Radio Preppers

General Category => Digital Modes => Topic started by: Geek on July 19, 2013, 07:08:10 pm

Title: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 19, 2013, 07:08:10 pm
Has anyone here set up a HSMM-MESH router?  I just set one up, knowing that there are a bunch of them in the next county but none here.  I am hoping a few more will go up in the vicinity.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on July 19, 2013, 07:32:52 pm
I set up two of them just to test a few weeks ago. Took me about 1/2 an hour to reflash the firmware and configure them. Zero activity in my area unfortunately. I did it more to see how they worked than to put them in operation.

- Rob
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 19, 2013, 09:29:18 pm
Did you keep them up and report at least one as live?  Do you know how far you are from other nodes?
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: cockpitbob on July 19, 2013, 09:39:58 pm
I just read the getting-started page at HSMM-MESH.org.  I have to confess that I'm still not sure what you would actually do with one. 
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: KK0G on July 19, 2013, 09:46:42 pm
Quote from: cockpitbob on July 19, 2013, 09:39:58 pm
I just read the getting-started page at HSMM-MESH.org.  I have to confess that I'm still not sure what you would actually do with one. 


Me too. Sounds interesting but I'm not envisioning it.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: White Tiger on July 19, 2013, 10:58:13 pm
Quote from: cockpitbob on July 19, 2013, 09:39:58 pm
I just read the getting-started page at HSMM-MESH.org.  I have to confess that I'm still not sure what you would actually do with one.


This is a topic Luck and I discussed a couple weeks ago - due this being the lead article in QST.

Luck sent me the link to the mesh.org website (mentioned above) - this is the stated goal from the website:

"Broadband-Hamnet? (formerly called HSMM-Mesh?)  is a high speed, self discovering, self configuring, fault tolerant, wireless computer network that can run for days from a fully charged car battery, or indefinitely with the addition of a modest solar array or other supplemental power source. The focus is on emergency communications..."

I'm interested in it because you can use it to send email with full video - I'm interested to see if I could use it as a security measure - even if the grid goes down. I'm also interested to see if I could deploy a small, secure, network.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: KK0G on July 19, 2013, 11:23:01 pm
So what you're saying is, I should probably go back and read my issue of QST and actually pay attention this time. I can take a hint ;D
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: RadioRay on July 20, 2013, 02:24:45 am
Count me in.  MESH in general, is something which caught my eye when we were using if for self-forming/self-healing  tactical dataclouds for various mil systems ten years ago.

You are right-on about using it for forming an area net in the event of general infrastructure failure, or even before.  There are parallel efforts aimed at writing apps to make smartphone MESH as well.  I am wondering about the ability to basically make a community cloud for a neighborhood watch on steroids, live low lux video/seismic feeds for instant situational awareness and enciphered speech for the group (non-ham MESH).

Thanks for the link.  I'll go take a look, even if it's just to set-up a household MESH for fun.


>de RadioRay ..._ ._
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on July 20, 2013, 07:50:05 am
Quote from: Geek on July 19, 2013, 09:29:18 pm
Did you keep them up and report at least one as live?  Do you know how far you are from other nodes?


Closest node I saw when I checked last was about 100 miles away from me. There are near zero hams (or potential node sites) that are line of sight to me anyways. I set them up as I was curious about the technology more than anything else. I'll eventually set them up and keep them live and do more experimentation in the fall. There is a real lack of active local operators in my area and even less who are experimenters unfortunately.

Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 20, 2013, 12:00:59 pm
Here the technology seems to have caught on the next county over, but not in my immediate area.  I think there is enough interaction among HAMS in the area to get this going.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on July 24, 2013, 12:57:40 pm
"In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency"

I'm out
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: KK0G on July 24, 2013, 01:39:08 pm
Quote from: madball13 on July 24, 2013, 12:57:40 pm
"In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency"

I'm out


Me too.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 24, 2013, 02:20:25 pm
Quote from: madball13 on July 24, 2013, 12:57:40 pm
"In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency"

I'm out


I'm not sure why you think that.  While a little knowledge of TCP/IP will make some of the screens less cryptic, the process was no worse than setting up a home router.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: gil on July 24, 2013, 04:03:35 pm
Quote"In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency"


I doubt that as well..

