Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amateur Radio Packet Over 802.11 Cards

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the don't-call-tech-support-for-troubleshooting dept.

Technology 189

Skuld-Chan writes: "I stumbled across this the other day -- basically discusses modifying common 802.11 boards for amateur radio bands (or Part 97 rules). Under Part 97 there is a 100 watt limit and no gain limit (unlike the 6 db gain limit on Part 15). I thought it was interesting :)." Consult your friendly branch of the FCC :) Note that this is just one of several interesting projects from this site.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Windows Is Dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245784)

It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: Windows is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Microsoft Corporation when recently IDC confirmed that Windows accounts for a declining fraction of all Internet servers. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that Windows has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Windows is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Windows's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Windows faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Windows because Windows is dying. Things are looking very bad for Windows. As many of us are already aware, Windows continues to lose market share. The green ink from declining sales flows like a river of blood. Windows XP is the most endangered of them all, having lost more of its core developers than any other operating system.

Due to the troubles of Microsoft, abysmal sales of Windows and other products and so on. Recently, Slashdot reported a possible removal of Windows from the market by Microsoft [slashdot.org] . This only serves to confirm the fact that Windows is unwanted, doomed to be passed around like a harelip orphan from one foster parent to another.

All major surveys show that Windows has steadily declined in market share. Windows is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Windows is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. Windows continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Windows is dead.

Fact: Windows is dead

Re:Windows Is Dying (1)

klocwerk (48514) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245801)

Interesting in that Internet Radio is having existance issues...
Next up:
Computer Component Radio!!!!!

Re:Windows Is Dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245953)

Michael Sims is dying - of AIDS.

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Michael Sims community when last month Slashdot confirmed that Michael Sims has the Gay Flu. Coming on the heels of the latest CBC which plainly states that Michael Sims has lost more white blood cells, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Michael Sims is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Hepatitis C test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [goatse.cx] to predict Michael Sims's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Michael Sims faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Michael Sims because Michael Sims is dying - of AIDS. Things are looking very bad for Michael Sims. As many of us are already aware, Michael Sims continues to lose market share. HIV flows like a river of blood. Michael Sims is the most endangered of them all.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Michael Sims husband Seth Finkelstein states that there are 7000 users of his anus. How many users of his mouth are there? Let's see. The number of anal vs. oral ejaculations on Michael Sims is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 ejaculations in Michael Sims's mouth. Michael Sims's bloody scat sessions are about half of the volume of Michael Sims sloppy facials. Therefore there are about 700 users of Michael Sims's filthy torn rectum. A recent article put anal sex with high-risk intraveneous drug users at about 80 percent of Michael Sims's escapades. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 HIV virii in Michael Sims. This is consistent with the number of Michael Sims's lesions.

Due to the troubles of Kaposi's Sarcoma, anal fissures and so on, Timothy died of GRID. Now Jamie is also dead, his corpse turned over to another San Francisco bathhouse.

All major surveys show that Michael Sims has steadily declined in white blood cell count. Michael Sims is very sick and his long term survival prospects are very dim. If Michael Sims is to survive at all it will be among homosexual scat dabblers. Michael Sims continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save him at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Michael Sims is dead.

Fact: Michael Sims is dead.

I've got nothing to say. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245788)

Just wanted first. It's pretty sad, really.

Re:I've got nothing to say. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245799)

Even sadder because I didn't get first. Nuts.

Damnit people (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245789)

HAM Radio is dead. Didn't anyone tell you?

No go ask mom what's for dinner.

Re:Damnit people (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245843)

goodbuddy, your momma forgot to tell me last night, 10-4

fp??! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245790)

clean message board... so fresh... so clean...

You know you're a geek when... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245815)

This article makes sense.

gain? meters? WTF are you talking about?

linux newbie question of the night (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245825)

just installed RH 7.2. Upgraded XFree86 to 4.2.0 (card was buggy under 3.6.1, which comes with the distribution). Now how the heck do I force the launch of a desktop environment? I can get an X server running, but cannot get a DE to run on top of it. any help appreciated :)

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0, Offtopic)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245832)

the command is: "init 5"

All done!

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245855)

oh, btw, I'm a seasoned in Linux, just not in using a GUI. init performs a reboot.

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245878)

"Seasoned"? Heh. Read this article [linux-mag.com]

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245939)

like i said. seasoned. i was not aware init 5 was a graphical login. I've always known init to be the boot process and shutdown/reboot process (which it is also used for).

