WiFi deployment at Burning Man was a total success! The network consisted of a 2.4ghz long haul link back to Gerlach and then a 5.8ghz backbone for the playa which was then rebroadcasted at 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00. We used my gear for the 3:00 and 9:00 nodes and they fit in perfectly. Everyone loved Brad Templeton’s “Playa Phone” and the Internet Cafe was in constant use despite no advertising.
Lessons learned and/or confirmed:
- Take your time aiming antennas, find the hottest spots in the lobe, they really DO matter.
- Guy stuff down really well, the smallest shift can ruin the work done in point #1.
- 5.8ghz is practical for medium haul links if you’ve got too much noise down on 2.4ghz.
- Hot stage everything, the last 5% of the work for the Internet Cafe took the longest time.
- Put up a splash page and take a bow! Nobody knew who did all the work to give folks Internet.
- Ralf and Cliff are awesome folks, give them each a big wet sloppy kiss.
- The phone was the single most important user service.
- More power is always better. We should have had 100mw, not 12mw for the 5.8 backbone.