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WeMos D1 + AA batteries + Serval App = Emergency WiFi Cell Tower?

WeMos D1 Mini is an Internet Of Things (IoT) hardware device similar to the Arduino but with built-in WiFi capability.

My son and I demonstrate tested the range of a Wemos D1-mini powered by 2 AA batteries and configured as a WiFi access point to connect two phones without using a cell phone tower. The old phones didn’t have a cellular plan but are running the Serval Mesh project app. If I configured multiple WeMos D1 minis as a mesh network, powered them with solar, they might work as a short-range emergency communication system when cellular coverage fails or isn’t available (hurricanes, earthquakes, wilderness, caves?)

Video of our experimental AA battery powered communication system

Limitations: The connection is via Wifi and doesn’t emulate an actual cell phone tower. The range (as you can see) is very limited but might be useful for communications in a neighborhood or apartment block and could be extended by lifting the transmitters in towers, balloons or kites. The WeMos D1 mini comes unprogrammed and unsoldered for $3.50/each.