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This is a brief, text and image tutorial to show you exactly how Meta Mesh configures an A150 or AP150 device originally sold by GL-iNet as the AR150. This tutorial will allow you to have a device working on PittMesh in about an hour. PittMesh currently uses OLSR as its meshing protocol. These steps are liable (and likely) to change in the future without notification however we do offer a changelog at the end of the document that can help you track changes.

Note 1: These instructions will (probably) work for most multi-port routers that you might find in a computer store. Feel free to emulate what Meta Mesh instructs to do here.

Note 2: These instructions will (probably) work for most Atheros-based routers. Mediatek routers WILL NOT be able to support multiple SSID types. If your router uses a Mediatek chipset you must choose between the "Master" SSID type OR the "Ad hoc" SSID type (used by the mesh network itself).

1- First we need to flash the A/AP150 with OpenWRT. Download the OpenWRT "Chaos Calmer" firmware for the device  from this link. 

2- Once you have downloaded the image, connect your computer to the LAN port (the right-most port of the A/AP150) with the router powered on. 

3-  Your computer should automatically get an IP address if it's connected to the LAN port. 

4- If you are flashing a GL-iNet AR150 (rebranded as Meta Mesh A/AP150) Open a browser and enter "192.168.8.1/cgi-bin/luci" or click that link if your A/AP150 is connected to this computer. For most other routers you will simply log in at 192.168.1.1.

5- Click Login. Don't click "change password now" even though it looks like you're supposed to.

6- Now click "change password now" and set your own password. Mind that you don't hit the enter key to submit the password as it won't save it. You need to click "Save and Apply" at the bottom of the page.

7- Log back in. From here on out we will configure 8 general sections. They are:

     I) System

     II) Interfaces

     III) WiFi

     IV) DHCP and DNS

     V) Firewall

     VI) Packages and Command Line configurations

     VII) OLSR

The first 5 of these sections are found in the top-most dropdown menus in the router's interface:

8- (Section I: System) Now go to System > System. Make the following changes.

  • General Settings Tab:

    • Hostname: We recommend the format of "model-address-bandnumber" but you can name the device how you please. So the first AP150 at 744 east warrington avenue using the 2.4GHz band would have the name "ap150-744ewarrington-2401" and the 2nd AP150 at that location would have the name "ap150-744ewarrington-2402".

    • Provide NTP server: Checked.

    • NTP server candidates: 10.66.6.1

  • Logging Tab:

    • External system log server: 10.10.220.225 (you can change this to your own syslog server. This is Meta Mesh's)

    • Click Save and Apply.

9- (Section II: Interfaces) Now go to Network > Interfaces. Do the Following.

Find the Bridged Lan Interface. Copy (meaning highlight it and Ctrl+C) the MAC Address of that interface which looks like E4:95:6E:40:81:51.

Now go to Meta Mesh's IP Calculator here and enter the MAC Address and press "Submit." This will automatically calculate three IP addresses for you. Write these down. You'll need them repeatedly throughout the rest of the configuration.

Setting up the Wireless Mesh Interface:

  • Click "Add new interface"

  • Name of the New Interface: mesh

  • Cover the following interface: Wireless Network: Master "OpenWRT" (lan)

  • Click Submit

  • IPv4 Address: (Enter the "Mesh IP Address" here)

  • IPv4 Netmask: Custom > enter 255.192.0.0

  • Click Save and Apply

  • Return to Network > Interfaces

​​

Setting up the Ethermesh Interface:

  • Click "Add new interface"

  • Name of the New Interface: ethermesh

  • Cover the following interface: Ethernet Adapter: "eth0" (wan, wan6)

  • Click Submit

  • IPv4 Address: (Enter the "Ethermesh IP Address" here)

  • IPv4 Netmask: Custom > enter 255.192.0.0

  • Click Save and Apply

  • Return to Network > Interfaces

​​

Setting up the LAN Interface:

  • Click "Edit" in the LAN section

  • IPv4 Address: (Enter the "WLAN IP Address" here)

  • Do not change the IPv4 netmask

    • DHCP Server: General Settings:​

      • Start: 10

      • Limit: 253

      • Leasetime: 1h

    • Advanced Settings​

      • Force: Checked​

  • Click Save and Apply​

  • You will now no longer be able to reach the router at 192.168.1.1​. Wait about 10 seconds while your computer gets a new IP address from the router. You should be able to access the router at the new WLAN IP Address (which you, of course, wrote down). Enter that into your broswer and log in.

10- (Section III: WiFi) Now go to Network > WiFi. Make the following changes.

Setting up the WLAN SSID:

  • Click the Edit button in the "SSID: OpenWRT" section

  • ESSID: Enter the name of the network you're like to connect to. We recommend you prefix it with "PittMesh"

  • DO NOT change the channel from channel 11 for a PittMesh node. This channel MUST be on the same channel as all other routers in your mesh network for it to work properly.

