config, but add a little wifi adapter

setting up mesh nodes at camps

  • juul: would like to avoid middlemen, go directly to the groups
  • eve: don't think of social services as inherently evil - good intentions, not in it for the money
  • sierk: depends on which organizations... some do good, some get a lot of money and are not on the side of the people on the streets. if we can avoid middlemen, its better. at least can look at places to put nodes near spots where a lot of transient people are.
  • patrick: people with fnb would have an idea of what's going
    • bullit: groups that meet here are the folks we wanna talk to. eg the squatters.
  • juul: will is wearing a fancy calx institute there... calx has this deal where if you pay 30-40/mo you get a fancy 4g access point... could set aside 40/mo to buy a modem & solar panel then we don't hafta bug the neighbors
    • how to secure it?
      • put on a reflective vest and a hardhat and bolt it under the freeway
  • jenny: want to reach


  • we have a mobile home node now! \o/

breakout groups

  • outreach w/ jehan
  • newfolk w/ jorrit
  • firmware flashing w/ grant


outreach

  • Reed Brothers can see 42nd St node - will & jehan will look into it in a week or two