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 Subject :building openWRT on OS X.. 2010-10-13- 03:08:46 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
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Forum : General
Topic : building openWRT on OS X

While hsmm-mesh for linksys routers is currently based off of 7.09, openWRT has more recent code that provides support for newer models of wifi routers such as the Ubiquiti devices. There are two newer openWRT branches: 8.09 and 10.03.

One of the nice things about 8.09 (particularly when your callsign ends in OSX) is that it can be built on a Mac.

First off, when you first get your mac, the filesystem on it is case-insensitive. Coming from a UNIX background, I've always found this strange, particularly because OS X is UNIX underneath the glitzy user interface. Unfortunately, openWRT builds require a case-sensitive filesystem. There are two ways to resolve this:

  • reinstall OS X and select the option for a case-sensitive filesystem.
  • create a hard disk image in which to perform the builds.
    • Applications->Utilities->DiskUtility.
    • NewImage
    • Size->Custom->5G
    • Format->Mac OS Extended (Case sensitive)
    • Partitions->Hard disk
    • SaveAs->whatever
    • Create

Then, when you want to use it, mount it with DiskUtility, and you'll see it in your Finder windows. After it is mounted, cd into it at /Volumes/Disk Image (or whatever mount point you selected), and run the svn commands, etc, in that location.

(Conversely, if you filesystem is case-sensitive, you may need to create a disk image to play games like WoW which require a case-insensitive filesystem.)

You can, of course, select any size you want. My current build directory for 8.09 is slightly over 2gig in size.

There are some tools that you'll need to install. These include the following:

  • Apple's Xcode development environment (free): http://developer.apple.com/technologies/tools/xcode.html
  • macports: http://guide.macports.org/#installing
  • sudo port install getopt
  • sudo port install coreutils
  • cd /opt/local/bin && sudo ln -s gmktemp mktemp
  • sudo port install gawk
  • sudo port install wget
  • sudo port install findutils # os x /usr/bin/find not compatible with openwrt makefiles
  • sudo port install gnutar #  (for r14898, but not top of branch)
  • cd /opt/local/bin && sudo ln -s gnutar gtar
  • cd /opt/local/bin && sudo ln -s gnutar tar


When macports is installed, it modifies the $PATH environment variable for the account used to install the tools to include /opt/local/bin. Because some of the tools that are installed are incompatible with OS X tools of the same name (stored in a different location), it'd be best to install the tools with a separate loginid that will only be used to build openWRT. (That or set up an alias that will modify your $PATH environment variable when you build openWRT.)

The Mac that I'm currently building on is running 10.6.4 and is Intel based. However, given that openWRT is based on a cross compiler, PowerPC Macs can also probably build openWRT.

Note however, that the hsmm-mesh development environment includes binaries (eg, the gcc cross compiler toolchain) that were built on linux for use on linux systems. These tools cannot be run natively on a mac system. (You could, however, set up a linux virtual machine on OS X that will allow you to build using hsmm-mesh's development environment.)

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 Subject :ubiquiti picostation 2.. 2010-10-13- 02:55:36 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
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Topic : ubiquiti picostation 2

While hsmm-mesh binaries are only supported on certain models of linksys routers, some of ubiquiti's devices, such as the bullet, have successfully been used to connect to an hsmm-mesh. Doing so requires modifying the software on the ubiquiti by hand. I thought I'd post some information on the picostation 2 that others might find useful.

There are four models of the picostation:

  • picostation2: 2.4GHz. 12V, 1A. 100mW. (wrt54g is 60mW I believe)
  • picostation2hp: high power (800mW) version of the picostation2
  • picostation5: 5GHz, up to 24V input. half the memory of the picostation2.
  • picostation M2. I think this is 802.11n, but I could be wrong.

Data sheets for these models are available here: http://www.ubnt.com/picostation and here: http://www.ubnt.com/picostationm.

They range in price from $70 to $100. (You get to pay more for Open Mesh to be installed.)

These wifi routers come with AirOS installed. A software development kit is available for this OS, so that you can add extensions to it. Documentation for AirOS can be found here: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/AirOS_5.2.

