Building a Wireless Mesh Network

Setting up the Mesh Nodes software

If you don’t require much customisation, the setting up of mesh node is pretty straight-forward. In here, I will document the straight-forward way which I initially did to trial out wireless mesh on the routers.

I had since progressed to building my own OpenWRT firmware and configuration to meet my performance and security requirements.

Like I mentioned earlier, I decided to trial out both B.A.T.M.A.N-Adv and BMX6 mesh routing protocol. The trials are mutually exclusive, that is they either use B.A.T.M.A.N-Adv or BMX6. I will not be documenting the configurations for BMX6.


Setting up for B.A.T.M.A.N-Adv

For this, you will need to have OpenWRT running on the routers. I won’t be covering this as the flashing method is widely documented on the Internet for the various router. For example, I documented my process of flashing OpenWRT onto TP-Link TL-WR703N.

After getting OpenWRT onto the router, install the B.A.T.M.A.N-Adv and batctl package. For configuration wise, I found that the B.A.T.M.A.N-Adv configuration documented here works pretty well.

You will need at least 2 mesh nodes to know whether have you set it up properly. Well, if it doesn’t work, try again. Some useful commands to aid your troubleshooting are:

  • iw wlan0 station dump
  • iw wlan0 mpath dump
  • batctl s
  • batctl tg