Author Topic: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic  (Read 27414 times)

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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2014, 07:20:08 am »
You told me about getting your radio license, i think i even looked up some sites for you a while back.
Reading back, i now assume when you mention CH1-CH8 you mean the radio channels for your actual radio, not the channels on the WRT54.
Anyways, back to business : my bandwidth is so wide because, as you'll note, i'm using channel 1+5, as i'm running a max rate of 300 (i believe this is called channel bonding, or has to do with it, but don't quote me on that).

I'm not getting why you'd want to join in on an existing Mesh network, as it would be insecure by definition.
It could be fun to do just for the heck of it, but the novelty of such things wears off fast.
You're also forgetting that it's just a meshed WiFi, not a proper network.
For it to be able to serve as a replacement of the internet in the case of network trouble due to some calamity, it would need to have the equivalent of a DNS system to be useful for communication, and it still would be only local, and any website not directly tied in would be unreachable, UNLESS one of the nodes (or several) still had landline internet access...
But then ALL the network communications out to the internet would have to run through that one node (or the several nodes).
It'd be easier to use HAM/CB radio to keep tabs on everyone/everything.

As for the PBS software, i'm not sure if you could use it the way you're asking, i'd have to dig into it's workings.
Perhaps Keith or old-and-in-the-way can answer it off the top of their heads...

And yeah, nice DB's you got there, but unless you're also in a concrete building, about 30 feet away from the router with 2 walls in between the PC and the router...
I still win  ;D
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Offline Majik

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #106 on: February 20, 2014, 10:48:08 am »
To run an IP Phone, you need a client. This is normally an application that runs on a PC or smartphone.

There are various devices called Analogue Telephone Adapters (ATA) and some routers which you can connect a normal phone into and which will allow it to use an IP phone service.

IP phone, more generically known as Voice over IP or "VoIP", can be done in a peer-to-peer fashion, across the Internet, with no additional cost. The person you are calling has to have an appropriately configured VoIP setup locally (which could just be a client app running on a PC). The biggest issue with this is addressing: telephone numbers. Telephone numbers are administered and assigned as part of a (normally paid for) service.  How do you locate and "dial" someone else without a telephone number?

Well, there are ways involving addresses which are very similar to email addresses (e.g. [email protected]), which work using standard DNS. There are open and freely available standards supporting all of this. It's totally possible for people to install a software client app on a PC or phone and to freely call other people on the Internet without needing any sort of service. The other person doesn't even need to be running the same software as you.

The trouble is, as with most things like this which are open, standard, and low-cost or free, most people don't know they exist because there is no-one advertising and promoting them. Proprietary and paid-for services have large advertising budgets and have the ability to get their message to everyday folk who, mostly, don't understand technology. Some people even struggle to understand the concept of how this stuff could possibly be free. Most people have been indoctrinated with the view that, in order to do anything, you need a bit of commercial software or a commercial service.

The result is, almost noone actually has this sort of setup. I used to, but I ran it for about 3 years and never, ever, used it because there was hardly anyone else to use it with (that I needed to talk to). It's a classic example of Metcalfe's Law.

By the way, the same client software and same standards can be used to connect with commercial VoIP services, and these are often lower cost than many of the traditional services, especially for International calling.

Although you can use proprietary services like Skype, there are, IMO, better services which are more standard. The standard in this case is a protocol known as "SIP".

As regards client software, if you can find a SIP client application that runs on an iPhone over Wifi, then you can connect into a SIP VoIP service, and maybe do P2P VoIP for what it's worth.

http://www.flynumber.com/blog/our-favorite-sip-client-for-iphone-and-android-mobile-devices/

By the way, this is an area of particular expertise of mine, as Telecommunications Engineering is what I do as my day job, and I have helped design VoIP services for some large carriers.

Cheers,

Keith
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #107 on: February 20, 2014, 02:58:59 pm »
@Dan... watch this...(listen).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hywlosuIS0

Then watch this.... on 79mW of power. You can skip to 2:00 mark... but really just read the comments and watch the video stream  at end. They had a 50 mile Ultra Marathon. Spectators not allowed. So they set up a mesh for people on the other side of the mountain so they could watch the finish line...

HAM radio is not just talking... in fact... it's mostly not talking.. there are lots of digital modes. IOW it's not just talking and morse code.

