Raspberry PI 3 B+ as an Access point/bridge on a local wireless network

A Raspberry PI 3 B+ based setup is expected here. This is detailed in a previous blog.

O. Create a PI based Network Access point using static host (pi@navx.local)

Major reference that describes how to create a DHCP server based WiFi bridge is available here, http://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/making-a-mavlink-wifi-bridge-using-the-raspberry-pi.html

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Hostname & Setup: Two Raspberry Pi’s. One is the access point and other connects to it for communicating over Wireless LAN.

navx.local -> pi@192.168.42.1 
-> This Raspberry PI is the WiFi access-point/hotspot host

nava.local -> pi@192.168.42.13 
-> This Raspberry PI is configured to connect to the above access-point

A. Setup or configure WiFi SSID on Raspberry (pi@nava.local)

Link: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/wireless-cli.md

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Connect the raspberry Pi to the WiFi access point. Edit the wpa_supplicant file with the new SSID and Password.

Alternately you can use raspi-config

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
sudo ifdown wlan0
sudo ifup wlan0

B. Change the hostname using raspi-config or using /etc/hosts & /etc/hostname file  (pi@nava.local & pi@navx.local)

Install avahi with the following commands on all the Raspberry Pi’s: https://www.howtogeek.com/167190/how-and-why-to-assign-the-.local-domain-to-your-raspberry-pi/

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
# Update boot startup for avahi-daemon
sudo insserv avahi-daemon
sudo update-rc.d avahi-daemon defaults

Install Bonjour on windows for access, discovery and then configure IPv6 on raspberry PI’s
https://peterlaszlo.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/bonjour-avahi-rpi-windows/

# Enable IPv6 on RPi 
sudo modprobe ipv6

Add ip6 entry on a new line in /etc/modules file

# Apply the new configuration with:
sudo /etc/init.d/avahi-daemon restart

Raspberry PI’s should now be addressable from other machines as navx.local,

ssh pi@navx.local
ssh pi@nava.local

 

C. Stop the static IP and connect back to WiFi on wlan0 (pi@navx.local)

In case you are connected to another WiFi with internet access before moving to this configuration. A quick way to connect back to that WiFi is below.

Disable, stop DHCP server and reboot

sudo update-rc.d hostapd disable
sudo update-rc.d isc-dhcp-server disable
sudo service hostapd stop
sudo service isc-dhcp-server stop

Move the previous network config to the current setup

cp /etc/network/interfaces.backup /etc/network/interfaces

Revert the interfaces file on Rpi rasbian by copying the content of backup to the interfaces. The backed up content is shown below.

(cv3) pi@navx:~ $ cat interface.dyninternet.backup
# interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
# Please note that this file is written to be used with dhcpcd
# For static IP, consult /etc/dhcpcd.conf and 'man dhcpcd.conf'

# Include files from /etc/network/interfaces.d:
source-directory /etc/network/interfaces.d

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

iface eth0 inet manual

allow-hotplug intwifi0
iface intwifi0 inet manual
    wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
    wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

allow-hotplug wlan1
iface wlan1 inet manual
    wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

D. Start the static IP configured DHCP server for the access point (pi@navx.local)

Start the DHCP server and enable the service

sudo service hostapd start
sudo service isc-dhcp-server start

sudo update-rc.d hostapd enable
sudo update-rc.d isc-dhcp-server enable

sudo reboot

Scan the wlan0 for SSID “NavxStation

sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning essid NavxStation

Connect from the raspberry (pi@nava.local) as described in section A

 

E. Provide fixed IP address on the host dhcp server (pi@navx.local)

https://blog.monotok.org/setup-raspberry-pi-dhcp-server/

The “HWaddr” or “ether” value is the MAC address. In this example say “c7:35:ce:fd:8e:a1

ifconfig wlan0

Edit the /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf file and add the following towards the end for fixed assignment.

host machine1_nava {
  hardware ethernet XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX;
  fixed-address 192.168.42.13;
}

Check the currently leased connections

cat /var/lib/dhcp/dhcpd.leases

Also, you can verify connected devices using

sudo iw dev wlan0 station dump 
sudo arp

 

 

 

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