It’s great to have Paul Gardner-Stephen as the guest blogger of today after he spent some days in experimenting with Arduino Yún . He’s based in Australia and the founder of Serval Project, making tools to let people communicate without carriers by enabling smart-phones to talk directly to one another to form Wi-Fi mesh networks and “Mesh Extenders”, allowing a single unit to cover hundreds of homes, even in urban areas. We like their motto:
“Communications should not just be for the geographically and financially fortunate — communication should be freely available to everyone”
Regular readers of my blog will know that we have been looking at a variety of hardware options for the Serval Mesh Extender.
The Serval Mesh Extender is a device that combines ad-hoc WiFi meshing with long-range license-free UHF packet radio to allow the easy formation of mesh networks spanning useful distances. Typically the UHF packet radio has a range about ten times greater than WiFi. This means that in ordinary suburban and urban areas we get a range of a block or two, and in open rural areas the range can be in the kilometres.
We run our award winning Serval Mesh software over the top, providing an easy to use communications system that lets you use your cell phone without cellular coverage, for example, during a disaster, or when you and your friends are near one another outside of the range of your native network. For example, if you are at an international gathering and don’t want to pay $4 a minute for the privilege of calling someone a few hundred metres away. (more…)