$40 SDR for mesh networking?

Hey guys I’ve heard Software Defined Radio looks like the best candidate for mesh networking, and this is a chip that does it for $40.

Is this what I think it is?

Like, if everyone got something like this, and SAFE, we wouldn’t need Comcast?


From TFA:

the system isn’t as sensitive as purpose-built SDRs and is incapable of transmitting a signal

Transistor radio:


oh thx, i missed that part.

but is there any promise for SDR for a SAFE Mesh?

SDR’s will become the standard for Radios for frequencies upto a point. the “upto point” will increase as chip design & the technology improves. All those special features one used to pay hundreds of dollars is in the software + the chip. The price will drop once they are used in commercial radios.

As for mesh, that will be interesting to see. I expect that the specialised nature of wifi type of communication will continue to use specialised ships rather than a general purpose style of chip (eg a SDR that can Tx), until the technology behind SDR’s reach a certain point. That point will be when the cost/capabilities match that of the low-mid range specialised chips.

This happened with microprocessors. In my early years in computing mainframes were the powerful specialised computers and along came the “CPU” on a chip and there was no way it competed with the mainframes. Along came the 8080, z80 and CP/M “personal” computer which I suppose is the equivalence of the emergence of the receive only SDR we see today. As we saw the 8088,8086 and birth of the IBM PC we saw the death of the mainframe as the dominate force and the rise of the super Mini Computer (== single chip WiFi systems) It still took about a decade to see the microprocessors take over and most super computers are basically a superset of microprocessors.

I expect that SDR Tx/Rx will rise to dominance rather like how the microprocessor did.

1 Like

Couple thoughts here:

  1. Wouldn’t using SDR for internet require transmission as well as receiving capability? And what would be required to create an equally cheap transmitter dongle?

  2. This kind of tech effectively blows all radio regulation out of the water. I mean it’s one thing to outlaw a bulky ham radio. It’s another thing to outlaw a tiny cheap usb dongle that can be used for multiple uses.

  3. I can see how even being able to receive radio frequencies would totally compromise security on those channels especially when used in conjuction with the SAFE network. Tune your receiver, record selected broadcast, and upload the recording to SAFE. Can you not think of a few businesses or institutions this might affect?

1 Like

That’s funny. I would say that the regulation blows this tech into infeasibility.

Money and frequencies are regulated for the same reason.
Who among US users here dares to run radio transmitting equipment that violates FCC regulations?
If you (I mean, a generic forum user) don’t dare to do do that (or worse, support regulation of cryptocurrencies), how can you hope to see mesh networking become widespread?

Isn’t that kind of what they said about software pirates? It’s only infeasible if only a few people do it. But if we decentralize the process and more to the point encrypt the datastream that’s being transmitted it’s be more difficult for anyone to do anyone to do anything about. If anyone can attatch a little widget to their computer and turn it into a SDR transceiver then hook THAT up to the SAFE network to farm safecoin for instance how fast do you think people will be popping SDR widgets on their computers?

1 Like

Why would we want the MESH to use frequencies that are allocated for other purposes. There are bands available for the public to use, I suggest that any MESH should do that.

The frequency spectrum is a very precious resource and to deliberately use whatever freq we want without consideration for others will cause a whole lot more problems than any software pirate.

Mind that sending EM waves into open space is much easier to detect (picture a drone scanning your hood for that) and it’s just as vigorously policed by the State as using “unapproved” means of payment.

I’m willing to use any coin, but I’m not as willing to try to broadcast radio waves against the law.
I first want to see how hard they clamp down on early adopters.

1 Like

If you’re running cjdns, it shouldn’t be a problem. It is encrypted before it sends through the network.

Cjdns + Safe would be nice design but the first 64 people will know. Once it reaches to high numbers, it shouldn’t matter.

If they figure out the signal is coming from my roof, how does encryption help me?

Who cares if it is being send from your rooftop? Everybody got a router these days.

How do they know which file you send?

How do they know if you’re sending “illegal” files?

1 Like

If we’re talking WiFi, then noone cares.

But TFA is talking about unlicensed frequencies.

Intended for decoding European HDTV broadcasts in inexpensive USB dongle-type receivers, the RTL2832U chip can also output a raw digital stream describing the amplitude and phase (so-called I/Q data) of signals over a wide range of frequencies.

well tbh, there are places on earth where there are no regulations on frequencies. Those are the best spot to start meshnet. Once people see it’s true potential, they’ll do it in their countries, and godvernment can’ do anything about it but harass people.

However, I think the best goal is to build a fiber meshnet. No radio frequencies needed. We just need to reroute to homes to homes, instead of home to central ISP. Fiber is getting cheaper by the day.

Edited: I forgot to mention that mesh net should be used with wifi routers. I don’t see the need of high end frequencies if you can connect to your neighbor? The only thing I see of needing it is when it needs to connect to another city.


@Grizmoblust, now that is a really great idea, fiber house to house. LiFi can make that easier.

Why are people talking about the FCC as if America is the only country in the world that can start a mesh network? Perhaps the discussion of starting mesh networks in ways that the government doesn’t like should be pointed towards countries that can’t afford sustained large-scaled enforcement, yet alone an NSA. That way, you can start somewhere where the government is weakest and then use the network effect to brute force adoption into countries whose government has greater resources.

Also, What Grizmoblust said, cause I want my 40 terabit internet, dammit.

Or to rural areas where the next house is like a ten minute drive.

The biggest competition is the google fiber. We need get rid of the concept of central ISP. Hence CJDNS. That’s why I am actively encouraging everybody to put their money into fiber meshnet, instead of google or level 3 fiber.

1 Like

No not FCC, but any country that uses the frequencies for useful things, like emergency services etc.

The regulations are not there just to make a government money, but also to allow people to play fair with a VERY LIMITED resource. It is being mindful of others to only use frequencies that are available to be used, and there are plenty of them for mesh networks. Great if you start in a country with little restrictions on the spectrum, but you still have to come back to crowded countries.

Think of any limited resource, land, roads, footpaths, and you see places where its not so limited, but where the people are it is always very limited. The frequency spectrum is the same it is limited too.

Just think the next time you randomly choose a frequency to MESH on, it might be the emergency services’ band and your parent/child has a serious accident. The ambulance might not get the call to your house, and then you might respect the frequency bands.

It is idiotic to suggest MESH take over any frequency they want. RESPECT OTHERS, that is why every country puts limits of some sort on frequency spectrum usage.

Please NOTE that I am very much in favour of MESH networks and hope they become common place, it is needed. But play fair with others, childhood 101


Reading another post of yours in the law thread, I am interested in how far you have reached. Where would you lay the fibre? Would you use the footpath, under roads, etc, or ???. In Australia we would require approvals to lay cable on public land (footpaths etc), is that true where-ever you are?

What are going to be the points of access to the internet?

It is an great project you are considering, I hope you succeed.

1 Like