David Szpunar: Lead Engineer, PC Help Services

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July 23rd, 2009 at 3:20 pm Print This Post Print This Post

Bye Meraki, Hello Open-Mesh: Revisiting the Campground WiFi!

Two years ago, almost to the day (which I just noticed!), I went up to the Indiana District Assemblies of God campground in Hartford City,  IN. Purpose? Set up and test four Meraki Mini mesh routers with their satellite internet connection. You can read about my initial escapade here and here (corny play on words and all :-)

Here’s what’s changed in two years: Meraki has since redefined their entire business and offers much more expensive solutions, and no Meraki Minis. Also, the campground can now get DSL and not just satellite internet, which is awesome. And although Meraki is for my purposes defunct, Open-Mesh has taken over where Meraki left off and has a similar device at the same price, with better accessories and more power!

This time, we’re covering more ground as well. So I just ordered nine Open-Mesh OM1P Professional Mini Routers. And six 7 dbi antennas, plus three Indoor Wallplug Enclosures. This time I’m going to be covering more area, and I’m hoping that using some larger antennas as well as the reports I’ve heard that the Open-Mesh devices have better range than the Meraki units out of the box mean that we’ll have a very successful network this time! We’ll also have two or three DSL lines to serve as injection gateways, which should be a major improvement over the horrendous satellite connection we had before (if you could call it a connection half of the time when it wasn’t, you know, connected :-)

I plan on taking some pictures and documenting the setup more than last time, and if I find the time I might even blog some of it!

Did I mention my whole order including shipping was under $550? That’s cool.