With respect to olsrd and AirOS I've read conflicting things:

  • AirOS lacks adhoc mode, and olsrd requires adhoc mode, so …
  • olsrd will run on AirOS, but the latter lacks VAP, causing olsrd not to work, so ...
  • olsrd doesn't require adhoc mode and someone has written a wiki about how to run olsrd on AirOS, and all you need to do is google for "olsrd wiki" and you'll find the necessary information.

With openWRT available for the picostation, I'm not inclined to pursue AirOS, though it does have a nice web interface.

The picostation includes a serial port. Instructions on how to access this can be found here: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/PicoStation2_RS232_Connection. (The cheapest place I've found for the usb/serial cable is DIYdrones: http://store.diydrones.com.) And yes, the drivers work on OS X.

Netgate (and probably others as well) has a DC PoE lighter plug for use with the picostation2 (and bullet and other devices): http://store.netgate.com/-P274C116.aspx. (Hunh. last week there were over 1000 units available for sale for $3, but this week there are only 7 available at the standard price of $10.)

AirOS has a web page that allows you to upgrade the firmware to either openWRT or AirOS. After the unit is upgraded to openWRT, and you find yourself unable to scp a new image to the unit (or use a web interface), you can use the following procedure: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/Firmware_Recovery. I've used this a number of times (cough) and it works fine.

The bootloader for the picostation is redboot. A manual for it can be found here: http://ecos.sourceware.org/docs-latest/redboot/redboot-guide.html. More information on redboot: http://ecos.sourceware.org/redboot. In spite of being GPL'd, I haven't seen any source code from Ubiquiti for redboot. They might be using a version that predates the 2002 GPL license for ecos (on which redboot is based).

As you can see from some of the web pages listed above, Ubiquiti has a pretty good wiki page for the support of their products. They also have some forums in which questions can be asked and are answered.

 

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 Subject :so you want to be a firmware developer?.. 2010-10-13- 01:54:27 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
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Forum : General
Topic : so you want to be a firmware developer?

Someone asked, on a mail list I'm on, how to get started doing firmware development for hsmm-mesh. I thought I'd post my reply here.

It is probably easiest to approach firmware development for your linksys routers using the hsmm-mesh software. One problem that I've experienced with openWRT is that the latest software available in any particular release (either backfire or kamikaze) isn't guaranteed to work on the routers that I'm using. In contrast, the hsmm-mesh software will work with your linksys routers. So, using the hsmm-mesh source development environment, you won't get a headache finding a tree that will both build and work.

There is some developer documentation for hsmm-mesh available here: http://hsmm-mesh.org/developer-documentation.html. One of the first things that you'll need is access to the svn repository for hsmm-mesh, which is described here: http://hsmm-mesh.org/developer-documentation/86-svnrepos.html. You should probably request both an account/password and a branch. That way, once you get the hang of things, you can submit modifications to the svn repository. ad5oo reviews changes on developer branches before merging them into the main trunk.

Besides working with a code tree that is known to work on the linksys routers, the svn repository also includes a binary cross compiler toolchain (eg, gcc, linker, librariest, etc). When you work with the openWRT svn repository, the cross compiler environment is built entirely from source. In a sense, openWRT is a linux distribution for which you build everything; in contrast, when you installed debian on your computer, the distribution included all the binaries required for the install.

(As an aside, if you are interested in tutorial on building linux, rather than openWRT, from scratch, I'd encourage you to look at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org. There are several different subprojects on this website ranging from the most basic (LFS) to a cross compiler environment (CLFS) which you could use, say, to build linux on an intel system for installation on MIPS processor. But, linuxfromscratch is not openWRT. It can be a good introduction to building software and describes many things that are handled automatically by the openWRT build environment such as:

  • why a cross compiler build environment is necessary
  • introduction to utilities that openWRT uses, such as busybox
  • what needs to change in the build process for an embedded environment as opposed to on a desktop system

Again, linuxfromscratch isn't openWRT and can't be installed on your routers.)

After you download hsmm-mesh from the svn repository, you can build your own hsmm-mesh firmware. With all the pre-compiled tools, software packages, and kernel, the build takes little time. http://hsmm-mesh.org/developer-documentation/87-using-the-imagebuilder.html describes how to do this. (Note that the hsmm-mesh development environment comes with a 'make' perl script, and must be invoked using "./make". Without that '.' you will invoke your system's 'make' binary, and you will not end up with firmware that you can install on your router.

Once you've built your own hsmm-mesh software, and have become familiar with the configuration environment on the router (say, to cause your routers to provide a smaller number of dhcp addresses on the LAN ports where the default is 190), you could modify the hsmm-mesh build environment on your debian system to limit the number of allocated IP addresses to 10 say. In my local tree, the dhcp limit is specified in a number of files:

myhost:etc k5osx$ pwd
/Users/k5osx/HSMM/trunk/files/etc
myhost:etc k5osx$ grep dhcp_limit config*/_setup{,.default}
config.ap/_setup:dhcp_limit = 190
config.client/_setup:dhcp_limit = 190
config.mesh/_setup:dhcp_limit = 190
config.mesh_ap/_setup:dhcp_limit = 190
config.router/_setup:dhcp_limit = 190
config.ap/_setup.default:dhcp_limit = 190
config.client/_setup.default:dhcp_limit = 190
config.mesh/_setup.default:dhcp_limit = 190
config.mesh_ap/_setup.default:dhcp_limit = 190
config.router/_setup.default:dhcp_limit = 190
myhost:etc k5osx$

So, to implement this change, I'd modify the above files and set the limit to 10, and then rebuild the software, and then if my router was ever used at an MRC POD, I might cause some consternation if a switch was ever connected to my router's LAN port, because a max of 10 IP addresses would be allocated by the DHCP daemon. (There are multiple config directories because the routers can be used in different modes, such as an AP, or a mesh node, etc.)

Once you've played with modifying the hsmm-mesh configuration somewhat, you might consider adding your own binaries to the files directory. For example, on a unix system, I often use the 'view' command to give me read-only access to text files. I've been using the vi editor for a long time, and i prefer to look at some files using vi rather than the 'more' or 'less' commands. The 'view' command is simply an invocation of vi with the -R option. So, I created a little script files/bin/view:

myhost:~ k5osx$ cat view
#!/bin/ash
exec /usr/bin/vi -R  $@
myhost:~ k5osx$

Now, when I build hsmm-mesh firmware, my routers always have a 'view' command that does what I expect, rather than a busybox shell that goes "hunh unh." (Now, if I could just get ash to understand what !$ means when used on a command line.)

From there, you might want to install some additional openWRT packages in your default hsmm-mesh build, or perhaps modify the existing packages in some way. To do that, you'll need to build openWRT from source, but i'll leave that tale for another time.

robert

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 Subject :Re:Ham bandwidth available.. 2010-10-06- 18:10:29 
kb9mwr
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Joined: 2010-10-06- 23:04:25
Posts: 54
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Forum : General
Topic : Ham bandwidth available

It's even better when you can do the frequency converter in the chip itself.
http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/7772932.html

 

http://kb9mwr.blogspot.com/2010/09/miscellaneous-hsmm.html

 

By the way, unlike the ARRL I am serious about trying to get hams to make better use of our microwave allocations. I am putting out a bounty, and figure since there is an active group here, I'd let you guys know. http://kb9mwr.blogspot.com/2010/10/interesting-article-bounty.html

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Last Edited On: 2010-10-06- 18:14:20 By kb9mwr for the Reason
 Subject :Re:how do you call CQ?.. 2010-09-30- 16:27:43 
K5KTF
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Posts: 266
Location: 5' from this webserver
  
Forum : General
Topic : how do you call CQ?

Hi Robert. Just wait till 0.4.0 comes out! We have been testing it in the shadows. Right now, on 0.3.3, when one node comes in reach of another, they automatically link up within a couple seconds. You dont need WSCAN, as it has built in its own WIFI Scan built in, that can automatically refresh every couple seconds. But again, as soon as you get in reach, bingo! they link up. Now, with 0.4.0, they have added a new "MESH STATUS" page, that will show what the other node op has config'd with port mappings, and with the ability to list services and ports that are available behind his node. Not to mention other subtle goodies and enhancements. On one of my nodes here, I have it connected to my private LAN, and with that mappings to this very web server (80), the email server (25, 110, and 587), an IP webcam (8100), and have this PC stuffed into the DMZ. The I listed all services available, and the web server and IP cam are actually clickable links in the mesh status, that you can click right from that page and go to it. Kudo's to Dave on all the hard work on that. It really is quite dramatic. Ill even be putting my hand in, as I have been tasked with night-mode CSS generation/cleanup. Many of the guys are working hard on this release! As far as some alert, I dont think there is a piezo or similar in the node, but I have seen messages about guys connecting things up different ways, so maybe a speaker or buzzer could be attached to alert when your node connects up or something. I havent fug that deep into the schematics yet :-) So I highly recommend when 0.4.0 comes out, download it and install, and then enjoy finding all the nuggets that have been added. 73 Jim K5KTF
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B-) Jim K5KTF EM10bm Cedar Park, TX :star:
 Subject :Re:Hello..... 2010-09-30- 16:17:49 
K5KTF
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Posts: 266
Location: 5' from this webserver
  
Forum : General
Topic : Hello...

Im up off 1431 between Buck Run and Hur Industrial. KA5FZU is behind me in Buck Run, and we each have o couple nodes going. My one is only at 35' right now, hopefully soon I can get it up around 50-ish.
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B-) Jim K5KTF EM10bm Cedar Park, TX :star:
 Subject :Hello..... 2010-09-30- 04:29:53 
KE5TNO
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Joined: 2010-09-30- 07:47:38
Posts: 10
Location
Forum : General
Topic : Hello...

Hello all,

After several months (over a year), I'm finally getting my feet wet in the mesh.  Unfortunately, I'm up here in Cedar Park and have been unable to get into the Austin mesh.   For now, I guess I'll keep being an island in Cedar Park until we can get to the top of the water tower and get that node up and running.  Hopefully, we can get a signal into "Austin Proper".

I'm using the mesh as the communication backbone for some robotics experiments and managed to build my own olsrd (5.3) and successfully join the hsmm-mesh.  My target platforms are x86 and arm.  I did x86 last night and expect to have arm working tonight.

I had a question about the fcc_id, but realized my own bone-headed oversight.   For now, I'll just leave it at hello.  If anyone is running a node in Cedar Park I might be able to hit, please let me know.  I'm over by Cedar Park HS with antenna restrictions.

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 Subject :how do you call CQ?.. 2010-09-30- 04:28:43 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
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Forum : General
Topic : how do you call CQ?

So,

you're taking your new hsmm-mesh node out for a spin in your car, and your copilot is using wscan to see what nodes you are encountering, and suddenly you spy another hsmm-mesh node. What do you do? What app can you run which will announce your presence, if your two mesh nodes connect? (How do you call CQ to announce your presence to the other node owner?

Or, if you are by yourself, driving along, is there some application that will announce to you that your node has connected to another mesh?

 

robert

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 Subject :posting to forums using Safari.. 2010-09-19- 07:13:58 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
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Forum : Problems & Answers
Topic : posting to forums using Safari

If you are posting to the forums using Safari (Mac browser), you may find that you need to use the IE user agent. To enable this: Safari->Preferences->Advanced->"Show Develop in Menu Bar". Then Develop->"User Agent"->"Internet Explorer 8".

I find that to get the "Toggle Editor" to work, I need to change the IE emulated from IE8 to IE7.

You might find this useful if you have questions, and are unable to pose them. ;)

robert

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 Subject :fw >= 0.3.3 ssh port is 2222.. 2010-09-19- 07:08:23 
k5osx
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Joined: 2010-09-18- 23:38:56
Posts: 16
Location
Forum : Firmware
Topic : fw >= 0.3.3 ssh port is 2222

If, like me, you don't read the release notes, be advised that for fw >= 0.3.3, the ssh port is on 2222, rather than the default 22. So, to ssh to the router:

ssh -p 2222 root@IP_address

and don't forget that the scp command uses the -P option, as in:

scp -P 2222 file_to_send root@IP_address

 

robert

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 Subject :Re:UDP Port Question.. 2010-09-18- 16:12:43 
wb5nfc
Member
Joined: 2010-08-29- 03:10:50
Posts: 3
Location: Mountain Home, AR
Forum : Problems & Answers
Topic : UDP Port Question

Sorry for sparse information and delay. I had walked away from this project for a few days...

I have two WRT54Gs configured  with HSMM-MESH 0.3.3-WRT54G firmware. Node 1 is configured as a gateway and is connected to my home router where it receives a DHCP-provided IP on the WAN port. Node 2 is also located at my home QTH for testing. My Asterisk server is attached to the LAN port of Node 2. For testing, target nodes are all DMZ’d. IAX2 and HTTP work across the mesh. My Echolink node shows to be logged in and active, but I cannot connect to other Echolink stations, nor can any Echolink station connect to me. Echolink is not in use on any other computers at the time of testing.

Thinking that I must have HSMM-MESH configured improperly, I temporarily replaced the Asterisk server (where Echolink resides) with a laptop running Windows Echolink software.  The laptop was set to the same static IP as the Asterisk server. The Echolink software test shows that UDP ports fail. TCP ports pass. However, upon further investigation, it appears that Echolink validates the private IP of HSMM-MESH Node 2, rather than the public IP assigned by my ISP.

I hope that helps clarify what I’m attempting to do… everything works as it should if I bypass the HSMM-MESH nodes and connect to my home network. I'm hearing from some that Echolink will not work across a mesh network. If that's the case, there are some fairly easy ways to work-around the problem. I am just curious if others are successful where I have failed.

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Last Edited On: 2010-09-19- 02:41:42 By wb5nfc for the Reason
 Subject :Ham bandwidth available.. 2010-09-08- 18:24:59 
NG5V
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Joined: 2010-01-18- 23:06:23
Posts: 43
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Forum : General
Topic : Ham bandwidth available

From time to time the discussion comes up about band congestion, interference with other services and similar. I prepared a chart that shows all of the frequencies available to amateur radio operators. I have attached it here. One of the interesting things about these wireless routers is that a block frequency converter can be attached to the antenna connector and a suitable antenna for the second band attached to the converter. When that happens the mesh node thinks it is "talking" on 2.4ghz. The real frequency is unknown to the node and doesn't even matter. Everything just works. Alternate locations for this purpose include 9, 5 and 3cm bands. Others are possible as well.

Take a look at the massive bandwidth available then stop to think about which parts of our frequency allocations we actually use.

 

NG5V

 

New: Here is a discussion on use of other resources. Take a look at how ham frequencies available to us map to channels on other bands. This is part of the blogspot posting discussed elsewhere in this topic.

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Last Edited On: 2011-01-21- 02:05:53 By NG5V for the Reason
 Subject :Re:Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums.. 2010-09-05- 15:44:30 
NG5V
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Joined: 2010-01-18- 23:06:23
Posts: 43
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Forum : General
Topic : Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums

Good info on extra topics. We already have some options. Rather than create a number of subjects, we can let discussions develop and move a particular question or series of questions to another area. This can be done by creating a category then moving one or more forum items to that area. This keeps us focused on things that matter to users rather than things that matter to admins.

We will be adding some admin tools to assist with management of the forums. Till then, please register using your ham call sign. Any needed changes to an account can easily be made behind the scenes. To request a change, just click on the webmaster link and tell us what you want.

Buy/sell/trade already has a number of methods so duplication isn't really necessary here. In keeping with the ham tradition of frugality and conversion to ham uses, please let us know of great finds for free stuff, ideas to use an existing product to suit your needs or great deals for stuff we need.

NG5V

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 Subject :Re:UDP Port Question.. 2010-09-05- 11:56:44 
AD5OO
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Joined: 2010-01-18- 23:05:42
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Forum : Problems & Answers
Topic : UDP Port Question

I'm still not clear exactly what your setup is. Can you tell us what your node setup is, what is connected to them, and which routes work and which do not?
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 Subject :Re:Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums.. 2010-09-05- 08:28:59 
K5KTF
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Joined: 2010-01-18- 23:04:04
Posts: 266
Location: 5' from this webserver
  
Forum : General
Topic : Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums

Hi Lloyd, I had found this plug-in, so I plugged it in. Smile

I didnt look to see what all options, etc are in it yet. I was waiting for user-input on what they might like/need/etc.

As for deleting one's account, I suppose all you need to do is start causing crap, arguing, etc, and it will get deleted for you Wink

As for changing email addresses, if you ever need something, Im usually around, so just shoot me an email.

And as for subscribing to all topics... Ill have to look into that.

Having different forums for different geographical areas is a great idea! Ill work on adding as I find out who/what/where (I know Austin and Plano would be 2 good starters).

I dont know if a buying forum would be a good idea or not. There are plenty of outlets for that already. Ill see what the powers that be think.

I think releases and news already get put up on the main part of the site. Again, would the higher powers like to chime in? Laughing

Great suggestions, though, and Im sure most will be taken into account.

THX & 73

JimK5KTF

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Last Edited On: 2010-09-05- 08:31:04 By K5KTF for the Reason
B-) Jim K5KTF EM10bm Cedar Park, TX :star:
 Subject :Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums.. 2010-09-05- 01:40:03 
KF5RXS
Member
Joined: 2010-09-04- 16:49:42
Posts: 1
Location: Austin Texas U.S.A.
Forum : General
Topic : Thanks to Jim for the Mesh Forums

The new forums look great. Thanks Jim!

Some options that I would expect don't seem to be available. Are you still adding functions and features? For example, I don't see a way to delete one's account or change the E-mail address. I would also like to have the ability to subscribe to all topics in a forum.

If I may, I would like to mention some suggestions for names of forums:
1. Releases & Announcements
2. News
3. Documentation & Tutorials
4. Austin Local - for issues, concerns, and announcements that only affect people in the Austin area
5. Buy, Sell, Trade
6. Administrative - for issues and suggestions about the web site

I expect the organization of the forums will develop naturally as postings are added.

Thanks

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Last Edited On: 2010-09-05- 01:42:09 By KF5RXS for the Reason
Lloyd
(512)836-7893
KF5RXS
 Subject :Re:Selecting Avatars in Profile?.. 2010-09-04- 12:58:59 
KF5FDH
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Joined: 2010-09-04- 06:26:45
Posts: 3
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Forum : General
Topic : Selecting Avatars in Profile?

That seems to do it as well. Thanks!
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 Subject :Re:Selecting Avatars in Profile?.. 2010-09-04- 03:34:08 
K5KTF
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Joined: 2010-01-18- 23:04:04
Posts: 266
Location: 5' from this webserver
  
Forum : General
Topic : Selecting Avatars in Profile?

If you use JPGs, it wont show up in the avatar pulldown, but if you refresh the page after uploading, it will show the pic you used. I just tested it, and when I did the initial upload, it kept he old picture, but on a refresh of the page, it changed.
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B-) Jim K5KTF EM10bm Cedar Park, TX :star:
 Subject :Re:UDP Port Question.. 2010-09-04- 02:59:56 
wb5nfc
Member
Joined: 2010-08-29- 03:10:50
Posts: 3
Location: Mountain Home, AR
Forum : Problems & Answers
Topic : UDP Port Question

I'm attempting to use a distribution of Asterisk (ACID) which has provisions for Echolink and IRLP. The system is operational through my home network (Linksys WRT-54 with DD-WRT). For testing, I have a two-node HSMM-MESH set up in the house. I have Internet access across the mesh, but I lose the ability to connect using Echolink. To troubleshoot, I downloaded a Windows copy of Echolink and installed it in place of the Asterisk box (same IP). The port testing utility within Echolink indicates that TCP ports are open, but UDP ports are not. First I tried forwarding all necessary ports and then tried DMZing through both routers. I'm successfully logging in to the Echolink server via the mesh, but I'm not able to connect.
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 Subject :Re:Selecting Avatars in Profile?.. 2010-09-04- 02:00:42 
KF5FDH
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Joined: 2010-09-04- 06:26:45
Posts: 3
Location
Forum : General
Topic : Selecting Avatars in Profile?

I think I figured it out.  It only seems to like images with a PNG extension.  Once I used xnview to convert my jpg to png the forum used my uploaded image.





[KF5FDH 04-09-2010 01:49:04]:

Profiles allows me to upload avatar images but does not let me select any of the images I just uploaded. The only selection I get is avatar1.jpg

Is that a forum setting or am I doing something wrong?

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