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246074)

Doesn't Mac OS X run at a dif run level then init 3.. like single user mode w/ multi user support or something init 2.

anyways... the best thing to do is change ur defualt run levl in /etc/inittab to

id:0:initdefualt:

=

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246140)

heheh, why would you want to do that? I'd much rather do id:6:initdefault: then you can show your friends your "perpetual motion.. er reboot" machine.

Re:linux newbie question of the night (-1)

CmdrStkFjta (565570) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245912)

The command is c://win

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245950)

startx

Re:linux newbie question of the night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245995)

uh, i want the DE on top of that. all that does is start the X server.

Re:linux newbie question of the night (-1)

TRoLLHaXoR (206564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246293)

you need to make a .xinitrc file (and chmod +x it), or change your system's xinitrc file to load a window manager. look in /etc/X11 or in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11, i think.

these are scripts that get executed by startx, after X loads.

interference (3, Insightful)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245827)

What kind of interference will this cause? If everyone with with 802.11 capabilities starts broadcasting, will it cause any problems? I've heard bluetooth and things like microwaves and 2.4 GHz cordless phones don't get along so well with this technology.

Re:interference (2)

driehuis (138692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245886)

I'd hate to think of this. The author mentions reprogramming the off-the-shelf device to use another frequency range (that of Australia -- go figure). It's not the people that know what they're doing that I'm worried about, it's the radio equivalent of script kiddies... Chances are that your microwave oven will produce more interference than a 1 Watt transmitter in the city center, provided that the range is suitably offset, but I know some people that would put a transmitter capable of roasting passing pigeons behind their standard 802.11 device.

I just loved the bit where the author mentions that you just have to use a different polarity then "everyone else". Go over the adslreports and you'll find that Linksys users are recommended to put their antennae at a 90 degree angle w.r.t. each other. Now just which polarity is not being used in your area?

It'll only be a matter of time before people start jamming 802.11 just for the heck of it.

Re:interference (2, Informative)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245936)

First off, they author mentioned getting the manufacture to re-program them after showing your license to them. The freqs mentioned are in the 2.4Ghz ham bands so this is legal.

Second, when you start getting above 30-50Mhz, getting serious power out is NOT easy. If you get into the S band (2.4Ghz), anything over about 1 to 3 watts is a B*TCH to get, expensive to get and expensive to operate.

Sure when I was in the Navy (ET), we had transmitters that would and did fry a sea gull that flew too close to us, but most people don't have that kind of money.

BWP - AKA N5VMF

Re:interference (2)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246027)

Doesn't everyone know how to make a klystron high power amplifier? I could slap one together out of a 6 or 7 inch picture tube and 5 rare earth magnets. Tuning it would be difficult but if you let it use it's natural frequency, there would be no need to tune it at all. 2.4 Ghz at 100w, Just what the world needs.

Re:interference (2)

i_am_nitrogen (524475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246117)

I've always wondered if it would be possible to use the tube/whatever from a microwave oven (not that I'd actually try to send a 1200W 2.4GHz transmission...) for something beyond cooking food. It could be a great way to communicate long distances. So I guess a more specific question would be, "How specifically and accurately can you control the frequency and power output of a microwave oven?"

Hope this doesn't classify me under the "radio skript k1dd13" designation... Like I said, I wouldn't actually use it, I'm just curious.

And does anybody really doubt whether Tesla caused the Tunguska explosion? :P

Re:interference (3, Informative)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246225)

Once you get up to those power levels, you could try Moon-bounce relaying. Of course, you need one heck of an antenna! (This isn't Buck Rogers, some Hams do this sort of thing.)

I suspect the bps would be fairly low, but I haven't checked on the state of the art in a couple decades. Oh yeah, add 1.5 seconds to the packet latency! :^)

ping moon ...

Moon Bounce (2)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246262)

Here's a link: Earth-Moon-Earth [arrl.org]

Re:interference (4, Interesting)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246292)

A microwave oven has a "white" high power amplifier inside. It tries to transmit as close to 2.4 Ghz as possible, as this is the resonate frequency of water molecules. The actuality is they produce a more "white" RF, like a white lightbulb produces a broad spectrum of light compared to a laser. Any saw filter placed on such a transmitter, would get very hot indeed, and would waste the energy that could be used to heat the food. The filter would get hot instead of the food.

Since the RF is white, there is no way to design a feedhorn or antenna to properly radiate the power. High VSWR would kill the transmitter in a very short period of time. Food in the microwave acts like a dummy load. It absorbs the RF, so little gets reflected back into the transmitter. VSWR as low as 15% of total power out of a klystron will make it explode in just a few seconds. The electrons "piling up" forces the klystron to act like a capacitor, and the electron gun will arc with the collector, causing the glass vacume chamber surrounded by rare earth magnets to implode with a force compounded by the high voltage being applied to it.

