Petaluma amateur WiFi grid

A place for musings and notes in setting up a possible amateur run local WiFi network.

I'm at 10 Mission Drive, Petaluma CA, which is kind of in a valley, so I'd need to find collaborators that are up higher. Any broad area WiFi would need directional antennas of some sort (could be as simple as a soup can, see this directional WiFi antenna shootout and these instructions on making a WiFi antenna from a can).

My vision for this sort of a network would be to probably run a ".petaluma" DNS server, and run the entire network on a separate IP space, something in the range, so that it was isolated from the Internet at large. This would help us keep a local feel for it, and also keep it from becoming a big piracy (or whatever your favorite distasteful net activity is) sink.

We'd have to also find local content for it. One of the justifications I can see for putting some effort into running such a thing would be disaster services information. I recently finished a CERT class, and HAM and FRS and all are fine as far as they go, but in talking with people who helped set up networks for such things, in a Katrina or Haiti scale disaster you quickly go from voice communications to wanting telemetry imagery and multiplexed written data.

So this is perhaps the sort of thing that might include twitter-ish updates and web cams.