Colobo meshBox

We installed our first meshBox with Philly Community Wireless at Norris Square Neighborhood Project's (NSNP) Villa Africána Colobó in early April. It was a miserable rainy day but the install involved coordinating with a film crew (who, alas, also had no control over the weather). Colobó is one of several gardens and spaces run by NSNP in the neighborhood, each with a nod to community roots -- in this case to West African architecture and community spaces.

We installed the solar panel and meshBox on the outdoor kitchen roof. The wireless signal from the Colobó meshBox extends the signal from las Parcelas (another larger garden across the street) and currently supplies Colobó, as well as the adjacent block and neighboring houses, with internet.

This version of our meshBox included a beefy 50aH battery and some racking produced in-house. This version should theoretically power an 8W wireless AP for about three and a half days of no sun. It's a slightly larger setup than we'll normally use for this purpose, but according to PCW staff, it's kept the signal up consistently since it was plugged in. This version of the battery will need a low temperature disconnect installed by winter to keep the battery from being damaged from sub zero charging. For some reason, the simpler temperature relay you can see installed here (but not connected) wasn't allowing power to pass through from the solar. To fix this, for future meshBoxes we'll switch to batteries with low temp disconnects built in.

For more on our meshBoxes see here!

Colobo Mesh AP markdown markdown markdown markdown

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