OpenWrt Funding/Save power by disabling wireless networks

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1. Title: Save power by disabling wireless networks

2. Summary description of the problem to be solved and reason why it should be solved.

In many scenarios, wireless networks are only needed during certain business hours. But for convenience reasons, wireless is turned on all the time consuming power and creating a RF noise due to sending out beacons all the time.

Wouldn't it be sensible, if one could define certain core business hours during which the availability of WiFi is ensured, but outside this hours WiFi is disabled if no client is connected?

3. Describe your approach to solve the problem.

The UI should offer a dialog where the user/administrator can enter business hours for the wireless lan. Outside this hours, a (cron) script checks regulary, if clients are connected. This is done by looking at the ARP table - every client connected wireless, leaves its MAC address there. If no client is seen (for a certain grace period) wireless will be deactivated until the beginning of the next business hours. This way it is ensured, that no client is cut of even when being connected outside the business hours. There shall be a button in the UI and a command in the CLI to enable wireless instantaneously.

The periodic checking should be implemented through scripts that are triggered by cron. Scripts can be simple shell scripts. UI dialog should integrate in the UI of OpenWRT seamless.

License for the code will be LGPL 2.1 or whatever suits OpenWRT best.

4. Timeline for implementation

Since I would be working alone and only part time on this project, the following timeline seems realistic:

  • Milestone 1 (within 1 week, 8h work)
    • Get a first CLI prototype running
  • Milestone 2 (within 1 week, 10h work)
    • Get a UI prototype running
  • Milestone 3 (within 2 weeks, 16h work )
    • Implement the final solution
    • Test and document
  • Milestone 4 (within 1 week, 8h work)
    • Integrate into upstream OpenWRT

One week here does not mean I would be working one entire week constantly, it means withing one week I would find the time to fulfil the required work. Also the estimated hours are a rough first guess.

Summing up above numbers gives 42h of work within 5 weeks.