[Battlemesh] Open Router Alternatives (Was: Chilling effect - Lockdown (FCC/EU))

Paige Peterson ioptio at riseup.net
Mon Mar 14 14:28:25 CET 2016

Hello - I made a general suggestion for the Purism team who are building
the Librem laptops to go into router hardware and they seemed open.
Might be worth pursuing a discussion with them?



On 14/03/16 14:16, Valent Turkovic wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:42 PM, fboehm <fboehm at aon.at
> <mailto:fboehm at aon.at>> wrote:
>     Am 18.02.2016 um 11:43 schrieb Linus L├╝ssing:
>         On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:44:34AM +0100, Bastian Bittorf wrote:
>             generally speaking we need an OpenHardware design
>             for indoor 2.4/5GHz and outdoor 2.4 and outdoor 5GHz
>             with "standard" antenna connectors (RP-SMA/N)
>         Was posted on the Freifunk WLANware mailinglist some months ago,
>         a promising crowd-funded, open router:
>         https://omnia.turris.cz/en/
>             so first there is an design needed and so we need
>             to crowdfound the developement of the open design
>             and the approval (FCC and EU).
>         For the Omnia Turris, no FCC/ETSI approval needed: The board
>         itself has no radios but miniPCIe slots instead :).
>         Unfortunately, they are more expensive of course... with two
>         miniPCIe radio cards and a case they would cost about 150 USD.
>         So "economically speaking", you can build maybe only five
>         to seven times smaller community mesh networks as compared to
>         ~20 USD routers.
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>     Turris is definitely interesting. Unfortunately the whole product
>     seems to follow the jack-of-all-trades design. Like most electronic
>     products these days. I'm honestly not a big fan of this concept.
>     A basic ath9k PCIe card costs in bulk quantities (1k) around 10USD.
>     Maybe as low as 5USD if you plan to buy a million in total.
>     Market ready products based on MT7621 (without WiFi) are sold for
>     about 50USD. That includes software, housing, power supply,
>     packaging and "brand-value". In this respect a OEM board with zero
>     software and zero support should be doable for USD50 as well. Plus a
>     PCIe card and pigtails to have a similar feature set as a TP-Link
>     router.
>     Has somebody ever considered opening an OpenWRT shop for such
>     barebone products? If yes, please let me know.
>     Franz
> Doing hardware is hard... so people really need to be highly motivated
> to do so... one motivation is paying, and other is bragging rights.
> Are there talented people in Freifunk/Battlemesh/other comunity networks
> with electronics and RF skills? Probably there are... but how to
> motivate them to work really hard on such hard problem of developing new
> wifi router board? This takes resources... probably in tens od thousands
> of euros/dollars...  who would fund this? Maybe doing a crowdfunding?
> 50$ seams to us like high ammount, but when you know how much money,
> time and people resources is needed to make one board then you see that
> you can't make board for 50$ unless you know you will have order of
> 100,000 pieces... then logistics of shipping it is also a nightmare, or
> you pay others to do logistics and that raises the price of final
> product even more...
> If somebody would build a device with these speifications I would order
> 10 boards right now, and then after testing it if works out ok another
> 1000 pieces for MeshPoint (www.meshpoint.me <http://www.meshpoint.me>):
> These are specs and features I would like to see
> - Atheros based
> - 2.4Ghz dual chain 300Mbps 802.11n 
> - uFL connectors on PCB for external antennas
> - powered via passive POE or standard DC plug (12-24V)
> - one wan port and two or four lan ports (better only two, so board has
> smaller footprint)
> - USB 2.0 port
> - exposed GPIO and uart serial pins
> - shielded radio
> - FCC and EU certified
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