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Homemade EVDO/WiFi Mobile Access Point

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the car-companies-should-pay-him-to-oem-these dept.

Wireless Networking 172

Tamundson writes "Over the last few weeks I've built myself a mobile access point for my car. It's based on a Soekris net2421 embedded Linux box and uses Verizon's 1xRTT/EVDO network as its uplink, resharing it over 802.11b. Wherever my car goes, my Internet link goes! :) I finally put some webpages together on how I built it. The components are pretty cheap and anybody with basic Linux skills can build their own just as easily. I've also got it interfacing with Google Maps to do live vehicle tracking via gpsd. It also uploads pictures from an on-board webcam every five minutes or so."

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Two, now four wheels (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289614)

Interesting, from two wheels [slashdot.org] to four wheels.

JIC, coral links for website [nyud.net] and GoogleMap image [nyud.net]

...and back to 2-wheels again (1)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289919)

What I didn't put in the project web pages before it got /.'d: I'm making a case with integrated battery that mounts on the back of my R1150GS motorcycle. If I get the size trimmed a bit it should fit without taking up any of the bike's luggage space. Now to figure out how to make a lean-angle sensor to record that along with the speed/position data... :)

Re:...and back to 2-wheels again (2, Informative)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289964)

What I didn't put in the project web pages before it got /.'d: I'm making a case with integrated battery that mounts on the back of my R1150GS motorcycle. If I get the size trimmed a bit it should fit without taking up any of the bike's luggage space. Now to figure out how to make a lean-angle sensor to record that along with the speed/position data... :)

You could use the dual-axis accelerometer [digikey.com] I used for the robot project to sense tilt changes. Have it integrate changes to guess at current tilt, and recalibrate itself by assuming that anything maintained for 30 seconds or more is a tilt of zero. You could combine it with one of the pseudo-gyro sensors made by the same company (Analog Devices), but be warned that they're ball-grid array packages (and it's probably overkill for your purposes).

Re:...and back to 2-wheels again (1)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290109)

Yeah, BGA is a pain in the hindside to work with on the hobby level. I've got a surface-mount soldering station but it's still a pain (one of the Hakko units).

Thanks for the parts pointer! *digs through Digikey*

The_Fire_Horse gets the FIRST POST again (-1, Troll)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289616)

I have a mobile access point...

... IN YOUR MOMMA's ASS !!

Re:The_Fire_Horse gets the FIRST POST again (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289708)

No you missed the First Post . . . . again.

stop moving! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289623)

How can I use your access point if you keep driving around?

Re:stop moving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289981)

He just has to share his coordinates and motion vectors.

Re:stop moving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290462)

You'll have to hitchhike.
Just don't forget to bring your towel.

Re:stop moving! (4, Funny)

rastakid (648791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290499)

No, no. Continue moving! This is what wardriving really is!

Now we can hold competitions: one AP driving around, several contestants trying to break into a machine in that car while they have to be in a certain proximity to have a connection to it. Sweet!

Expensive (3, Funny)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289628)

Cost ranging from $600 to 1400+ That's not including the cost of regular oil changes.

Re:Expensive (2, Funny)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289722)

Yeah, dude, but that setup is freakin cool.

Re:Expensive (1)

VolcomPimp (875357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290009)

Ummm no, it runs off your minutes but obviously this guys not stupid enough to waste all his cell minutes like this... but the unlimited plan is like $80 a month.

I rate the usefulness of this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289640)

to be just under that of the iPod shuffle. Good job!

Why is it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289658)

That we have invented a million different ways to distract ourselves while blasting down the highway, without developing self-driving cars?

Re:Why is it... (4, Interesting)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289899)

Why is it... That we have invented a million different ways to distract ourselves while blasting down the highway, without developing self-driving cars?

Building self-driving cars is a Very Hard Problem. It's being worked on, and great progress has been made, but it's not going to be ready for prime time yet.

The problem is that it has to work safely even under strange or pathological circumstances. Guaranteeing this is much, much harder than getting a car to drive on an empty road and stop at well-marked intersections.

