Meraki in Sparse Rural Areas - Advice Sought

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Mar 24, 2008, 12:56:45 AM3/24/08
to TheFreeNet - Aotearoa
Hi Folks, I'm really looking for some advice on the use of Meraki kit
in relatively sparse rural situations.

We're trying to establish broadband via WiFi for residents in
Moonshine Valley, which is to the West of Upper Hutt. About 50
subscribers in all, but much less to start off.

There are some options for setting-up an internet backhaul to a
wireless relay on a hill to which perhaps 20% of the valley have line
of sight. I'm thinking that we can pull in the rest via a mesh
topology, most likely several clusters joined by a backbone. For this
we need a backbone capability and another key requirement is to be
able to support distances of sometimes 100s of meters between nodes.
We would like 2/3 Mb internet connectivity at all nodes and v good
resilience, e.g. VoIP is the only phone that some people will have!

It seems unlikely that Meraki products would be suitable for this
scenario However, I'm interested in views of people who have actually
had experience with this kit, and also in any other suggestions.




Mar 24, 2008, 11:31:07 PM3/24/08
to TheFreeNet - Aotearoa
Hi there,

I'd be interested in how you go so keep us posted!

I think you'll have to check up on a lot of directional antenna design/
use and use some amplifiers to get the gain to do long distance. Or
set-up something like WiMax or comparable long range stuff to do the
long connection and then use Meraki devices to mesh the houses.

Cheers Oliver

Rimu Atkinson

Mar 25, 2008, 12:16:31 AM3/25/08
according to the web site, the outdoor version
can do up to 350 meters, and up to kilometres with an enhanced antenna.

real life is possibly different...


Phone (04) 381 4827 or 021 823 129
Skype rimu123
ICQ 60417596
Yahoo rimu_atkinson

Mike P

Mar 25, 2008, 1:56:21 AM3/25/08
Try Murray Pearson (no relation)  at Waikato Uni, they have been experimenting with Meraki as part of rural net.

His contact details

Phone:     +64 7 838 4409
Cellphone: +64 21 520660
Fax:       +64 7 838 4155


Mar 25, 2008, 2:43:01 PM3/25/08
to TheFreeNet - Aotearoa
Thanks Oliver, Rimu, Mike

As expected, achieving the backbone seems to be the challenge. At
200mW the outdoor Meraki ought to provide sufficient power with high
gain directional antenna but for a backbone relay you'd have to
connect a couple back-to-back, then you'd need a mesh gateway, which
doesn't sound like it would be the most efficient, cost effective
approach. So maybe dual radio boards for the backbone relays and
Meraki outdoor units for the mesh with high gain omnis for range.
Looks like it comes down to finding low cost, v low wattage (for
solar), dual radio boards with outdoor packaging for long range
relays, then the rest will follow. This surely can't be a new
requirement but so far options don't seem to be flying out! Anyway,
I'll take your advice Mike and contact Murray Pearson.


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