as the turn burned

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:

  1. Take your time aiming antennas, find the hottest spots in the lobe, they really DO matter.
  2. Guy stuff down really well, the smallest shift can ruin the work done in point #1.
  3. 5.8ghz is practical for medium haul links if you’ve got too much noise down on 2.4ghz.
  4. Hot stage everything, the last 5% of the work for the Internet Cafe took the longest time.
  5. Put up a splash page and take a bow! Nobody knew who did all the work to give folks Internet.
  6. Ralf and Cliff are awesome folks, give them each a big wet sloppy kiss.
  7. The phone was the single most important user service.
  8. More power is always better. We should have had 100mw, not 12mw for the 5.8 backbone.
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