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If you’re interested in contributing to Project Phoenix, or starting your own community mesh network, this post should help get you on your way. These links were compiled from my personal research on the topic.
If you’re not aware of what a mesh network is, take a look at these links to gain a basic understanding of the typology.
- Understanding Mesh Networking, Part I
- Mesh Networking Wikipedia Article
- Community Wireless Networking Wikipedia Article
- Build your own!
Mesh Networking Protocols
These are fundamental protocols that should be reviewed before moving forward. I would recommend checking out B.A.T.M.A.N-ADV which is a fantastic example of what’s currently possible.
- BMX6 - Mesh routing protocol for Linux systems
- Babel loop-avoiding distance-vector routing protocol for wireless mesh networks
- Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
I’ve only noted hardware I’ve worked with while involved with Project Phoenix. As we continue to evaluate options, I will be sure to update this post.
Resources to help with determining specific hardware and driver support in the Linux kernel. Rule of thumb, if you have a semi-modern system with 802.11b,g,n,ac,ax support you will be able to configure a node. We’ve done so with a Raspberry Pi Single Board computer.
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
- Linux Wireless - Kernel.org
Airmax equipment is projected to be used for P2P links between Level 2 (Carriers) and Level 1 (Supernodes) nodes.
NOTE: Unfortunately, Ubiquiti has locked down the ability to upload custom firmwares to their Nanostation devices. We’ve spent some time attempting to bypass the firmware signature check with no luck. Feel free to reach out to me if you know a workaround.
The majority of firmwares that are in use are cross-platform (ARM, MIPS, x86, x86_64, Etc.)
- Quick Mesh Protocol
- NOTE: Quick Mesh Protocol’s Last Major release was in Jan 2018. Not likely to be used in Project Phoenix at this time.
- Alpine Linux
- MikroTik RouterOS
To avoid re-inventing the wheel, these projects provide fantastic documentation that has come in handy when designing the network.