Suffice to say, a klystron out of tune or improperly capacitance match with it's antenna goes like a grenade.

Make sure you disable the power supply safety interlocks and bypass the fuses in addition to cutting a hole in the door of the microwave to achieve this effect.

Re:interference (1)

SagSaw (219314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245960)

" Go over the adslreports and you'll find that Linksys users are recommended to put their antennae at a 90 degree angle w.r.t. each other."

A general rule-of-thumb on the amateur radio side of things is that a 90-degree polarity difference between transmitter and receiver will result in a 20dB loss in line-of-sight communication. Whether the difference is actually 20dB, I don't know, but there is a loss. Why linksys would recommend this is beyond me (maybe so they can sell better/more expensive versions to overcome the 20dB loss?).

Re:interference (2)

driehuis (138692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246110)

Why linksys would recommend this is beyond me

Sorry, should've mentioned more context on the adslreports site. It's a forum where users (and occasionally, a vendor employee) exchange ideas, ripe and green.

The brilliant polarization idea came from the users, not Linksys, but I've seen it so often that the myth is all over the place.

You miss the point. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246187)

It's HAMMIES doing this. They are allowed. THey know the rules and regulations, and how to stay within them.

100 Watt wireless router? (5, Funny)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245831)

My wireless router is at about eye level, about a foot away, on a shelf here in my office. If that sucker was putting out 100 watts I probably wouldn't have it so close to my head anymore...

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245862)

anything above 50 watts transmitting IS dangerous to be around.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245903)

I suggest you keep it on your lap. It will keep your lap warm and cause no harmful effects. I promise!

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (2, Funny)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245928)

Radio waves don't kill you though - they just pass through you harmlessly.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245937)

Do you actually believe this? I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (1)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245963)

This is ONLY for the troll to try.

1. Jam the interlock in a microwave.
2. Program 5 mins on high power.
3. Insert head into microwave.
4. Have stoner friend hit the button.
5. Have said friend stand back as steam pours out of your head.

What do you think microwave ovens use to cook food? Radio Waves!

BWP

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246002)

No - they use micro waves - radio waves are a different frequency - anyway that's my nitpicking allowance used up for tonight!

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246082)

Most microwave ovens use 2.4 Ghz radio waves. What frequency of radio waves does 802.11 use? 2.4 Ghz. At a much lesser power of course, but they still use the same radiation.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246131)

microwaves ARE radio waves, at very high frequencies.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (2)

Drakantus (226374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246218)

Duh, and visible light is also the same thing a different frequency. No one is suggesting light waves will kill you though.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246310)

Actually, a sunburn could conceivably kill you.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (1)

QuMa (19440) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246264)

Not all EM is radio waves... But According to wordnet it's borderline
From WordNet (r) 1.6 [wn]:

radio wave
n : an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength between 0.5 cm to
30,000 m [syn: {radio emission}, {radio radiation}]

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (4, Informative)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246048)

RF poisoning symptom progression:

Head ache.
Stomach ache.
Permanent Sterility.
Unconsciousness.
Death.

In other word, if the RF makes you pass out, welcome to silicone testicles and Testosterone shots for the rest of your life.

Re:100 Watt wireless router? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246286)

Erm. It's more complex than that. RF will screw with you via tissue heating; a point source like a high-powered, directional microwave antenna is most likely to do things like boiling your eyes or brain; a radar gun on a similar frequency may send you on the road to sterility *if* you're holding it between your legs with it on all the time. Full body exposure will combine elements of heatstroke with other pecularities, as your body will be heated more 'evenly' than it would be by a source of more damaging ionizing radiation- the sun. People have raised some questions as to whether long-term, uneven tissue heating from an *astoundingly* weak source- a cellphone that likely modulates its power* a hell of a lot better than any amateur station ever could- may eventually raise the risk of cancer. Of course, I do agree it'd be better to have an exceedingly low-power bluetooth module near your brain, and the actual phone chucked in your backpack, but even if you talked on a regular cellphone for hours a day, it's unlikely you could do worse than scar a brain cell or three; enjoying alcohol or cough syrup (ahem) will cause much more shock to your poor neurons.

I'd take a minor RF burn over a sunburn, any day. (Yes, I had to try pinching the mag-mount while my 70w 144MHz transmitter was keyed up.. You learn not to do that again very quickly; I can say my fingertip has suffered no lasting damage.)