600mW is not much though, but with a Yagi-Uda, which would be small for that band, it opens up a lot of possibilities.

Those new 2m digital handhelds give you pretty good privacy too, since almost nobody can afford them!

Gil.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on July 25, 2013, 11:32:24 am
Quote from: madball13 on July 24, 2013, 12:57:40 pm
"In order to gain benefit from this system you must be fluent in TCP/IP networking or be a highly motivated self-starter who can independently acquire that fluency"



I think that fluent is an unfortunate choice of words. You need to know a little bit but it is something that could be learned in a few minutes. Don't let that scare you off.

The biggest shortcoming in this project seems to be a lack of real life examples of how it can be used. Here is a post asking for examples and the OP seems frustrated by the lack of response:

http://hsmm-mesh.org/section-blog/39-application-notes/59-how-can-you-use-hsmm-mesh.html

I can foresee a number of applications that would work well with HSMM-MESH if you had a group of local like-minded hams near you. You could create your own private IP network and run RoIP, VoIP, control your neighbors HF rig, remote video for surveillance, etc. I have heard of a lot of people using this technology but no one seems to want to document their application of it.

EDIT: Found a few published applications here: http://www.hsmm-mesh.org/applications-for-the-mesh.html but they really aren't HOW TO's.

- Rob
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: WA4STO on July 25, 2013, 12:02:11 pm
Quote from: Rob_ma on July 25, 2013, 11:32:24 am
The biggest shortcoming in this project seems to be a lack of real life examples of how it can be used.


There's a whole chapter in the ARRL's VHF Digital Communications pub on HSMM-MESH.  I don't have it around here any more (out on long term loan) but I seem to recall that it was really fabulous for showing how the group in Austin managed to succeed with it.

Me, I'm stuck in the cornfields of Nebraska.

73

LH
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 25, 2013, 12:23:14 pm
The fellow that got me started was pushing the idea of email.  Basically, the email would move through the HSMM-MESH network until it got to a DStar connection or some other Internet connection.

So far my impression is it is cheap, simple but lacks critical mass to really work.  On the other hand, each time someone adds one we get closer to something useful.

The routers that work are pretty cheap new and have been around long enough you can probably get them even cheaper on eBay.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on July 30, 2013, 11:33:31 am
I seem to be having some success in getting some local HAMs interested.  I'll know within a few weeks whether it is all talk or they're actually setting up MESH routers.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 01, 2013, 01:16:10 pm
Quote from: Geek on July 30, 2013, 11:33:31 am
I seem to be having some success in getting some local HAMs interested.  I'll know within a few weeks whether it is all talk or they're actually setting up MESH routers.


I'm slightly intrigued and will be discussing this with our emmcomm group in town.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 01, 2013, 03:13:03 pm
Sounds great!  I suggest getting a router from the list and setting it up.  You'll be able to speak more knowledgeably based on that experience.  I placed an order for another router so I can demonstrate two of them communicating with each other.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 06, 2013, 04:55:23 pm
Quote from: Geek on August 01, 2013, 03:13:03 pm
Sounds great!  I suggest getting a router from the list and setting it up.  You'll be able to speak more knowledgeably based on that experience.  I placed an order for another router so I can demonstrate two of them communicating with each other.


I'm lurking fleabay for one now. A guy is selling a bunch already flashed for $50. It would be sweet if i could score one for $25 or so.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on August 06, 2013, 05:26:24 pm


I'm lurking fleabay for one now. A guy is selling a bunch already flashed for $50. It would be sweet if i could score one for $25 or so.
[/quote]

Ask around locally, too. I had someone hand me four of them for free just for asking. Lots of them around and sometimes they just get put on a shelf after someone upgraded to another router.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 06, 2013, 06:02:37 pm
Quote from: Rob_ma on August 06, 2013, 05:26:24 pm


I'm lurking fleabay for one now. A guy is selling a bunch already flashed for $50. It would be sweet if i could score one for $25 or so.

