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 Subject :BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-28- 03:37:51 
wx5u
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Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX

I'm wondering what other hardware users have managed to port to BBHN?

There are "standard," packaged ports for some WRT-54G and some Ubiquiti models. 

With a few byte changes in the header, the standard WRT-54G software may work on a number of non-WRT-54G brand routers by other manufacturers, although the flashing process may be different.

There are also some "non-standard" ports where someone has managed to connect to a BBHN/HSMM-MESH network by configuring their own software.  Many of these "ports" aren't easy to install, and may not have all the tools the full prepackaged packages have, but they have been made to work.

I'm aware that some people have gotten Raspberry Pi's to work in a mesh network.  http://broadband-hamnet.org/hsmm-mesh-forums/view-postlist/forum-2-hardware/topic-817-raspberry-pi-a-hsmm-mesh.html

I've heard that there is an old OLSR port for Windows PC, and it has been connected to the older versions of HSMM-MESH networks.   I don't know whether it works with current versions of Windows or with the current BBHN nodes.



What other hardware/software platforms have been successfully connected to BBHN or HSMM-MESH? 

Let me know what you've heard and provide any links you have.

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 Subject :Re:BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-28- 11:33:46 
KG6JEI
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Joined: 2013-12-02- 19:52:05
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Of note:

if you install a port from somewhere else do not expect the BBHN core team to be able to support it.  We have no control over outside productions. If you want a guaranteed to work deployment you need to use an official build. If it didn't come from BBHN all support queries would need to be sent to the port creator as they are the ones whom would need to work on the issue.


All *nix like operating systems (Linux,BSD,Unix and probably even MAC) should work if your willign to put in the time to do it manually. 


I could make this run on practically any Linux type router that allows install access(Especially if it runs OpenWRT)  It the packaging of the port that takes the effort.


In my case I am running on a Pi (custom install -- not packaged), Ubiquiti (3 models across 2 bands and 4 units), Linksys,  3x vm's inside of VMWARE, and thats all i bothered to install it on for now.


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 Subject :BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-28- 12:46:30 
wx5u
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Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX

You're right that the BBHN team isn't going to do a port for unsupported hardware.  Lots of people have asked for a port to platform X or Y, and there usually hasn't been anyone with the time to create a new package for that software.  We keep telling people they can roll their own, but not many have done it.

Kudos, by the way, to the folks who did the Ubiquiti work.  Looks like a very well done package.

It's important to realize that it's possible to "roll your own" install on other hardware and make a mesh node that will connect to a BBHN network.  Several people have done this, and it's good to know what's been made to work, and maybe get some links or contacts for info or for help.

For instance, I THINK that an Android device could function as a mesh node, but it's difficult to get an Android device to go into ad hoc mode.   If someone had figured out the magic trick to get an android into ad hoc mode, it would save the next person who tries it a lot of work.

I also THINK some people have connected windows PC's to early versions of HSMM-MESH.  It would be great to figure out how to make a Windows PC connect wirelessly to the mesh.  Getting some info on how it was done would be useful. 

Let's not kid ourselves.  This is a great project, but there's not a lot of hand holding even if you do use the official packages on the supported hardware.   It's important to realize that BBHN isn't as simple as just buying a 2 meter rig, attaching an antenna and becoming an appliance operator.  BBHN isn't for appliance operators unless you have a local guru who can help you do the difficult bits.

Making other hardware work with BBHN is way, way above the appliance operator class.  And way above my pay grade, that's for sure.  Porting the full BBHN package into a clean, easy to install package others can use is way, way above that. 


Tell me about your VMWare install.  What were the guest and host OS's?  Was this VMWare running on an Intel PC?  I haven't used VMWare, but I'm familiar with VirtualBox.

I wonder if you could use VirtualBox or VMWare to run a linux client on a Windows machine and allow you to connect a Windows laptop to a BBHN network.  At first blush, I'd think that you'd need to run a lot of software on the Windows side, but maybe not.  If you just put the Windows interface into ad hoc mode, and made it connect, maybe the OLSR and whatever else you need could run in a VM. 

Way above my pay grade again, particularly in my post-lunch stupor.




