Wanted: Used Linksys router’s!
I See a Large benefit to our Emergency Communications operations.
There is always the risk that during a large emergency or disaster. The normal infrastructure, electrical power, telephone service, cell service, internet, etc. will fail.
Amateur Radio has proven itself strong in it’s ability to provide needed communications during these times of need. When Your Cell Phone’s Won’t Work, Our Radios Will!
By adding this to Our ARES Team’s capability’s.
Computer operations can also be established for the use of responder’s when the internet and cell networks are down!
Ham Radio and Mesh Networks
Lately I’ve been fascinated by the capabilities of mesh networks. The ability to quickly create ad-hock computer networks could be an invaluable resource for amateur radio operators in general and particularly for emergency communications (EMCOM)
The particular device and software I have been experimenting with is the Linksys WRT54G router and HSMM-MESH firmware from http://hsmm-mesh.org/.
Installing the HSMM-MESH firmware changes the way the Linksys router functions and allows it to automatically connect to other HSMM routers in a mesh network. No special configuration is required after setting your callsign. All TCP/IP configuration is pre-configured, even down to automatically assigning addresses to connecting clients.
Mesh networks are highly fault tolerant. Every router in the network is aware of every other router and has the ability to move network packets through from one unit to another provided there is a link, or chain of linked routers, between them.
In the diagram to the right each router is represented by a numbered circle. If router number 6 were to fail then network packets that needed to move between router 1 and 7 would travel through routers 2 & 3 or 5 & 10 until 6 was repaired. All this happens automatically and quickly enough so that there is no disruption to the traffic.
Anything you can access on a normal computer network can be made to work on a mesh network. Some of the services that have been demonstrated include email, voice over IP (VOIP), video conferencing, file sharing, web servers & groupware applications.
With simple modified antennas…..
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Portions of this Post Written by:
Owen Morgan, KF5CZO, 21 March 2012
Owen is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Texas, USA.
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