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Old November 30th 20, 09:13 PM posted to,,,,
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Default [SDARC] Broadband Hamnet

Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club

Broadband Hamnet

Posted: 30 Nov 2020 01:27 AM PST


This is a system for creating an amateur mesh network by re-purposing old
Wifi routers from the LinkSys WRT54 family. Not all models can be used, but
there is a list of the compatible ones he

I’ve just bought a couple from eBay, about £8 each including postage. Just
check that the hardware version number (shown on the serial number label)
is OK before you buy.

Linksys WRT54G

If you have any of these old routers spare but are not interested in this
project, I’m sure that other club members could give them a good home.


The modification consists of loading new firmware according to this:

You probably don’t know the user name and password. So in order to first
log-on, reset the WRT54 by pressing and holding the Reset button. Then
connect a PC’s ethernet port to one of the WRT54’s LAN ports, and follow
the instructions.

You can get the new firmware from here, under Linksys:
Choose the file that matches the model number of your router

Don’t forget to do the step where you set the node name. This is your
callsign followed by a hyphen and a sequence number. I’ve got two nodes
going now, so these are G1ERM-1 and G1ERM-2. No other customisation is

If you’ve completed the firmware upgrade, but the new
http://localnode:8080/ page doesn’t appear after a few minutes, try
unplugging the ethernet, or even rebooting the PC and router.
Here’s a description of the parameters on the localnode page.

Add HamChat

This is a chat room application that can be loaded onto the router. You can
get it from here, under Linksys, then scroll all the way down.

To install, go to http://localnode:8080/
Setup, log in, Administration, Package Management, Upload Package, navigate
to hamchat_0.1_all.ipk then Upload.

To access it, go to http://localnode:8080/cgi-bin/ on any browser
on a PC attached to a modified router by an ethernet cable.

Multiple mesh nodes

You can also access individual nodes from another node by putting the node
name in place of ‘localnode’. So from my shack’s PC attached to G1ERM-2, I
can access the Status or HamChat page of G1ERM-1 at the top of the house.

For example,

http://G1ERM-1:8080/cgi-bin/ for the hamchat on
G1ERM-1http://G1ERM-2:8080/cgi-bin/status for the status page of G1ERM-2

External antennas

Annoyingly, the units use Reverse TNC sockets. An adapter to female SMA is
£2.50 including postage he

In Use

The nodes use WiFi channel 1 (2412MHz) and automatically link to other mesh
nodes with the same SSID, which they all do as default.
I have to say I haven’t used it properly yet as I need someone else to
connect to. However, I have connected between my nodes. G1ERM-1 is usually
on now from the top of my house in the Old Town area. Please connect and
leave a message!

Darren G1ERM.

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