In order to maintain our mesh networking skills, each Wednesday Albemarle AUXCOMM hosts Mesh Wednesday, an all-day “net” that consists of participants completing set of tasks designed to keep our mesh networking skills sharp. The tasks that constitute a “check-in” should be completed sometime during the 24 hours of Wednesday. The tasks can be completed all at once or spread out over the day. The final task, the participants report to the Net Control Station, should also be sent on Wednesday.
All tasks are to be completed using the CVADN mesh network, connected either through an RF connection or an AREDN mesh tunnel connection. (Although we don’t want to assume tunneling to the mesh over the Internet will be available in an actual incident, tunneling makes regular training more convenient by extending the mesh network to our homes.) If possible, use a computer that you are likely to use in an actual incident or field exercise. That will ensure your field computer is properly configured when you need it.
Details on how to establish a tunnel over the Internet into the CVADN mesh network are available at https://www.cvadn.net/how-to-tunnel-to-cvadn/.
If at all possible, all of us should have our nodes connected with Winlink Telnet P2P, file download, and phones available for others to connect to from 8-10am on Wednesdays. Tasks can be completed any time on Wednesday, but this two-hour window will reduce the frustration of timed-out connection attempts. (A couple of us leave our Winlink Telnet P2P sessions and our file download servers running all the time for other participants who need a target for testing or completing their tasks.)
Complete as many tasks as you are able. Don’t worry if you can only complete one or two at first. Take your time and add skills as you become comfortable with the ones you already have mastered. Don’t be shy about asking for help from participants with more experience.
You should reboot your personal mesh nodes before attempting your Mesh Wednesday tasks. New participants are working on their configurations, and stale information can prevent you from doing things that should work. A reboot will ensure you have the latest configuration information for other nodes.
The tasks are:
|Create a P2P message for another participant and initiate a Winlink Telnet P2P session to deliver the message. If possible, leave your Winlink Telnet P2P session running so that at least one other participant can initiate a Telnet P2P session with your computer and send you a message. (See https://www.cvadn.net /winlink-mesh/ for configuration details.)
|Run HFS on your computer, create an advertised service on your node for the HFS URL, and confirm that it works, either by testing it yourself from another HFS computer on another mesh node, or by observing that at least one other participant was able to download a large file (something in the range of several hundred kilobytes). (See https://www.cvadn.net/how-to-http-file-server-hfs/.)
|Using the Seafile Web interface available through the service link on the CVADN “Mesh Status” page, upload a file to the Seafile “Mesh Wednesday Uploads” shared library (folder) and download file from that same library. (See https://help.seafile.com/ for usage documentation.) (Mesh Wednesday participants who are not Albemarle AUXCOMM volunteers and do not have Seafile accounts can claim this task using their home group’s equivalent mesh- based file server.)
|Check in to Winlink Wednesday over the CVADN mesh. (Winlink Wednesday check-ins are valid as long as the first link is over ham radio. If your Winlink Express computer is plugged into a mesh node that is connected to your tunnel client node via RF, then that counts.)
|Take a screen grab of an IP camera image from another mesh node.
|Using the CVADN telephone system, make a call to another participant. Leave voicemail if that participant is unavailable. (Mesh Wednesday participants who are not Albemarle AUXCOMM volunteers and do not have CVADN telephones can claim this task using their home group’s equivalent mesh-based telephone system.)
|Complete one or more of the Mesh Wednesday tasks from a node that is connected to the mesh via RF. The RF link to your tunnel node from the node your computer is connected does not count for this one! You can take a node within range of one of the backbone sites, or you can go hang out in front of another participant’s house. The goal is to get out in the field and connect via RF to a node that is not running under your callsign.
|Using one of the CVADN Winlink Telnet Post Offices, send KQ9P a Winlink message containing a report on which tasks you completed, and with the IP camera screen grab attached and scaled to satisfy the Winlink attachment size limit. The report in the body of the message should be a simple list of your callsign and the tasks you completed, separated by commas.
The report should look like this:
Subject: Mesh Wednesday Report
KQ9P, P2P, HFS, SEAFILE, WW, IPCAM, PHONE, RF, REPORTMSG
Thanks for participating in Mesh Wednesday!
Participation statistics are available at Mesh Wednesday Participation.