On the plus side, as soon as a car autopilot drives better than the average driver, the insurance rate perk for getting one will make the switchover very rapid.

As for distraction, you'll note from the article that the access point was never used by the person driving the vehicle (and that it's in fact illegal to do so in California). It's a passenger perk (and great for when you get _out_ of the car, with the range it has).

Re:Why is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290204)

The problem is that it has to work safely even under strange or pathological circumstances.

It's true that it's difficult to build a safe self-driving car, but "safe" is a relative term. Nowadays, all your self-driving automaton has to be is safer than all the oblivious mouth-breathing morons yapping on their cell phones and watching DVDs while they should be driving. The task is far easier than it was 15 years ago for that reason alone.

Re:Why is it... (1)

Josh Triplett (874994) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290377)

Why is it... That we have invented a million different ways to distract ourselves while blasting down the highway, without developing self-driving cars?

Building self-driving cars is a Very Hard Problem. It's being worked on, and great progress has been made, but it's not going to be ready for prime time yet.

The other major problem in building self-driving cars is that unless everyone is using them, a self-driving car has to be able to share the road with human drivers, not just other self-driving cars (which are much easier to get information from). Many of the demonstrations of groups of self-driving cars used communication between cars, or at the very least made assumptions about the ways those other cars would drive. A real self-driving system could not make such assumptions. Furthermore, even if all cars become self-driving, it isn't necessarily a good idea to trust the information provided by every other car on the road.

Re:Why is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290605)

You don't have any friends, do you?

Re:Why is it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290882)

as soon as a car autopilot drives better than the average driver

which is not that hard. hell tying the wheel to point straight and setting the cruise control at the speedlimit does better than the average driver.

Re:Why is it... (1)

the pickle (261584) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289951)

Because it's a million times easier to invent new distractions than it is to make a car that drives itself over our horribly irregular (from a machine standpoint) network of roads.

Even having a car that drives itself on four-lane divided highways is beyond the reach of reasonable current technology. Don't even think about doing it in city traffic!

Sad, I know, but it's not as though no one's tried.

p

Re:Why is it... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290043)

Are you knidding? My laptop won't even hibernate properly, and you want my to let it drive? Crawl before you walk, man...;)

Re:Why is it... (4, Interesting)

pixel.jonah (182967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290145)

I witnessed the first DARPA Grand Challenge [darpa.mil] . Very eye opening to say the least. The first place entry cost over $1 million to build and went less than 8 miles. One of the close runners-up that went almost as far was built by two guys for around $40k.

Simple things were serious issues like - if you're going slowly and your wheel comes up against a rock and at the current amount of throttle, it can't get over, what do you do - how do you know to just give it a little more gas and drive right over vs. you're up against something a little bigger that you should back up and drive around.

Finally!!! (3, Funny)

zoloback (785676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289666)

Now I'll be able to find the nearest starbucks no matter where I am.
Beats the method of calling my friends every half an hour when i'm on a trip and trying to describe the surrounding cities/streets/lamp posts in hope for some guidance to a hot cup of coffee.

--Beware of on the road browsing though

Re:Finally!!! (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290665)

Now I'll be able to find the nearest starbucks no matter where I am.
Beats the method of calling my friends every half an hour when i'm on a trip and trying to describe the surrounding cities/streets/lamp posts in hope for some guidance to a hot cup of coffee.

You should be going here [starbuckseverywhere.net] . The guy's visited 4535 so far, or about 90% of the corporate Starbucks in the country. And others, abroad. If you haven't got a wireless setup for your travel, yet, you can visit the states beforehand and print/save pictures of the stores.

Slashdotted ... or? (1, Funny)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289668)

I wonder if this guy is running his webserver in his car; it's really slow.... or it could be that he got slashdotted! sucker

Re:Slashdotted ... or? (5, Funny)

Zenophran (139656) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289676)

Heh, no officer, my I didn't crash, I was slashdotted...

Re:Slashdotted ... or? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289776)

It is mainly the pictures that are slow and they are behind a php script. So I asume the PHP script or the database is slow. Just try http://images.fbrtech.com/view_photo.php?set_album Name=EVDOrouter&id=soekris [fbrtech.com]

Re:Slashdotted ... or? (1)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289968)

Yeah... I'd meant to mirror the images server to a high-bandwidth location but hadn't gotten around to it yet. My bad. The actual project pages are on a good provider with lots of bandwidth to spare. My bad...

*starts sloooooowly copying images over*

Pictures fixed (1)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290071)

I moved the pictures over to the high-bandwidth site. They should be much better behaved now. :)

Seems like a good prototype. (4, Insightful)

Future Man 3000 (706329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289672)

Get the cost down, and this would be an interesting way to integrate per-vehicle information (speed and congestion [via vehicle proximities/GPS]) with map information to get realtime data on the best route to work. Or figure out where the most interesting accidents are happening.

Re:Seems like a good prototype. (2, Insightful)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289759)

Get the cost down, and this would be an interesting way to integrate per-vehicle information (speed and congestion [via vehicle proximities/GPS]) with map information to get realtime data on the best route to work.

I'm not sure how he'd get the cost down much further than it is already. He's using off the shelf parts at commodity prices. Building in quantity-100 might shave off 30% or so, but even fabbing your own integrated board with all widgets on it in quantity-1000 would only get to about half the current price.

Custom IC would get it down further, but that would take quantity-silly :).

Re:Seems like a good prototype. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289787)

i think that it would be interesting if you killed yourself by shoving a knife up your ass, yeah that would be interesting.

Re:Seems like a good prototype. (0, Offtopic)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289861)

All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second.
-JF


I call shenannigans on that one. Ya figure, people nowadays are living 2 or 3 billion seconds (60 to 100 years). If each of the ~275 million Americans alive today only paid for 1 of the seconds of your life, you'd have to die by age 10 for the math to work out.

Then again, maybe the US gov't really *is* spending money 10 times as fast as it's coming in...time to cash out my bonds!

Re:Seems like a good prototype. (1, Offtopic)

shawb (16347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290123)

Actually, it could make sense. Start by assuming that all taxes collected are income taxes:

Assume that the average American starts working at 16 and retires at 55. This leaves 39 years of working. We can round up to 40 years of working years.

with an average of 40 hours wourked out of every 168 hours in a week, slightly less than 1 in 4 hours is spent working while employed.

Therefore the average person works for less than ten years of their life, which comes close to the number for how long you said a person would live.

Or to put it a different way: if one were to spend all of their working time meeting new people, they'd only get a second with each person if they were to meet everyone in the US. This doesn't even include the fact that there is a turnover in those that are employeed during the time that you work.

It is just by a fluke of population size that it works out to about one second. Whether or not the taxes paid out are in the form of income tax, sales tax or property tax really shouldn't matter, as in general a person will pay all of these taxes combined in a manner relative to the amount of money that they make. While there will be some outliers that end up with a much different distribution of tax structure, we're talking about the average person here.

To sum up a career in number of seconds: 60seconds/minute * 60minutes/hour * (40hours/workweek) * 52weeks/year * 40 years/career= 60*60*40*52*40 = 299,520,000 workseconds/career. This is really dang close to the current population of about 295 million people [census.gov] in the united states.

The only problem (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289892)

If you want to be able to 'integrate per-vehicle information' and 'get realtime data on the best route to work', you're going to have to be able to track me.

And that's just not happening.

But google maps partially does this now, in selected cities.

Re:The only problem (1)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289913)

If you want to be able to 'integrate per-vehicle information' and 'get realtime data on the best route to work', you're going to have to be able to track me.

And that's just not happening.


If one car in a hundred had a transponder, you'd get a good idea of how traffic was flowing on the major routes in and around a city. One in a thousand might even be enough for this.

You might actually be able to do this just by looking for cell phone emissions from tracking towers. I'm sure at least that many people use their cell phones while commuting. This gives you better coverage than traffic cameras/helicopters.

Re:The only problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290141)

The person might not even have to be using their cell phone, the phone just has to be in communication with the tower.

Re:The only problem (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290229)

Wave goodbye to your car then... I give the UK 10 years, tops, before they try to put a transponder in every car.

