AREDN Mesh Networking Demo

by Roger KI7RW on 2023-10-15

On Saturday, October 21, MCARES, PBEM, and Cascade Amateur Radio Society (CARS) are presenting an AREDN mesh networking demonstration and hands-on training event. Hosted by PBEM at the ECC facility at 9911 SE Bush St, the event will run from 09:00 to 12:00. We will set up in the parking lot just south of the ECC building, and also use some of nearby Ed Benedict Park. There will be two presentations with the same content at 09:15 and 10:30, under a canopy in the parking lot. The rest of the event is drop-in style. The presentations will show what you can do on the mesh network, different node types, and how the equipment works.

If you’d like to set up a mesh field station during the event, you will need:

  • your own laptop, tablet, or phone with a browser (Firefox works fine);
  • optional umbrella or cover to protect your laptop in case of light rain;
  • an ethernet connection to your device using either a built-in jack or dongle;
  • your own somewhat long ethernet cable.

Everyone who comes should bring a laptop to go on the mesh, even if you do not want to set up a field station. You will have full mesh access via normal WiFi without needing to do anything more than bringing your laptop.

We will provide the mesh equipment and power supply ready for you to practice with. Please bring a folding chair for the presentation, and for later use if you’ll be setting up a field station.

If you already have flashed AREDN software onto one or more mesh node devices, bring them and try them out. If you’re not sure about a particular device, bring it along and we can help you evaluate it. If you don’t have any mesh equipment, this session will help you choose what to purchase.

Stay as long as you like to explore the various mesh services available. We will demonstrate file servers and other services like live chat and email. Anyone with a Winlink account will be able to and is encouraged to send and receive Winlink messages over the mesh.

Assuming that no actual emergency arises during the event, PBEM staff may also be able to provide brief tours of the ECC and radio room for interested participants.

We will need volunteers at 08:00 and at 12:00 to help us set up the canopies and disassemble things afterwards. Your lending a hand with that will help expedite the event.

Contact Roger Wirt (KI7RW [at] ARRL [dot] NET) with any questions.

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