[KG6JEI 2014-03-28- 06:33:46]:

Of note:

if you install a port from somewhere else do not expect the BBHN core team to be able to support it.  We have no control over outside productions. If you want a guaranteed to work deployment you need to use an official build. If it didn't come from BBHN all support queries would need to be sent to the port creator as they are the ones whom would need to work on the issue.


All *nix like operating systems (Linux,BSD,Unix and probably even MAC) should work if your willign to put in the time to do it manually. 


I could make this run on practically any Linux type router that allows install access(Especially if it runs OpenWRT)  It the packaging of the port that takes the effort.


In my case I am running on a Pi (custom install -- not packaged), Ubiquiti (3 models across 2 bands and 4 units), Linksys,  3x vm's inside of VMWARE, and thats all i bothered to install it on for now.



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 Subject :Re:BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-28- 22:37:56 
KG6JEI
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Joined: 2013-12-02- 19:52:05
Posts: 516
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VMWARE:

All have been Intel based (I phased out my last AMD box back in December)

HosOS: ESXI Guest OS: 2x Ubuntu  1x OpenWRT (OpenWRT is what is run on by the nodes themselves.. I should disclaim they have been wire only protocol compatible as I have not tested wifi as I don't have stray wifi dongles but I would expect it to work as we don't do any low level RF)  

Windows:

This is a tough one, you could get it done with a virtual system (one of the free ones vmware or virtualbox or similar) and treat the VM as a physical router  OR you could build it into a native binary (my preference)  which basically makes it a Linux box, or one could use cygwin to compile a new binary (which the make file seems to imply still works) --- I don't have a cygwin lab sitting around anymore to test with.  --- I would think this would be the better method, windows uses enough resources already no need to double down on it by throwing a VM into the mix using up more resources..

Nothing that has been done to date requires any low level access (though a new feature I'm looking at will take some low level access)  a USB dongle through to a guest machine should work however.  This would likely take more effort than most users will be experienced to do.  Even as a professional  external devices are a pain in virtual setups (mostly in the 'map this device to machine' standpoint)


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 Subject :BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-29- 11:28:13 
wx5u
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Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX


Hey, I understand some of those words.  Innocent

cygwin is a very neat idea.  I used to run that, but haven't run it in a while.  I currently run a Windoze box and segregate many tasks into a couple of Linux Mint VMs.  It's nice to know that the stuff in one VM can't mess with my machine, and that my "immutable" VM is always starting from the same Linux image.

Still probably way above my skill level. 

It would be really nice if we had a simple way to take a windows laptop and hook it wirelessly into a BBHN mesh network.  It could be really useful at emergency deployments.  To get the most use out of it, we'd probably need it to be a fairly simple install, though.




[KG6JEI 2014-03-28- 17:37:56]:

VMWARE:

All have been Intel based (I phased out my last AMD box back in December)

HosOS: ESXI Guest OS: 2x Ubuntu  1x OpenWRT (OpenWRT is what is run on by the nodes themselves.. I should disclaim they have been wire only protocol compatible as I have not tested wifi as I don't have stray wifi dongles but I would expect it to work as we don't do any low level RF)  

Windows:

This is a tough one, you could get it done with a virtual system (one of the free ones vmware or virtualbox or similar) and treat the VM as a physical router  OR you could build it into a native binary (my preference)  which basically makes it a Linux box, or one could use cygwin to compile a new binary (which the make file seems to imply still works) --- I don't have a cygwin lab sitting around anymore to test with.  --- I would think this would be the better method, windows uses enough resources already no need to double down on it by throwing a VM into the mix using up more resources..

Nothing that has been done to date requires any low level access (though a new feature I'm looking at will take some low level access)  a USB dongle through to a guest machine should work however.  This would likely take more effort than most users will be experienced to do.  Even as a professional  external devices are a pain in virtual setups (mostly in the 'map this device to machine' standpoint)



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 Subject :Re:BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-30- 10:52:09 
KG6JEI
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Joined: 2013-12-02- 19:52:05
Posts: 516
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I think the preferred method for this at this time is that you use a local Access Point at the deployment to allow this access.  This will allow you to bring in users locally without them needing extra software.

