Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Complete Overview of MESH for Amateur Radio (Updated Nov. 2014)

5,577 views

Published on

This is a comprehensive introduction to MESH for amateur radio enthusiasts. It is particularly useful for anyone new to MESH but will also include some nuggets sure to be helpful to the experienced operator. Topics include:

1. HSMM MESH vs. traditional digital modes
2. Router review & comparison
3. Firmware selection & configuration
4. Antenna considerations
5. Application scenarios for ARES and experimentation
6. Updates on local efforts & recent software announcements

Visit VA3BCO.COM for more details.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Complete Overview of MESH for Amateur Radio (Updated Nov. 2014)

  1. 1. HSMM MESH Networking (BBHN) Considerations for Amateur Radio November 2014 Brian VA3BCO Web: www.va3bco.com Twitter: @VA3BCO
  2. 2. What You’ll Learn Today HSMM MESH HIGH SPEED MULTI-MEDIA • MICROWAVE FREQUENCIES • AMATEUR PRIVILEGES FOR INCREASED TRANSMIT POWER / ANTENNA GAIN • MASSIVE SPEED / CAPACITY ADVANTAGE OVER TRADITIONAL DIGITAL MODES MESH NETWORKING • P2P ARCHITECTURE • HIGHLY RESILIENT / FLEXIBLE • UNIQUELY SUITED TO AD HOC DEPLOYMENTS
  3. 3. Overview 1. Quick Comparison to Traditional Digital Modes 2. Introduction to “HSMM” and “MESH” 3. Practical Advice on Getting Started: ¤ Router Review & Comparison ¤ BBHN Firmware Selection & Configuration ¤ Antenna Considerations 4. Now What: Applications for ARES & Beyond
  4. 4. Quick Comparison to Traditional Digital Modes Hardware & Soundcard Based Digital Modes
  5. 5. Digital Considerations When evaluating digital modes, what should we consider? BANDWIDTH How much bandwidth is available or how much do we need for the digital mode? SPEED How fast is the mode able to transfer information? ACCURACY What is the need for accuracy and does the mode utilize error correction techniques? EQUIPMENT How specialized or expensive is the equipment?
  6. 6. Hardware TNCs & Modems ¤ Generally specialized / expensive equipment ¤ Not all modes available to amateurs Kantronics KAM-XL All-Mode Wireless Modem • Packet 300 / 1200 / 9600 • PSK / RTTY / and more • ~ $400 http://www.kantronics.com/products/kamxl.html SCS P4dragon DR-7800 HF Modem • Pactor 4… max 10,500 bps • Backwards compatible with Pactor I/II/III • ~ $1800 http://www.p4dragon.com/en/Home.html
  7. 7. Soundcard Based Modes ¤ Generally low speeds and data capacity PSK 31 MT63 http://www.arrl.org/images/view/News/nms_24.jpgSelection http://www.k7ea.com/pask232r.html PACKET http://www.k7ea.com/pask232r.html WINMOR http://www.soundcardpacket.http://www.arrl.org/news/rms-express-with-winmor-now-available-for-winlink-2000 org/3voltuneaid.htm
  8. 8. Massive Speed Difference PSK / RTTY / HF Packet ~ 30 to 300 bps Pactor III Pactor IV ~ 3 to 10 kbps D-STAR High Speed Data 128 kbps HSMM 54 Mbps +
  9. 9. Takeaways: Traditional Digital Modes STRENGTHS ¤ Narrow bandwidth makes many of these modes suitable for long distance communication (HF) ¤ Flexibility of peer to peer architecture for ad hoc communication ¤ Even slow digital modes can be more accurate (and more private) than voice communication WEAKNESSES ¤ Low speeds prevent using multimedia content which is highly prevalent today ¤ Hardware is highly specialized and expensive ¤ In the context of ARES, – Specialized operator skillsets and equipment may hinder availability (Knowledge of RMS, Fldigi, etc.) ¤ Poor compatibility with contemporary software that is commonly used
  10. 10. HSMM MESH Opportunity ¤ What if we had high speed capacity / bandwidth? ¤ What if we had something that allowed users to easily leverage common software where high familiarity exists? ¤ What if this could be deployed easily without any significant pre-planning / architecture? ¤ What if this could be done relatively cheaply using COTS (consumer off the shelf) hardware?
