ESP-MESH is a network protocol based on the Wi-Fi protocol. ESP-MESH enables the connection of a large number of devices (hereinafter nodes) covering a large physical area (both inside and outside) over a single WLAN (wireless local area network). ESP-MESH self-organizes and self-heals, allowing you to build and maintain networks autonomously.

Traditional Wi-Fi Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Traditional Infrastructure of Wi-Fi network is a point-to-multipoint network in which a single central node called an Access Point (AP) is directly connected to all other nodes called stations. The AP is responsible for arbitrating and forwarding transmissions between stations. Some access points relay transmissions to and from external IP networks through routers.

Traditional Infrastructure Wi-Fi networks have the downside of having a limited coverage area as all stations need to be in range to connect directly to the access point. In addition, the maximum number of stations allowed in the network is limited by the bandwidth of the access point, making traditional Wi-Fi networks prone to overload.

ESP-MESH vs traditional Wi-Fi infrastucture

ESP-MESH differs from traditional Wi-Fi infrastructure networks in that the nodes do not have to connect to a central node. Instead, the node can connect with its neighbors. Nodes are responsible for relaying transmissions to each other. This allows for achieving interconnections without the need for nodes to be within the range of the central node, which significantly extends the coverage area of the ESP-MESH network. Likewise, ESP-MESH is less prone to congestion as the number of allowed nodes in the network is no longer limited by a single central node.

ESP-MESH Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32
New release of OpenWRT 19.07 for WLAN devices

Good news for developers and modders of router software. A new Linux distribution, OpenWRT 19.07 has just been released, created primarily for WLAN devices, which debuted with the iconic Linksys WRT54G routers. OpenWrt 19.07 is mainly developed for devices using the AVR32, ARM, CRIS, m68k, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, SuperH, Ubicom32, x86 and x86-64 architecture.

What’s new in OpenWrt 19.07

A lot changed from the previous version of OpenWrt 18.06 version. Even WPA3 support has been added. However, it is not enabled by default and requires the installation of additional packages. Hostapd-openssl is needed for WPA3 to work in access point mode, it will need wpa-supplicant-openssl or wpad-openssl (additional AP) to use in Wi-Fi station mode.

Software developers have decided to switch to ath79 from ar71xx – in the future support for ar71xx will be completely withdrawn. In addition, the Linux kernel has been updated to version 4.14.162, and support for adm5120, adm8668, ar7, au1000, ixp4xx, mcs814x, omap24xx, ppc40x, ppc44x and xburst has been terminated.

A new feature is the updated LuCI, an integrated web interface for OpenWRT that implements client-side rendering. The LuCI ecosystem is large and not all LuCI applications have been adapted for this change, which can cause cbi.lua crashes. If so, install the luci-compat package.

The latest version of software can be downloaded from the project’s official website, here where you can also find the full list of changes.

Why should you try OpenWRT?

People who like to modify soft routers will confirm: OpenWRT dramatically increases the capabilities of network devices. OpenWRT is several thousand software packages that advanced users can install or remove depending on their needs. The software also improves network security – after all, the router owner will have full control over the configuration of every aspect of the hardware.

Industrial use of OpenWRT-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting the technology and it’s varieties is ModBerry M series from TECHBASE. Economical, M300 model, based on NanoPi boards can serve as an OpenWRT modem, with optional changes in standard ModBerry controller. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for ModBerry M series .