Leaflet JS and TileMill are amazing tools to build custom map interfaces. Leaflet JS uses HTML5 canvas, while TileMill can accept OpenStreetMap data for a huge range of customization.

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Community FAQ / Directory Map



After showing the current interfaces and the previous visual iteration, the Community Change Workers in Red Hook responded very well to the “The Sims” - like visuals of the neighborhood. The prospects of a visually diverse and expressive community view, where anyone can create their own interpretation of the neighborhood (and add relevant information) was received positively.

We then had a mini session of brainstorming ideas for the community FAQ / info directory, breaking items into categories and needs, as well as what languages will be needed for translation (Spanish, Arabic, and Tagalog):

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After experimenting/configuring the Ubiquiti antennas, I flashed openWRT on a TP-Link WR1043nd Gigabit-N router. Working with embedded linux operating systems, in this case on the router itself, can be a bit tricky I found out. First step, ssh to [email protected], or wherever the default gateway is.

Basic navigation within the file system of openWRT, then figuring out the wonders of fdisk and USB mount packages to read/write to external USB memory sticks / drives attached directly to the router.

Installed lighttpd (a lightweight web server running on the router, to deliver web pages, etc.). After realizing that WiFi Dog wasn’t able to work for basic captive portals without an authentication server, I switched over to nodogsplash, a branch of WifiDog (combined with the original nocatsplash), which was able to easily redirect all pages to this default one, for now.

This mess of cabling represents a fully operational, multi-access point to router/server setup. Now, when one connects to an AP through the nanostations or bullet, they are automatically re-routed to a HTML file on the router. This will be the first step in the Red Hook Housing Projects setup. One last crazy point with Ubiquiti was a problem I had when trying to connect devices to the APs…had to disable AirMax and set the channel width to 20mHz.

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This past Saturday was spent experimenting with the crazy range of options available through the AirOS interface on the Ubiquiti network antennas. This equipment was developed for ISP (Internet Service Provider) solutions, but their low cost and ease of flashing custom firmware have made them prime targets for experimental mesh networks. The equipment comes with no documentation, other than the default IP gateway/login info to connect to, after creating a manual IP ethernet connection. The majority of my research came from a combination of blind testing and searching Google for basic questions answered through online forums and scrapped together step by step guides.

Ubiquiti Nanostation M2s (Directional Antennas) and a Ubiquiti Bullet M2 w/ 8dBi omnidirectional antenna. Each was broadcasting as an Access point (so regular computers/devices can connect), with maximum power on each device, and separate channels.

The AirOS interface seen above, experimenting with Station + Bridging, Access point + Routing, setting up DHCP assigning/IP range, etc.

Testing range of each antenna with the wonderful Android app “Wifi Analyzer.”

Check the channel interference from other networks (the two nanostations are seen in red, overarching the access points)

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