It'll be for road charging - your road tax depends on how far you drive and where - but of course they'll use it for speeding tickets pretty soon afterwards, and the security services will have a back-door immediately, and then they'll let the police use it.

Tinfoil hat time for biglig, you think? Did you know that Mayor Ken Livingstone has publicly stated that if he ever canceled the congestion charge scheme (you pay £5 a day to drive a car in central london) he would keep the cameras that run the system around for police use? That he also anticipates an upgrade to mandatory transponders in that time period?

Where do you get Verizon Broadban d (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289673)

I dont get Verizon Broadband in Austin (and I always thought that Austin was one of the most wired ... ahem ..wireless cites ). Anyway the live vehicle tracking is a good idea. If they enforced some vehicle tracking mechanism in every new car sold in overcrowded cities, wont that help the people/authorities detect and circumvent jams (and it will probably be a fraction of the cost of the wasted gas)

Re:Where do you get Verizon Broadban d (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289860)

because of course a tracking system would never be used for evil purposes, the government would never start mining data for "suspicious" behavior under the shroud of Terrorism.

Verizon offers this in Austin, I have it . . . (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290324)

The original article had a link right to it . . . [verizonwireless.com]
The 5220 card runs 200 bucks with a 100 buck discount and the service is 80 a month.

I haven't found a dead spot in Austin yet and I know it is good as far down as San Marcos.

Slashdot effect in acction (1, Funny)

ahziem (661857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289696)

At the bottom of the page is a counter. It went up from about 1100 to 1200 in a few seconds. Click refresh and watch it jump!

Re:Slashdot effect in acction (1)

Karl Tacheron (841799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289749)

Yeah, I'm sure that people unnecessarily refreshing the page is just what he needs at the moment.

Re:Slashdot effect in acction (2, Funny)

rastakid (648791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290504)

At the bottom of the page is a counter. It went up from about 1100 to 1200 in a few seconds. Click refresh and watch it jump!

Yeah, that will help him. All Slashdotters double the effect, NOW!

Re:Slashdot effect in acction (1)

zkn (704992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290658)

I could be that it's just you and 9 other guys reloading constantly to see how the counter jumps.

No such thing as a net2421 (2, Informative)

Cainam (10838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289701)

According to the article, the embedded platform used was actually a Soekris net4521. There's no such board as the net2421.

Re:No such thing as a net2421 (1)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289765)

According to the article, the embedded platform used was actually a Soekris net4521. There's no such board as the net2421.

Given that the person who wrote the submission is the person who wrote the project page, I think we can file this in the "accidental typo" category".

Re:Accidental Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289816)

Given that the person who wrote the submission is the person who wrote the project page, I think we can file this in the "accidental typo" category".

or his bank pin number....

Re:No such thing as a net2421 (2, Interesting)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289820)

Yup. :) That's what I get for submitting a /. story in a rush...

At least I got it right on the project pages!

what the fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289704)

how fucking gay is this, how fucking gay do you have to be to want to do something like this, geez what a fag

It'll crawl! (3, Interesting)

SeiRyu (774810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289748)

The service companies like verizon/sprint offer using the 3G network achieves much of it's supposed '70k-100k' down speed from compression it applies on the images. (downgrades the quality of jpg, etc)
The real speed is barely comparable to 56k modem (if the use is light on the provider's network) and this is given you have a perfect signal reception. All this is with a SINGLE computer on the network. Now if this were used amongst 2.. or more computers you'd barely be able to browse the web, much less connect to your favorite Linux box via SSH.

Re:It'll crawl! (2, Informative)

menn0nite (699138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289835)

Umm... evdo is 2.4mbps tops, 300-500k PROMISED. Since I've been using it I've averaged 800k down, 160k up. I've had no problem with ssh, (and vnc as well as terminal services )

Re:It'll crawl! (5, Informative)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289846)

For speed testing I used Broadband Reports [dslreports.com] 's site.