Now on top of that hill, let's say there are no antennas... most likely there is a repeater out there but let's say there is not. Those guys could have also set up a repeater for their radios. Now again that would only give them the very slow digital modes of HAM radio. The radios they have probably won't go over that mountain easily,,, so now with repeater they can talk easily,,, AND,,, the MESH allows them to have live video as well. It's still all considered HAM radio... That area of 2930-2450 we have a license to use for ANY mode of communication. Like I say, I'm just learning about it... but as far as the thrill is gone deal... even if I don;t use it... If I powered up a node.... someone else in the HAM community can use it which is how the entire community works. It's a basically a worldwide array of repeaters and such that we all share.. For instance my little handheld radio can go maybe 10 miles. Well the local HAM radio club and the local Public Broadcasting station teamed up and they have a repeater way up on a hill and one on a tall building downtown. So I can talk through that repeater and get people all over the State.... and all this stuff is set up for digital modes as well.... but it's sloooooooow. So this MESH makes it fast. This network is not so much about doing private obscure things but rater making it open. a redundant safety net of communication should something bad happen........ but it got me thinking.... what if you did made it private.... it might interfere with normal one... or... anyway there are lots of implications.






@Majik ... ok, yeah, I guess you might know this stuff off the top of your head as Dan says.. What got me to thinking about it was from researching this RPi stuff... Here is a guy doing the RPi, HSMM-MESH, SIP(which I'm not real clear on)... and all that got the gears to grinding in my head..... especially if I could figure a way to set myself up a free fax system..... again that Fax is really only needed maybe once or twice a year..... I honestly don't know anyone that can't email it now but I know as soon as I turn it off, I get somebody that needs to fax..... I suppose I could just go to Kinkos or something.... but I got to thinking there must be some way to do this..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gosYvsQFkw8
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Offline Majik

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #108 on: February 20, 2014, 03:52:32 pm »
Fax is slightly tricky over VoIP, as it's quite timing and loss sensitive.

If you have a standard phone line, you might be better just getting an old fax modem of some sort and connecting it to your PC.

I used to have a PC set up running Asterisk ( www.asterisk.org ) which had multiple trunks to various VoIP service providers, ENUM, and analogue trunks connecting to my incoming lines. This also had voicemail and faxmail capability, but the fax was largely reliant on the clocking that was provided by the relatively expensive Digium FXO/FXS PCI interface card I had installed. I don't have it any more because it rarely got used and, eventually, the server died (after about 4 years of continuous running).

I've been meaning to set it up again as a VM on my ESXi server, but that's a project for another day.

Prior to this (probably around 2001 or so), my server had a fax modem installed and running Hylafax configured so that would receive faxes and email them to me, and so that I could send faxes as a print service from any machine on the network.

These days I have a multi-function printer/scanner/copier type setup which also supports fax. I don't currently have it connected to a phone line, but if I needed it I could set something up quite quickly. I don't think I have received more than 3 faxes in the last 4-5 years, and have never in that time had the need to send one.

In my view, trying to set the Pi up to do something like this might be a fun project, but there's probably easier, more reliable and practical ways of doing it.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #109 on: February 20, 2014, 04:03:49 pm »
No phone lines.

I used to have a fax server as well when I had a phone line. I just figured there must be a modern easy way to do this. I'm basically spending $120 year for nothing. Seriously I think I have sent 2 faxes in 4 years and the ones I have received were totally un-necessary. BUT... I hate to be totally without the ability. I mean I don't have a phone line but I have an old wired phone 'just in case'.
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Offline Majik

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #110 on: February 20, 2014, 04:38:49 pm »
By the way, I'm familiar with Wifi mesh networks ( the music streaming system I use is based on one). I'm not familiar with HSMM-MESH nor any HAM radio stuff.

If you look around, there must be cheaper fax services. I used to subscribe to one which cost me £40 per year to have a fax to email service, with the option of a PDF to fax sending service.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #111 on: February 20, 2014, 06:09:16 pm »
I'm aware that HAM/Radio amateur bands can do far more than just send radio signals or morse (hell, remember that BBS documentary i always go on about ? check the start of episode 5 : https://archive.org/details/BBS.The.Documentary the gentleman talks about the first instance of teletype over licensed amateur radio, people sending what would later evolve into ANSI art over telegraph/teletype via the air, after they found out Telegraph operators had been doing it for aaaages before the HAM/Am. Radio guys found out about this).
I've seen video broadcasts and such, i've even got a friend who used to broadcast himself and his wife doing the 'danse with no pants' for the 'pleasure' of anyone who had a radio and wanted to watch (and he got shut down because of it).
So all of that ain't exactly news to me  ;)
Also, i assume you meant to link to a second video there ?

