Upgrades to the AREDN Portable kit

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The AREDN Portable kit has a couple new additions:

A Stratum 1 NTP server. Available on the mesh at : http://km6slfntp.local.mesh/index.html

This is built on a Raspberry Pi CM4 module, and takes advantage of the PPM feature that isn't available on the regular Raspberry Pi 4. This allows it to obtain and maintain far more accurate time. Detailed build instructions are available on the mesh here: http://km6slfntp.local.mesh/instructions.html

Maintaining accurate network time is critical for couple reasons.  Computers and devices that aren't on the same or very close to the same time don't play well with each other. You may have experienced this if you booted up and old computer, connected it to your router but still couldn't reach the Internet. Computers don't 'trust' other devices that think it's a different time or date. 

Maintaining accurate time is also valuable for evidenciary and investigative purposes. Innaccurate timestamps on camera recordings can cause confusion or invalidate potential evidence, and time stamps on files moved or edited help make sure emergency workers are working with the right data when it matters most. 


The other recent addition is a Raspberry Pi running Victron's Venus OS. This allows remote control and monitoring of the battery and solar charging system.

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