At some point in the not too distant future, I’m going to need a much longer range WiFi connectivity between my piPAD and piDrones so that I can test the GPS tracking in the local field where the piDrone and piPad may be separated beyond the range of the current direct WiFi signal.  This is a problem because I need connectivity even though the piDrones are autonomous as I always need to be able to press the remote kill switch.

I considered for a second or two hunting down a longer range radio system, but then wondered whether this is doable by using multiple Zero-W’s instead: the concept of piNet was born.

The idea is that these Zero-W’s are all in their own private network (piNet) using their inbuilt WiFi.  The Zero-Ws are phone charger battery-bank powered, and are scattered  around the test field.  Each Zero-W also has a USB WiFi dongle configured to connect to the piDrone WAP network.  The piNet and iDrone networks are bridged together.  My piPad is also in the piDrone and piNet networks.  That means I should be able to access the piDrone network via piNet even if the piDrone is outside of the range of the piPad WiFi: I should be able to remote login to the iDrone from my piPad via piNet.

This feels like it could work with the piDrone clients bridged to the piNet, but there’s lots of details I have no idea about.  More thinking to do.

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