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Date Posted: 22:09:46 12/05/06 Tue
Author: ben
Author Host/IP: netblock-72-25-103-119.dslextreme.com / 72.25.103.119
Subject: Re: I would like more information about your solar wifi
In reply to: Mike Perazzetti 's message, "I would like more information about your solar wifi" on 20:57:53 12/01/06 Fri

the best solution I've see so far for a community wireless network is made by a startup

www.meraki.net

because its basically plug and play. One market they are trying to reach is apartment building owners who wish to provide wireless for their building(s). The basic idea is all you have to do is plug in once device into some kind of feed to the web and add more devices as needed to fill in wireless coverage as needed.

It's a neat idea they make a standard simple device any property owner or manager can plug in, then use a web based interface to do some basic configuration, like have simple accounts made up so only tennants can use the network, and they do all the boring admin stuff like filtering traffic, limiting traffic etc.

The down side(s) to making a simple standard device like the meraki mini which I've used in my solar node are the basic radio is not very powerful, so if you want to cover large areas like a neighborhood, you would needs lots of these little devices to provice coverage.

There is a project based in the portland area that has lots of merak's deployed (check this link out with maps)

http://netequality.org/projects.html

up there with the basic merak they try and use 1 meraki for every 4 units

My own idea is to take the basic hardware and using the good old american idea that more power is better, and max out the configuration so that it is 40 times as powerful and mount the device on the roof so that not only tennants within the building can use the web, but its part of a much larger community network.

http://www.phaster.com/golden_hill_free_web/#walkabout

I'm discovering there are a few issue to be addressed, like how to build everying so that it is possible to stick the gear out side, in a cost effective manner.

In the future I plan to post a the pros/cons of each approach along with the bottom line what the total cost would be to cover a given area, that way other individual or groups can figure out what works best for their situation, in other words if you and a neighbor just want to share a broad band connection, then something like apple's airport might be the lowest cost and least painful, but if you want to share a signal with all your neighbors in an apartment building with 4 units then I'd say just start off with 2 meraki's, but if ya want to build a big community network that covers many blocks, then I'd suggest there is nothing better than building a few homebrew setups like I've built and stick them on the roof, it really isn't all that hard to cut some pipe and wire up simple circuit.









>I just discovered your site and I would like more
>information about the solar wifi device you just
>built. I am especially interested in purchasing a
>device that I can use for me and my local neighbors to
>access wifi. Sadly, I don't have your technical skills.
>
>Can you send me a little more information about what
>you are doing, pricing, strength of the signal, and
>ideal conditions given place of residence (I live in
>an apartment building), and worst case and idea
>weather conditions. I would also like to know if it
>is possible to connect a non laptop computer to this.
>
>I hope to hear from you soon,
>
>Mike Perazzetti
>718.312.2706

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