Decentralized Communication

This lifestyle looks very ideal! What is the method of transmission of packets with SSB? Between sailboats do you use LORA, or Wifi, or an SDR? How is it done?

I am extremely enthusiastic about this technology like you! I think it doesn’t help to try and frame this technology within a traditional capitalist view. No one is going to make profit off of this, so talking about business models is completely missing the point. The key to this succeeding is open technology and cooperation within local communities. And we are seeing successes, NYC in particular. In my city too there is a small mesh network, my work is hosting a talk of the founders. I absolutely agree the goal is to envision a future without ISPs

It will have to be a grassroots effort at first, and to me quick and dirty tech has an interesting role to play. Especially looking ahead to the climate of 2020, off the grid communication may become a necessary part of people’s lives. Airchat and Chattervox are interesting technologies to this end.

It’s also possible on micro-local level with wifi. Someone already mentioned Firechat. I built my own version of this (Hot Ninja) project. It’s essentially a wifi server running off an ESP32. It’s fun to activate in a gathering area and see confused people communicate to the message board. Can be battery powered, is very portable.


Usually in anchorages, we can see each other’s routers, so simple wifi does as a pretty good job. Almost most long distance sailors have wifi extenders. :slight_smile: Friends of ours use LORA for that, but I’ve never personally tried it.

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Wifi extenders, and portable hotspots are treasures for this kind of purpose. Whenever I pass a Staples or business supply store, I hit up the bargain bin section looking for this kind of tech


They’re amazing!

Once in a while, we’ll be by some island, near friends with unlocked routers and we’ll talk to each other via Bonjour instead of VHF. Sometimes the host has offline copies of sites too, I remember this one time when someone was broadcasting wikipedia offline, so anyone connected to their router could browse an instance of wikipedia.

I felt enpowered by technology that day.


I’m not sure if that would be of interest to y’all but I have a this little decentralized forum with a few friends, we use something called twtxt, it’s a kind of no tech solution to social networking where we basically just each serve a text file to talk to each other.


Crazy idea: could maiden have a serverless P2P chat sidebar? Is that feasible? Would that be a good way to talk about norns code?


Woah! This is absolutely of interest to me! Part of what has drawn me to the idea of decentralized communication is some kind of lightweight social media alternative. To me the full package would be encrypted hardware/software that can run off grid.

Reading your comments there, it seems pretty simple to deploy on Raspberry Pi. There are LORA hats for Raspi so I wonder if it would be possible to transmit/receive the host text file over radio? Heltec WiFi LoRa 32 is another platform I’m interested in. It’s an ESP32 board with a lora module and OLED screen built in.


Could this be loaded up as part of your ad-blocker pi thing?


Damn, trying to find ways to run off grid on a monome forum, that’s bold.


@jasonw22 Could maiden have a serverless P2P chat sidebar? Is that feasible?

http and https don’t normally serve P2P streams. Everyone would have to add the dat add-on to their firefox, or use the IPFS client.

Reading your comments there, it seems pretty simple to deploy on Raspberry Pi.

I use it on the Pi myself! I am actually typing this message on the pi.

Could this be loaded up as part of your ad-blocker pi thing ?

I tried but it’s fighting a bit with pi-hole ports, since the control panel is served as a web application, it won’t let me start forever.


I use it on the Pi myself!

Man, I need more nerdy friends in my life. I’d love to use a decentralized social media solution like this, but I really doubt anybody I need to stay in touch with would want to put in the effort to set up their own node.

Also, that LoRa stuff looks interesting, too. Man, I wish the general populace were more tech-literate, so we could expedite the deployment of decentralized social media. While the internet is great for connecting to people across the globe, it would certainly be awesome to have a radio network somewhere between the worldwide internet and small extranets in size to communicate with people in just the local area around me.

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or we can make this stuff more user friendly


Well, for the twtxt thing you don’t really need to setup your own node or anything, a few of our members use gists, and pastebins. If you can get a .txt file online some place, you’re good to go.

But I agree that this really not for just the everyday non-hacker. But maybe this can inspire people to learn about computers and basic scripting, the goal of the webring is to get people self-publish their content online.

Any any case, @Ben, if you want to try it out, you’re welcome to make a PR to the webring and join the hallway experiment :slight_smile:


Here’s something I discovered today: Browsh a modern text based web browser that can do HTML5, CSS3, JS, Video and WebGL. Looks extremely useful for cutting down bandwidth costs, in extreme cases like connecting to a network over radio


that’s rad, i’ve often wished for a nicer lynx (or links2)

but my excitement diminished a bit when i looked closely.

browsh is fetching everything, just rendering it in TTY. i guess the idea is that you shell into a server running it. they recommend MOSH over SSH because the former only sends diffs.

so, kinda extreme form of other compression proxies like Opera Turbo, Google Data Saver, &c. (there are a whole bunch of these)

AFAICT, these things can, in one sense, only increase total absolute bandwidth, since somewhere someone is fetching all the stuff, then serving the TTY version. but i guess if the initial fetch is done in a location where it’s more efficient (fewer network hops) then it’s still a net win, energy-wise. (?)

i’m bummed that “don’t load images by default” option was removed in firefox; opera is really the standout for this kind of feature ATM, you can configure it to strip bandwidth down quite a bit out of the box (e.g. don’t fetch anything but HTML, anything but CSS + images, &c)

i really miss the old FF feature though, iirc you could right-click to load a single image. opera needs goofy workarounds to do this.


Bringing this thread back to the modular theme, I spotted this today on Modulargrid. AM Radio modem that works with the RF Nomad.


Very interested in this. There should be localized mesh networks sprouting everywhere out of all devices.


From an experiment today. Small ESP32 based LORA messenger. Has a range of about 3-4 miles within line of sight. Tested with my coworkers down the block to the coffee shop and works great.

Building off of this project Lora Chat want to add some more features as I go but still keep it minimalist.


This is a great topic and wanted to revive the thread to see if in these past couple of years something new has come up.

Found this link after checking the pirate box project which seems has been discountinued with some more info! NetHood - Bridging the digital with the physical