Test mesh internet antennae

We have one sector antenna (covering 120 degrees) and two point-to-point antennae from Ubiquiti that communicate via the 802.11ac standard. Our original purpose was to use these to share internet among neighbors around 7376, but now they are in the attic of 3731 and can serve that purpose at this new house.

In NYC, the rooftop mesh network is the largest in the world using exactly this same equipment.

What makes this project so popular and compelling is that it has two layers (at least). There is a core group of nerds that care about neutral internet, measuring signal strength, maximizing uptime, and peering directly with AT&T, Google, and Verizon at the very trunk of internet into and out of one of the biggest cities in the world. They are the non-profiteers who run the network about as well as most for-profit internet companies run themselves.

The first layer however, to most New Yorkers, grandmas, hair stylists, yoga instructors, teachers, kids, dog walkers, families etc, is that “hey, we will give you free internet, and everyone in your building as well. If you let us install this antennae one your rooftop, your neighbors will thank you, and you’ll have more reasons to connect, build trust, and have a friend nearby through this one shared utility.” I’ve seen it firsthand and the NYC Arcology which I ran for two years used NYC Mesh as its only internet provider.

This is a magical experience that doesn’t just connect computers, and Detroiters don’t know what they are missing yet. Who would like to help take the first step with me?

It involves setting up one sector and one PTP antenna facing each other, probably in the attic or basement, and establishing a connection from one to the other (ping replies). Once that’s running, we can progressively move the two antennae further and further away, at successive neighborhood events where we invite our neighbors to the outdoor demonstration, and eventually help them install the remote antenna at their house to become the first node of Detroit Mesh.

@cryptogoth I’m super interested in helping get this setup.

Great! Walter mentioned wanting mesh internet at his new building, so I’d like to donate one of the P2P antennae to him if our experiments show the signal can reach that far.

When you’re back in Detroit we can have some pair engineering sessions, or group engineering, if @yfgame is interested in helping too