*It's worth noting that the CDMA phones (Sprint PCS, and all the 3G systems) modulate their power *down* to the minimum level necessary to contact the base station. This is a requirement of the specification, as handsets that fail to do this would accidentally jam adjacent channels; CDMA relies on an extremely rapid frequency-sliding system, with the intent that phones may step on eachother every 2-5 seconds or so; the overall effect averages the noise, and the likelihood of interference is taken into account in determining the necessary buffer sizes and maximum bitrates of the system.

Long distances... (3, Funny)

geogeek6_7 (566395) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245851)

Now instead of being like "Wow! This station is 1,200 miles away!" We can be like "Wow! The interference thats making this packetloss is coming from 1,200 miles away!"

Re:Long distances... (1)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245892)

That is ONE thing I would not be worried about..:) Unless you manage to get a satallite for this stuff, it is strictly line of sight.. about 15-25 miles depending on how high your antenna is. Plus you better be spending some serious money on hardline to get an antenna up very high.

BWP - AKA N5VMF

Re:Long distances... (1)

JonWan (456212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246120)

Plus you better be spending some serious money on hardline to get an antenna up very high.

Nah... Just mount the transmitter on the top of the tower. Run power and controls up and transmit away. I did that with my QRP rig.

PS. I ain't posting my callsign on slashdot too many people know where I am as it is.

Re:Long distances... (1, Offtopic)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246139)

BWP - AKA N5VMF
Hey Gary. How are things in Conroe Texas these days?

(Sorry, just amazed that people will put a direct link to their home address on the web.)

Re:Long distances... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246330)

Ummm, why?

I remember ten years ago when I participated in BBS 'Get Togethers', back when there was a local BBS scene. People would freeze up and panic if you used a real name when talking to or referring to somebody.

It's almost like we are all playing this anonymous game and it would be just *horrible* if anybody knew who we are.

I am posting as an AC, BTW, because I've given up on this system. Some people consider the whole karma thing to be a meritocracy. Believe me, it's a big clique.

Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (4, Informative)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245852)

...it's worth a reminder that amateur packet radio is subject to a number of content restrictions that make it extremely poorly suited as a transport medium for general Internet traffic. It's only useful for sending stuff from one ham to another.


That said, I may do some hacking in this area myself...


...de K5ZC

Modulation types are also restricted (2, Informative)

mike449 (238450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246015)

FCC and authorities in other countries are also very restrictive about the types of modulation that can be used by amateurs.
For example, see this link

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/get-cfr. cg i?TITLE=47&PART=97&SECTION=309&TYPE=TEXT

They seem to prohibit any encryption as well.

Re:Modulation types are also restricted (2)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246078)

Yes Part 97 states that you must not use any "code" on the air. All things must be readable or understandable. My guess is that it would also include encryption.

Re:Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (2)

Erris (531066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246091)

Gee, nice of you to waste your mod points trolling slashdot like that. Visible is easy to eliminate.

You say: ...it's worth a reminder that amateur packet radio is subject to a number of content restrictions that make it extremely poorly suited as a transport medium for general Internet traffic.

The author's page, presenting yet another sucessful end run around the last mile problem, promisses:

If your like me and are seeking a simple way to build a high speed, affordable, RF network, where you mimic the internet and have webpages, conferencing, FTP and so on, I encourage you to look into this technology and use it. If you use this technology and would like to share your experiences, or if you have questions, you may contact me. Also feel free to link to this document and or reprint any portion of it.

So what am I missing here? How is this limited? Whatever you are talking about is at varience with other hopeful posts here. Of course, you sig, "Disinfect the GNU General Public Virus!", kinda tells us what you are all about.

Re:Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246163)

So what am I missing here? How is this limited?

Amateurs may not transmit a number of things, outlined in section 97.113 [arrl.org] of the FCC rules. Messages for commercial gain, obscene or indecent messages (so much for the pr0n .GIFs), any encrypted message (except ones encrypted only for authentication purposes), or any message on a regular basis that can reasonably be sent over another radio service.


Further, section 97.115 [arrl.org] places severe restrictions on messages that may be sent by an amateur station when they did not originate at that station.


That's what I mean by limited.


Of course, you sig, "Disinfect the GNU General Public Virus!", kinda tells us what you are all about.

Oh, really? What does it say to you? Probably not what you think it says. Hint: I'm not a M$ toady.

Re:Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246340)

no encrypted traffic. sorry, you lose. the FCC knows best!

Re:Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (3, Interesting)

Bishop (4500) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246170)

There are two important restrictions that should be concidered. In North America you may not transmit in code. i.e you can't use crypto. The second restriction is a tough judgement call: you can't use the amature bands for commercial use. This may restrict you from shopping on line over an amature band WAN.

