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Is OrangeMesh what I need?

 
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dgminke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject: Is OrangeMesh what I need? Reply with quote

In our community we have about 15 concrete buildings (24 Condos each) up to 3 stories high (approx 200 ft x 100 ft). We want to be able to share one gateway point for internet access across 3 such buildings. A standard N router will only give us coverage over 6 or 8 condos. I'm thinking that by using several repeaters we might get 2 buildings covered. However, I am unclear about the limits of such a setup and whether the number of hops would be unweildy.
So, if I can get 5 seperate gateway points, then I still need to cover 3 buildings each, would I need a small OM on EACH gateway, or would it be advisable to have ONE OM for the whole complex?
Is there any turnkey system available?
How do I get started?
I suspect that the concrete will require more power for penetration; is that true?

Any other ideas?
Thanks
Doug
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ispyisail
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there any turnkey system available?


In theory

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is a cheep turnkey open source option.

In practice ROBIN/open-mesh needs attention and the physical requirements are also trial and error (wifi reach).

There are probably better options but they cost much more.

If you are unsure just purchase one or nodes as a trial
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shasan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As ispyisail said, get a couple nodes and see how it works for your environment.

You don't need a dashboard for each gateway, you just need one for your whole network. You can use either Open-Mesh or Orangemesh for your dashboard, depending on what works best for your needs.

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unc-chapel hill, class of 2010
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dgminke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a real novice on this. Can you please explain what a dashboard does and why its needed?
Thanks
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bconverse
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A dashboard is software that is run on a web server that allows the nodes to be monitored and so they can receive parameter changes and updates.
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shasan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need it so you can see your network status and so you can configure your network settings; for ROBIN, a dashboard is the most practical way to do this.

Once you set your first couple nodes up and get a chance to actually use the dashboard it will make a lot more sense to you.

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unc-chapel hill, class of 2010
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dgminke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies folks.
If I have 5 gateways, and each gateway has a router attached to it, is this router considered part of the NETWORK or is it part of the gateway? I assume that all of the repeaters would be the NETWORK that is run by a dashboard on a seperate computer od server. Does the dashboard then control the repeaters in as much as which gateway they report to? And if one gateway goes down can the dashboard then switch about the repeaters so as to maximize coverage?
If each gateway is running Windows, then must the dashboard server also run Windows?

Am I way off base here?

Thanks
Doug
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sronan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be sure to read the Network Planning Guide if you haven't yet:
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I would wonder how the buildings are situated in relation to each other. Are there windows without metal screens in each building facing the windows of other buildings not far away? Where would the gateways be located (on the roof? in a window? in an interior location?).

I'm not positive what you're referring to when you refer to "gateways" esp. since you're talking about them possibly running Windows. In regard to a dachboard, my tendency would be to suggest that you start off using the standard management/monitoring tools available via open-mesh.com and perhaps migrate to the OrangeMesh dashboard in a few months after the next phase of its development is complete.

In each set of three buildings, one way to set up your devices would be to have a DSL line, connect an open-mesh router (running Robin which is Linux based) to its modem and put other open-mesh routers elsewhere, either plugged into users' desktop computers (making a wireless card unnecessary) or not plugged into anything. The open-mesh router connected to the modem would pick up an IP address from the modem and would act as a gateway for the other nodes.

You could add a device between the modem and the open-mesh router such as a device running firewall and dhcp software (e.g, m0n0wall

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or pfsense
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It's worth keeping in mind that you can have quite a few more open-mesh nodes acting as gateways than you have wired backhaul lines. For example, you could plug an access point running on say channel 11 into the firewall/dhcp server. And then put bridges (e.g.,

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in a few residents' windows. Into each of those bridges you could plug an open-mesh node running on the default channel 5, and those nodes would pick up IP addresses through their Ethernet ports and act as gateways in the mesh.

Or you could do the same thing but instead of a 2.4 GHz access point and bridges you could use 5 GHz ones as bconverse describes doing in this thread:

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ispyisail
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I have 5 gateways, and each gateway has a router attached to it, is this router considered part of the NETWORK or is it part of the gateway? I assume that all of the repeaters would be the NETWORK that is run by a dashboard on a seperate computer od server. Does the dashboard then control the repeaters in as much as which gateway they report to? And if one gateway goes down can the dashboard then switch about the repeaters so as to maximize coverage?
If each gateway is running Windows, then must the dashboard server also run Windows?


We all started out with the same questions once.

I know what your asking but i'm not sure how to answer it.

Maybe skype would be easier.

ROBIN nodes (open-mesh.com) both "gateways" and "repeaters" should be added to a dashboard (use open-mesh.com for now). The dashboard treats "gateways" and "repeaters" the same. The only difference between "gateways" and "repeaters" is their connection method to the internet. If its an Ethernet cable then the node is a "gateway" if its connected wirelessly to another ROBIN node the its a "repeater".
Quote:

And if one gateway goes down can the dashboard then switch about the repeaters so as to maximize coverage?


This is done in the "ROBIN nodes" not the dashboard. The dashboard has no smarts it all done in the ROBIN routers and yes the nodes do try for other paths.
Quote:

If each gateway is running Windows, then must the dashboard server also run Windows?


Its all linux.

Its all "plug and play"

I havn't answered all your questions but its a start
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shasan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes pictures can be the most helpful thing. Take a look at some of the Orangemesh user documentation:

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These contain a network diagram, and detailed installation instructions, as well as screenshots of every part of the dashboard. I think the first couple pages of that first link might be most helpful for you. If there is anything you don't understand, feel free to post again (we're here to help!).

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unc-chapel hill, class of 2010
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dgminke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks for the links and reading material.
I'm looking at getting a couple of MR3201A routers with 7dbi antenna, and I'm wondering whether I can take one such router and plug it into an existing DSL modem with a cat 5 cable to broadcast a signal to my laptop without any other software (like Orangemesh)? Can I then use the second router as a repeater to extend the range of the first router? Is this then the point that I need the orangemesh software before I can connect my laptop to this extended signal?

Thanks
Doug
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ispyisail
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm looking at getting a couple of MR3201A routers with 7dbi antenna


A new model router is only a week or 2 away. The MR3201A works fine but has a few hardware bugs.

Quote:
I'm wondering whether I can take one such router and plug it into an existing DSL modem with a cat 5 cable to broadcast a signal to my laptop without any other software (like Orangemesh)?


In theory yes.
Plug and play.

Quote:
Can I then use the second router as a repeater to extend the range of the first router?


In a loose sense of the word "repeater" the answer is yes.

In a strict sense the answer would be no. You would need to install other firmware on the MR3201A router (DD-WRT or OpenWRT)

Just going by your questions i think the loose term is what you require (Just covering myself)

Quote:


Is this then the point that I need the orangemesh software before I can connect my laptop to this extended signal?


No. In theory you just plug your routers (Cat 5 hard-wire) in for an hour let them auto update and your good to go. The repeater is auto configured. If you want to set advanced settings e.g login passwords etc etc you will need to use a dashboard.
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dgminke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. Is there a website that will announce the new hardware that you refer to? any ideas on what the new specs will be, will they support the N series or 100 Mbit speeds?
Thanks
Doug
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shasan
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's listed on open-mesh.com, check the Open Mesh Roadmap in the knowledge base.

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ispyisail
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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No i doesn't support the N protocol.

With a mesh network you need reliability over speed

Quote:
New Router. This Winter (approx Feb, 2009) we will offer our new OM1P Mesh Router. Identical to the Accton MR3201A in appearance, it will include several improvements: Passsive POE, cooler switching voltage regulator, 6-18v power supply range, 12V power supply to support longer length POE, internal 2dbi chip antenna for diversity, 3dbi (vs current 2dbi) external antenna, and a hardware watchdog to reduce any possible problem with lockups due to power supply problems.
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