Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And Now Join Africa Establishes The third Node!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking the well deserved break later in the day...

The team gets to play too! Especially after successfully testing the second hub in Mt. View. Kitengela Glass was our stop, courtesy of Dr. Kamau

Time to stream video online !

We finally welcome Mt. Estate residents to Join Africa wireless infrastructure.With our first user online, 'provision of hi-speed connectivity is all clients want', says Mr. Lumumba. Our challenge is to guarantee the speeds demanded.

For a good link,....

At this height, a link of -54dbm was established. No fabfi's required as the house is 150 m away from the AMURT. The signal dips to almost zero on the ground. Plenty of trees to blame.


Trying to establish a connection to the health centre. The location is relatively lower than neighbouring houses. However, a good number of residents/potential users are within sight of this location. With APs mounted on a high pole, we are likely to enhance coverage

Next was.....

And at our first user/host's residence, John finalizes the power cabling and insulation. This will soon be replaced with D.C. power or quality outdoor POE Ethernet cables.

And there the show went on....

The rain was pounding the estate. The rain torrents dropping with the packets.......There was no signal 2 blocks away from the health centre. Another problem to worry about.

The week that was....

It all began by testing coverage in the AMURT neighbourhood. We had and opportunity to test the outdoor capability of the ubiquiti M2's. Rain and foliage are The Team's nightmare. But tree cover is what we needed to complete the tests.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Public IP? really!

For some unfathomable reason, the university's "public IP's" cannot be accessed from an external network {try pinging (UoN gateway IP) or ( UoN proxy server) or (Fablab Nairobi's video-conference system)}. It may have been a measure to enhance network security, however, this means that we can no longer run the afrimesh server/DNS/etc on the university network.
Will have to spend tonight transferring all those services to "Keith's server"

Breakthrough :-)

The Wananchi link is up and active ( and if I may add, I'm using it to submit this post). Access points should be setup in mountainview area by the end of this week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

KENET and JoinAfrica Join Forces.

Kamau, our good friend and colleague in Nairobi, has been pounding the pavement for us and just recently secured an agreement with the Kenya Educational Network Trust (KENET) under which we will be able to serve educational content from around the world free on our network*.

With the Nairobi team working hard at the deploy site, we should have users live in a very short while.

*it's a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea...

Friday, October 8, 2010

...this past week cont'd

..and the signal got crappier further away or when many trees were on the way of the signal source

...this past week cont'd

there are a number of devices ,mostly on channel 1 and 2, a few on channel 3,6,9,11..we intend to use those channels least in use, and if in use already, least signal strength. For this output one needs to type on the terminal (linux not used windows for this test):

$ sudo iw dev wlan0 scan | grep signal

for signal strength, and

$ sudo iw dev wlan0 scan | grep channel

to display the channels in use. If you run these commands while standing at the same position you are sure to get a matching number of output items(i guess respectively arranged-no sure way of telling this).

What We've been up to this past week

This past week (as the show ground demo came to a successful close  ) we set out to:

1. Bring up the Lavington (Wananchionline) link.
2. Set up 2-3 access points at AMURT Health Center- test them and allow some users to log into the network, and link the nodes to afrimesh dashboard.
3. Find willing residents to host our devices as we seek to extend our coverage deeper into the estate.

..so far so good. 'Taking stock' bottom up; we have identified a few people who are willing to host our devices-this is a key component(and probably the key to the success of the project). Agreements one 'what they get in return' expected to vary from one host to another-but we look forward to mutually beneficial relationships with these wonderful people.  We indeed did set up three (temporary-we later took them down as we figure out design and fabrication of permanent mounting structures-this means the nodes can't be viewed on the afrimesh dashboard) access points to test coverage around the houses close to the health center. We did this along the roads.Some of the screen shots of the tests accompany this note. Some of the locations we carried out the tests from were behind trees (this significantly attenuates the signal, meaning we definitely have stronger signals within the compounds coz they are in clear view from the health center where we placed the devices).The devices tested were M2 nanostations. The sample screen shots were taken roughly 50 metres from the health center(this is a realistic radius if we care about doing good coverage). Outputs from picostations are expected next week. Lastly, the Wananchi Online link was not apparently well mapped and so the two days I visited the Lavington base station did not yield much. We hope to have this sorted out latest Monday 11. More details on the actual experience from the Lavington trips coming to the link:http://fabfiblog.fabfolk.com/search/label/Random%20Frustration

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back to the core objective

Mounting of a permanent holding box for the AMURT Health centre node. This will house a switch, adapters and a headnode. This is one particular setup that will require reliable power backup, besides the one at Lavington tower.