.In September-ish 2008, RussellSenior bought a couple Alix boards (from PC Engines) to play with. One got turned into an AlixStumbler and the other got used as a router at OneWebDay2008. Having played with the Alix.2d3, he found it has some nice properties and would make a decent router/gateway device. He also began to consider the downsides of the current NuCab infrastructure as it remains deployed in about 25 nodes around town.
In December, he put out a call to raise the funds necessary to make a bulk purchase of 30 of these devices to completely replace the existing NuCabs. As of the end of 2008, the drive has raised over $1800. The total cost of 30 devices would be approximately $5200. We additionally have some cash in our checking account to help fund the purchase. In order to leave ourselves with a cushion of cash, we minimally still need to raise another $700 or so. More, of course, would be better.
The AlixCab can accommodate the following features:
- Three ethernet ports:
- Public LAN (connect to existing APs)
- Private LAN (possibly prioritizing Private traffic)
NoCatAuth captive portal software (stable, most users are comfortable with)
- OpenVPN tunnels
- OLSR (to connect the disparate networks via the VPN tunnel)
- SNMP network performance monitoring
The Alix.2d3 is about twice as capable, CPU-wise, as the standard NuCab. It uses much less electricity, between 4 and 6 Watts, compared to about 60 for the NuCab (a savings for the node host of nearly $40 per year in electricity). It has no moving parts to wear out. It occupies much less space (about 6 x 6 x 1 inch).
On March 26, 2009 after repeatedly receiving the Board go-ahead, RussellSenior made initial phase of hardware purchase.
Qty Part# Description Price Ext HTS code Origin Weight 10 alix2d3 ALIX.2D3 system board 123.50 1235.00 8471.5000 TW 2100g 10 cr2032 battery kit 0.50 5.00 8471.8000 CN 50g 10 case1c2redu Enclosure 3 LAN, red, USB 9.50 95.00 8517.7000 CN 2150g 10 poe1a2 POE adapter 2.00 20.00 8473.3000 TW 290g 10 cf1024dp CompactFlash card 1GB 8.00 80.00 8523.5100 TW 150g 1 cf1024fd CompactFlash card 1GB FreeDOS 8.75 8.75 8523.5100 TW 15g 1 post5a MiniPCI POST code adapter 12.50 12.50 8473.3000 TW 13g 52 Shipping + Handling 76.70 4768g Subtotal USD 1532.95 0% VAT USD 0.00 Total USD 1532.95
This is the first 10 of the planned 30, with a few one-off accessories (the FreeDOS flash card, 10 PoE injector adapters, and the POST code adapter). We may ultimately get creditted some of the shipping and handling back (I got about half back on my September order about three months later, not really sure why);
30 x AC/DC 15V 1.25A 18W Switching Adapter $255.00 Federal Express (Home Delivery) $22.93 Total $277.93
I requested the Community Wireless Networking discount in a comment on the order, and today received an email from Netgate that we'd be creditted $22 of our purchase back to our debit card. For these, I chose to get all 30 in one whack in order to save on the shipping overhead.
Excluding the one-off purchases, this works out to a rate of $157.70 for each device, with an estimated total project cost of $4772.28.
Placing an order for the second batch of 10 Alix boards with PCENGINES.CH:
Qty Part# Description Price Ext HTS code Origin Weight 10 alix2d13 ALIX.2D13 system board 102.90 1029.00 8471.5000 TW 2100g 10 case1c2redu Enclosure 3 LAN, red, USB 7.88 78.80 8517.7000 CN 2150g 10 cf1024dp CompactFlash card 1GB 8.40 84.00 8523.5100 TW 150g 30 Shipping + Handling 56.00 4400g Subtotal USD 1247.80 0% VAT USD 0.00 Total USD 1247.80 PayPal fee (3%) USD 37.44
The prices have dropped somewhat since the last batch. If the last batch is obtainable at the same price, the estimated total project cost is now $4381.36.
The first few AlixCab's have been deployed:
Nodes where AlixCab's to go in:
This should maybe get reorganized, but there are three nodes that want to become SoekrisCab's: