Home Mesh Network With OpenWrt?

Piyono

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
502
Location
Tel Aviv
#1
I currently have two wireless APs serving the house; the primary one in the garage (ground floor) and a secondary one in the basement. They both share an SSID and password but moving about the house necessitates manually disconnecting/reconnecting to maintain signal strength. This can get annoying if I start a video chat in the basement and walk upstairs.

Now I want to add a third AP; one on each floor because there are still too many dead spots in the house, but I also want a smooth hand-off between APs as I move about. The thing is that I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a mesh network kit with proprietary firmware. I think there's a way to extend OpenWrt to function as a mesh using the hardware I already have lying around, but I can't find any definitive guides on how to go about it. I know there's something called B.A.T.M.A.N. but I fear that figuring out some of the deeper technical stuff might be more than I can manage alone. Has anyone here succeeded in setting up something like what I'm describing? A DIY mesh network using disparate hardware running open-source firmware?

I've attached a file illustrating my proposed topology. I've indicated the currently installed firmware but that can change.
 

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Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,399
Location
Michigan
#2
paging @ddrueding

I haven't done what you're after. I think this was discussed previously in a thread or two here, but it didn't seem like there was a clean solution without spending a fair bit on higher end hardware.
 

Clocker

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
3,548
Location
USA
#3
You can get a couple of RT-AC68U routers and run Merlin's latest firmware on them with AI Mesh enabled. I have not tried it but it seems like it would be a pretty low cost solution. I run Merlin on my RT-AC86U and have an Orbi system I got for free (from beta testing). Note: the 68U is a lot cheaper than the 86U.
 

sechs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
4,675
Location
Left Coast
#5
If you can get a hold of the T-mobile version of the router, they're usually cheaper. You just have to do some hacking to turn it into an AC68U.
 

Clocker

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
3,548
Location
USA
#7
Actually...I just remembered, I still have one I am no longer using if you want to buy it. $50 + shipping from Sterling Heights, MI. :). The 2nd one is at my Mom & Dad's house.
 

Clocker

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
3,548
Location
USA
#9
I just had a flashback to our CS days, Piyono...just pay for shipping and you can have it for free if you decide to try the AI Mesh route. I would like to know how well it works as I have never tried it. :cool:
 
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