Heat map

Here is my list of priorities for the mesh in order of importance. I’ll keep this updated.

1. Firmware for indoor and outdoor routers
2. Tall structure installs
3. Public Access Points as gateways
4. Collaborations
5. Donations
6. Work and storage space
7. Software services


1. Firmware for indoor and outdoor routers

TP-Link locked down its 5GHz routers so we no longer have dual-band support. The 842ND is discontinued and the 841 has poor OpenWrt support.

We need to compile new firmware so we can add support for more routers. Suggestions of cheap, off the shelf hardware are welcome. We are looking at the GL-AR150. For 802.11.ac/gigabit support we are testing some LigoDLB.

2.Tall structure installs

Tall structures are the only way we can expand the wireless mesh. This is by far our biggest priority. There are a few different types in the city and we need to try them all- NYCHA buildings, skyscrapers, churches, schools, libraries, existing antenna masts and building coops. We need specific presentations and handouts for each of these types of structures. We are currently approaching libraries and churches. We need to build presentations for coop boards and others.

Once we have a tall structure in a neighborhood we can link to apartment building rooftops.

3. Public Access Points as gateways

Apart from the supernode, we need more internet gateways. Another kind of gateway is a public wifi access point. By using directional routers we can extend the range of public access points very easily. We have discussed this with some city infrastructure people and we think it is important to pursue this method. It will help us expand very quickly. Here are some instructions- how to connect to a kiosk.. This uses a NanoStation. If we use a 802.11ac like a LigoDLB we could get faster speeds, but the stock firmware doesn’t support the DFS channels that the kiosk uses.

4. Collaborations

We are just starting some exciting collaborations with Zoetic Networks and Brooklyn Microgrid, and we are in talks with Chinatown B.I.D and NYCHA. This is essential to our growth and we should have more of this.

5. Donations

The supernode has a monthly cost and we need to get monthly donations to cover this. So far we have over $4000 donated, and mostly from a few generous people, which will cover most of the install. You can donate via our donate page.. We have also just received $30,000 in grant money which will cover our expenses for 2017.

6. Work and storage space

We need a place to store our install gear and also work on routers etc.

7. Software services

The mesh network has around 5 small servers that can be accessed using our “.mesh” domain. This has been difficult to maintain. We do have IRC installed and running across three servers but it is rarely used. We need distributed software that will still work when servers are down or part of the network is not accessible. Guifi has a package called Cloudy that I would like to try.