mesh network/2011/11/10 IRC transcript

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<TheWoozle> nope, this is the first I knew about it
<Lone_Eve> Yoss has been thinking of the same thing.. was working on developing it but I've sort of worked on it myself since I'm in the wireless business.. its going to be a lot harder than they think
<Lone_Eve> it might work in a metro area 
<TheWoozle> Yeah, that's why I poked him.
<TheWoozle> Apparently there are a lot of different groups, and already some dedicated hardware.
<Lone_Eve> Even if I put mesh units and repeaters on everyone's TV towers those radios cabling and installation upwards of $200 apiece
<TheWoozle> Maybe that's not the way to do it.
<TheWoozle> There are bridgeable wlan routers for about $30.
<Lone_Eve> If they cut out fiber I plan on setting up an intra net for our customers to communicate and possible tie into other local ISP's that I know 
<Lone_Eve> create community based net 
<TheWoozle> The routers don't cover as much distance, but you can make slow progress with less chunky investment.
<Lone_Eve> Naw with an ubiquiti picostation for like $50 you can cover some distance
<Lone_Eve> they got loco and nano stations too and powerstations all regular wifi though, but cheap.  
<Lone_Eve> Can do miles
<TheWoozle> Cool.
<TheWoozle> At this point, it seems mainly a matter of (a) groups getting in touch with each other, and (b) distributing the basic knowledge of how to set up the hardware.
<Lone_Eve> http://www.ubnt.com/picostationm
<Lone_Eve> 1 Watt .. max eirp you can have legally
<Lone_Eve> home routers are like 30mW
<TheWoozle> They should make them overpowered, but throttled by default...
<TheWoozle> ...so that when/if infrastructure goes down, they can be cranked to full power.
<Lone_Eve> I could buy and program and set up cables for people to automatically connect to others... could program hundreds per day
<Lone_Eve> People pick them up plug them in.. done.. or run them into the attic or roof (they are weatherproof) 
<TheWoozle> Here's where I'm collecting information: http://htyp.org/mesh_network
<Lone_Eve> Can set the allowable speed in them it has everything.. even remote logging
<Lone_Eve> Autonomous methods of recieve and send you are kinda limited to either WDS or MESH  and both suck to be honest
<Lone_Eve> Open Mesh has been getting better 
<TheWoozle> I should pick your brains about this stuff and write it up.
<Lone_Eve> We run a couple campgrounds with open mesh
<Lone_Eve> There are inherant problems with both,  you lose a lot of overhead and power on the receive end
<Lone_Eve> So whereas if you used it as an AP you could get 100 meters with an omni using WDS as a repeater you'd get 50 meters
<Lone_Eve> So you'd need twice as many to get a secure enough signal to keep it steady and you'd lose 10-20mbit overhead
<TheWoozle> Does this all work with NAT IP addresses, or what?
<Lone_Eve> Also without gps sync theres a lot of collisions and error correcting going on
<Lone_Eve> No you'd make the radios all their own IP in a private range,  and depending on the OS some can be configured as gateways or ap/repeaters.  Gateway nodes can do nat.  
<Lone_Eve> But most people would plug those units into their own routers.. and if yo have a close enough community I'd use 5Ghz mesh network and make people plug them into their routers
<Lone_Eve> Those ubiquiti radios can be configured to act as a router though.  Just like a regular router and have WDS on the WLAN
<Lone_Eve> so you'd give the WLAN a public but it would assign a 192.168.x.x down the cable and do the nat
<Lone_Eve> Public meshes would be a nightmare though
<TheWoozle> So how do you negotiate IP addresses between peers?
<Lone_Eve> You'd have to make it private only to each other with no real gateway.  
<TheWoozle> (I mean the gateways, I guess...)
<TheWoozle> (or whatever you call the units that actually talk to each other across distances)
<Lone_Eve> Lets imagine I live in a town and we don't want to connect to the internet
<TheWoozle> right...
<Lone_Eve> we just want our own network -  I just assign the radios all to be 10.1.x.x for main street people,  10.2.x.x for elm street 
<TheWoozle> ok, but what about connecting to another town?
<Lone_Eve> All of them mesh but say the town hall, periodically may allow contact to other community networks and they assign themselves a 20.x.x.x and they become the gateway
<Lone_Eve> the town hall would create a DMZ between towns where servers would be located
<Lone_Eve> It doesnt really allow for direct communication between each other but through the servers you can. 
<TheWoozle> So basically you manually assign a number (in a specific range) that you know isn't being used by the town hall of Town B?
<Lone_Eve> You could set up a form of static routing between the two to make 10.x.x.x communicate with 20.x.x.x pretty easily
<Lone_Eve> Mesh is like one giant switch really 
<TheWoozle> It sounds like I need to learn more about TCP/IP...
<Lone_Eve> Then we can VLAN from there too if we want but I dunno
<Lone_Eve> Its just like having a home router .. the gateway is out to another town.  Multiple towns multiple routes.  The town hall if it recieves a request for 20.x.x.x it'll route it to an interface out through a bridge to another town to its gateway
<Lone_Eve> have to draw it out but its doable.  It involves double nat unfortunatley but we do that and up to triple nat at times 
<Lone_Eve> It just makes like remoting into your house to access computers hard to do.  Like most communication will have to be done via proxy / server
<TheWoozle> OK, so if I understand how to set up a home network, I have enough basic knowledge to understand what's going on with this stuff?
<Lone_Eve> So if I want to talk on an IRC server,  whoever is going to host the DNS server will need to add the radio with 10.1.1.100 who is hosting the radio as irc.domain.com
<Lone_Eve> Then they need to configure their port forwarding on that mesh radio into the computer inside
<TheWoozle> Ok, just like hosting a server behind a NAT wall.
<Lone_Eve> Yeah actually from your point lets say its just a town, and I'mt he town network admin.. I'd set up www.google.com to point to my main web server instead of the real google
<TheWoozle> and the "town halls" are basically self-assigned fixed IPs, then?
<TheWoozle> I know you explained that earlier, but it's not all fitting in my head yet...
<Lone_Eve> So DHCP would be issued to your router, your router would issue you DHCP inside your network,  you are given the DNS numbers of my DNS server  you type in www.google.com  my DNS server says google is 10.1.1.100 you go there and instead of google you get our community website. 
<Lone_Eve> Yeah self assigned .. fuck the internet we can use whatever IP's we want
<Lone_Eve> But to communicate we all need to be on the same subnet or we need to add routers
<TheWoozle> And later maybe we'll work out some kind of distributed/federated DNS. But right, at this point that's overkill.
<Lone_Eve> On a large scale network in the hundreds of thousands there will need to be gateways and more subnets that are split up 
<Lone_Eve> Every so often one node would not only be a mesh network but a router
<Lone_Eve> So like I said elm street is 10.2.x.x/16  Main st is 10.1.x.x/16 
<Lone_Eve> There will be a gateway mesh unit for each that connects the two and each has routes to know where to contact those subnets
<Lone_Eve> Then there is OSPF
<Lone_Eve> Thats more dynamic routing but I dont know if that works with mesh
* TheWoozle takes notes
<Lone_Eve> We use open mesh with a pre-made software package so I dont know
<TheWoozle> I'll copy this and digest it later... some makes sense, some I need to re-read several more times.
<TheWoozle> Bedtime for me.
<Lone_Eve> I mean really mesh is transparent.. the nodes act like a bridge but the unit itself CAN be contacted