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NodeAIE

NodeAIE belongs to me, Ian Donaldson, and is located at my home which is on a small hill in Coburg North. Its in the area often referred to as "Newlands",
not far from the Kodak factory.

The hardware is shaping up to be a Via Eden fanless 533 MHz Mini-ITX PC
with a DWL-520 DWL-520 in it. Antenna is a D-Link ANT24-800 8 dBi omni.
Priority #1 is hooking up to NodeFFB, see how we go from there.

I have:

I need:

Progress


May sometime - Recieved Via Eden board

Friday 16/8 - Picked up D-Link omni from Glen Brunning. Thanks Glen!

Sunday 18/8 - Went to Camberwell swap meet. Looks like swap meets are
not so good for wireless gear. However, managed to find one person
selling D-Link DWL-520 PCI cards and purchased same.

Monday 19/8 - Got Apple AirPort card from NextByte in the city. Cost including iMac caddy was $219, not bad considering how much Apple usually
overcharge.

Sucessfully established a connection between my iMac with the Airport card
and the Eden with the DWL-520. The Eden is running Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (Woody)
and I am using the HostAP drivers.

The pigtail that came with the antenna which is only meant to fit the D-Link
APs seems to fit the DWL-520 as well. Hmmmm.

Tuesday 20/8 - Tested omni with DWL-520. Little antenna - 4 bars. No antenna - 2 bars. Omni via pigtail - 4 bars. I'd say the pigtail works. Makes sense really, otherwise D-Link would have to make 2 types of antennas for its gear.

Thursday 22/8 - Got case for Eden. A compact MicroATX unfortunately, mini-ITX cases being hard to find.

Sunday 25/8 - Helped Paul recover an 18 dBi ex-Galaxy antenna from the roof
of a nearby house. Well, when I say helped, what I mean is that I stayed on
the ground and made helpful comments like "Try not to fall off!" while Paul
climbed around the roof.

Monday 26/8 - Thanks to sanbar who was giving masts away and Paul for noticing the e-mail I now have a 1.8m eave mount J-mast. Apparently its also ex Galaxy. It looks perfect for my needs.

I want to mount this on the apex of my house. Anyone got a really long ladder?

Came up with what I reckon is a pretty good idea; 1 or more of those
silver helium balloons you get in newsagents and supermarkets on some very
light line (maybe fishing line?) to assist in determining line of sight.

Sunday 2/9 - Found a source of mini-ITX size cases at External linkXtore. Although they are a disty, I e-mailed them
and they say they're happy to sell retail due to a lack of resellers currently.
Put my name down for a Cubid 2677, ETA 3 weeks.

Monday 3/9 - DLink DWL-520+ card and DWL-900AP+ access point arrived, courtesy
of Jamie Lovick. The AP is for indoor use, freeing up the eden for MelbWireless
node use. I like the AP, its very easy to set up, and very easy to turn
MAC filtering on with a minimum of pain.

Thursday 19/9 - Ordered cable from Julian.

Friday 20/9 - Ordered mini-ITX case from DataParts Shepparton.

Nearly there!

Sunday 29/9 - Picked up cable from Julian. Thanks Julian!

Monday 30/9 - mini-ITX case arrived.

... time passes

Tuesday 5/11 - finally stuffed mobo into mini-ITX case. Looks very neat. Here are some pics with a beer bottle for scale:

[http://www.myinternet.com.au/home/ian/mwnode/uitx_front_tn.jpg]
[http://www.myinternet.com.au/home/ian/mwnode/uitx_back_tn.jpg]

Full size pics at http://www.myinternet.com.au/home/ian/mwnode/

Wednesday 6/11 - Finally managed to get eave mount mast up. No thanks to ladder from Kennards which was too damn short! Ended up hanging over the roof with mast in one hand and drill in the other. Next problem - the mounting kit that comes with the D-Link antenna says its good for masts between "20 mm - 60 mm" but it looks like the wrong type of bolts were included, they're not threaded all the way to the end which would allow them to provide for this range of adjustment. I'll need to buy some more from Bunnings or something but not now, I'm too tired.

Here's the newly raised mast:

[http://www.myinternet.com.au/home/ian/mwnode/mast_2_tn.jpg]

Sunday 10/11 - 3 sets of bolts later, I have the antenna attached to the mast. After some concern about the thickness of LMR-400, I've put the cable under a tile into the roof. Discovered power point in roof, which will make things easier. No it wont, unless I want the AP to power on only when the bathroom fan is running.

Here's a pic:

[http://www.myinternet.com.au/home/ian/mwnode/mast_4_tn.jpg]

Got PXE booting working on the Eden. This makes me happy as it means the system now needs no harddrive. The CPU is fanless, as is the outboard power supply, so the system is completely solid state, like an AP. Unlike an AP, its a fully functional Linux system with none of the usual compromises of embedded systems.

Wednesday 13/11 - Experiminations with the Eden and a clamp meter. All measurements taken from the 12V DC input.

Eden is 533 MHz C3 CPU, headless, diskless, fanless, D-link DWL-520 WLAN card, ethernet active.


So in other words, 2A @ 12V would be heaps.

Monday 16/12 - I have had no time to do anything lately, I've been spending way too much time doing overtime at work. However, I am off work from 5pm Friday 20/12 until 9am Monday 13/1 so I hope to get my node operational early in the new year.


Version 1 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:10 +1000
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