Over the weekend, I unboxed a pair of Mesh Potato Beta units (MP01) that I recently received from David Rowe and the Village Telco initiative.
From David’s site:
The Mesh Potato is a 802.11bg mesh router with a single FXS port. Adjacent mesh potatoes automatically form a peer-peer network, relaying telephone calls without land lines or cell phone towers. The Mesh Potato is designed using open hardware and software and is part of the Village Telco project.
Unfortunately, one of the units seems to have a firmware bug, and as such I was unable to create a mesh network with them, but I did get the working one hooked up and giving a dial-tone. I’ve received a few helpful hints and tips from David and Elektra on how to access the internals and re-flash the firmware via the village-telco-dev mailing list, and sometime soon I’ll try again.
I also created a Flickr set of photos of my Mesh Potato Beta experiments so far.
I’ll keep you posted regarding how the Beta testing goes…
UPDATE @23:32: I just made my first Mesh Potato phone call to Elektra in Germany… it worked very well… one minor, temporary breakup, possibly related to the FreiFunk mesh at the other end… audio quality was generally very clear and good with only minor compression artifacts (Dalek style) occasionally…