NB Cell Network

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Overview[edit | edit source]

What if someone wanted to set up a cell network with a Siemens BS-11 base station transceiver and a gnuradio USRP card using open source software? You'd have two lab basestations to play with and to learn cell telephony with. Some have expressed interest in data applications, and the possibilities seem pretty endless, barring regulatory problems. Someone raised the possibility (sorry I forgot your name) of using RF blocking fabric to create a Faraday cage so you could test the base station without causing disruption.

Build process[edit | edit source]

OpenBTS software requirements:

If you hit an "abort is not defined within this scope" or similar error, add a stdlib.h include to the offending source (such as RegExp.h):

diff -u CommonLibs/Regexp.h-orig CommonLibs/Regexp.h
--- CommonLibs/Regexp.h-orig    2009-03-12 23:55:50.000000000 -0700
+++ CommonLibs/Regexp.h 2009-03-12 23:56:06.000000000 -0700
@@ -28,6 +28,7 @@
 #include <regex.h>
 #include <iostream>
+#include <stdlib.h>

Given FCC permission, we could operate the transceiver. For outgoing calls we can use the same VOIP account being used for the pay phone.

From what I understand, infrastructure-wise do that you'd need:

  • A first linux box running the openBCS software

-- this box needs an E1 card and a free PCI slot for it (money has been collected from generous volunteers for the E1 card)

  • A second linux box running openBTS/asterisk

-- this box needs one or two RFX900 (900mhz) tranceiver daughterboards for the USRP card

On the other hand, it may be possible to consolidate the OpenBTS and OpenBSC software on one box... maybe more will be revealed at the OpenBTS/GSM talk on Thursday. I just realized USRP is either USB or ethernet based (Depending on version) so we only need one PCI slot.

Since we need outgoing voip for a variety of apps I wonder if we can isolate the asterisk service once things are stable so it can be shared by the pay phone, etc. But, that is speculation at this point.

There are three barebones computers laying around the kitchen area.

  • The black case has an ASUS kv8-max3 motherboard and an AMD-64 cpu, a PSU and cdrom, network, no ram (supports up to 400mhz ddr), no HD
  • the beige case has an old-ass motherboard that looks damaged, a 2gig HD, and aside from having a cool slidey MB tray mechanism appears useless
  • the smaller media case has a newer micro-itx motherbard with a cpu, ram, integrated VGA and ethernet, and some kind of funky power supply (maybe a picoPSU) and looks like the best candidate to be up and running quickly
  • there is a small black 3.5" bay PSU that might be usable in the media PC case mentioned above

There is an ubuntu 8.10 i386 install disk in the library area in a pile of CDs. As for displays, the apple display has ADC, so a converter will be needed. The projectors probably have VGA, but we may be out of luck on DVI unless someone has an adapter, or wants to try to bring up a serial console of of a linux install disc.

Links[edit | edit source]

  • GnuRadio: [1]
  • OpenBSC: [2]
  • OpenBTS: [3]
  • USRP brochure: [4]
  • Ettus (source for USRP and daughterboards): [5]
  • ASUS KV8-MAX3 page: [6]