Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ten Mile Raspberry Pi WiFi (with a Catch)

How would you like to have a WiFi connection that covers 10 miles? Or how about an even wider network made up of a mesh of multiple nodes? It is possible, but there is a catch: you probably need a ham radio license to do it (at least, you do in the United States).

What makes it possible is the realization that conventional WiFi channels 1-6 are inside an existing US ham band. That means (if you are a ham) you can elect to use FCC part 97 rules instead of part 15 that governs WiFi routers. That means you can use more power and–even more importantly–better antennas to get greater range.

Traditionally, hams have used custom firmware for Netgear routers or Ubiquiti hardware. However, [WZ0W] recently posted his experience using Raspberry Pi boards as mesh nodes. The code (which also works with some other single board computers) is available on GitHub (with details on the project blog). [WZ0W] points out that, unlike using a consumer router, using a Pi provides a reasonably powerful computer for hosting services as well as hosting the network.

There is a video tour of the software in the video below. If you aren’t licensed, you may still be able to use the mesh network firmware, but you’ll have to stick to the stock radios and antennas. If you are not in the US, your laws may be different, so be sure you understand the laws in your jurisdiction.

If you just want a mesh network, there are other options. You can even rip off a conference badge design if you like.

Filed under: Network Hacks, Raspberry Pi, wireless hacks

from Hackaday » raspberry pi
via Hack a Day

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