wlan slovenija online shop opening invitation SL

We at wlan slovenija have created a non-profit online shop which will facilitate the spreading of the network to people who are less technically skilled. Online shop opening will be on Wednesday, 27. 2. 2013 at 19:00 hours in Ljudmila, Rimska 8, in Ljubljana (near the bar Semafor behind the Faculty of Arts). We will start with a short presentation of wlan slovenija network and continue with the presentation of the online shop with which we will carry out a symbolic first purchase of a router. We will conclude with a cake and pleasant company.


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Sensor gateway for nodes - Arduino compatible SL

Arduino compatible sensor gateway is the latest development for interfacing a range of sensors to wlan slovenija nodes, enabling a simple and low-cost platform for sensors and actuators ranging from temperature, pressure and humidity to power consumption and lightning strikes. A prototype with a temperature and pressure sensor was deployed during hackathon just before the New Year on the rooftop node at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science in Ljubljana.

The first batch of PCBs just arrived and first few prototypes are already operational. A set of 10 sensor gateways will be given away to interested developers, to design and test sensors, adding desired functions to the system. Express your interest on the development mailing list.

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Restoring a completely bricked TP-Link WR741ND router has been performed to revive a router, whose bootloader has been wiped clean from flash memory by an incorrectly chosen factory default firmware. Since the bootloader was missing, no TFTP methods could be used and the JTAG port of the router was not easily accessible.

The flash memory IC has been removed from the router and the bootloader written to it, re-soldered to the router and voila, it works. The procedure is not complicated apart from soldering operations. Two very handy open-source tools make the procedure extremely simple. Dangerous Prototypes Bus Pirate was used to connect to the flash IC using a simple breakout board or dead-bug method and in combination with Flashrom used to rewrite the bootloader partitions. Flashrom developers were very helpful and cooperative, fixing a few minor bugs and we made sure that Spansion S25FL032P is fully supported.

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BattleMeshV6 will take place in Aalborg, Denmark! SL

After BattleMeshV4 in Spain where we have enjoyed inspiring surroundings of Can Roca resort in 2011, and BattleMeshV5 in Athens that we were occupying in 2012 – do you recognize anyone in this video ;)? – the BattleMeshV6 will take place in Aalborg, Denmark, at University of Aalborg. Between 15th and 21st of April 2013 a next instance of this international gathering of "mesh networkers" will happen, again, where fresh experience will be exchanged and new ideas will compete.

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Hackaton 2012 concluded SL

wlan slovenija hackaton 2012 has successfully concluded. We worked hard for almost a week and many things moved forward. We deployed new backbone node on the roof of Faculty of Computer and Information Science and we finally structured and modularized nodewatcher. Now it will be much easier to develop further improvements and make it reusable also in other networks. More work on our new main webpage and store integration was done as well. Thanks to everybody who came and contributed, even with just a short visit. Thank you Ljudmila for hosting us and Faculty of Computer and Information Science for equipment for the node. The European Commission through Youth in action programme made sure the workshop participants didn't starve.

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Backbone on FRI SL

On the Faculty of Computer and Information Science building we had for few years a node operating on 2.4 GHz with external horizontally polarized omnidirectional antenna, using Fonera for router. Because the node stopped working few weeks ago, we decided that we will at the same time both replace it and setup a new backbone node in Ljubljana on the roof of the building. During our hackaton we went to the roof on the Wednesday and found that the router was completely submersed into the water because somebody turned the enclosure upside-down. We made an inventory of the equipment necessary for installation of a new backbone node and replacement of the old node. The next day we flashed new equipment and prepared it for installation on the roof. Installation was performed without complications and and testing has been successfully. In the evening, we successfully tested connection from Ljubljana Castle.

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Greetings 2013 SL

Greetings 2013
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wlan slovenija hackaton 2012 SL

We extended initial idea about nodewatcher hackaton into full-blown wlan slovenija hackaton 2012 where we will work on:

  • new version of nodewatcher (node database)
  • webpage and integration of webstore into it
  • circuit development and the rest for sensors which we are attaching to our nodes
  • other development and administrative things (organizing and cleaning content on the wiki, webpage, warehouse ...)

Everybody is invited. Even if you just have a question or an issue, we can work on it together. In general, this is a great opportunity to get to know a bit better the network, how we do things and technologies we are using.

Hackaton will be between December 26th and 30th 2012 and it will take place at Ljudmila, Rimska 8, in Ljubljana. Every day between 10 AM and 6 PM. If needed even longer and into late night hours. Furthermore, we will work at Faculty of Computer and Information Science as well (we have a warehouse there and we will be upgrading a node there).

Everybody who would like to come, please mark yourself here so that we will better know what and how (much food and drinks we have to prepare). We are not voting for any timeslot, we are just collecting data in one place. You are also invited to bring drinks and/or food with you. Bonus points for home-made food!

If you need transport to Ljubljana or even place to sleep, tell on talk mailing list and let us see if something can be coordinated.

