28 August 2009

We Loaded the Truck Today

We are ready to take open source, open access cellular to Burning Man. Some photos from the last few days...

Kitting out the parts at the beginning of what turned out to be a very long week:

Harvind leaving Sam's with steaks, cheese, wine, canned fruit and ... RV batteries:

(Yes, we plan to eat well.)

Acrylic sheets that cracked overnight:

Laying it out again on aluminum:

Starting from the upper left and going clockwise, that's the power amp, the USRP, the single-board computer, the uplink cavity filter, the duplexer, the pre-amp and the power buses.

Finally, we have the three main-site BTS units and some test equipment in the truck:

(Check out the classic Tektronix 7000 mainframe on the left. Nearly as old as me and tough enough for the Playa. There's a R&S CMD-57 in the box. Not quite tough enough for the Playa, so it will live in the box until needed.)

Time for bed. We have a long drive tomorrow.


  1. Amazing ! I follow this project like an action movie ! Why do you have 3 BTS this time, shouldn't be enough to meet the demands for this time compared to BM.

    Also, how much is total cost for these three units ? And the reach, have you seen improvements there ?

    You wrote earlier that capacity is going to be 1500 SMS message per minute, isn't there a risk that it would ruin your credits with the VoIP backhaul if they start SMS'ing around, last time I checked it cost like 3 cents per SMS with the VOiP providers.

    Good luck !

  2. We are with you and wish you success that meets and beats your expectations.

    Good luck!

  3. Boy oh boy do I wish I could have flown from Africa to go with you David and see Burning man telco in operation!!! Your friend in 'gsm' africa PS - they installing GSM light base stations in our neck of the woods now - cheaper BTS - can you believe it

  4. I swear, if you had not explained the nature and purpose of the pictures that you add, I was sure it was a "building an atomic bomb" scene from some series like 24 or something:) Good luck with your truck, wherever you go, anyway!