In 1xRTT-land I got 70up/30dn most of the time. About 1/4 of the time I'd get 110up/50dn. At the worst (only a few times, and usually when the evening commute hours put a lot of traffic near where I was parked) I'd get about 50/10. Compared to a 56k modem (about 26/20 on the same tool when I tried it), this isn't bad.

I've had 4 computers using it at the same time. While it will start to gronk on images with multiple access it's truly not that bad. And no, we're not using any kind of proxy, cache or compressor.

I've yet to get this system out under EVDO coverage yet, save for the single test that got me 600dn (found one local tower where it was activated. Didn't last. Hrmf). When EVDO hits my area (or I take a trip into an EVDO area) I'll put up better metrics.

Compared to GPRS (my old wireless link) it's much nicer.

Re:It'll crawl! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290613)

What the fuck does "gronk" mean you fucking dork?

Re:It'll crawl! (0, Flamebait)

Unique2 (325687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290932)

Gronk [reference.com]

Why not invest in a dictionary you fscking idiot.

Re:It'll crawl! (2, Informative)

Daniel Wood (531906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289907)

Not really. I used a Sprint phone as my primary form of net access for nearly a year. While it does compress images(REALLY high compression at that), you can still pull 140kbits continuously. I used to run Kazaa downloading mp3s all the time and I used DUMeter to track my speeds. Consistent 140kbits, except on the weekends, then it was like 14kbits, especially on Sundays. Average reception where I was at was 2-3bars.

Re:It'll crawl! (3, Insightful)

manitoulinnerd (750941) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289930)

Oh how broadband has spoiled you.

Once upon a time, before I left home, I had dialup internet. Unfortunatly my ISP was some government funded one so equipment upgrades were not really their thing.

We had a 32Kb/s internet connection. I say we because by brother and I shared this dialup connection over our home network. Now yes it was not speedy but with a good IM to keep you company it was quite useable. Image intensive pages took a little to load but we survived.

Updateing windows and downloading linux ISOs were a problem though. ;)

My point is that for his uses it is good enough. I am sure he is open to suggestions to speed it up though.

Re:It'll crawl! (4, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290020)

Whine, whine, whine. In my day, we had to go up the hill to the bit well and carry the bits back to the PC with the bit bucket! And we liked it!! You kids today with your broadband, and your big pants, and your Ministry of Sound! ;P

Re:It'll crawl! (2, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290028)

I've been using the same Verizon broadband service as is described in the article for about six months now. When connecting to their EVDO network, I get a consistant raw rate of 500Kb/s on downloads and around 100Kb/s up. This is in the suburbs about 15 miles from the center of the coverage area I live near (Baltimore). While I don't have any firm numbers, the network seems even faster when I'm nearer to the center of their area, like when in NYC.

Note that I saw raw rate here because I'm not using the compression package Verizon provided. While it seemed to slightly improve performance when browsing the web, I found that something it was messing with made SSH sessions much less reliable. I turned it off the first day and haven't missed it.

While there are occasional hiccups that cause me to lose the connection (which are no more frequent than when I'm connected with 802.11b; screen is your friend here), I can assure you that when in the EVDO sections the SSH sessions I launch every day work perfectly even if I have two or three computers sharing the network connection via NAT.

Re:It'll crawl! (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290311)

I have a UMTS A845, and I get over 200K on Cingular (Former ATTWS), Problem, UMTS is already being phased out for HSPDA for upto 10Mbs (4Mbs real world).

Lucky HSPDA is just a upgrade to UMTS, you get devices that are backwards compatible, so don't expect more UMTS devices in the USA, all new devices are going to be HSPDA or GPRS.

http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/4520-3504_16-566493 3- 4.html

Re:It'll crawl! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290969)

*The real speed is barely comparable to 56k modem (if the use is light on the provider's network) and this is given you have a perfect signal reception. All this is with a SINGLE computer on the network. Now if this were used amongst 2.. or more computers you'd barely be able to browse the web, much less connect to your favorite Linux box via SSH.*

I'd mod you seriously misinformed, if I had mod points and there were such a mod.

gprs is barely 56k modem. evdo is not gprs, not even nearly.

the real problem with most 3g networks is not the speed, the speed is good - but the billing. when you would get a bill of 300$ per hour when going full swing with the connection... well, you tend to not to use it at those prices.

