Active Antennas...

Sameer Verma sverma at
Mon Mar 16 12:09:58 EDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 6:23 AM, Ed McNierney <ed at> wrote:
> Right - the Contributors' Program is not intended to provide equipment for
> pilots or small deployments.
> Sameer, which small deployments are you talking about?
>        - Ed

Hi Ed,

We have a group in SF that's collecting XOs (12 is the current target.
We have 8 thus far via e-bay/donations/g1g1) for a school in
Maroantsetra, Madagascar (
Chris Golden (, a grad
student from UC Berkeley works with a school there and travels between
SF and Madagascar. His PhD work is based on field studies in
Maroantsetra. The current plan is that he is going to take upto 12 XOs
in his luggage.

He travels back and forth every four to six months. We were thinking
of adding a school server to this mix based on this box
( and preload it with content
because there is no Internet access in Maroantsetra. If the first
phase takes off (he leaves in May) we'll follow up with another dozen.
Transporting XOs is an issue. No roads go to Maroantsetra. Chris has
to fly into Madagascar, take a bus/taxi, and finally fly a small
single engine charter, which lands in a cow pasture.

We were thinking of plugging in an AA into the schoolserver and go
from there. I wasn't thinking of getting AAs for testing. I already
have those. I was curious about the plan with AAs going forth, given
that if the numbers are appropriate, it allows for a mesh

If the AA option doesn't work, we'll either ship an additional AP or
swap the internal miniPCI on this schoolserver with a radio (engenius
probably) that can become an AP and go from there.

Any help+ideas would be great.


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

> On Mar 16, 2009, at 12:01 AM, Martin Langhoff wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 3:44 PM, Sameer Verma <sverma at> wrote:
>>> What's the status on the moratorium on active antennas? Can we request
>>> these for small deployments (<40) ?
>> it's ok to request them for development & testing, but for deployments...
>> hmmm
>> Depending on kernel & firmware versions, they are reliable or
>> unreliable. It's hit and miss. And RF usage is still high I think, so
>> I'm not sure we can cope with 40 users in a stable, usable shape.
>> For anything resembling field usage, get a cheap AP instead and live
>> longer.
>> cheers,
>> m
>> --
>> martin.langhoff at
>> martin at -- School Server Architect
>> - ask interesting questions
>> - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
>> -
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