There are some other restrictions, but these are probably the two big ones that will affect the /. crowd.

Re:Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon... (3, Informative)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246206)

Actually.. shopping is a little iffy.. For example, you can't use autopatch (using your handheld radio to patch into a phone like via a repeater) to call a business client, but you can use it to order a pizza on your way home.

A couple of things apply here... (4, Informative)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245856)

First off you must be ham radio operator. Since these all operate above 50Mhz, this means you can get by with a Tech license which is no code, just study and pass the written test. Sites to check for ham radio licensing info include E-Ham [eham.net] and the ARRL [arrl.org] .

Second, any system with more that 1 watt output must be under automatic control so that only enough power as required to compleate the communication is used. You just can't pump out 100 watts to go next door. Not that 100 watts at 2.4Ghz is easy to come by...

The nice thing is that is looks like you don't even have to touch some of the boards to do this. Talk to the manufacture, show them your license and they'll set you up with boards in the ham bands right off the bat! Nice!

BWP

Re:A couple of things apply here... (2)

driehuis (138692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245956)

Not that 100 watts at 2.4Ghz is easy to come by...

You might be surprised... Years ago, I was browsing a surplus store in my town and was absolutely amazed by the amount of radar gear that was just sitting there. I was even more surprised that the stuff was selling.

The guy got the equipment from both the army and the national airport. No clue which frequency the stuff works on, but it's at least in the right ballpark (and yes, buyers were informed that they should clear the area of people before hooking it up :-)

1200 bps - 11 Mbps (1)

giantsfan89 (536448) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245864)

Wow. I can't believe my 1200 bps KPC-3 TNC will be so obsolete in this order of magnitude.
Signup and get your ham license!
KO6RM

Re:1200 bps - 11 Mbps (1)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245962)

Want to sell? I'm looking for an decently priced one... Most are more expensive than the 11mbs wireless network cards, go figure.... They still have some uses though! http://balloons.space.edu

If I had speakers that handled it.. (1)

caferace (442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245870)

...I could spread these throughout the house, garage and yard, and give my neighbors a thrill with my oddball taste in music. It would be cool if there were "tuneable" powered speakers for the off the beaten track wavelengths. Or are there?

Re:If I had speakers that handled it.. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246064)

Yes, they are called transducers. Speakers are just audible frequency tranducers, but we call them speakers. An antenna is really just an RF transducer.

You can get ultrasonic transducers and pass data with them. Might drive your dog crazy though.

Now, what does this have to do with using 802.11b on ham bands again?

Re:If I had speakers that handled it.. (4, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246095)

Music and amatuer radio doesn't mix (not sure if the data would be though like if it would be a MP3....). The only station allowed to broadcast music on the amatuer bands is the space shuttle.

Re:If I had speakers that handled it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246311)

Interestingly, I once rode through some backwoods section of the country, where the operators of a local amateur repeater were rebroadcasting some sort of taped club announcement, complete with a bit of production and some music inserted. While you'd have to be a total @%%hole and an idiot to do any such thing in an area where people could receive the signal (other than the other club members, who were presumably okay with it), it does come down to the chance of getting caught. There are not FCC suits in white vans roaming every scrap of the country to put violators in jail- so while music broadcast is against the rules, it's up to you to know what's *exceptionally* stupid, and exceptionally dangerous. For instance, all the guys running around hanging passive 802.11b repeaters in trees are not going to be busted unless they manage to interfere with a satellite downlink or some odd piece of medical or aviation equipment. Similarly, a good amateur will know the legal or gray-area mechanisms for transport of music- you could use unmodified 802.11b equipment, and repeat or route where necessary (yes, silly vs. using antennas with a little gain), or pick up some other Class B gadget for a few bucks.

In the end, amateur licensing is basically a contract to not be an idiot. By contracting as such, you agree to revoke your license (and potentially a lot of money in fines) if you are ever discovered to be an idiot.

I'd recommend against it! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245873)

There was a local guy and his wife here who got busted and sent to prison for modifying people's radios, scanners, etc. Don't be a criminal, it's not worth it. Always obey and support the law!

Re:I'd recommend against it! (1)

zentec (204030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246134)


Amateurs are encouraged to modify equipment (within the rules of course), whereas the people who were busted modified equipment that required some sort of type acceptance.

There is a long history of amateurs modifying commercial gear for their own purposes.

Re:I'd recommend against it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246183)

Baaaa Baa Baaaa
Obey the laaaaaw...
That's right, good little sheep, keep following and pay your taxes...