Ask around locally, too. I had someone hand me four of them for free just for asking. Lots of them around and sometimes they just get put on a shelf after someone upgraded to another router.


Flashing it takes about 20 minutes.  If you can install a WiFi router yourself, then you can set up one of these.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 07, 2013, 08:12:39 am
Quote from: Geek on August 06, 2013, 06:02:37 pm
Quote from: Rob_ma on August 06, 2013, 05:26:24 pm


I'm lurking fleabay for one now. A guy is selling a bunch already flashed for $50. It would be sweet if i could score one for $25 or so.

Ask around locally, too. I had someone hand me four of them for free just for asking. Lots of them around and sometimes they just get put on a shelf after someone upgraded to another router.


Flashing it takes about 20 minutes.  If you can install a WiFi router yourself, then you can set up one of these.


I saw a video on youtube about flashing the router and it looks pretty easy.

Edit: Just got a router for $25.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 09, 2013, 08:10:17 am
Just had an epiphany, going to use a HSMM-MESH network to create a range camera so i can shoot 600 yards by myself. 
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 09, 2013, 08:39:06 am
I have to admit I've been thinking disaster preparations and not much else.  However, this should work for anything you would want to send over a LAN.  I'm planning on attending a session next week where the fellow who introduced me to the technology will be speaking about running Skype and a variety of other things over an HSMM-MESH network.  That should get me more aware of the possibilities.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 09, 2013, 10:04:06 am
Quote from: Geek on August 09, 2013, 08:39:06 am
I have to admit I've been thinking disaster preparations and not much else.  However, this should work for anything you would want to send over a LAN.  I'm planning on attending a session next week where the fellow who introduced me to the technology will be speaking about running Skype and a variety of other things over an HSMM-MESH network.  That should get me more aware of the possibilities.


Please share what you find out.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Quietguy on August 09, 2013, 06:06:20 pm
Quote from: madball13 on August 09, 2013, 08:10:17 amgoing to use a HSMM-MESH network to create a range camera so i can shoot 600 yards by myself.

I had a similar idea with using one to monitor a chain link gate across the end of our 500 foot driveway.  A curve in the driveway plus lots of trees and elevation difference makes the gate not visible from the house.

Then I priced out decent quality outdoor IP cameras, and that put an end to that idea, at least temporarily.  Web cams to stick on your monitor are cheap - outdoor IP surveillance cameras are not.

Wally
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 09, 2013, 07:26:06 pm
Quote from: Quietguy on August 09, 2013, 06:06:20 pm
Quote from: madball13 on August 09, 2013, 08:10:17 amgoing to use a HSMM-MESH network to create a range camera so i can shoot 600 yards by myself.

I had a similar idea with using one to monitor a chain link gate across the end of our 500 foot driveway.  A curve in the driveway plus lots of trees and elevation difference makes the gate not visible from the house.

Then I priced out decent quality outdoor IP cameras, and that put an end to that idea, at least temporarily.  Web cams to stick on your monitor are cheap - outdoor IP surveillance cameras are not.

Wally


I've seen ads for game cameras that use WiFi.  You might want to check some place like Cabellas for those.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Quietguy on August 10, 2013, 02:42:42 am
Good idea Geek, I didn't think of that.  I'll check them out.

Thanks,
Wally
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 13, 2013, 09:08:44 am
Last evening I sat through the Hawthorne, NJ radio club's meeting re: HSMM-MESH.  This is about 45 minutes from my home and not a club I have been involved with previously.  The folks doing the presenting were extremely knowledgeable and had no problem losing me from time to time.  However, by the close of the meeting they had set up a MESH network in the room and demonstrated using the network to transmit live video.  They also flashed a Linksys router with the latest firmware and then upgraded one with older firmware to the latest firmware.

One fellow was talking up using Raspberry Pi computers rather than the Linksys routers, but I finally figured out that this has only been available for a few weeks, and when I asked how long it would be before that would be shaken down adequately for someone like yours truly, I was given the answer of 2 months, so depending on how much on the bleeding edge you want to be, you can figure out where to place yourself.

The thing I found most interesting was the distances these things could communicate, given adequate height and power.  Apparently there has been some testing in various locations and distances between nodes of up to 137 miles have been achieved.  This required absolutely no obstructions, substantial height and an amplified signal.  Since at the moment I cannot see any nearby nodes with my router, and I intend to put up some sort of pole anyhow, I'll probably put up an antenna for it and do some experimenting to see what I can connect with.

The presenters were coming from the perspective of working with local Office of Emergency Management groups and were keen on setting up units with a 12v battery and a waterproof box on local hilltops, etc.  The batteries they were using looked to be about the size of motorcycle batteries.  It sounded like one could expect the unit to function for about 24 hours without attention and then the battery would need recharging.  There was also discussion of putting them in cars or on top of fire trucks and just driving to the location where a node was needed.

Personally, I am hoping to see lots of local HAMS put up one of these and have a network so dense it can't be taken out by something like Hurricane Sandy.  Overall I was left with the impression of great technology, low power requirement, but very new and mostly used by a small group today.  The challenge will be in getting it rolled out to enough locations that one can find other nodes easily.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 13, 2013, 04:28:03 pm
Thanks for sharing.

With the network up what would they use for programs? E-mail, video and chat?
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 13, 2013, 05:21:34 pm
Quote from: madball13 on August 13, 2013, 04:28:03 pm
Thanks for sharing.

With the network up what would they use for programs? E-mail, video and chat?

There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm for chat, but if someone was willing to put up the necessary servers, you could put up anything you wanted.  The viewpoint of the speakers was very much about putting up a network for use by emergency responders, so presumably they could put up a chosen chat server, run it for the duration of the emergency, and then the whole thing would go down again.  Part of the interest in the Raspberry Pi was that it could be a host for whatever server you wanted.

Personally, if we were talking something like Sandy, I'd be looking to get to the Internet so I could get email out through my normal accounts to folks outside the affected area with the alternative of putting up my own servers only being applicable if I could not get to the Internet.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 14, 2013, 01:21:57 pm
Really good write ups here:

http://www.4x4ham.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Technical-Write-ups
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 14, 2013, 02:16:38 pm
Quote from: madball13 on August 14, 2013, 01:21:57 pm
Really good write ups here:

http://www.4x4ham.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Technical-Write-ups


Thanks for that link.  The series is good and I also found another series on putting together a Raspberry Pi computer! :)
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 14, 2013, 02:50:14 pm
yeah all those technical write ups look pretty good.

Got my router last night and used my RASP to flash it, worked pretty good except i only have one, think i need a few more to actually set up a network.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 14, 2013, 04:05:42 pm
You need at least two to do any testing unless there is someone else around who has one that you can see.  There don't seem to be any around me, so I want to get a second one, test a bit, then run one up a pole.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 29, 2013, 01:36:30 pm

Quote from: Geek on August 14, 2013, 04:05:42 pm
You need at least two to do any testing unless there is someone else around who has one that you can see.  There don't seem to be any around me, so I want to get a second one, test a bit, then run one up a pole.


