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Wireless Networking

Journal Journal: New project

Okay, so the experiment running an FTP server with all my music and movies didn't last, because now I'm at home for the summer and it's not exactly practical to run a high-capacity server with large files through a DSL connection.

On to the next project!

My dad and I have ham radio licenses. Guess what? With the right ham license, you can take the signal from an 802.11 base station and amplify the hell out of it, and use a high-gain antenna, to offer wireless Internet access to a huge area.

My license isn't of a high enough class to allow this, so I'm planning on upgrading this summer. Meanwhile, my dad and I are researching the necessary technology, including high-gain antennas for 2.4 GHz, and linear amplifiers for the same. He has a 70-foot tower in our back yard, giving a theoretical range of 10.25 miles, since the 2.4 GHz band requires line-of-sight (not literally, but it can't go through or refract around the earth).

However, 10.25 miles isn't quite enough. I'll be living in an apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan next year, and I want to make a wireless WAN between my apartment and my parents' home in Plymouth, 15 miles away. We have a couple of ideas for bridging this gap. First of all, and easiest, is to find another ham in between and talk him/her into helping us. If that doesn't pan out, we may use a transverter to convert the 2.4 GHz signal to another frequency where we wouldn't need line-of-sight, and could get better range. The trick is finding an HF or VHF band where we're licensed to use spread spectrum, and even then we might not be able to use the full 54 Mbps offered by the Airport Extreme base stations we'll be using.

If anyone has other ideas, I'd like to hear them. Satellites aren't out of the question, though they would make for a somewhat unreliable connection.

A few final notes...if anyone on /. lives in the area and wants to use our Internet connection, you're free to do so (that's the whole idea); and if you want to make a wireless node of your own, contact me or keep an eye on this journal and I'll keep you updated on materials to use to study for the necessary test, and where to take the test, to get a ham license, as well as what to do to construct the node once you have a license. And if you are a ham living in Dixboro or somewhere like that, between Ann Arbor and Plymouth, let me know if you'd be willing to help us create the aforementioned WAN.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rescomp sucks my balls 2

I just got back online, my connection having been dropped by my university's Residential Computing department a few hours ago. This is the nth time this has happened in the past few weeks, where n is a number much larger than I would like it to be. I'm still trying to get it sorted out, but if Rescomp's track record means anything, it will happen many more times over the next few months.


Journal Journal: Noise - new fans - downtime

Okay everyone, as promised, I'm giving fair warning before what will hopefully be the next time my server goes down.

This thing makes one hell of a lot of noise, and I have to sleep not five feet from it. Therefore, I've found a couple of ways to make it somewhat quieter and ordered the fans to do so. When they come, I'll have to turn the thing off for a while (obviously) to install them so my roommate and I can sleep a little better. I'm not sure when this will happen, but most likely a week from Tuesday, late in the evening. If that changes I'll post further information right here.

G'night, and happy downloading.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Server 5

Since I've been operating this server for a while, and it has gone down several times without my having any way of providing an explanation to those who were downloading and lost their connections, I've decided to start making journal entries to warn people of downtime when possible, and to explain it after the fact otherwise.

For those who haven't been visiting my server, take a look.

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"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce