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Mesh Network: 21 Nodes, Downtown Coverage

This project is my first. (still in deployment)

 

Objective:

Providing mesh wireless to a downtown district in a tourist heavy town.

 

Budget:

Minimal - all wireless radios are leased to the customer to cost is major factor

 

Plan of attack:

Deploy a central internet gateway protected with content filter, intrusion detection, and other common firewall features.  From this central location the mesh radios will pass the internet along each leg of the network.  While this does not offer much redundancy it is a cheaper way to go!  My original design called for 22 nodes but after starting to deploy them I learned quickly that the radios lost too much speed as the signal passed through the network.  This was corrected by the addition of several backhaul radios that in effect create multiple gateways in the network.

 

This is a complete overview of the network.  Each dark green node is a gateway (or backhaul)  each light green dot is a node radio.  I use the radios in a zig-zag pattern when possible to bounce the signal down the street.

 

View of a backhaul / Mesh Node sitting on a roof. This will be hard mounted before the winter to protect against theft.

 

Temporary proof of concept mounting pole.  Simple concrete filled 5 gallon bucket.  I originally placed a Styrofoam block in the bottom of the bucket and then filled it with concrete.  The idea was to create a weather proof void in the bucket.  It worked great!  it was just too small so I had to use external enclosure.

 

Simple design but seems to be very effective!

 

Picture of the mesh radio I use with the modified antenna on it.  These little units are of a smart design.  I hope they last for a long time!