Serval's latest mesh prototypes - presentation on Monday 12.12

Dear FFDA folks,

Paul Gardner-Stephen is going to come to our weekly meeting tomorrow, Dec 12th, at 19:30. He is one of the co-founders of the Serval Project, which runs a large mesh network infrastructure in Australia.

Serval receives great support from the Australian authorities and has helped tremendously during disaster relief operations by providing wireless infrastructure for messages and calls. Their latest mesh node prototype has been built to resist tough environments and to run solely on solar energy, apart from other nice features. Paul is bringing two of those and we can “play” with them.

More info below:

The Serval Project has a grant from the Pacific Humanitarian Challenge (PHC), that was run by AusAID, the Australian International Aid agency, to pilot Serval in Pacific Island nations during 2017, to see if it can help communities to communicate better, both following disasters, but also in areas that simply lack sufficient communications.

As part of this, we are making a new version of the Serval Mesh Extender, which is best thought of as a weather-proof OpenWRT router with an optional UHF packet radio, and that can run directly from a solar panel, with or without batteries. The finished device will come in a custom-designed injection-moulded case, which we hope to get rated to the IP66 standard of dust and water resistance.

We now have the first prototype PCBs, and are about to embark on testing and qualification of the board to make sure it does everything that we want.

I’d love the chance to speak with any folks from the local Freifunk and/or CCC chapters who might be interested in this work to create a FOSS wireless router, and especially those who might be interested in helping us with the testing, software and documentation sides of things, for example, to get it added to the supported hardware table in OpenWRT.

This coming Monday would be ideal. Also, one of the guys from is planning to come and visit on Monday, and can come along and talk about their work as well. I can bring the hardware with me, as well, if people would like the chance to play with it there.

A little more about our prototypes is in the following two blog posts:

See you tomorrow :smile:

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