Re:I'd recommend against it! (5, Informative)

OverCode@work (196386) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246219)

One of the privileges of an amateur radio license is modifying radio equipment with the intent of operating it on amateur frequency ranges. This is why amateur radio requires a license -- if you don't know what you're doing, you can cause serious problems. The FCC places a lot of trust in ham operators by essentially giving them a blank check for experimentation.

So yes, hams are allowed to hack wireless cards to work on their frequencies. They're expected to know what frequencies they may use, how much power they're putting out, how to resolve any resulting interference, and so forth.

BTW, it is not very difficult to get a ham license. Contact your local radio club, or have a look at http://www.arrl.org. Just takes a bit of reading, $10, and a 35-question multiple choice exam.

-John, KG4RUO

Re:I'd recommend against it! (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246220)

Part of getting your ham license is so you're allowed to modify equipment. In fact, one of the popular mods was on the Yeasu FT-530, it was a 2m/440 handheld, if you popped off a couple resistors you got 800-900mhz.. Yes, you could listen to analog cell phones, and while that part was illegal, doing the mod itself was fine.

1.5 KW (2, Funny)

giantsfan89 (536448) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245880)

Could you imagine a 1.5 KW 11 Mbps setup? Talk about the worldwide interference.

de KO6RM

Re:1.5 KW (1, Offtopic)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246148)

de KO6RM
Hey Jeremy, how are things in apartment 218 these days?

(I know I sure as heck wouldn't put my home address in a slashdot posting.)

Re:1.5 KW (1)

JonWan (456212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246166)

I don't know about that. I only live 65 miles from the "local" UPN station and I can barely pick it up, I think it's about 5KW.

BTW, Your license will expire Apr 21, 2002. I hope you renewed. ;-)

Re:1.5 KW (2)

OverCode@work (196386) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246238)

You can go across the Atlantic on 1 watt of power under the right conditions. Power helps, but a good antenna helps MUCH more.

Broadcast 1500 watts on a wireless card, and you'll probably fry any receiving card in the same building. :)

-John, KG4RUO

Re:1.5 KW (2)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246284)

Broadcasting 1500 watts from a wireless card would be pretty interesting. Not only would it melt through the case of your laptop but the laptop would start to smell funny as it melted too. However if you used a highly directional antenna, that second or two before meltdown you could sterilize a several people standing in a line. I'd suggest aiming at those people already standing in line for Star Wars:AOTC. In the words of Artie, the strongest man in the world "soon you will be as cheese, boy -- melty, melty, melty."

It's Official! Windows Is Dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245881)

It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: Windows is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Microsoft Corporation when recently IDC confirmed that Windows accounts for a declining fraction of all Internet servers. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that Windows has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Windows is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Windows's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Windows faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Windows because Windows is dying. Things are looking very bad for Windows. As many of us are already aware, Windows continues to lose market share. The green ink from declining sales flows like a river of blood. Windows XP is the most endangered of them all, having lost more of its core developers than any other operating system.

Due to the troubles of Microsoft, abysmal sales of Windows and other products and so on. Recently, Slashdot reported a possible removal of Windows from the market by Microsoft [slashdot.org] . This only serves to confirm the fact that Windows is unwanted, doomed to be passed around like a harelip orphan from one foster parent to another.

All major surveys show that Windows has steadily declined in market share. Windows is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Windows is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. Windows continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Windows is dead.

Fact: Windows is dead

Uh, ham radio? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3245908)

No thanks. I don't want to have to learn stupid and obsolete morse code SHIT. All those old fucks can shove their ham radios right up their wrinkly asses because ham radio is DEAD.

Would https be a violation? (3, Interesting)

iamroot (319400) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245948)

The FCC laws state that you may not use ciphers to obscure the meaning of your transmissions. What if someone was using https, ssh, or another encrypted protocol over this? Would that be a violation? Its not really clear what that part of the amateur radio laws mean. If that would be a violation, then I'd have to wonder about the practicality of this. Aside from an alternative to TNCs, there might be problems with actually setting up a network, aside from the fact that anyone on it would need licenses.

Re:Would https be a violation? (2, Informative)

jgorkos (453376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245984)

I would guess that 90% of the traffic on a ham-only 802.11 network would be illegal due to content. Even some of the replies to this thread would be illegal (re: Steven Wrights 7 words you can't say on the air). A group in Tulsa, Ok is looking at setting up a Metro Area Network using modded 802.11 equipment, but my question is: why bother? You can't run high power without being a controlling op, you can't hook it to the internet because the first lid that used SSH, HTTPS, or surfed to w w w.hotmomma.c o m would bring the FCC down on the whole network.
Face it, ham radio is meant to be experimental and bleeding edge, and 802.11b is pretty much appliance operator level stuff.
'Course, if AMSAT could put up a bird more than once every 15 years that worked, we could push for the next one to have an 802.11 interface on it.... THAT would be worthwhile, and give me a reason to use all the 2.4G antennas and amps I bought for AO-40...

