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My Mobile Home Park's Wifi Setup

by Grandpa

Now, why would you be interested in my mobile home park's WiFi setup? Maybe you and your neighbors would like to share a fast Internet connection and share the cost. I am sure you can think of many reasons why this could be helpful. So, having never tried to write anything like this before, I will try to explain how we did it.

First a little background. I live in the Southern California desert. Most of our residents are "Snowbirds." Snowbirds are people who live in the Northern USA and Canada. In the winter months, they come South where it is warmer. We all know how a good fast, secure Internet connection is needed in our lives today. Most connections like that can be expensive. They also require a 12-month contract. So we share 4 DSL connections with 100/120 people. We charge $25.00 a year. Yes, that is $25.00 for 12 months of fast secure Internet.

How did we do this? The park already had 4 phone lines coming into the Park. One line went to the gate entry call box.

One went to the TV shack. We also have our own cable TV system.

Another line goes to the 911 phone in the Spa area, and the fax machine in the office. The office line had DSL already on it. We had DSL put on the other three. I guess here I should tell you that the park owns the phone lines in the park. Verizon brings the lines into a corner of the park, and from there, we run them to every site.

So, from that box in the corner, we ran three new lines to the office. We connected the three new and the existing office DSL to these four Verizon routers.

After connecting an ethernet cable to each of them we routed them up into the attic. One went to a Linksys WRT54g router, which had the stock firmware replaced with DD-WRT firmware. It was connected to an antenna on the front of the clubhouse.

The other three went through the attic, out the back, under the street, to this pole, with three antennas attached to it.

There is one omni and two directional antennas. You can also see a box under them. In that box, there are the circuit boards from three Linksys WRT54g routers with DD-WRT firmware installed on them. All routers have very strong passwords. The users must be given a password in order to use the router we want them to use.

We use DD-WRT firmware because it is much more programmable. It is open source software based on Linux. I could go into detail how to install the software. However, it is available on their website, along with instructions to install and program. Their information is very well written and easy to follow.

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