Why stop? (1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289750)

Add a rocket on the back, bat shaped fins, and dual machine gun turrets and you'd have yourself one slick Tamundson-mobile with a Linux-powered uplink to your butler.

Even better... (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289767)

Maybe someone could come up with some sort of sattelite WiFi uplink thingamajig... Somehow, I doubt EVDO has as good coverage as XM's sattelites. Very cool idea though.

Re:Even better... (1)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289863)

This can be adapted to about any uplink you want, either via PCMCIA, mini-pci, serial or ethernet. Making it run off of a Direcway satellite or similar is just a matter of purchasing the uplink equipment, no worries.

EVDO's coverage isn't great. The slower version (1xRTT) is about the same as Verizon's voice service. Not *everywhere* but it's been in far more places than I thought it'd be. With a 3w booster and a good antenna (a trick the long-term RV crowd has known about for years for voice use) you can get data 10-30 miles from the nearest tower, geography permitting.

The moment an affordable in-motion-antenna satellite system is available you better believe I'm modding the stompbox to do it. :)

/. effect wearing the dragon out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289799)

Watch his little dragon at the bottom - hit refresh a few times to guage the effect.

I can't even begin to tell you.... (3, Funny)

Hyperkinetic (142875) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289814)

How tired I am of starting a project, and having someone beat me to it. (sigh)

Re:I can't even begin to tell you.... (2, Insightful)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289876)

Funny thing is that I'm exactly the same way. I've done dozens of little projects, sometimes right through completion, and by the time I put up some web page about it I find out it was last month's geek press.

I know of about 5 others (two in my area) who are making similar devices... so I'm still surprised I was the first one to get pages about such a project on /. .

How far have you gotten on yours, if you're working on the same kind of project? What else have you made yours do?

Car theft. (1)

ThetaPi (720252) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289844)

I think this would make his vehicle rather easy to steal. Easy to recover too, since he can tell the police where his car was five minutes ago.

rural no dsl/cable option... (1)

menn0nite (699138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289851)

If you can make a cheaper (larger is fine too and wifi isn't nessissary) version, you can probably sell it in area's currently too far out for dsl/cable (don't say "but there won't be any signal out there)

Re:rural no dsl/cable option... (3, Informative)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289890)

This is what folks like JunXion [junxion.com] already do. It's really simple. Just remove the WiFi board, add a (surprisingly cheap) directional yagi antenna, a 3w 800/1900 booster and point at the nearest tower. Boom. House-data over ethernet. The device has two ethernet ports already built in. I use one for wired clients and the other as an alternate uplink if I don't use the EVDO card.

Re:rural no dsl/cable option... (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290542)

Yeah, removing WiFi board and adding directional yagi antenna (I see it now, if yagi antenna isn't redundant enough - you use directional yagi antenna), a 3w 800/1900 booster and point at the nearest tower is much easier... Thank you :-D

Re:rural no dsl/cable option... (1)

drelectro (873500) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290416)

No problem, the CDM-822seu will do the trick at about US$500, Available here:-

http://www.land-cellular.com/products/index.htm [land-cellular.com]
or here:-
http://www.call-direct.com.au/CDMA_modems.htm [call-direct.com.au]

It's 1xRTT at the moment but EV-DO is comming Real Soon Now.

but there won't be nay signal out there (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12291037)

Sorry, had to... I tried to resist, really....

Seriously, considering how modern state-of-the-art cell phones don't work at all in such areas (at least here in the US), I don't think the chances of getting a good data link are very high.

mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289870)

Pope Raped at early age by Priests (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12289910)

Pope John Paul II's youth was marked by repeated
brutal and violent anal rapes by the hundreds of
priests who enjoyed what is known in Arabic as
Ashnu, also known as child sex slavery. These
early experiences shaped his later role as leader
of the world's largest guild of child rapists and
molestors, know colloquially as the so-called
"Holy" Catholic Church.
http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?is sue=4116

And don't forget... (4, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289912)

If this car's a rockin'... don't look at my webcam pictures uploaded every five minutes!

