Friday, March 30, 2007

Meraki Node - Management Details

The Meraki mesh node I got has been up for a week now and here are my thoughts. Well, first of all, It is pretty neat. 'nuff said. I had some questions that I posed to Ben Chambers of Meraki and here are the answers.

The first thing I wanted to know was why it beacons every 500ms instead of 100ms. Twice per second did not seem very much and considerably off the norm. Ben stated that, "As far as the beacon interval goes, the reason is basically that if you have a fairly high number of repeaters (say, 20) within range of each other, 10 beacons per second per node gets pretty excessive." This makes total sense to me.

The next question was whether there was a way to configure the node or at least monitor it. I was told that because it was a free node belonging to the Meraki "Free the Net" project I would not be able to configure it but I would be able to monitor it in a variety of ways:

1. I can see if it is up by associating with it and browsing to where I would see a splash page. Click on each image to see a larger version of the image.
2. I can Select the "Advanced" link in the upper left and get a page that lets me run a throughput test to the internet.

3. I can select another link on the advanced page that allows me to set a static IP and some other functions.

4. I can also get to a page that is just for my repeater at which looks like this:

5. I can also get more data from a more public view of the Meraki network from this URL which shows me connected to another mesh node way over in Potrero Hill, at least a mile away.

6. I was also pointed to a site where there is XML data for Google earth. . You must save the source as a KMZ file on you hard drive and open in Google Earth.

After which, it now looks like this in Google Earth. Notice the mesh links (I made them yellow, the better to see them with.)

Which now allows me to go down to sea level and see the line of site to the other link

Pretty impressive. My next step would be to get some Meraki Minis and connect them to the mesh and see how they work out. More fun for next time :-) Talk to you then.


  1. Very cool! I was curious how much control Meraki was going to give over individual nodes. Is your Meraki installed on an Internet connection they provided or your own? I'm trying to deploy my own Meraki network in the Dallas, TX area. if you're interested.

  2. My Meraki is running on a firewalled segment of my own network. I already had a network connection so why not allow others to use it. I can always to bandwidth limiting if it gets too much.