BroadbBroadband-Hamnet™ is the self configuring ham network. This network is FAST!
Lets start with some basic concepts
Broadband-Hamnet™ is a network, it is not application software. It is a special firmware build that transforms consumer wireless gear to a specialized ham radio function. It can use application software to transport your data from place to place, but you must provide the application software just like you do at your home or office.
A Mesh network is a highway over which data travels. Turning on two mesh nodes loaded with the firmware creates a data network. This highway carries your cargo (data), and allows your local computer to use information or applications stored in other locations
Mesh nodes were originally consumer wireless routers but changed function when the firmware was changed or are Raspberry Pi runing the Broadband-Hamnet™ softwere
After conversion, the WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi ports are linked using special rules and no longer operate like a normal wireless router. Some devices like Ubiquiti Bullet have only a single network connection. Others like the WRT54x series have multiple LAN jacks and the .Internet jack. All have the RF (WiFi) antenna and signal.
Mesh nodes are self discovering, self configuring, self advertising and fault tolerant
Mesh nodes are a data network without the wires. Most tasks that you can do over a wired or wireless network at your home or office will work on a mesh node
Mesh nodes are small, portable, low-power and inexpensive. They are easily battery powered
Mesh nodes can easily have a range of 16 Km or more using stock power and gain antennas if you have true line of sight
Mesh nodes communicate with other nodes over Wi-Fi frequencies and only talk to other mesh nodes on the wireless port
You can't use Wi-Fi to connect to a mesh node from your computer, netbook, smart phone or other wireless device.
It is possible to extend a mesh network with a properly restricted access point (AP) where only hams are given access
Computers connect to mesh nodes with an Ethernet cable and control them using a web browser
Mesh nodes use peer to peer connections. This means each node connect to all others it can directly reach.
Each mesh node must have a unique node name. Normally this is your callsign with a suffix (w1aw-1, w1aw-2, w1aw-mobile...)
Mesh nodes operate on channel 1. Channels 1-6 of the 802.11B/G wireless band are completely within the 2.4ghz ham band. As support for additional ham bands is developed, different channels will apply in that band.
Mesh nodes talk to other nodes using RF (Wi-Fi), to the Internet over the WAN port and to computers, servers, video cameras and other devices using the LAN ports
Mesh nodes will create a network just by turning several of them on. They create portable, high-speed data networks in minutes
Mesh nodes don't need any computer to be attached to pass data to other mesh nodes. Just plug one in, it will expand the mesh
Data is data. It can be IP Video, VOIP, LAN traffic between computers, web browser reading an situation briefing web page, downloading operating software or a radio manual by FTP, printing out something on a remote printer, keyboard chat, hop to the Internet, etc
Any mesh node within wireless range automatically joins the existing mesh and exchanges available routes with all others
As signals grow stronger and fade, nodes join and leave the mesh. It can happen many times as you drive around Your path between any two mesh nodes may be single or multiple hop and can/will change with no notice or impact to you. The data flows where it needs to flow because of the automatic routing delivered by OLSR
A single node joining your mesh may add many other nodes if it can see other mesh nodes the first group can't reach. It does so by becoming a bridge to join the two separate groups of mesh nodes.
For more information about Boroadband-hamnet see http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/