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To get started connecting to the mesh, you’ll generally need to meet a few minimum requirements, namely:

  • You must be an FCC licensed Amateur Radio (Ham) Operator [Part 97],
  • You must have line-of-sight to an existing AREDN Mesh Node. Mesh is a type of network that uses smart routers (nodes) to route data/traffic throughout the network,
  • You must have compatible equipment. A list of equipment is available here,
  • The equipment must be running the AREDN firmware,
  • You must be configured for the SSID/channel/bandwidth below:

2.4 GHZ

  • SSID: AREDN-10-v3
  • Channel: -2 (2.397 GHz)
  • Bandwidth: 10 MHz

5.8 GHZ

  • SSID: AREDN-10-v3
  • Channel: 179 (5.895 GHz)
  • Bandwidth: 10 MHz


As we build out the network, it’s possible to be located where there are no other nodes to connect to. In these instances, you can still connect your node to the mesh using a tunnel over your internet connection. While not as resilient as an RF link to other nodes, tunnels help us grow islands of connectivity that can eventually be bridged into the wider mesh.


We will guide you on what to get, depending on what kind of site your building, as well as some of the best places to get mesh gear at a fair price.

Make sure you’re already connected with JFMDNA before buying anything: our volunteers can help you better determine what gear will work best for your particular needs and help ensure you have a good experience. We often have donated or granted equipment that can be borrowed to test a location or establish a site, too!

AREDN™ uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware originally intended to be used for unlicensed WIFI and re-purposes it to fit the needs of amateur radio operators.  By using common equipment, we can benefit from affordable pricing and availability of reliable hardware.