Spring 2006 Issue
Hinternet and openHSMM
By John Champa, K8OCL
The term “openHSMM” is derived from the
combination of Open Source software and High Speed MultiMedia. Open Source
software was designed to meet some of the goals of the ARRL’s High Speed
MultiMedia (HSMM) Working Group, chaired by John Champa, K8OCL. The intent
of the working group is to research and implement new technologies in
high-speed digital signaling networks.
The openHSMM-ap design criterion is to create a wireless-access-point appliance that contains features found in wireless access points that are commonplace today. Why re-invent the wheel? Today’s consumer-grade access points lack two very important features that are necessary to create flexible wireless networks.
First, the deficiency lies in the radios. Consumer-grade access points traditionally have relied on a single radio to provide connectivity. While efficient in their design, they cannot provide the diverse connectivity options that may be required, especially in an unplanned environment such as those found during emergency communication deployments. Sometimes 802.11b works well, but it would be good to provide alternatives, such as 802.11a or 900-MHz WiFi for creation of backbones. This is one area that openHSMM hopes to address in the coming months.
The second deficiency is the lack of true
networking protocols. In order to create a scalable network (wired or
wireless), it would be beneficial to provide configuration options such as
OSPF (Open Shortest Path First). OSPF is a tried-and-true routing protocol
that broadcasts its routes to its neighbors. This is a good fit for HSMM
EmComm networks, which are created on an ad-hoc basis, and would allow for
dynamic routing configuration as new nodes are brought online, or as some
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