[Olsr-users] Very slow and Spotty Mesh

Ray Berotsfield (spam-protected)
Wed Jun 29 00:05:08 CEST 2016

Hello all,

I have a new mesh consisting of about 20 nodes. 15 of them will be static
(running Linux) and 5 of them will be mobile (running Windows) - moving
about the mesh at about 3 m/s. To test the mesh's ability to handle the
mobile nodes, I am using remote desktop to the Windows machine from the
control station. The issue is, as soon as I am out of range of the mobile
node, the connection becomes extremely slow, getting data very
sporadically, and at some point it just utterly fails. I expected the data
to start hopping over the nodes, but that was not the case. I have tried to
tweak the HelloInterval and TCInterval in the config file because I thought
that maybe the routing tables were not being updated fast enough to handle
the speed of the nodes, but this did not improve things too much.

I attached the config file for the Linux nodes (olsrd.conf). The IP is all
that changes. Below is the Hello and TC message configuration I am using.

  # Hello interval in seconds(float)
    HelloInterval 1.0

  # HELLO validity time
    HelloValidityTime 5.0

  # TC interval in seconds(float)
    TcInterval 0.5

  # TC validity time
    TcValidityTime 5.0

  # MID interval in seconds(float)
    MidInterval 10.0

  # MID validity time
    MidValidityTime 30.0

  # HNA interval in seconds(float)
    HnaInterval 30.0

  # HNA validity time
    HnaValidityTime 600.0

I ran a test with three nodes, one Windows node(, one Mac
node(, and one Linux( At close proximity, I was
able to ping between nodes just fine. I was also able to remote desktop
from the Mac into the Windows machine. I then moved the Linux node about 75
feet from the Mac, and the Windows 75 feet past it. As expected, data from
the Windows node was hopping over the Linux node to get to the Mac
(traceroute showed hop from 69 to 14 to 75. The remote desktop connection
was still working OK, although a bit slow (even using high end wireless
cards and antennas). After about a minute, it suddenly dropped and I could
no longer remote desktop or ping the Windows machine. To regain connection
I had to bring the Windows node back within wifi distance of the Mac. I
then moved it back again 75 feet from the Linux to see if it the data would
rehop over the Linux node like it had done before, but I had no luck
getting it to connect again. Despite being far more advantageous to hop
over the Linux node, "traceroute" showed that data from the Windows node
was trying to go directly to the Mac without any hops. To see why this
should not be the case, I attached a screenshot of my OLSR terminal session.

The Mac and Linux are both running the latest release of OLSR ( and
the Windows is running an older version as I do not know how to compile the
latest version on Windows (0.5.6).
I am sorry if that is confusing. Please let me know if you need any more

Here is a summary of my questions:

1. Can OLSR simply not handle slowly (slow jog speed) moving nodes? That
would be very odd, given that this is a MANET protocol.
2. Does my configuration look appropriate for the given setup? If not, what
should it look like?
3. I suppose the issue could be that the outdated version of OLSR running
on the Windows could be causing this. But why would it work fine for a
minute and then stop? If this is the issue, could someone give me some tips
on how to compile the latest OLSR on Windows? That information would be
very useful for the community.
4. This is slightly off-topic, but is there a way to make the Windows node
not act as a relay, but as an endpoint that can move about the mesh. I
don't really want it to act as a node for routing other traffic.

Thank you very much for any help you can give.
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