Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by KC7NYR
Mesh Networking – Amateur Radio
A mesh network (or simply meshnet) is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients.
This lack of dependency on one node allows for every node to participate in the relay of information. Mesh networks dynamically self-organize and self-configure, which can reduce installation overhead. The ability to self-configure enables dynamic distribution of workloads, particularly in the event that a few nodes should fail. This in turn contributes to fault-tolerance and reduced maintenance costs.
Mesh topology may be contrasted with conventional star/tree local network topologies in which the bridges/switches are directly linked to only a small subset of other bridges/switches, and the links between these infrastructure neighbours are hierarchical.
While star-and-tree topologies are very well established, highly standardized and vendor-neutral, vendors of mesh network devices have not yet all agreed on common standards, and interoperability between devices from different vendors is not yet assured.
Wireless mesh radio networks were originally developed for military applications, such that every node could dynamically serve as a router for every other node. In that way, even in the event of a failure of some nodes, the remaining nodes could continue to communicate with each other, and, if necessary, to serve as uplinks for the other nodes.
Early wireless mesh network nodes had a single half-duplex radio that, at any one instant, could either transmit or receive, but not both at the same time. This was accompanied by the development of shared mesh networks. This was subsequently superseded by more complex radio hardware that could receive packets from an upstream node and transmit packets to a downstream node simultaneously (on a different frequency or a different CDMA channel).
This allowed the development of switched mesh networks. As the size, cost, and power requirements of radios declined further, nodes could be cost-effectively equipped with multiple radios. This in turn permitted each radio to handle a different function, for instance one radio for client access, and another for backhaul services.
Work in this field has been aided by the use of game theory methods to analyze strategies for the allocation of resources and routing of packets.
Please watch the 2 videos below created by N7RXE: These videos will give you the visual insight that helps piece together the puzzle.
Introduction to HSMM-MESH or Broadband-Hamnet
If you cannot play this video, visit https://youtu.be/hUeW2ju-RZk
Setting up a MESH Node for Amateur Radio – WRT54G firmware install
If you cannot play this video, visit https://youtu.be/pryc8jIl6Xo
Credits: N7RXE, under the name, klreeve123 on Youtube
For Detailed Instructions How To Set up a Amateur Radio Mesh-Networking Node
Visit My Mesh-Networking Set Up Page
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