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nodewatcher hackaton SL

We are planning to have a nodewatcher hackaton few days between December 26th and 30th 2012. Probably in Ljubljana (but you can suggest some other place). The idea is that we move to nodewatcher 3.0 (the new rewrite of what we have currently) and deploy it for wlan slovenija network, so that we can move further with support for all other things we want (backbone routers, sensors, etc.).

If anybody wants to attend, please tell us. We are searching for programmers, designers, but also just people who would like to work on wiki and other things which have to be organized/done are invited. It is easier to work together, we can faster coordinate and teach each other.

So if you ever wanted to start contributing to wlan slovenija project, this is the time. Mostly just will to do so is required. We can always find some work.

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wlan slovenija statistics SL

Doing proper measurements and statistics is hard. In wlan slovenija network we are using nodewatcher system to monitor the network and collect various measurements which help us understand how network behaves, see and even predict possible issues, fix them, or just enjoy watching how the network is growing. But as in any live organism, the network being one, many things are all the time changing. We are developing new software and hardware solutions and through time discrepancies happen. For example, more than an year ago we started experimenting with new generation of wlan slovenija firmware and now it just happens than more than half of wlan slovenija nodes are using this experimental firmware. Consequence is that nodewatcher does not correctly measure all aspects of firmware's behavior as it was developed for older firmware version so statistics reported are not correct anymore. We are planing to upgrade nodewatcher but in meantime we decided to reconstruct some statistics from other data we have.

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Tunneldigger, the new VPN solution SL

wlan slovenia network grew rapidly over the year and we started deploying more and more TP-Link routers as they were a cheap and powerful alternative. The problem is that they have less free flash storage space and cannot hold OpenVPN installation, which we were using for establishing tunnels over the Internet where direct wireless connectivity is not available. This meant that another solution for establishing tunnels was needed and we started looking into existing solutions (#149, #919). For some time we were trying n2n, but gave up because it was not reliable enough and had some problems with MTU on some links.

Our core requirements were ease of deployment and high performance with limited overhead from context switching between kernel- and user-space. The later was one additional issue we had with both OpenVPN and n2n. That for many nodes deployed on FTTH (fiber) the limiting factor for tunnel throughput was CPU and not Internet connectivity. This called for an in-kernel solution and after consulting with the Linux kernel mailing list, we decided that L2TPv3 was the way forward. Confidentiality of communications was not a requirement, since the whole network is open anyway and openly transmitted over wireless, so we could further remove the overhead of cryptographic operations.

As we soon realized, the missing component was brokerage of tunnels. An open source broker was available for L2TPv2, but version 2 only supported transfer of PPP sessions and we needed a real L2 solution. Version 3 supports something called an "ethernet pseudowire" that was exactly what we needed, but there was no open broker/client combination that supported it. So we decided to create our own and so Tunneldigger was born. Read on for a quick overview of the architecture.

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Thank you, Shuttleworth Foundation! SL

In April 2012 I was awarded Shuttleworth Flash Grant which enabled me to, together with others, rise wlan slovenija activities to the new level in the following 5 months. In this time we used grant to:

  • Design and produce telemetry and telecontrol systems used for attaching various sensors to nodes and being able to reboot nodes remotely, which is essential for network node deployments on remote locations, like hilltops. Of course, all open source and open hardware.
  • Organize electronic workshops with local youth, providing them free electronic parts and equipment.
  • Donated towards an airticket to Ljubljana, Slovenia, so that a representative from the community radio in Nairobi, Kenya, could attend workshop Autonomous Interactive Radio.
  • Made wlan slovenija t-shirts which we will be using to bootstrap our webstore as a type of donations. We expect it to be a smart investment.
  • Created permanent international wireless links to Austria and Croatia, for the first time in history connecting three European community wireless networks. This concluded two years of preparations and international cooperation, finally managed to get all necessary equipment and locations.
  • Painted many antennas and thus again showed that wlan slovenija is much more than just about the technology.

Thank you, Shuttleworth Foundation, for all this! And special thanks to Barbara, who took over most of the organization, and Musti, who did the technical parts. Of course, many many more were and are involved, too. Thank you all.

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We are internationally wireless! SL

Bringing people and their communities together is exciting, doing so wirelessly even more. Community networks FunkFeuer from Austria, NEDWireless from Croatia, and wlan slovenija have been connected with a wireless backbone, spanning borders, cultural differences, and bridging technological gaps. Furthermore, a physical layer has been established for connecting HAMnet and Slovenian packet radio network, setting the foundations for further international cooperation.

We believe this are the first international wireless links connecting community networks in Europe and are looking forward to a continent wide collaboration. Read more for the story of technical and organizational challenges, of hills and pain, of sensors and routers.

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Wireless Summit 2012 – Final day SL

Barcelona was a nice place for International wireless summit for Community wireless networks 2012, a very interesting well organized conference. The final day was organized in a unconference format allowing for free discussion on ideas, collaboration and cooperation for the next few years and sharing ideas that will change the world.

This post can not be long enough to encapsulate all good projects and ideas of the conference, thus I am only bringing up a few.

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Wireless Summit 2012 – Day 2 and 3 SL

The International wireless summit for Community wireless networks 2012 kicked of very well, presentations sparking up ideas and discussions, bringing all the participants up to the speed in a range of interesting topics.

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