But yeah, just the first minute of that video clarified a whole heap on what you'd want with something like that;  your intentions and wants/need were a little vague.
From what i gathered, info wise, you'd need to keep things the way they have you set it up, SSID needs to remain the same most likely for it to work with the mesh network, at most tack on an extra number or something, but i'd need to do some in-depth RTFM'ing to give you a definitive answer on that, as i'm not sure how this system works when it comes to node recognition.
They've basically set up an emergency response network via HAM/Am. Radio with the help of cheap and simple WiFi routers.
Rather ingenious, but that's not surprising, considering the amount of engineers and folks with doctorates in all sorts of practical sciences that enjoy HAM/Am. Radio.
As you suspected, you'd have to keep it open, otherwise it fails it's purpose : open coms channel for everyone on that network, and another spread of their network.
It also most likely would not be accepted into the network if it wasn't and open node, but again, i'd have to RTFM to give you a definitive answer (but if this had been one of my projects, i'd guarantee you the node would have to be open to all, as that seems to be the whole idea behind it).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 06:28:31 pm by Dan Graves »
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #112 on: February 20, 2014, 09:42:42 pm »
Oh yes, it has to be open... I know that for a fact.... what I was simply "wondering aloud" was.....

hmmmmm I wonder if a private mesh could be formed with this same software or is it written to not really allow for that? So yes, I will eventually RTFM and find out....

Yep, I meant to post this.... 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LN8gMgz2pA

So you can see the video feed that people back on the other side of mountain could see... and... they can still just use the radios for voice comms... or hell they could have set everything up on the MESH but that would have probably been impractical for that experiment.

I'm going to look and see if I can find a web site that maps this MESH. Usually things have a web site somewhere or a piece of software that gps locates the nodes.

But... yes... I do know people that have ranches or work maybe 100 miles from home and trying to learn, prepare, develop methods of reliable comms in the event of a sudden bad situation so this might be something they could take advantage of...... and it appears that once set up.. it has a very low learning curve for the end user who might be a child, wife, non-computer type person, etc..
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #113 on: February 23, 2014, 05:52:19 pm »
I haz Pi.

I thought it was broken. Hooked up HDMI but no display. Then tried Comp. and it was there.

Clicked on first line that said something about using the storage or something... and I just said ok, it rebooted and then the display switched over to HDMI.

Played around with this sprite prog named Scratch. Clicked on Help and CPU spiked to 100% and stayed there. It opened a window I never could get to away. Everything else continued to work but that window just would not go away.

But...... it looks like it works.... This will be my test/play unit. I have another on way for the media server.

Kinda odd how they stagger the USB and RJ45 jacks.. A bit rough on case design. I also didn't realize how few mico-usb cables I had... Luckily a couple of batteries I have, use them.

I need to find myself a small cheap keyboard.
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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #114 on: February 24, 2014, 07:30:05 am »
Which PI model, A or B ?
(if you say model A, i will berate you for being cheap and tell you your cheapness is to blame for your PI's low performance, just FYI)
And what is the rating of your SD card ?
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #115 on: February 24, 2014, 01:33:13 pm »
I'm pretty sure it's the B... I thought it was the B. Two mounting holes.  I am not sure about the rating on this card. It's an 8G Sandisk but I can't remember which speed it is. I -think- it's a 10 but it's a spare and I just remember. It's not very old.

btw... it's not performing low... it's actually pretty snappy considering... Just had that one window stuck and couldn't kill it.

Which reminds me.... the one for the media server will be here today and I need an SD card for it. Any specific recommendations? I generally try to buy them on special sales when they pop up but mat just have to order one. I forgot all about that.   I need a couple other little pieces/parts too.
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Offline old-and-in-the-way

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #116 on: February 24, 2014, 06:49:08 pm »
I'm pretty sure it's the B... I thought it was the B.

If it has ethernet, it's a B.  No network, it's A.

Offline Dan Graves

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #117 on: February 25, 2014, 04:04:55 am »
Transcend and Sandisk 10 rating SD's have always had my preference.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #118 on: February 25, 2014, 04:26:47 am »
It's odd how these sd cards are so finicky. I bought a B&N Nook a while back.. and installed Android for Nook on it. The guy said the cards made a big difference... I luckily got one that worked even though he said the faster ones are not necessarily going to work. Then my gps says to basically just get an ordinary one because it's simply not going to use it.

It looks like the Pi has long list of them that will work... and a long list that won't. For the media server is there a size I should get. I see it seems to not care how large in size they are but I don't want to have it wasted. Is 8Gig enough? More?
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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: The big 'ole Raspberry Pi topic
« Reply #119 on: February 25, 2014, 05:47:45 am »
Over 4GB is a general rule of thumb, so 8 will be plenty.
Brands i mentioned i've tested myself with 2 different model B (and i mean different as in Rev.1 and rev.2) PI's.
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