[Commotion-discuss] Flash Nanostation5

Ben West ben at gowasabi.net
Fri Sep 16 15:57:48 UTC 2016

These should be the pre-compiled generic OpenWRT images for the Nanostation
5.  Likely no need to compile a custom image.  You can flash the device and
then use opkg to install additional packages like olsrd, flash space

I can say with fair certainty it's not possible to compile Commotion to
squeeze into 4MB flash.

I would again recommend investigating sources for a pair of Nanostation
M5's.  Or even the cheaper Nanostation Loco M5's.  They appear used on Ebay
for ~50$USD/ea from time to time, and it would be the used devices with
older generations of firmware lacking all the silly locks against
reflashing 3rd party firmware.  (Thanks, FCC.)

Additionally, the detail about 'spectral efficiency' is also relevant to
neighbors in the vicinity where you'd be operating these radios.  5.8GHz
wifi channels are extremely precious in crowded areas.  Older 802.11a
radios will chew up more air time (on a publicly shared channel)
transmitting packets than their 802.11n successors.

For example, I'd be very angry if one of my neighbors turned on such old
gear near where I operate 802.11n nodes on 5.8GHz.  But, I'm in a dense
urban neighborhood.

Finally, do please note this recent hubbub from the FCC that led to
manufacturers locking down firmware was precisely over whether to give
users the ability to flash firmware that could switch to verboten 5.8GHz
channels shared by weather radar.    At bare minimum, please be sure not to
unwittingly switch the radios to inappropriate channels.  The rumor is that
the FCC took this action precisely because of a handful of incidents of
people flashing routers to DDWRT and cluttering radar bands near airports.
(This rumor is disputed.)

On Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 10:12 AM, Christopher S. Munz-Michielin <
christopher at ve7alb.ca> wrote:

> Looks like it is compatible with OpenWRT so I might give compiling it
> myself a go.
> Wireless G isn't really a concern - we're only shooting for TCP throughput
> of 5-10mbps.
> We're an amateur radio group and managed to get these units on the cheap,
> the M2 gear is a little outside of our budget :(
> On 9/15/2016 10:32 PM, Ben West wrote:
> The OpenWRT compile target for this device would be 'atheros,' but as Josh
> mentioned, its 802.11g radio really isn't worth the effort (besides the
> limited flash). You'll get better spectral efficiency with the 802.11n Nano
> M2.
> On Sep 15, 2016 11:46 PM, "Christopher S. Munz-Michielin" <
> christopher at ve7alb.ca> wrote:
>> Thanks for the reply Josh, Cheers!
>> Chris
>> On 15/09/2016 18:39, Josh King wrote:
>>> Hi Christopher,
>>> Unfortunately, no, they're not compatible. The wifi chipset is pretty
>>> old, and I believe they have too little flash storage (4MB rather than
>>> 8MB). Sorry!
>>> On Thu, 2016-09-15 at 18:33 -0700, Christopher S. Munz-Michielin wrote:
>>>> Hey Guys,
>>>> I have a couple of Nanostation5's (NOT the M5) and was wondering if
>>>> they
>>>> were compatible with the commotion firmware?  If so, what image would
>>>> I use?
>>>> Cheers!
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Ben West
ben at gowasabi.net
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