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Author Topic: Ham Wi-Fi?  (Read 962 times)
WA2SRV
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Posts: 4




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« on: December 12, 2003, 06:06:33 AM »

Warning--Message which follows is also posted to the VHF/UHF forum--didn't know which was more appropriate so I split the difference:

So my home 802.11b network works great...but I've been having trouble getting my laptop in my kitchen to sync up well with my wireless router in the office...not that great a distance, but I guess there's just too many obstructions in the way. I've played around with a few different commercially available antennas and amps..didn't help. Also tried D-Link's repeater, which sort of worked, but ended cutting throughput in half, so not a great solution.

Before I started running more wires to more WAPs throughout the house to be able to better use my "wireless" network, I thought I'd check and see what the regs are for ham use of these frequencies. As best as I can determine hams have PRIORITY via Part 97 over Part 15 unlicensed users...at least for frequencies up to 2.45 GHz, which roughly corresponds to commercial Wi-Fi channels 2-6. There are some little minor issues to be addressed like how do you do station ID every 10 minutes (I suppose if nothing else you could name your network with your callsign and QTH), but the upside for me is the ability to broadcast at up to 100W with no antenna gain restrictions. Surely I'll be able to make it from any place in my house or backyard to the place where the router is.

Has anyone modified any of the current Part 15/unlicensed products to do this? Figure this has to be much easier than attempting to build from scratch (especially for someone like me who can do the work if really forced to, but would really much rather substitute more dollars whereever it will translate into less time on the bench and soldering). I don't claim to be any kind of an expert on this sort of thing, but I imagine a more powerful transistor or two in the right places might work wonders.

If anyone has blazed this trail of late, I'd appreciate hearing about it. FWIW, my home setup is mostly D-Link equipment, with a Netgear card on one box (it's a Windows 98 machine, and at the time D-Link was having trouble developing 98 drivers to use on their own equipment, so they actually told me to buy the one from Netgear instead, wouldja believe it?)

I can't believe there isn't more of an effort or interest going on with this sort of thing already. Certainly one ham (if he was willing to accept the responsibility for it) could provide wi-fi access to quite a large number of others if he was so inclined.

Anyway, if anyone has any experience with this sort of thing, or knows what kind of equipment is easiest to modify, I'd love to hear about their experiences.

Thanks

73
Mike
email to wa2srv%qsl.net (replace % with @ over there)
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 1574


WWW

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2003, 03:06:40 AM »

There's a recent article on just this topic - it was either QST or CQ. It covered the legalities, as well as equipment modifications. Try a Google search...

    73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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TOASTY
Member

Posts: 41




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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 04:33:14 PM »

i would recommend sticking with part 15 in the 2.4ghz band.  under part 97, you could not even load up eham.net in a web browser legally.
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KI4BUM
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Posts: 59


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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2003, 07:02:42 PM »

huh? you can absolutely surf the internet using your ham license. the only no-no would be any websites that requires SSL encryption (eg: https)

please explain what you mean by your staitment of illegality
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KI4BUM
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Posts: 59


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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2003, 07:07:35 PM »

ahh... now that i think about it... you must be refuring to the 10 minute rule. i was thinking of tcp/ip over ham
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KA0MR
Member

Posts: 221




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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2004, 11:02:49 PM »

You may not modify Part 15 devices. It meets Part 15 when it leaves the shelfof the manufacturer the permit was given to. If you modify,not repair, but alter what it is designed for under Part 15 you nullify the Part 15.

And 100 watts at 2400 MHz. That would be a pretty big investment wouldn't. And I wouldn't stare into at the antenna in the living room.

Bob
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 2703


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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2004, 01:39:56 AM »

R.E. 'illegality':

You CANNOT transmit any pages with commercial content using Ham Frequencies.  The page you are reading this on, with it's numerous ads, would not be legal to transmit uder Part 97 using Amateur frequencies.  However, it is perfectly legal using unmodified Part 15 equipment.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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WA2JJH
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Posts: 523


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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2004, 09:32:12 AM »

KG4RUL is right one the money with the rules and regs
visa-vi 2.4 GIG.

  I built a 7 channel frequency agile/prom programmable
Ham ATV rig. It has a solid 3 watts of output.

  I thought about setting up my own little very powerfull WLAN out of the rig I built.

 The FCC says no commercial content. Too bad. it does
1 fm carrier of 4MHZ wide FM VIDEO and 2 subcarriers
of broadcast quality FM audio.

  I guess I will just use it to control my HF station.
It also works on broadcast ENG freqs. Not type accepted
for ENG either.

  In class, I showed my TX/RX and said If I power this sucker up, I can knock off all wireless laptops. The students wanted my head! I then showed them my Ticket.
A few became very interested in ham radio.
Too bad these new EE's do not even know ham radio exist's anymore!

  Well so much for 2.4 GIG ATV! It was fun building my little RF monster!

  Because of the 2.4gig revolution amatuer microwave stuff is dirt cheap.

  I like the authors idea, but REILLY dont like it.

  Well we did not use 2.4 gig enough, so another band lost!
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K5PU
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2004, 07:20:24 PM »

You might want to try a PCMCIA NIC card in your kitchen laptop with a beefier output. I use a Cisco Aeronet 350 which (I believe) puts out 100mw vs the 50-75mw of most 'off the shelf' cards (D-Link, Netgear, etc). You can get 802.11b PCMCIA cards up to 200mw (Senao or Engenius) but beware, the higher the output the shorter the battery life.
 
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AJ3U
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Posts: 35


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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2004, 01:39:37 AM »

Try this website:

http://www.jefatech.com
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KC2MMI
Member

Posts: 621




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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2004, 12:22:29 AM »

Why try to reinvent the wheel?

Ditch your obsolete 802.11b gear and buy 802.11a (more powerful) or 802.11g with power comparable to 802.11a but newer standard with other advantages.

You probably can keep the 802.11b gear except for the hub and the card in that one problem computer, since .g is backwards compatible with .b and will continue to work with the other devices.

If 802.11g doesn't give you the range you need, what anyone--not just hams--can do next is to fit a better antenna on the .g device, google "pringles can antenna" for a cheap directional antenna used to boost all of the 802.11 devices.

There are also new devices coming out his fall as "metropolitan area lans" and other schemes that will be far more powerful than 802.11g.

Whatever you do, look at the security and encryption options and USE them. If you don't, you'll be hacked.
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W0RY
Member

Posts: 18


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2004, 10:48:35 PM »


Refer to the February 2004 issue of CQ Magazine, page 44.

Very interesting article regarding this matter.
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