Jumped on eBay to snag a couple more. Threw out a bunch of low bids in the hopes if snagging 2 or 3 for 15-18 a piece. Well I won almost all I bid on and ended up with 8.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 30, 2013, 05:33:23 am
At that price you can flash them, leave them tucked away, and then when an emergency hits, pass them out to anyone with a generator.  Were you able to verify that all of them are HSMM-MESH capable before bidding?
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on August 30, 2013, 11:22:03 am
I found an old 54G model in a junk drawer the other day.  Sounds like I've got a new purpose for it!   ;D
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 30, 2013, 02:14:20 pm
Quote from: KF5RHI on August 30, 2013, 11:22:03 am
I found an old 54G model in a junk drawer the other day.  Sounds like I've got a new purpose for it!   ;D


If it is one of the models on the HSMM-MESH list, you are good to go.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on August 30, 2013, 04:08:39 pm
It is...already checked!  ;)

Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on August 30, 2013, 05:19:13 pm
Well, that's the best price I've heard of on one of these routers.  :-)
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on August 31, 2013, 08:37:08 pm

Quote from: Geek on August 30, 2013, 05:33:23 am
At that price you can flash them, leave them tucked away, and then when an emergency hits, pass them out to anyone with a generator.  Were you able to verify that all of them are HSMM-MESH capable before bidding?


I only bid on ones that were GTG for flashing.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on September 01, 2013, 08:59:58 am
That is great!  If I were you I would falsh all of them now.  Label them with the IDs you want.  Test them.  Set up a couple to use all the time and tuck the rest away for emergency use and backups.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: madball13 on September 01, 2013, 09:42:50 am

Quote from: Geek on September 01, 2013, 08:59:58 am
That is great!  If I were you I would falsh all of them now.  Label them with the IDs you want.  Test them.  Set up a couple to use all the time and tuck the rest away for emergency use and backups.


Great? Yes and no. Wanted 2 or 3, not 9.

But anyway getting them flashed now. I have a energizer back up battery that fits the routers perfect so I'm going to take it on the road and test range. I'm hoping the stock config can link up halfway between me and a buddy and we can use height and hi gains to get us the rest of the way.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on September 01, 2013, 01:57:35 pm
From what I have been told, height is the key to getting more range.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Geek on September 04, 2013, 12:22:30 pm
I set up my second router and the two routers can see each other fine, so I know everything is working.  Next step is to get some height and see if I can find some distant nodes.  I'm thinking that I'll leave one in the house and one up a pole.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: recon_prepper on October 12, 2013, 01:25:02 pm
Our EMA uses them for various things. We have ip web cams on top of each of the counties water towers that we can control thru them.
Also VOIP phones can be used when phone lines are down in a storm or a drunk hits a power pole or a squirrel chews thru the lines.
Transferring files such as ICS forms for ARES and things like that.

Those are a few uses for them.
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: K5KTF on October 06, 2014, 07:14:43 pm
There are FOSCAM outdoor IP cams for under $100 (foscam.us). And yes, you can do ANYTHING over BBHN that you can do over the internet. One guy has setup TICKETS-CAD (a free alternative to WEB-EOC) on a BeagleBoneBlack (more power than a R-Pi). In fact on that same BBB, he has TicketsCAD, Asterisk (for VoIP phones), an FTP server LOADED with every kind of manual in PDF form (radio manuals, other instructions/manuals/info).
Hook it to ONE node, advertise the services in the node's setup, and poof, a completely portable EmComm management station.

Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on October 07, 2014, 01:32:29 pm
That sounds very interesting. Is this documented online anywhere?

- Rob
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: geoffrain on October 07, 2014, 09:29:42 pm
Lots of info here http://www.broadband-hamnet.org

Geoff


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: HSMM-MESH
Post by: Rob_ma on October 08, 2014, 04:09:22 pm
Yup, seen that site and already converted a number of Linksys routers.  :) I was referring to:

QuoteOne guy has setup TICKETS-CAD (a free alternative to WEB-EOC) on a BeagleBoneBlack (more power than a R-Pi). In fact on that same BBB, he has TicketsCAD, Asterisk (for VoIP phones), an FTP server LOADED with every kind of manual in PDF form (radio manuals, other instructions/manuals/info). 

Hook it to ONE node, advertise the services in the node's setup, and poof, a completely portable EmComm management station.