  11. 11. Intro to “HSMM” & “MESH” Key Principles & Application to Amateur Radio
  12. 12. Network Topology Comparison Typical Hub & Spoke Topology Hub & Spoke Key Attributes • Access points & nodes • Generally require pre-planning & permanent infrastructure • Susceptible to single point of failure • Internet reliant on AP connectivity MESH Topology MESH Key Attributes • Peer to peer organic structure • Self finding / organizing • Multi-path data routing • Fault tolerant • Internet “from the edges” Internet
  13. 13. MESH Example 1 2012 Hurricane Sandy
  14. 14. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/us/us-promotes-network-to-foil-digital-spying.html?_r=2
  15. 15. • Red Hook MESH • FEMA Uplink http://oti.newamerica.net/blogposts/2013/case_study_red_hook_initiative_wifi_tidepools-78575
  16. 16. MESH Example 2 2014 Hong Kong Photo: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1611322/grid-messaging-application-firechat-continues-ride-occupy-boost
  17. 17. Risk of cellular and/or wifi shutdown Source: http://mashable.com/2014/09/29/hong-kong-cell-network-chat/
  18. 18. ¤ 70 meters…bluetooth MESH ¤ No wifi / cellular connections are needed http://descrier.co.uk/technology/mesh-networks-like-firechat-used-hong-kong-protesters-make-switching-internet-much-harder/
  19. 19. ¤ 100,000 downloads in 24 hours ¤ 5.1 million chat sessions ¤ 37,000 used app simultaneously Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/09/29/firechat-prepares-encryption-feature-as-it-drives-hong-kong-protests/
  20. 20. What About Amateur Radio? HSMM MESH Commercial off the shelf (COTS) WIFI routers Customized firmware based on OpenWRT
  21. 21. What About Amateur Radio? Part 97 Licensed Part 15 Unlicensed 4 W EIRP 15OO W PEP** + 22 dBi Antenna 237.7 kW EIRP 30dBm (1W) 6 dBi Antenna Licensed amateurs don’t have the same power / antenna gain restrictions which makes things more interesting! ** For comparative example only…keep in mind RF maximum exposure limits (MPE).
  22. 22. Part 97 & Part 15 Overlap ¤ 13cm amateur band overlaps common wifi channels: 2.390 PART 15 UNLICENSED OVERLAP CH-1 PART 97 LICENSED CH0 CH1 CH2 CH3 CH4 CH5 CH6 CH7 CH8 CH9 CH10 CH11 2.400 2.450 2.500 Part 97 Licensed • Allows equipment modifications • 1500 W PEP • No EIRP limit • High gain antennas • Amps allowed • Interference protection • Usual stuff: call sign, no encryption, etc. Part 15 Unlicensed • Approved equipment with no modifications • Max 1W (30dBm) transmitter output power • Max 4W EIRP (considering transmit power and antenna gain combination) • Slightly higher EIRP for directional point to point applications
  23. 23. Not just 2.4GHz ¤ Overlap in both 13cm and 5cm bands… Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_multimedia_radio
  24. 24. 20/40 MHz width 8 overlapping ch. OFDM 1500W PEP Channels & Power 802.11g 2.390 – 2.400 GHz 54 Mbps 20 MHz width 8 overlapping ch. OFDM 1500W PEP 22 MHz width 8 overlapping ch. DSSS 10W PEP 802.11a 5.650 – 5.925 GHz 54 Mbps 802.11b 2.390 – 2.400 GHz 11 Mbps 20 MHz width 12 non-overlapping ch. OFDM 1500W PEP OFDM: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing DSSS: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_multimedia_radio 802.11n 2.390 – 2.400 GHz 300 Mbps 5cm 13cm Broadband Hamnet CH.1
  25. 25. Reference: dBm / Watts Conversion dBm Watts dBm Watts dBm Watts 0 1.0 mW 16 40 mW 32 1.6 W 1 1.3 mW 17 50 mW 33 2.0 W 2 1.6 mW 18 63 mW 34 2.5 W 3 2.0 mW 19 79 mW 35 3.2 W 4 2.5 mW 20 100 mW 36 4.0 W 5 3.2 mW 21 126 mW 37 5.0 W 6 4 mW 22 158 mW 38 6.3 W 7 5 mW 23 200 mW 39 8.0 W 8 6 mW 24 250 mW 40 10 W 9 8 mW 25 316 mW 41 13 W 10 10 mW 26 398 mW 42 16 W 11 13 mW 27 500 mW 43 20 W 12 16 mW 28 630 mW 44 25 W 13 20 mW 29 800 mW 45 32 W 14 25 mW 30 1.0 W 46 40 W 15 32 mW 31 1.3 W 47 50 W Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_multimedia_radio
  26. 26. Getting Started with HSMM MESH (BBHN) for Licensed Amateurs Linksys or Ubiquiti Routers with HSMM-MESH Firmware
  27. 27. HSMM – MESH in One Slide Here’s a simplified summary: 1. Obtain a supported router (only specific models work) 2. Download the correct HSMM-MESH firmware 3. Reflash the router (and use the proper SSID) 4. Minor setup in software (ie. Call Sign) 5. Other people with HSMM-MESH enabled routers using the same SSID and within range will automatically become part of the network
  28. 28. What Can I do With it? ¤ Whatever software applications you would have used on a computer network, you can pretty much use on a MESH network: File Sharing IRC Chat Web Browser VOIP Phone IP Cameras
  29. 29. More Detailed Explanation The following sections will provide more detail: Part 1 - Choosing a Router Part 2 – Downloading & Installing the Firmware Part 3 – Antenna Placement & Considerations Part 4 – Operating with HSMM-MESH Software
  30. 30. Part 1 – Choosing a Router Linksys or Ubiquiti Routers
  31. 31. Getting Started: Hardware ¤ Typically a Linksys router…but only certain ones…be sure to check the list: ¤ http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/section-blog/37- hardware-faqs/101-supported-hardware.html
  32. 32. Which Linksys Router? ¤ Find older Linksys routers (version 4 and below) ¤ Upon version 5, Linksys switched from a linux based firmware to VxWorks OS and reduced flash memory / RAM YES WRT54G 1.0 – 4.0 WRT54GS 1.0 – 4.0 WRT54GL 1.0 – 1.1 NO WRT54G 5.0+ WRT54GS 5.0+ Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series
  33. 33. Linksys: Antenna Connections Antenna Connections ¤ Most models have 2x reverse polarity TNC connectors Source: http://www.hotarc.org/images/connectors.jpg Source: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/linksys/wrt54g
  34. 34. Caution: Line Loss Short feedline runs are critical ¤ Feedlines should be short possible since signal loss is much higher at microwave frequencies (even when using LMR-400) 10MHz 0.6dB loss / 100’ (RG-213) 2.4GHz 15.2dB loss / 100’ (RG-213)
  35. 35. Linksys: Power Power Connections ¤ Accepts 4v – 16v ¤ Use AC power adapter or solder connections for USB or PowerPoles Source: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/linksys/wrt54g
  36. 36. W5MAE RooTenna 19 dBi Panel Antenna ($100 - $150 in materials) Instructions from W5MAE http://bit.ly/1y8MnxE Laird 2.4GHz 19dBi RooTenna: http://bit.ly/1tgCCt3
  37. 37. Linksys Support Will End Soon
  38. 38. Linksys vs. Ubiquiti 79mW 630 mW
  39. 39. BBHN Support for Ubiquiti Integrated Radio & Antenna Standalone Radio Source: http://fleetnetwork.ca/collections/airmax
  40. 40. Ubiquiti Product Comparison Name NanoStation M2 NanoStation Loco M2 AirGrid M2 HP Bullet M2 HP Rocket M2 Model NSM2 LOCOM2 AG-HP-2G20 M2 M2 Frequency 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz Op Freq Range 2412 - 2462 MHz 2412 - 2462 MHz 2412 - 2462 MHz 2412 - 2462 MHz 2402 - 2462 MHz Thoroughput 150+ Mbps 150+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 150+ Mbps Range 13+km 5+km 20 +km n/a n/a Power Supply 24V, 0.5A POE 24V, 0.5A POE 24V, 0.5A POE Upto 24V 24V, 1A POE POE Included? Yes Yes Yes No Yes Max Power Consumption 5.5 Watts 8 Watts 3 Watts 7 Watts 6.5 Watts Transmit Power (dBm) 28 dBm 23 dBm 28 dBm 28 dBm 28 dBm Transmit Power (Watts) 630mW 200mW 630mW 630mW 630mW Polarization Dual Linear Dual Linear V or H n/a n/a Antenna Gain 11.2 dBi 8.5 dBi 20 dBi n/a n/a Max Potential EIRP 39.2 dBm 31.5 dBm 48 dBm n/a n/a RF Connector n/a n/a n/a N Male 2 RP SMA Appx. Price (CDN) $100 $60 $80 $90 $105 Source: http://www.ubnt.com/products/