John Gorkos
AB0OO

Re:Would https be a violation? (2, Informative)

Jonny 290 (260890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246008)

SSH's encryption would be against the rules, but you can use it in compression-only mode to gain a bit of throughput.

Offtopic (-1) (1)

phil reed (626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246184)

Steven Wrights 7 words you can't say on the air


That was George Carlin.

Yes, it would. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246322)

For elaboration, please see my comment [slashdot.org] under the moonbounce thread.

-N1KZZ

Licence revoked: (4, Insightful)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245971)

Transmit 100 watts across a city, at 2.4 Ghz, and see how long before your amateur radio license is revoked. Part of their rules are to never use more power to conduct your transmission than is necessary. Since 100mw with a high gain antenna is enough power to transmit to the limits of practical line of sight, using more than 100mw is using more power than is necessary. Also, to transmit, you must listen to the channel you are about to transmit on to insure no one else is using that frequency at that moment. Since 2.4 Ghz devices have become so ubiquitous, it is impossible to transmit without stepping on someone, somewhere.

This story reminds me of the one about the website that teaches people to make an x-ray machine. Nice to know, but definitely not for the irresponsible masses.

Re:Licence revoked: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246189)

There's a web site that can teach you how to make a X-Ray machine!?!? Cool, where is it???

Re:Licence revoked: (1)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246239)

Here is some rope [noah.org] , enough to hang yourself with :)

Re:Licence revoked: (2)

Chris Hiner (4273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246228)

Actually, devices running under part 97 (ham) are allowed to cause interference to the part 15 (unlicensed) devices, and the part 15 devices have to live with the interference.
Part 15 devices have no protection from other licenced devices (Read the fine print in the manual that came with your part 15 device).
The using more power than necessary bit, you are correct about, although for satellite/moon bounce more than 100mw would be useful.

Anal...? (-1)

Anal Cocks (557998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245977)

...Cocks. Tee hee.

W-ERZ (5, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3245980)

Thank you for listening to W-ERZ. We're taking requests.."Hi..what would you like today?" "I'd like a copy of Windows XP." "You use that garbage? Alright, coming right up. Thanks for calling! You're listening to W-ERZ, all warez, all the time."

Re:W-ERZ (2)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246141)

What sort of music do you guys play? I heard the Windows 95 soundtrack has a lot of "pop" to it.

Re:W-ERZ (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246235)

interesting, i heard that album isn't going to be supported longer. i really hope your listeners have upgraed to the latest and greatest artistic [microsoft.com] talents being shown. the eariler albums were pretty scratchy, but the group recommends listening to the most recent tracks to get a more enjoyable eXPerience.

Re:W-ERZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246162)

Funny, but should really be WREZ (or if it's an old station, WRZ). Or depending on where you are in the country, K-RAD - broadcasting on 1337 kHz!

moon bounce (3, Informative)

trex44 (111226) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246144)

Back in the early 80s, HAM enthusiasts used to do moon bouncing using VHF (144Mhz band) 100w radios feeding highly directional helical antennas pointed directly at the moon. The idea is to use the moon as a passive satellite to bounce the signal back to earth. Back then, 300bps packet radio communication was attainable using this technique. I wonder what kind of interference levels can be expected if some HAM operator did this on 2.4Ghz today? Would the bounced signal be strong enough to cause real interference across a large portion of the globe?

-.. . DU1DQ

Re:moon bounce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246253)

It likely wouldn't, especially because moonbounce is now a haven for QRP (that's low power, for the non-amateurs) experimentation. People are doing a lot of 'digital signal processing' (often with a plain old soundcard and consumer grade software) to pull weak CW out of the noise.

Also worthy of note is a recent effort to replace Pioneer 10 as a radiotelescope calibration source, now that the old bird is dying. Pioneer 10 was an 8W source at ~2.4GHz, while the new amateur moonbounce beacon puts out 10W at 1.3GHz. (The intention is to up this to 225W, they may have already got there.) It's unlikely any of this would cause serious interference, except, perhaps, to radio astronomers themselves.