-matthew

Re:And don't forget... (1)

racazip (829595) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290073)

Maybe after 7 minutes.

Bluetooth instead of wifi gets you real mobility (1)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289945)

My setup is a Sony u750p [cnet.com] and with a bluetooth cf-card and a cellphone.
Since its bluetooth, the cellphone stays in my pocket (unless it rings!) and the computer fits in my jacket pocket when not in use. This way I get broadband not just within range of my car, but anywhere I go.

Why do you need a car? (3, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289961)

My bluetooth cellphone [verizonwireless.com] and laptop [neuro-tech.net] do this. The phone can "dial" Verizon's network. Not sure, what the bandwidth is supposed to be, but I saw downloads of 20 kilobytes per second.

The laptop talks to the phone over the built-in bluetooth and can share the connection over the built-in WiFi card.

Re:Why do you need a car? (1)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 9 years ago | (#12289971)

jinx!

Yeah but... (1)

HerbieStone (64244) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290437)

...does your cellphone run linux?

;)

Re:Why do you need a car? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290476)

RTFA. He wanted a router, not just an internet connection. He wants more than one computer to be able to use it at a time, without dealing with internet connection sharing.

Car Linus system (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290038)

Greeting ! I am from the Dutch

In Nederlands we have car made of crack coccaine and cannabis. we drive this to gay porn festival for experience

before i stuck big one up my hairy arshhole in Linus 2 running on it from before

If the car crashes (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290094)

Will he need to reboot?

Re:If the car crashes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290190)

He made it clear that it ran Linux, not windows.

Re:If the car crashes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290211)

Is that to say that the car won't crash, or that that the system won't need rebooting if it does?

Also check out CLIVE (4, Interesting)

Tugrik (158279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290130)

Thanks for all the comments and email so far; I'm glad folks seem to like the project.

While you're there, be sure to check out our other hardware hack from last year, stored on the same server: CLIVE [fbrtech.com] . It's an Iridium Flare Tracker we built out of a Gameboy Advance and a DPSS laser.

I've moved all the images from both projects to the same high-bandwidth server so they shouldn't stall out any more. Being slashdotted is rather fun to watch. :)

Re:Also check out CLIVE (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290967)

We really need a TotalSlash section for people like you!

Glad you're having fun!

Meshing cars (1)

cibus (670787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290212)

Hey, what a cool project! Gotta love comments like "There's so much support for Linux and BSD on this hardware that it's hard not to build one" :-) Now if enough people hooked up WLAN routers in their cars you could build a mesh network and Internet access could be provided by any available open static access point(s) so that you dont have to pay big $$$ for the mobile linkup.

Or... use a laptop (2, Informative)

bmidgley (148669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290232)

We don't have EVDO in my area yet, but I do this all the time with my laptop and a 1xrtt connection. It connects through bluetooth to my v710 and I share the connection using an atheros wifi card.

I was going to switch to an intel wifi card when the driver started improving, but they don't support master mode yet.

Under debian, it's fairly easy using ipmasq. If I "ifup" the wireless adapter when there is already a default route (from the phone or ethernet), the wifi card is set up to take a static address with no default route of its own and fire up a dhcp server before it reruns ipmasq.

I was running it today on the bus. A pal was using it for his network connection but he had to ride a lot farther than I did so he was sad when my stop came up.

I wish I knew how to make the net sharing stealthy like OpenBSD does. Without any stealth, I think if verizon wanted to figure out who was sharing their connection, they could find out.

Re:Or... use a laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290494)

Under debian, it's fairly easy using ipmasq. If I "ifup" the wireless adapter when there is already a default route (from the phone or ethernet), the wifi card is set up to take a static address with no default route of its own and fire up a dhcp server before it reruns ipmasq.
Neat; how'd you accomplish this? Personally, I would've probably used a mapping/script combo.

Great... but (1)

fasuin (532942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290441)

wasn't it simpler to put the Verizon's PCMCIA inside the laptop???

