May Personal Telco Meeting Notes
May PersonalTelco Meeting
- 6:00PM - Introductions
- 6:30PM - Reports on new nodes, special OPS recruitment
- 7:00PM - Discussion on possible hilltop locations
- 7:30PM - Install Fest discussion
- 8:00PM - General news and discussion
- 8:30PM - Personal Telco Satellite Truck demo
The May PersonalTelco meeting started with a bang with the arrival of the Personal Telco SatelliteTruck in full regalia. ErikWalthinsen and NigelBallard parked it outside ItsaBeautifulPizza at 3341 SE Belmont for the meeting. The plan was to see if the 2.4 GHz yagis could hit the node at PsychonauticalBooks. No go.
- Everyone took turns climbing in the van and flicking the switches to run the 27 foot mast up and down (it runs on compressed air). The mast is rotated using an ordinary antenna rotator. On top of the mast is Nigel's Intel access point, a 2011 repeater model. Nigel informs us that the "repeater mode" requires it to be pointed to another 2011, however. The mast-mounted AP, inside the Pelican case, is attached to one of three antennas; a 6 db omni (it looked like Don's), and two Yagis, a DYI (from South Africa) and another of similar size lashed parallel to it. A flashing red strobe added sex appeal.
Inside the van, a FreeGeek (library) box and CRT were plugged into an industrial strength, rack-mounted APC uninterruptable power unit. Multiple laptops of undetermined function and various gizmos were demonstrated. Power was supplied from ItsaBeautifulPizza. AC plugged right into the power receptacle panel on the side of the van.
- After knob twisting and pizza ordering, the assembled masses (about 50) wandered downstairs for the meeting.
May Personal Telco Meeting
Adam explained briefly the mission of PersonalTelco.
First Timers: Nigel asked for hands of first timers with about 8 people raising their hands. Each person explained their interests.
Nodes and users: The meeting began with a summary of nodes and users. There are some 40 odd nodes in the Portland region but not all use the PersonalTelco software. About 10 users appear to be using the PersonalTelco/NoCat software with about a half-dozen using the nodes regularly (like PioneerSquare). About 3-4 people are linked wirelessly together.
Future Nodes: A discussion on future nodes mentioned BillyReeds on MLK and DanRichardson mentioned how his node illuminates the new Hollywood Library Branch. Dan got a nice thank you note from a stranger who moved into the new apartments directly above the new library (The Bookmark) and found his AP. That person also attended the meeting.
Wireless distribution: A discussion of hand-off and a wireless distribution system followed. Adam passed around the Musiki M-1 device, a tiny box that runs HostAP. Musiki also makes the M-3 with multiple slots for different radios.
Want to be a Special Ops team member? It requires advanced Linux (DebianLinux), networking and wireless skills with 1-2 hours week. Help is also need for documentation so users can figure out what to do in case something goes terribly wrong. Think you can hack it? Don Park has more: http://klickitat.yi.org/~donp/ptpops/
Non Profit Status: Apparently the designation of PersonalTelco as a non-profit is on again. The process of filling for a 501(c)7 is being investigated. A 501(c)7 is a public, non-profit but is different from a 501(c)3 in that the organization can't give tax exempt status for donations. The process is apparently simpler. PersonalTelco has about $700 in the account and donations via the web site are being investigated. It would use PayPal. SamChurchill asked if it was safe. Adam believed since the connections used SSL that it shouldn't be a problem.
Lonnie Wormley brought in the definitive PTP T-Shirts. This is a VERY cool T-shirt and only goes for $17-$20. Now is the time to get one! Lonnie also made some small black bumper stickers for Nigel - "Got Wi-Fi?"
Adam Shand will speak at PLUG on Thursday, June 6th.
A Public Safety Communications Conference runs June 4-7 at the Marriot, 1401 SW Naito. Interoperability will be discussed. Free.
A Wind Power show will be held at the Convention Center June 2-5. Exhibition is free to the public.
Hilltop Repeater: Discussion of a radio repeater or node on a high hill was discussed. Two people, Dave Jensen and John Mackie said they could help. Dave Jensen is on the East Side of the the West Hills, overlooking Beaverton and high on the hill just under the radio towers. Unfortunately your scribe did not get Dave Jensen's email or phone number. Dave, please contact Erik!
- John Mackie is a ham operator who has a repeater on a tower on the hills. He was planning to control it remotely via 900 MHz but now is thinking about 2.4Ghz. Adam and others thought this was an ideal situation; a repeater or access point on a tower would be near ideal. Once again your scribe did not get an email or phone number for John Mackie. He is the chief engineer at KBOO and has been a radio engineer for 20 years.
Community LAN software: A question was raised how Boingo, Joltage, Sputnick, NoCat and Open802 were similar or different. Adam explained the differences briefly but basically Boingo is an aggregator of access points with a flat fee. Joltage is similar. Sputnick is a commercial (and non-commercial) software package that lets coffee shops set up commercial APs, NoCat is the access software that PersonalTelco and others use while Open802 is the flashware that is being tested on largely obsolete USR APs (no computer required).
Presentations: While this meeting did not have an official presentation, a discussion of future presentations included; How to build a node, Radio Frequency Tutorial, NoCat, Install Fest and others.
The meeting adjourned about 9pm and reassembled outside around the SatelliteTruck. Much fun was had by all. Erik and Nigel requested that anyone interested in van painting should see them. PersonalTelco must remove the channel 6 designation before it is used publicly.