Searching Google for "W2ETI" will turn up a convertible PDF of the QST (amateur radio magazine) article, just below the link to the SETI station sponsoring the beacon: http://www.qsl.net/w2eti/

It is truly unfortunate that FCC restrictions prevent amateurs from providing public-service internet in the microwave band, especially when the 'l33t I 0v4rcl0ck3d my WAP!!' kiddies will do it anyway. Technically, amateurs could provide wireless backbone and develop an ad-hoc routing structure for such a 'co-internet,' and the likes of OpenBSD would allow easy QOS to prevent public traffic from overtaking emergency/public-service communications. However, given the statements the FCC chairman has made, any such 'communist' network would potentially outcompete a commercial carrier in the 'free market,' and so both amateurs and the public suffer. (Theoretically, you could be fined if an *unlicensed* user accidentally sends obscene traffic through your amateur WAP, but you're barred from using cryptography to secure the connection. There is, of course, the question of how enforced the 802.11b band is- I'm guessing not very- but it'd be nice to see the FCC perform its duty as a spectrum coordinator, rather than acting as a fat bureacracy.)

In any case, it's something to think about. I believe there are too many emergency-preparedness types and "good ol' boys" in the amateur community to really lobby for such change, especially when the shortwave bands are already cluttered with unlicensed operators and 'lids.' However, it makes some serious sense- surely it's better for people to be able to pass traffic in an emergency as they do every day (as seen in the TDMA cellphone overload on 9/11), rather than forcing hams to scrutinize every radiogram sent. (It's true that a public internet could be used as a 'weapon' in itself, but we already have a wired one, and an unscrupulous terrorist could also send a steganographic radiogram..)

Just some interesting notes, and my personal views,
-N1KZZ (General class.)

Re:moon bounce (1, Informative)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246267)

I wonder what kind of interference levels can be expected if some HAM operator did this on 2.4Ghz today? Would the bounced signal be strong enough to cause real interference across a large portion of the globe?

Let's do the math - a .030 watt access point will deliver about -70dBm signal to a wireless card 20 meters away using dipole antennas. The noise floor is usually about -100dBm. The moon is a return trip of approximately 400 million meters, or 20000000 times further away. Signal strength is the inverse square of the distance, or 400000000000000 times weaker. Let's assume we're using a 40db dish (one the FCC would have no trouble noticing in your backyard) and you're transmitting at the full 1500 watts output. The signal is 50000 times stronger and your dish amplifies it another 10000fold. The resulting signal is now only 800000 times (or about 59db) weaker to a non-directional antenna (or a directional antenna not pointing at the sky), resulting in a signal level of -129dBm. Which is significantly weaker than a typical noise floor of about -100dBm. As you can see, amateur radio EME (earth-moon-earth) requires a non-trivial antenna array pointed at the moon to even receive such signals.

amplifier hookup success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246210)

After a cursory glance at the web site, it wasn't clear to me if people have successfully hooked up amplifiers to 802.11b equipment. I'd like to read about specifics. This sounds fun. I do have an amateur radio license.

Many legal problems with Internet over packet (2, Informative)

KI0PX (266692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246222)

As someone who has surfed the web during class with lynx, an HP48 and a couple of TNC's, this sounds like a cool prospect. Amateur packet is super-slow; the only hope for it is to move up the frequency where there's the bandwidth to support faster transmissions. But there are a couple of legal problems with Internet over packet radio. From the ARRL (http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news /part97/) in Part 97 of the FCC rules, Section 97.113a,

(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer.

4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this Section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages in codes or ciphers intended to obscure the meaning thereof, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification;

(5) Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished alternatively through other radio services.

Now, IANAL, but I read that as saying: No nicknames, no ads and banners, no mp3's, and no software piracy. Not to mention that encryption is illegal over the air, so your passwords are available for the world to see.

73's, KI0PX

Re:Many legal problems with Internet over packet (1)

ipb (569735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246331)

"Now, IANAL, but I read that as saying: No nicknames, no ads and banners, no mp3's, and no software piracy. Not to mention that encryption is illegal over the air, so your passwords are available for the world to see."

Nicknames are fine, just make sure you ID periodically. A simple ping of the nearest gateway with your callsign embedded will do.

No ads and banners? Well no, not if it's coming from your server, but banners while browsing are no problem.

Mp3's are just data, No problem.

No Software Piracy, Well of course, no illegal acts.

And encryption for the purpose of control is allowed, just don't use it for everything.

73's, N7IPB

Part 97 (1)

BodyByHostess (560775) | more than 12 years ago | (#3246260)

Part 97 is 100 Milliwatts

HAM Radio: The Ultimate Geek Hobby (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3246288)

Amature Radio is NOT dead. It's alive and well.

If you really wanna have some fun, check out www.irlp.net, where you can use Linux boxen to provide internet linking capabilities to remote repeaters. Very very kool stuff.

73's.
KD6OIZ
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?