  • Network: Uncheck "Mesh". Make sure only "LAN" is selected.

  • Click "Save and Apply."

  • Click "Back to Overview"

Setting up the MESH SSID:

  • Click the "Add" button in the top right of the Wireless Overview section

  • ESSID: Enter exactly "PittMesh-Backhaul" without quotes. This must be exactly identical to the way it is spelled here or it will not mesh.

  • DO NOT change the channel from channel 11 for a PittMesh node. This channel MUST be on the same channel as all other routers in your mesh network for it to work properly.

  • Network: check "Mesh"

  • Click "Save and Apply."

11- (Section IV: DHCP and DNS) Now go to Network > DHCP and DNS. Make the following change.

  • DNS Forwardings: 8.8.8.8

  • Click "Save and Apply"

12- (Section V: Firewall) Now go to Network > Firewall. The goal here is to put each type of Interface into a corresponding zone and then open up all those zones so that they can send traffic to all the other zones and their included Interfaces.

  • General Settings:

    • Forward: Accept (If this is not set to Accept, there will be no Internet access through this router)

  • WAN section: 

    • Input column dropdown: Accept​

    • Forward column dropdown: Accept

  • Click "Save and Apply"​

  • Click "Add"

    • Name: mesh

  • Covered Networks: 

    • ethermesh: checked

    • mesh: checked

  • Interzone Forwardings:​

    • Check all boxes under "destination" and "source" zones​

  • Click "Save and Apply"​

  • Click "Back to Overview"

  • Click "Edit" in the WAN row.

  • Inter-Zone Forwardings: ​

    • Check all boxes under "destination" and "source" zones​

  • Click "Save and Apply"​

  • Click "Back to Overview"

  • Custom Settings Tab:

  • Enter the following text verbatim below the lines beginning with a pound sign (or "hashtag" for you millenials). You should probably copy and paste the following instead of typing it:​
     

  • iptables -I FORWARD -i wlan0-1 -d 192.168.0.0/16 -j DROP
    iptables -I FORWARD -i wlan0-1 -d 10.0.0.0/8 -j DROP
    iptables -I FORWARD -i wlan0-1 -d 172.16.0.0/16 -j DROP​

  • Click "Submit"

  • Return to the General Settings tab. Your Firewall - Zone Settings should look like:

  • 13) (Section VI) We're past the half way point! But now we need to do some work on the command line. Don't freak out! You can do it!

  • ​Download an install PuTTY here if you are on a Windows computer.

  • Open Putty and enter the 10.x.x.1 LAN IP address from Step 9 in the Hostname field (See, we told you to write it down).

  • Click Open.

You will be greeted with a scary looking security alert. This is normal. Click "Yes".

login as: root

Enter the password you set for the router.

You will be greeted with the OpenWRT Chaos Calmer welcome screen.

Enter the following lines (in bold) and press "enter" after each line break (you copy the following text and RIGHT CLICK in Putty to paste):

opkg update

opkg install luci luci-ssl pciutils luci-app-olsr luci-app-olsr-services luci-app-olsr-viz olsrd olsrd-mod-arprefresh olsrd-mod-bmf olsrd-mod-dot-draw olsrd-mod-dyn-gw olsrd-mod-dyn-gw-plain olsrd-mod-httpinfo olsrd-mod-mdns olsrd-mod-nameservice olsrd-mod-p2pd olsrd-mod-pgraph olsrd-mod-secure olsrd-mod-txtinfo olsrd-mod-watchdog olsrd-mod-quagga wireless-tools luci-lib-json kmod-ipip ethtool snmpd iptables-mod-extra iptables-mod-iface iptables-mod-iprange ca-certificates

for i in `opkg list-upgradable|cut -d " " -f 1`;do opkg install $i;done

uci set uhttpd.main.rfc1918_filter=0; uci commit uhttpd

/etc/init.d/uhttpd restart

#WARNING! Run the following command only if you want to join Meta Mesh's PittMeshSNMP community

uci set snmpd.public.community=PittMeshSNMP

/etc/init.d/snmpd restart

exit

13) (Section VII: OLSR) In your browser, refresh the page or just click on any of the drop down options in the black bar at the top of the page.

This will reload the router's web interface and if you look at that top black bar again you will see a new menu called "Services."

That's it! You're all done! You can now power off your router and physically install it!

Just make sure that the Ethernet cable that goes to your ISP's modem or router is plugged in the proper WAN port (the left port on Meta Mesh's A/AP150's). You can use the right port as a LAN port for any device you want to put on the mesh network.

If you want to see if your device is meshing with anything nearby simply go to Status > OLSR and click on the number next to "Neighbors".