This ain't yer bluetooth phone. (4, Funny)

DingerX (847589) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290456)

Yeah, sure, you can get a bluetooth-enabled phone and run your laptop through that, but the point isn't simply to produce mobile wireless access. It's more about running a permanent network out of your automobile.

We've had the technology and the ability to do this, but the really cool applications are just too risky, too liability-prone, or too legally questionable to catch the attention of the developers. So while your luxocar has a bluetooth network that catches viruses, and a lot of handy value-added features go by the wayside.
I mean, here's the things that are useful for an in-car network:

A) Porn. Porn drives technology, period. I strongly recommend that the next development in this field be a means to stream internet porn onto a heads-up (hands-free) display, possibly via voice command. Since we're all being open-sourcy about it, there should also be a facility to transmit and add to the global wealth of internet porn.
B) Anti-theft. This is talked about in the article, although I find it difficult to imagine a thief wanting anything as ugly as a Honda Element. Maybe if he riced it up a bit, and camouflaged the solar panel as a big-ass aftermarket wing or something; that and one of those "battery life extender" stickers that says "R-Type" on it
C) Navigation: again, there are already factory-installed and aftermarket solutions for this, but we really could use some improvements that only proper geeks can provide:
1. The author mentions networking radar detectors, as well as other traffic indicators (speed, proximity). That's a good start.
2. Much more interesting would be to network a whole slew of sensors. Radar detectors are good; but why not slap in a cheap scanner that runs through a whole range of frequencies and plots spikes and intensities? With a few sensors around, you could provide real-time plots of a large amount of radio traffic, and even localize quite a few. Heck, many police and fire frequencies are already out there on the internet.
Of course, y'all would need some centralized support for that, and if done wrong, it'd probably be the target of some congressman's ire, and attempts to shut it down.
Then again, if you ran something like a series of IRC channels (one for each region, run through port 80 and otherwise made to look like web traffic), authenticated users and blocklists, that just echoed reports from rmeote users, and maybe queries ("anyone got a picture of the tollbooth?"), you'd have your geek comms paradise, and the guy riding shotgun would have plenty of tasks to perform to isolate and avoid the mundane threats of traffic jams, separate ATIS noise from highway patrols, keep a steady stream of porn going to the driver's HU/HDD, and try to avoid throwing up.
D) Don't forget the need to bridge with existing open WiFi access points. Starbucks offers their networks as a service to the community, after all.

Then again, it's just a car. Speeding is generally something best done away from other cars. VoIP won't work too well with 3G latency. Any nerd project that gets mainstream acceptance loses most of its utility as people figure out ways to nickle and dime the life out of it.

Re:This ain't yer bluetooth phone. (1)

jcuervo (715139) | more than 9 years ago | (#12290488)

Then again, if you ran something like a series of IRC channels (one for each region, run through port 80 and otherwise made to look like web traffic), authenticated users and blocklists, that just echoed reports from rmeote users, and maybe queries ("anyone got a picture of the tollbooth?"), you'd have your geek comms paradise, and the guy riding shotgun would have plenty of tasks to perform to isolate and avoid the mundane threats of traffic jams, separate ATIS noise from highway patrols, keep a steady stream of porn going to the driver's HU/HDD, and try to avoid throwing up.
Interesting: IRC is designed after HAM radio, develops for a while, then begins to operate over radio anyway.

Anyway, suggest http+ssl instead of plain http.

YUO FAIL IET?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290535)

happinesS Another of progress. handy, you are free with the number variations on the may disturb other Creek, abysmal

foo.html (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12290568)

camptusc@comcast.net
future@riseup.net

Live Photos from The Guy's Car (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12291023)

http://tarne.fbrtech.com/~element/gomap.php

All The work I do with my stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12291027)

goes against this. Encrypted root, use TOR, anonymous remailers, and so on. I travel a LOT, and I don't care to have people knowing exactly where I am, where I'm headed, or what I'm thinking. I don't dig the idea of pasting a great big electronic target on my car.

Chick Magnet (1)

Giggle Stick (673504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12291049)

I don't know what kind of car it is, but if it isn't already a chick magnet, I bet it is now!
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