Having installed the firmware upgrade on the Linksys WRT54G as blogged previously, Saul then took us through the configuration steps to create our own WiFi mesh network and distribute it through the top floor of our lab. Cool!
The key resources were at OLSR.ORG, which in turn references IETF.ORG/rfc/rfc3626.txt. From OLSR.ORG:
The olsr.org OLSR daemon is an implementation of the Optimized Link State Routing protocol. OLSR is a routing protocol for mobile ad-hoc networks. The protocol is pro-active, table driven and utilizes a technique called multipoint relaying for message flooding. Currently the implementation compiles on GNU/Linux, Windows, OS X, FreeBSD and NetBSD systems.
Olsrd is ment to be a well structured and well coded implementation that should be easy to maintain, expand and port to other platforms. The implementation is RFC3626 compliant with respect to both core and auxiliary functioning.
The Optimized Link State Routing Protocol (OLSR) is developed for mobile ad hoc networks. It operates as a table driven, proactive protocol, i.e., exchanges topology information with other nodes of the network regularly. Each node selects a set of its neighbor nodes as “multipoint relays” (MPR). In OLSR, only nodes, selected as such MPRs, are responsible for forwarding control traffic, intended for diffusion into the entire network. MPRs provide an efficient mechanism for flooding control traffic by reducing the number of transmissions required.
Generally speaking, our little hands-on trial worked very well. We had to be careful not to clash with the MKSchools.Net infrastructure that is supported from a wireless transmission point just above where Saul was running our hands-on activities (and which supports about 25,000 school children in Milton Keynes)! But KMi’s Lewis McCann and the OU’s Phil Thomas had earlier agreed on the setup and channels that were safe to use, and all ran pretty smoothly. The handful of laptops we had set up were able to leapfrog across the distributed Linksys boxes and out onto the Internet (when one laptop node was connected appropriately), though overzealous plugging and unplugging of ethernet cables sometimes led to a little confusion as external access came and went.
Thanks to Saul and Jo for some illuminating discussions – we move on to the general brainstorming sessions tomorrow!
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