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NodeHYA

Location

HYA is located in Kew on Selbourne Rd. (near the corner of Glenferrie Rd and Cotham Rd).

LOS

Unfortunately I am not quite high enough to crest the ridge to the north but am on the 60 meter contour line. I have visibility to St Kilda junction to the south west through to Camberwell in the south east.

Hardware

I have a Linksys WRT54G running as a local AP with a couple of Minitar MINWAP ready to use for dedicated links to other (hopefully distant) nodes. I chose these units because I wanted to be able to change the software and tweak and tune it.

Antennas

The Linksys has a slotted waveguide made out of down pipe (Clark)and the Minitar's have 65cm offset satellite dishes ($33 from Melbourne Satellite) using bi-quad feeds (Martybugs).

Network

I have a public segment as part of the wireless node and then tunnel it through my other networks to the Internet. The diagram shows the segments and the routers only.
NodeHYA

Status

The Linksys is up and running as are the two Link radios (though they are not linked to anything yet). It has NoCatSplash to present a sign on page. At the moment it is in the front upstairs room overlooking Camberwell, Once the weather clears a bit then the antenna will go on a TV mast attached to the chimney.
I'm working on changing the router configuration to flip the firewall around. Once that is done I will connect it though my internal LAN and the Internet.

Services

Depending on links I may provide limited Internet access for some service/ports. I thought it may also be useful to do a bit of tunneling to link up other with other regions/nodes by tunneling through the Internet, as a temporary solution until the mesh gets a bit denser.

Why use AP's not a Linux box?

Good question. I was originally going to stick a few cards into a Mini-ITX based box but then I realized that the AP's were cheaper, smaller and used less power. That was a compelling enough reason the try them first. The Minitar is so small that I am mounting it and the bi-quad antennas in the same weatherproof enclosure on the satellite dish LNB arm. No antenna cable run and a single cat 5 wire back to the Linksys carrying Ethernet and power.

Linksys firmware

I am currently building firmware for the WRT54G. I have taken the original Linksys development environment and moved in a few modules from the various distributions that people are building. I'm probably closest to the EWRT version than any other. I have NoCatSplash, dropbear, snort and a few other goodies on it at the moment.
I use one of these routers internally in my home and found that the cable connection was timing out every 5 minutes. It turned out that even though you provide the IP address of the login host it tries to do a DNS lookup on the HB server without appending the domain, so when the HB port comes back it would open the correct port but with an address of 255.255.255.255 - No wonder it was never getting a heartbeat. The heartbeats come in about 5 min 13 seconds with the occasional stretch. Its been up for about 45 days now without a problem.

Minitar firmware

I haven't flashed the Minitar yet but have been working on getting a complete image to flash - the dev. environment that was released is incomplete so you need to extract stuff from an official firmware version. I have been spending a bunch of time in the boot loader code and am waiting till I have put together a Flash programmer and socketed the chips - it's too easy to brick these things.

Wasted a lot of time on this little device. Once that issue is passed then I have a few changes ready to test. The major one is to remove bridging - when you have one of these acting in Client mode to a remote node you don't really want to bridge but rather have it route between the local and remote LAN segments. My MinitarHacking continues, and once it have it stable I will release the images that I have been building.

The bootloader is working well now and can be chained from the original bootloader. Adding BOOTP client functionality now so it can boot from a TFTP server image and looking at mounting the filesystem via NFS. With only 8MB RAM the device is so tiny that you need to think seriously about how much space you can give over to applications (the kernel takes 2 alone, then about 3.5 for the ramdisk).


Version 4 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:15 +1000
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