Release 0.4.0

Today I released version 0.4.0 of HSMM-Pi. It’s mostly a bug-fix release that addresses a couple of critical issues.

The most significant issue is #23, which is the result of a command in the HSMM-Pi installation script that ugprades all existing packages on the base Raspbian image.  At some point, this upgrade step began to include updates that break HSMM-Pi (namely WiFi adapter support and OLSRD).  I removed the upgrade command, so only new packages that are required for HSMM-Pi are installed.  An added benefit is that the installation will be faster.  I tested HSMM-Pi with Raspbian 2013-09-10 (http://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/raspberrypi/raspbian/images/raspbian-2013-09-16/) and verified that it worked as expected.

Another issue (#33) is compatibility with Broadband Hamnet v.1.1.2.  The BBHN distribution has begun to use the OLSRD secure plugin with a key that doesn’t pass validation when entered into the HSMM-Pi web interface.  I relaxed the validation rules so that the BBHN key can be used, and verified that the HSMM-Pi nodes all showed up on the BBHN node (and vice-versa).  The default BBHN secure key is gBpRdG7Crp5by9xw

The Google Plus group for the project has been very active, so I strongly recommend sending any questions there.  Any issues should be filed on the Github project.

Thanks again for all of your interest & support!

Mesh Connectivity LED

There’s a recently added issue on the Github project requesting the ability to display mesh connection status on an LED or other visual indicator.  I’ve been wanting to add such a feature for a while now, and today I had some time to knock it out.  I wrote a PHP script that retrieves the OLSRD neighbors list, checks them using ping, and then updates the color on a BlinkM module to indicate the number of active neighboring nodes.   Because the script is not directly related to HSMM-Pi, I placed it in a separate Github repository of its own: olsrd-blinkm

Here are a few photos showing the Blinkm in a green state (e.g. 2 or more active neighbors):

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HSMM-Pi v0.3.0 Available

Today I created the v0.3.0 release tag of the HSMM-Pi project.  The upgrade steps from v0.2.0 are pretty straightforward:

  1. cd ~pi/hsmm-pi
  2. git pull
  3. git checkout v0.3.0
  4. sh install.sh

Here are a few of the changes in the release:

  • Advertise mesh services when the wired adapter is in WAN & LAN mode (previously only in LAN mode).
  • Use raw sockets to retrieve OLSRD mesh statistics instead of using CURL (the OLSRD plugin does not produce HTTP 1.0/1.1 responses, so CURL is not the right tool for the job).
  • Added a WiFi scanning action (Issue 8) to show nearby wireless networks.
  • Derive the default WiFi IP address from the wireless adapter MAC address in a fresh installation similar to the behavior in Broadband-Hamnet.
  • Better support for installation on the Ubuntu 12.04 on the Beaglebone.

Please file any defects or features requests in the Issues section of the Github project.  Thanks!

Feature Requests

I’ve received a lot of great requests for features and feedback from folks posting comments to this blog – thank you so much!  There’s also an Issues area of the project on Github where you can post feature requests or defects.  Please create an issue whenever you find a problem with the project or have an idea for how it can be improved.  There are so many great ways that we can make HSMM-Pi ever better!

Demo at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire

I will be hosting an HSMM-Pi booth at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in Oakland, California on October 20, 2013.  The event is associated with Make magazine, and will be a smaller regional version of the grandaddy Maker Faire held in San Mateo, California each year.  I plan on producing a field demo video that can played on loop on a display in the booth.  I’ll also have some HSMM-Pi nodes and large 15 dbi omnidirectional antennas present for visual effect.  This is a great opportunity to introduce HSMM mesh networking to a lot of people who might still think of HAM radio as being just CW & phone.

Are there any aspects of HSMM mesh networking that you think would be helpful to share with the general public (not necessarily just HAMs)?