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The Melbourne Wireless Firmware is a firmware image for wireless routers for the purpose of creating and extending the Melbourne Wireless community network.

Currently, the Melbourne Wireless Firmware is a slightly-modified Freifunk Firmware image. Customisations and localisations will be added via add-on packages. We will stick with Freifunk until it's planned merge back into OpenWRT.

Future Plans

Planned add-on features for the Melbourne Wireless firmware include the integration of the External linkMWHotspot package. Also planned are further social networking features such as guestbooks and other ways to communicate with other users of the same hotspot.

Firmware Builder

The Firmware is distributed via the Melbourne Wireless website using the External linkFirmware Builder. The Firmware Builder makes the task of configuring and customising the firmware very easy.

Routing Protocol

External linkOLSR is the routing protocol used by the firmware. OLSR is easy to configure and has features that are well-suited to community wireless networks. OLSR allows single-radio nodes to participate in a routed IP network with no need to plan link paths or coordinate IP addresses. A netmask of is appropriate for network interfaces

Network Interface Layout

           WIFI |
|                 |
|                 |
|  _ _ _ _     _  |
| | | | | |   | | |
    LAN       WAN




Design Philosophy

The primary design aim behind the firmware is reducing the learning-curve and the hardware costs involved in building a node. These have previously been major barriers to participation in the Melbourne Wireless network. Using OLSR routing in conjunction with a single wifi radio in adhoc mode with an omnidirectional antenna allows node-owners to make links with similar nearby nodes easily, with no pre-planning required. The hardware costs for such a single-radio node are a fraction of the cost of a multi-radio node that uses directional antennas. However, for node-owners wanting to add more radios to their setup, multiple routers can be connected together at the same location. Or the node-owner can build their own router and their own operating system, run the OLSR protocol on it and be compatible with the Melbourne Wireless Firmware.

Freifunk Firmware / OpenWRT

The Freifunk Firmware is based on External linkOpenWRT WhiteRussian. Any of the routers listed as being supported by WhiteRussian on the OpenWRT External linkTable Of Hardware in theory is compaitble with the Melbourne Wireless firmware. We have found that currently the most easily available compatible routers in Australia are the Asus WL-HDD, WL-500g and WL-500g Premium. Older versions of the Linksys WRT54G and the WRT54GL are also compatible. We eagerly await the first stable release of OpenWRT Kamikaze so that we can create a Kamikaze-derived Melbourne Wireless Firmware for the External linkMeraki Mini community wireless router.


The Melbourne Wireless firmware images can be flashed (installed) to a compatible router by the end-user. The installation method can vary between routers - the best documentation is the External linkOpenWRT Installation Guide. If you have an External linkAsus wl-500g Premium, please pay special attention to the OpenWRT installation notes for this device.

Version 5 (current) modified Mon, 26 Jul 2021 12:49:29 +0000 by Dan
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