Cold weather and a fear of heights did not stop META MESH from ascending to the roof of the Hill District’s StartUptown building where HackPittsburgh, the birth place of META MESH, is located to upgrade and secure our primary node.
Originally, HackPittsburgh’s roof sported a large parabolic dish and a high-gain omnidirectional antenna that broadcasted the PittMesh SSID on 2.4 GHz. This was attached to the century-old chimney by Tapcon screws and aluminum stripping. Test broadcast resulted in signal a mile away in the South Side. Work originally completed in the Spring of 2013 but by winter, the strain on the dish had torn out the screws in the crumbling brick of the chimney.
Thanks to the financial support of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Awesome Foundation, META MESH was able to purchase chimney straps that repaired the mount and a brand new 5 GHz directional Ubiquiti AirGrid that doubles the size of the backhaul network. In the months to come, PittMesh will be expanding into Oakland, the South Side, and all the way up to Allentown.
We look forward to expanding the mesh in 2014. Developers, hosts, and nerds of all colors are welcome to help out in any way they please. Feel free to drop us a line with any questions or comments! We look forward to blanketing your neighborhood with our Wi-Fi soon!