Just loading onto a laptop wouldn't really solve that many issues (that I can see personally ) as you still would likely need an external wifi device and antenna because onboard antenna and power are way below what we need for a network like this in all practical field deployments to date.

Some may find a use for some of the external USB dongles that do have an antenna port, you would be tied down and you wouldn't be able to provide mesh to others locally that needed it like you could with a standard WIFI access point to a home network unless you setup the laptop to be an AP as well (not sure that can even be done in Windows off hand I've never had a need to investigate it)

Though it is possible you are seeing something to the deployment that I am not.

"It would be really nice if we had a simple way to take a windows laptop and hook it wirelessly into a BBHN mesh network.  It could be really useful at emergency deployments.  To get the most use out of it, we'd probably need it to be a fairly simple install, though."


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 Subject :BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-30- 12:45:52 
wx5u
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Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX

To be clear, the main reason to put BBHN on a laptop is so the laptop can be a mesh access point in a deployment, not so it can act as a "relay" mesh node for other mesh nodes.

In actual field operations, we've used multiple mesh nodes at various "stations" in something like a field day location.  Then we connect laptops to the mesh nodes with wires.  It would add quite a bit of ease of operation if the laptops didn't have to be tethered to the mesh node.

Yes, having an additional wireless router at each mesh node "hotspot" does give you this capability to some extent.  However, that does require additional equipment, power supply, cabling, etc.  It would be nice to reduce the amount of things you have to carry. 

Also, if you are doing some sort of work with your mesh node network, you often find you need to travel around with a laptop, a mesh node, and a power source.  It would be much easier if the laptop was a mesh node.




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 Subject :Re:BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-30- 22:55:31 
sp2ong
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Joined: 2013-10-30- 10:57:25
Posts: 72
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Hi,

I have try to use existing application for Mesh Nodes for Android but without success.

I have setup with success my laptop with Ubuntu and add olsrd with configuration for BBHN and working nice with local BBHN on WRT54.

I have try use on MSWindows VitrualBOX to run BBHN image but to use this our developers BBHN must generate BBHN firmware image for x86 platform and we can use very simple run in VirtualBox on MS Windows run virtual Mesh Node to connect.  Below link howto:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/virtualbox

It will be nice in future have possibility use mobile devices like Android tablet, phone to use local BBHN.

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Last Edited On: 2014-03-30- 22:56:51 By sp2ong for the Reason
 Subject :Re:Re:BBHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-31- 06:32:45 
wx5u
Member
Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX


Thanks for the info.  I've heard that one big problem with Android is that you have to get the wireless into ad hoc mode, and Android is deliberately designed to prevent that.   You'd have to find a workaround to force it into ad hoc mode.




[sp2ong 2014-03-30- 17:55:31]:

Hi,

I have try to use existing application for Mesh Nodes for Android but without success.

I have setup with success my laptop with Ubuntu and add olsrd with configuration for BBHN and working nice with local BBHN on WRT54.

I have try use on MSWindows VitrualBOX to run BBHN image but to use this our developers BBHN must generate BBHN firmware image for x86 platform and we can use very simple run in VirtualBox on MS Windows run virtual Mesh Node to connect.  Below link howto:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/virtualbox

It will be nice in future have possibility use mobile devices like Android tablet, phone to use local BBHN.


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 Subject :BHN Mesh ports to other hardware... 2014-03-31- 07:17:03 
wx5u
Member
Joined: 2013-01-02- 00:30:45
Posts: 188
Location: Austin, TX

Thanks for the OpenWRT on VirtualBox link.  That sound like a large part of the work towards making something that would let a Windows laptop hook into a mesh network has already been done. 

I'm trying to figure out whether this would let the host OS (i.e. Windows) see the mesh, though.   You'd have to make the Windows partition "look into" the OpenWRT VM to find its  network to see the mesh.  There's sort of a loop condition there.  Windows would have to look into the VM for the network, and then the VM has to look back out to Windows to get its network.  

In theory, there's probably a way to make it work.  VirtualBox has a lot of configurability for stuff like that.

Even if that does let you connect, there's probably still a big chunk of work to make it a clean and easy install like the BBHN ports.


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