  41. 41. Ubiquiti Videos “Ham Radio HSMM Using Ubiquiti Equipment” Mark Rodgers KC8GRQ http://youtu.be/zRmOpFtIrwE http://youtu.be/V94Afsfv8-E
  42. 42. NanoStation M2 (11.2dBi) Source: http://www.ubnt.com/products/
  43. 43. NanoStation Loco M2 (8.5dBi) Source: http://www.ubnt.com/products/
  44. 44. AirGrid M2 HP (20 dBi) Source: http://www.ubnt.com/products/
  45. 45. PoE (Power Over Ethernet) ¤ Most Ubiquiti devices come with 24v PoE adapters ¤ Consider voltage drop over distance Source: http://www.ubnt.com/accessories/poe-adapters/
  46. 46. PoE (Power Over Ethernet) ¤ Ubiquiti devices will also operate on 12v (10.5v min) so you can use solar / battery if desired (note…keep CAT 5 distance shorter to prevent excessive voltage drop) ¤ Be sure to confirm your passive POE injector uses +4/5 and -7/8 on the CAT 5 cable Source: http://www.amazon.com/Passive-injector-Power-over-Ethernet/dp/B00EBCGJVW/
  47. 47. Part 2 – BBHN Firmware Selection, Installing, & Configuration
  48. 48. Software Overview ¤ BBHN (broadband hamnet) is a modified version of OpenWRT designed to run as an OS on embedded devices ¤ Software version matters – not currently backwards compatible ¤ Once your router has the new firmware, it will no longer function as a “wifi hotspot” ¤ Your computer must plug directly into the router (via ethernet) or another unmodified wifi router should be used as an access point ¤ Your connected computer will use a web browser to configure the BBHN software
  49. 49. Download the Right Software ¤ Go to http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/software-download.html ¤ Choose the appropriate version of software for your router and situation and be sure to read any updates on the home page
  50. 50. Installation / Config Instructions ¤ Three good options for direction and support: 1. BBHN Wesbite 2. Search BBHN / Router 3. YouTube Videos http://bit.ly/1Ak3S3r http://bit.ly/1E6e6B9 http://youtu.be/pryc8jIl6Xo
  51. 51. Antenna Placement Understanding the Fresnel Zone
  52. 52. Line of Sight “Microwaves can go 15 miles or through one tree”
  53. 53. Line of Sight: Fresnel Zone ¤ Microwaves aren’t really a narrow beam so much as they are an ellipse. ¤ Elliptical zone between transmit / receive points is called the fresnel zone. ¤ Image Source: http://www.tp-link.com/en/support/calculator/#1
  54. 54. Line of Sight: Fresnel Zone ¤ Distance (and path obstacles) will influence the required height needed for optimal transmission. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_zone
  55. 55. Line of Sight: Fresnel Zone ¤ As a rule of thumb, the typical maximum obstruction allowable in the Fresnel zone is 40%, but the recommended obstruction is 20% or less. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_zone
  56. 56. Part 4 – Operating with BBHN Application Software & Usage Scenarios
  57. 57. Potential BBHN Usage Scenarios ARES Tinkering 1. Emergency Site Network 2. Bridging Internet Connectivity 3. Video Monitoring / GPS / Drone 1. Remote Rig Control 2. Repeater Linking / Bridging 3. Local Club Network
  58. 58. Potential BBHN Usage Scenarios ARES 1. Emergency Site Network 2. Bridging Internet Connectivity 3. Video Monitoring / GPS / Drone
  59. 59. 1: Emergency Site Network Traditional Approach • Paper files • Slow data (if at all) • HT Voice Today’s World • Microsoft Office / File Sharing • VOIP & Videoconferencing • Social Media, Chatting, etc.
  60. 60. 1: Emergency Site Network ¤ A variety of BBHN enabled equipment can be used to link various sites together to create a closed high speed network that can handle a full suite of data applications 20km Point to Point Site A Site B Extended Impacted zone with disrupted communications / power Site B
  61. 61. 2: Bridging Internet Connectivity ¤ Times have changed with internet access and social media becoming critical communications tools during emergencies: MESH Topology Internet
  62. 62. Online – First Stop for Information ¤ Whenever a situation arises, the internet is the first stop for critical information:
  63. 63. Google Crisis
  64. 64. Google Public Alerts
  65. 65. Google Person Finder
  66. 66. Twitter Alerts
  67. 67. Facebook Safety Check
  68. 68. 2: Bridging Internet Connectivity ¤ BBHN could be used to provide MESH nodes with internet access from “beyond the edge” (although there may be some regulatory considerations to be aware of) 20km Point to Point Site A Site B Extended Site B Impacted zone with disrupted communications / power Normal Zone Internet
  69. 69. 3: Video Survey of Damage ¤ What if a drone with a live video feed could be used to survey and assess damaged / inaccessible areas? Source: http://s.imwx.com/common/articles/images/ice-storm-springdale-patpie_650x366.jpg
  70. 70. 3: Video Survey of Damage ¤ What if a drone with live video feed could be used to Realtime video or file upload Site A survey and assess damaged / inaccessible areas? Impacted zone with disrupted communications / power Site B Site C Video From Drone
  71. 71. Potential BBHN Usage Scenarios Tinkering 1. Remote Rig Control 2. Repeater Linking / Bridging 3. Local Club Network
  72. 72. 1: Remote Rig Control Common Challenges ¤ Noise Level ¤ Neighbors ¤ Antenna Height ¤ Property Aesthetics ¤ Etc.
  73. 73. 1: Remote Rig Control ¤ Opportunity to find superior antenna space at a more remote location without DSL / cable internet access 20km Point to Point (or link through multiple nodes) Site B Photo: http://www.dr1a.com/media/station/towers/DR1A_Tower4_2010.jpg
  74. 74. 2: Repeater Linking / Bridging Common Challenges ¤ Service costs of Internet / phone ¤ Physical access limitations ¤ Etc. Photo: http://www.soara.org/dstar/repeater_pics/dstar-photos.html
  75. 75. 2: Repeater Linking / Bridging ¤ If cost or physical access issues are a concern, BBHN could be used to link sites or layer in internet access 20km Point to Point (or link through multiple nodes) Internet Site B Photo: http://www.soara.org/dstar/repeater_pics/dstar-photos.html
  76. 76. 3: Local Club Network(s) Opportunity ¤ Organic growth and critical mass can help overcome line of sight issues and make less powerful equipment more effective
  77. 77. 3: Local Club Network(s) Green active Blue and “F” dots future Red not likely
  78. 78. Thank You www.va3bco.com @VA3BCO

×